5.7 out of 10

Cedar Park / Meadowbrook

Ranked 58th best neighborhood in Seattle
47.7128574159013 -122.288891361479
Great for
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Clean & Green
  • Parking
  • Peace & Quiet
  • Safe & Sound
Not great for
  • Eating Out
  • Nightlife
  • Public Transport
  •  
  •  
Who lives here?
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Students

Reviews

3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
2yrs+

"A Neighborhood that’s Away from it All"

Lake City has some junky parts, where you drive down a street and you’re not sure if the business is condemned or just closed, but that’s just a small part of this fairly big area and when you wonder into the Cedar Park and/or the Meadowbrook Head part of Lake City you realize that there is more to this area than originally meets the eyes. The area seems like it’s off the beaten-path, like the city and all its distractions hasn’t yet touched it.

The Meadowbrook area circles a pretty big open space which hosts an amazing community center which allows the residence to enjoy activities and classes – a place that helps build community. The area is chain-store free and has some great little eateries, but for a fancy sit-down dinner you’ll need to venture out of the area. Cedar Park that adjoins Lake Washington a lot of single family homes are in the area, if you head over onto 145th Avenue NE you’ll be able to find some restaurants and stores and but it’s like Meadowbrook – quiet and off the traveled path.

Be careful in these areas though, even with all the main roads and close proximity to the freeway it is very easy to get lost in the area because it lacks noticeable landmarks.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 5/5
  • Eating Out 2/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 1/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Deceptively Quiet"

The Meadowbrook area is characterized by the open fields at its center, but also features a collection of recreational and community areas: the Meadowbrook Community Center, Homeward Park, a six-lane swimming pool, and the Nathan Hale High School, a long bike trail that follows the lake’s shore, Cedar Park, Matthews Beach Park, Meadowbrook Park (a full sized park with play fields and tennis courts) and of course a long and inviting shoreline on Lake Washington. Obviously, there’s stuff to do in Meadowbrook.

While almost completely residential (and diverse at that—from old vacation and farm homes to modern updates), there are some small restaurants and other businesses to compliment the residential buildings. A recent commercial development has brought grocery stores to the residents, instead of the other way around.

The neighborhood has a semi-false identity brought on by Lake City Way and its abundance of overwhelming commercialism—and not even everyday commercialism like boutiques and restaurants, but gross, sprawling, businesses that you don’t need everyday like auto dealers. A willingness to penetrate into the areas away from Lake City Way reveals a serene place to just live, complete with shrubbery, yards, and fruit trees that offer a throwback to when the neighborhood wasn’t nearly as developed.
Recommended for
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"The Other Side Of Lake City"

The Other Side of Lake City

This residential area can be overlooked due to many arterial streets running on the Western Edge of this community. However, in the northwest corner, around 30th Avenue NE and NE 145th Street, it folds into a more business-saturated area. This is more the exception than the rule, however, with respect to the rest of Cedar Park/Meadowbrook. Head east of Lake City Way to discover quiet streets that descend upon Seattle's trademark lake.

History

The name of “Cedar Park” has long been adopted for the northern half of this dual-neighborhood. The Puget Mill Company had ownership, previously, before development took place on this land along Lake Washington. After World War II, single-residence homes emerged. Meadowbrook, further south, has been inhabited for centuries. Natives, however, lost their rights in 1854. The area was clearcut the second half of the 1800s, then partially inhabited by German immigrant farmers. Today, there are remnants of the LaVilla Dairy (http://bitly.com/g53r6Z) and the original Bothell-Everett highway.

Demographics and Income

Middle-age couples are most prevalent, with a wide distribution of income levels. Generally, families closer to the Lake are higher income, with some earning six figure salaries. The area is predominantly white, but also with a significant representation of Asians and Blacks. Just under 25% have kids living at home, with nearly half of the population being married.

Culture

The “feel” of the neighborhood will depend on the distance from the Lake. Obviously, the day-to-day culture near the lake will be more laid back, quiet, and residential. The proximity on the west side, along Lake City Way, will be faster-paced and more diverse. The greater availability of shopping and eating establishments in the west will have their say in the environment of this joint neighborhood.

Real Estate

Home ownership vs. renters statistics mirror one another across Cedar Park and Meadowbrook, with Cedar Park holding the greater proportion of renters. This is most likely due to a boundary that spans across, to the west, of Lake City Way where a greater portion of apartment complexes exist. Interestingly, single family homes do make up over half of the residential structures in both neighborhoods. The average home size is between 1,500 sq. ft. and 1,800 sq. ft. The values, having followed the Seattle trend, have dropped significantly in the last couple of years.

Local Business Tour (Restaurants, Pubs, Coffee Houses, Shops and other Amenities)

Most day-to-day needs can be met by visiting the expansive businesses in the northwest part of Cedar Park (as mentioned earlier). A newly constructed shopping area near NE 125th and 30th Avenue NE has been visited by our family on occasion. We especially like the Panda Express (http://pandaexpress.com) on the corner. Some other restaurants worth noting are: Toyoda Sushi (http://bitly.com/dN4lUC) - Serving quality sushi since 1989, Romio’s (http://romioslakecity.com) - Pizza and Italian variety, and Teriyaki Time (http://bitly.com/hyQFZC) - A kid friendly teriyaki restaurant. Further to the south, restaurants are less common, but to mention a couple: Santorini Pizza & Pasta (http://santorinipizza.com) - Featuring a different dinner special each night, Italian Spaghetti House & Pizzeria - (http://bitly.com/dMkEOx) - An established family friendly Italian diner and Tubs Gourmet Subs (http://tubssubs.com) - Uniquely made sub sandwiches.

No neighborhood is complete without a place to enjoy daily coffee. A few choices for this regular indulgence are: Starbucks (http://starbucks.com) - On the northern boundary, near 145th Street; Bean City Coffee Company (http://bitly.com/eugKgk) - Featuring email coffee delivery; Kaffeeklatsch (http://kaffeeklatschseattle.com) - A social gathering around coffee - opening January 2011; and Cafe Lati (http://cafelati.net) - Simple cafe near Nathan Hale High School (http://halehighschool.info).

Quite a few local businesses fill the community, particularly along the Lake City Way corridor. A sampling of these establishments include: Seattle Beer Authority (http://seattlebeerauthority.com) - A full service beer shop, offering 700 beer labels; Lake City Picture Framing (http://lakecitypictureframing.com) - Over 50 years of picture framing craftsmanship; Schmetzer’s Sporthaus (http://soccerspecialists.com) - An immigrant father, with his two sons, passing on the passion of soccer; North End Train Center (http://northendtrains.com) - A resource and networking hub for model train enthusiasts; eBits pc laptop (http://ebitspclaptop.com) - Locally owned computer repair store; Trikke Seattle (http://trikkeseattle.com) - The store to purchase your first or next Trikke; Hampsten Cycles (http://hampsten.com) - Featuring custom built frames delivered to your door; and Truly Organic (http://truly-organic-clothing.com) - Marketing the highest quality organic and natural fiber clothing.


Schools

The most notable institution here is Nathan Hale High School (http://halehighschool.info). In fact, they even run a local radio station, C89.5 (http://c895worldwide.com) - A Hip Hop/Techno station with student DJs. Seattle Waldorf School (http://seattlewaldorf.org) address the physical, emotional and intellectual needs of the growing child. Other schools include: School of Rock Seattle (http://schoolofrock.com) - Kids ages 7 to 18 learn from professional musicians in an interactive environment; Elite Kids Preschool (http://elitekids.net) - A secure place for children to grow at their own pace of development; and 4/4 School of Music (http://44school.com) - Guitar, piano, voice, and more taught to all ages.

Recreation

This area has much to offer and the hustle and bustle is kept at bay closer to the lake. If you live in Seattle and frequent the Burke-Gilman Bike Trail (http://bitly.com/dv9zYM), as I do, you an experience, first hand, Matthews Beach Park (http://bitly.com/hJ6fDJ), and further north, Cedar Park (http://bitly.com/gHqbWw). Matthews provides a great location to dismount and enjoy green space by the water. The park is a popular destination for young families, with ample picnic sites, beach access and a play area. Thornton Creek (http://bitly.com/fmAhW9), originating at Haller Lake (http://bitly.com/g6rD6k), cuts through Meadowbrook (http://bitly.com/ff2QwO) and Cedar Park. Residential streets end abruptly and tend to be rerouted. This has proven to be tricky for taking shortcuts to avoid traffic. Meadow Brook Park can be the center of activity here, with playing fields, tennis courts, and even a 25 yard/6 lane swimming pool. Nathan Hale High School is just north of the park.

Medical and Wellness Facilities

A bird’s eye view of the medical, dental and alternative medicine landscape in and around Cedar Park and Meadowbrook. Here are a few locations to consider: Neighborcare Health Lake City Medical Clinic (http://bitly.com/g0TBxw) - A variety of medical services with flexible pay options, Dental Assistant Training Center (http://dentalassist.com) - An eleven week hands-on training course with dentists and patients, and Amenity Home Health Care (http://amenityhomehealthcare.org) - Caregivers that deliver the care and services prescribed by a physician.

Spiritual Centers and Churches

Only a handful of churches exist here, of which, are: Lake City Presbyterian Church (http://lakecitypres.org) - Established 60 years ago with a multi-generational congregation of around 225; Korean Peace Presbyterian Church (http://kppcseattle.org) - A small Korean congregation with Korean and English activities; and Maple Leaf Lutheran Church (http://reachoutchurch.org) - A group committed to worship, serving others and loving the community.

Transportation Access and Tips

The benefit of living in either Meadowbrook or Cedar Park is possessing multiple options for inbound and outbound access. Reaching the interstate could, you might say, be the luck of the draw each morning. Arterial streets such as NE 145th Ave, NE 125th Ave, and Lake City Way all lead to Interstate 5. If those routes are not feasible, due to traffic congestion, then consider 35th Ave NE and Sand Point Way NE. Of course, as mentioned earlier, the Burke-Gilman Bicycle Trail can provide fun and necessary transport around Lake Washington and into downtown Seattle.

Summary

In summary, these two neighborhoods enjoy a semi-serene existence alongside commercial-rich Lake City Way. Dealerships and traffic may line the west side, but the serenity of the coast shores up the east. Whether it be a student attending the University of Washington, a professional working in a downtown high-rise, a stay-at-home parent, or an active senior, these two neighborhoods are more than accommodating.
Pros
  • Bicycle trail
  • Close proximity to downtown and suburbs
  • Family-friendly
Cons
  • High traffic volumes on arterial streets
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish

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