The south and southeastern shores of Lake Washington have much to offer. Here you’ll find Renton and its surrounding communities. One big attraction of this area is the abundance of view properties and waterfront homes. Another plus is that it’s centrally located—only about a ten-minute drive to Seattle, Bellevue, and Sea-Tac International Airport.
Start in Lakeridge, in unincorporated King County. Lakeridge is sometimes considered a Seattle neighborhood (it borders Rainier Beach), but it is just as often claimed as north Renton. Lakeridge has a lovely, rural feel that belies its urban convenience. Twisting streets and steep hills lead to a mix of older, modest homes (many mid-century) and newer, high-end view properties—some in the Modern style. Views here can be truly breathtaking. Depending on where you are in Lakeridge, you may enjoy mountain vistas, sweeping views of south Lake Washington and Mercer Island, or glimpses of Downtown Seattle—or all of these at once.
Lakeridge also offers the forested beauty of thirty-five-acre Lakeridge Park, rich with Northwest native plants. Also close by is the Kubota Garden, a twenty-acre oasis inspired by ancient traditions of Japanese gardening.
Go east of Lakeridge and you encounter the community of Bryn Mawr-Skyway, which is also in unincorporated King County. Like Lakeridge, Bryn Mawr-Skyway is sometimes claimed by Seattle. However, Bryn Mawr-Skyway lies even closer than Lakeridge to Renton’s city limits.
Bryn Mawr-Skyway is known for its lake and mountain views, rural feel, and convenient location. (“Bryn Mawr”, by the way, means “big hill” in Welsh.) Bryn Mawr is just minutes to the Gene Coulon Memorial Beach Park—a fun, family destination. This popular fifty-seven acre public park features outdoor summer swimming, boat launch lanes, a fishing pier, a large playground area, walking trails, and more.
The City of Renton proper lies at the southeast end of Lake Washington. Incorporated as a city in 1901, Renton’s current population is around 90,000. Downtown Renton was in a depressed cycle for some years, but more recently has been staging a comeback. The Downtown area has a small-town feel that invites strolling—lots of one-of-a-kind shops, antique stores, cafes. Downtown also hosts the Renton Farmers Market on Tuesdays, from 3-7pm, June through September. (The ten-year-old market proved so popular that this year a second Renton Farmers Market opened in June at Valley Medical Center. It runs every Sunday afternoon through mid-September.)
Renton is home to several businesses that help bring employment to the area: These include manufacturers, such as the Boeing Renton Factory (next door to the Renton Municipal Airport) and Kenworth Trucks—as well as major retailers, including IKEA and Fry’s Electronics. There’s also the relatively new forty-six-acre urban village style Landing Shopping Center.
KENNYDALE (AND BARBEE MILL)
Kennydale is a Renton neighborhood on the southeast shore of Lake Washington. There are some beautiful homes here with fabulous lake views. And of course, the 200,000-square-foot waterfront Virginia Mason Athletic Center, which opened in 2008, is in Kennydale. The center houses the Seattle Seahawks headquarters and training facility.
Due to it’s proximity to Boeing, there is a plethora of Mid-Century Modern homes around the area. Imagine all those Boeing executives during the 50’s and 60’s with atomic age ideas who built in the area. If fact we recently sold a pristine example of what could have easily been an Atomic Ranch cover home. 360 Modern agents Heidi Ward and Kim Howard represented the sellers. The buyers, who hadn’t even been looking in the area, saw the home on 360 Modern and fell in love. We were happy to be match makers once again.
New construction, much of it in the contemporary Modern style, continues throughout the Renton area. In Kennydale, for example, the new high-end community of Barbee Mill is going up on the remediated site of a former lakeshore lumber mill.
Along with the views and convenience, there’s other good news about buying in Renton and its surrounding areas: Homes here generally sell at twenty to thirty percent lower than Seattle comparables. Sweet!