6.4 out of 10

Northgate

Ranked 50th best neighborhood in Seattle
47.6992303350915 -122.320538532014
Great for
  • Public Transport
  • Internet Access
  • Shopping Options
  • Parking
  • Eating Out
Not great for
  • No ratings yet
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Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Students

Reviews

4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
Feb 09, 2016

"A shopping mall and housing"

Northgate is one of the biggest, most north neighborhoods in Seattle city limits. It includes the Haller Lake neighborhood, which I take note of in another review.

We live not far from Northgate, which is a convenient place for shopping. It is mostly a mall, with clothing stores, Macy's, JcPenney, Target, Ross, TJ Max, and others. They have three special children’s stores here: Gymboree, The Children’s Place and Crazy 8. Plus the children’s sections in the large stores. Our favorite is Crazy 8. They have unique clothing and good sales.

The mall is the main reason why we are sometimes in the Northgate neighborhood. There is also a movie theater with an IMAX screen we have visited.

We also have been to Kym’s Kiddy Corner in Northgate, which is a children’s consignement store. It's not at the mall, it's on Pinehurst Way nearby. Since children grow so quickly, you can sell the slightly used clothes they outgrew here. They have a good selection of toys, clothes, and other things. But you should clean anything you buy here before you use it, just in case.

The rest of the neighborhood is mainly housing, so no reason to visit. I have heard it’s very affordable, but I wouldn’t want to live here. It is not as clean and safe as Shoreline.
Pros
  • Inexpensive housing
  • Large mall
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Schools 2/5
Jan 22, 2016

"Do you want to live in a mall?"

If living in a mall has been a dream of yours, then Northgate might just be what the doctor ordered. Northgate which lies just north of Seattle is most know for the Northgate Mall. Since the mall’s remodel in 2009 the neighborhood has been going through a transformation, most notably the completion of Thornton Place complex, a mix use complex of retail, condos, and apartments. At the time the largest complex in the hood. Thornton Place is home to a cinema, IMAX, and several restaurants. Beyond the shopping and eating convenience a bus transit transfer station and commuter parking lot are adjacent, making the location prime real estate for a commuter. There is also a Link Light Rail station scheduled to be completed in 2021, which will connect UW, Downtown, and reach all the way to Seatac Airport.

According to Zillow the average home in Northgate is around $263,000, much, much cheaper than that of Seattle proper. My guess is most are condos and smaller single family homes. Rent is also much more affordable, I’ve seen studios under $1,000 and 2 bedrooms for $1,600 – which is $200 cheaper than the 1 bedroom I rent in Seattle.

What’s in Northgate? Bedsides the mall there is North Seattle Community College and Thornton Creek, a 12 square mile watershed for nature and wildlife. Shopping is the neighborhood’s biggest draw, and all the big chain stores are in the mall or around it. Most of the restaurants in the neighborhood are of the chain variety. In fact the highest rated restaurant for Northgate on Yelp is Chipotle. Who doesn’t love Chipotle? The good news is Northgate is close to Greenlake and downtown is an easy bus ride or drive down I-5.

Who should live here? Anyone who wants an affordable housing and an easy commute to downtown, with super easy access to shopping. Northgate is probably one of the cheapest place to get a two bedroom apartment close to the city. Affordable and convenience are the two things that come to mind with thinking about living in Northgate. I think Northgate could be the perfect place for working college students.

Who should NOT live here? If you’re looking for a neighborhood with character and charm, Northgate is probably not for you. Since Northgate is next to I-5 it can be noisy because of all the freeway traffic. It also isn’t the greenest neighborhood, again right next to I-5 and a mall.
Pros
  • Inexpensive housing
  • Large mall
Cons
  • High traffic on arterial streets
  • Lack of large parks
  • Minor safety concerns
  • Noisy on north and west side
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 2/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 3/5
  • Nightlife 2/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 5/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Schools 4/5
Dec 08, 2015

"Affordable mish-mash of residential & retail"

Northgate is a neighborhood about 7 or 8 miles north of Seattle’s downtown, which straddles Interstate 5, and is bounded on the west by Aurora/Highway 99. The northern border is the arterial street 145th, and to the south are the Greenlake and Ravenna neighborhoods.

The mall:
The neighborhood’s main feature is the Northgate Mall. This is one of the largest malls in Seattle, with all your usual stores, as well as a few across the street including Target, Ross, and TJ Max. At the South edge of the mall is a large, multi-story Regal movie theater which is considerably less crowded than the downtown theaters. For example, I just saw the most recent Hunger Games movie on opening weekend, and there were still open seats in the theater, while the downtown theaters were packed.

Housing:
Probably the next biggest perk to living in this neighborhood is the affordable rent. The heart of Northgate is only 1.5 miles north of Greenlake neighborhood, but the rent is *significantly* cheaper. You’ll find a good range of types of living spaces in this area, with a mix of low and middle-income housing throughout the neighborhood, and higher-rent places down south closer to the city center.

Transportation:
Another benefit of Northgate is the easy access to I-5 and Aurora/99. To get to downtown Seattle, you can take the E-line express bus down Aurora/99, which gets you there in about 30-40 minutes, depending on traffic. The bus has its own lane for much of the trip, which is helpful during heavy traffic. Though it can get super crowded, with standing room only. Still, it’s much quicker than driving during rush hour.

As for the Aurora/99 itself, the Northgate section of the road is…interesting. Just north in Shoreline, the road was recently revamped to be several lanes wide, with pleasant landscaping and walking bridges overhead. Just south, the road curves around greenlake and heads straight for Fremont and downtown Seattle. But the section that is in the Northgate neighborhood feels a bit forgotten. It hasn’t yet been renovated, and is bordered by a smattering of shabby auto shops, retail stores, fast food, hotels, and apartments. But hey, it’s part of the reason that rents stay low!

Safety:
Why else is it so much cheaper to live in Northgate? Well, being close to I-5 and Aurora/99 is convenient, but it also means the neighborhood experiences higher levels of crime than elsewhere in the city. Much of the residential area of Northgate is along that same shabby section of Aurora, which is unfortunately known in Seattle for petty crime. It’s mostly insignificant theft, because there is some poverty nearby and people are trying to survive. I’ve occasionally felt unsafe at night here, walking to a friend’s place from the bus stop, with very little street lighting and some people hanging around. Something to consider.

Parks:
One thing that’s not ideal is there aren’t as many parks in Northgate as in other neighborhoods. There’s Jackson Park, but it’s a golf course. Then there’s a very large cemetery, not exactly where you’d want to have a picnic. To be fair, there’s the small Northacres park which has a baseball field, and the Maple Leaf Reservoir Park which has some athletic fields. There’s also Haller Lake, but almost all of the lakefront is private property, except a tiny sliver of public access at the end of 125th street. I guess living in other park-filled neighborhoods in Seattle has set high standards! Most people living in Northgate would head to Greenlake park for a stroll, or to the huge Magnusun park to the east, which rests on the shores of Lake Washington.

Students:
I should mention the North Seattle Community College Campus, which is in the South-West corner of Northgate. So of course, the neighborhood is a great location for students. Northgate also has the large Ingraham High School, which is an international Baccalaureate school, and also has a highly gifted student program.

Conclusion:
The Northgate neighborhood is great if you’re looking for something affordable outside the city center with access to retail stores. But it’s not as walkable, green or as safe as nearby neighborhoods, which is what brings the rent down.
Pros
  • Inexpensive housing
  • Large mall
Cons
  • Lack of large parks
  • Minor safety concerns
  • High traffic on arterial streets
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
DrewM
DrewM Yup, fairly affordable - but commuting downtown is a bit of a trek..
Dec 08, 2015
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4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 2/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Mall Culture"

Northgate does commerce well. Known for the Northgate mall, other draws like a new park, library, and community center bring people in or keep them in the neighborhood. Northgate is nominally developing both residential areas and commercial areas, though people have noticed that the hotel industry has gone unmolested, for better or for worse. But because the most important thing about the area is shopping, it’s equally important to think about some places to visit. I find that restaurants and eateries are the best to engage in, because food quality and presentation is sort of a universally sought good—unlike biking equipment, yarn, or video games, for example.

I’m definitely going to suggest the Jewel Box Café, which is a clandestine member of a small chain of restaurants that don’t chare the same name, but have locations in Alki, Marine View, and Richmond. The Jewel Box Café is distinct among its siblings for a Victorian ambiance that’s a far cry from other coffee places in the area. They have some interesting offerings, including a bubble tea with flavored jellies cut into cute little shapes instead of tapioca. And during warm days, they open the roll up doors for an open-air ambiance and outdoor seating.

When you’re looking for something more substantial, I always make a point to stop in an Masala of India. They’ve got a great lunch buffet, but you should be prepared to find parking elsewhere. The selection is somewhat limited in terms of vegetarian and lamb dishes, but they do Tandoori Chicken, Butter Chicken, and Pakora very well. It’s niche Indian, done well and for the right price.
For American fair, try Five Guys Burgers and Fries. It’s a quirky place where little means regular and cheese isn’t included unless it says so, but don’t fill up on the peanuts, you still have a burger to look forward to.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 4/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Cost of Living 4/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
2yrs+

"Busy shopping center with every store imaginable"

The Northgate neighborhood is named for Northgate Mall, a major shopping mall at the center of the community. The Northgate area has many major arterials, including Roosevelt Way NE, Aurora Avenue (also known as Highway 99), NE Northgate Way, and 130th Street. Interstate 5 also runs through the neighborhood, with the mall and most other shopping areas located on the west side of the freeway. Some of the sub-neighborhoods often grouped with Northgate include Maple Leaf, Licton Springs (or North College Park), Pinehurst, and Haller Lake.

The first covered mall in the United States, Northgate Mall is home to Macy's, Nordstrom, and other major retailers. It is surrounded by numerous strip malls and other shopping destinations. Besides the mall, Northgate is also home to the North Seattle Community College and the Sheihk Idriss Mosque, a unique architectural landmark and the first mosque in the city.

Over the past few years, many major residential and commercial developments have been started. Although it has not traditionally been seen as a residential area, new condo and apartment projects visible from the freeway. are seeking to change this. Northgate is expected to expand rapidly over the next few years as Seattle residents move outward from the city.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 1/5
  • Parks & Recreation 1/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
2yrs+

"Where People Go to Shop"

Most people associate Northgate with Seattle’s Northgate Mall, and although the mall is the primary focus of people visiting the Northgate area it’s not the only thing this area of Seattle has to offer. Northgate is the host to several neighborhoods with houses, condos and apartment buildings mixed in throughout the area. Condos are reasonably price in the area as well as the smaller homes, like all areas the real estate market was hit hard in this area so the housing is less expensive than it once was.

North Seattle Community College also calls the Northgate area home, with its 2-year degree programs, as well as one of the many branches of the Seattle Public Library. Because the Northgate Mall is in the area of Seattle restaurants are plentiful with big named chain restaurants like Red Robin, the Ram and California Pizza Kitchen are always busy but have familiar fare. My personal preference is Bluefin with its Japanese fair and wonderful sushi. Although whenever I’m in the Northgate area I’m sure to be found wondering for hours in the two-story Target.

The Northgate area isn’t really a place to find nightlife, parks or unique boutiques and restaurants, but it does have all the chain stores, outlets and eateries that a person is familiar with.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Families with kids
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
2yrs+

"Traffic, congestion and a mall"

City planners didn't plan on the popularity of the Northgate area. Nearly any time of the day will find congestion in the area. With direct access to the interstate, the street running north of the mall is constantly packed, lending itself as a terrific area to open a restaurant. There are actually quite a few very good restaurants in the area, though for non-residents, it's almost not worth the effort of navigating the area to visit them. There are also several other malls around Seattle that are easier to get in and out of. There are some other great shops and the area does have the Seattle greenery that most streets in the area offer, making it seem less a desolate concrete jungle. Parking is plentiful with a huge parking lot for the mall and another very large parking lot for shops and department stores outside of the mall. Homes in the area are standard single-family houses, some nice, some in need of repair, and many rental houses. Neighbors are usually nice, though the residential neighborhoods aren't the safest for kids, with predators constantly canvassing this and the Shoreline area.
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 4/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 4/5
2yrs+

"A Few Surprises in This Mostly Mall-Dominated Neighborhood"

An interesting fact, since the elephant is in the room, is that Northgate Mall was the first regional shopping center to be described as a mall (http://bitly.com/northgatemall). That claim to fame helps edge the image of this area, which can easily be avoided due to heavy traffic (especially around the Holidays). On the bright side, renovations were made to the facility in 2008 which have improved the "look and feel" of the place. The biggies like Barnes and Noble (http://bitly.com/g015F5) and Panera Bread (http://panerabread.com) have brought more skeptics back to the turf.

Another establishment that deserves attention is Thornton Place (http://bitly.com/thorntonplace), just to the south. The cinema is one of grandeur with 14 screens (including IMAX) and several floors connected by escalators. Arrive early for a show, and dine at the Thai Fusion Bistro (http://bitly.com/thaifusion) which is literally a few steps from the box office. Running late to the production and need a quick bite? No problem. Just step in the Subway (http://subway.com) or Five Guys Burgers and Fries (http://bitly.com/5guysburgers). If dinner is not in the budget (Understandable with the price of movie tickets), then enjoy the elegant Jewel Box Cafe (http://bitly.com/jewelboxcafe).

The Northgate Transit Center (http://bitly.com/elGA0b - NTC) is a bustling hub for commuting. This, along with the shopping areas, puts the neighborhood on the map. Getting downtown is a breeze from the terminal. Spending less than fifteen minutes in a bus seat to reach Westlake Shopping Center (http://bitly.com/wlakeshop) is not out of the question. The NTC is one of the most active bus terminals in North Seattle with substantial parking options.

Many other businesses exist around the mall, as would be suspected in such a location. Easy access to the interstate provides ease of transport for the commercial truck and family vehicle alike. A word of caution regarding traffic, however. The access ramps bottleneck easily and Northgate Way gets extremely congested during the afternoon commute (and extremely bogged down during The Holidays).

North Seattle Community College (http://bitly.com/nscomcoll) sits on the western edge of the community. Most of the residences are to the southeast, bordered by Lake City Way and 85th St. Maple Leaf Reservoir Park (http://bitly.com/mapleleafpark) shores up the southern edge as the largest green space.

Cyclists can enjoy traversing the neighborhood streets on their way south to the University District (http://bitly.com/udistrict), west to Green Lake (http://bitly.com/greenlake), east to the Burke Gilman Trail (http://bitly.com/burkegilman), or north to Shoreline (http://bitly.com/shorelinewa).

Diversity abounds in Northgate with a plethora of interracial families. Make sure, in addition to conquering the shopping list, that you slow down and investigate the other aspects of this commercial village.
Pros
  • Inexpensive housing
  • Large mall
  • Ethnically diverse
Cons
  • High traffic on arterial streets
  • Noisy on north and west side
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Retirees
  • Students
3/5
2yrs+

"Right behind the mall"

Northgate is located near the neighborhoods of Pinehurst, Maple Leaf, and Victory Heights. On the other side of I-5 is the neighborhood of Licton Springs.

Despite its settlement behind the Northgate Mall, this is the kind of neighborhood that remind you of a careless childhood. An assortment of Northwest trees rise above the modest homes. Rose gardens, fruit trees, hedges and maples give Northgate’s residential gem a fairy tale feel.

The homes here are older—ranging from ramblers and bricks to two-story mid-century family houses. There’s a coziness of a well-lived in town here, with homes you can move right into or revamp.

Of note, the Northgate Mall was the first regional mall in the country. But there are other shopping options too, like a bustling business district on Roosevelt Avenue—grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, everything you need, mall-free. The Northgate Mall is a major Seattle shopping area. Besides the mall, there are many chain restaurants and other shopping areas that surround the mall. From Downtown, one could be in Northgate in about 20 to 25 minute.
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles

Travelling to Northgate?

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Best Streets in Northgate

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Unranked Streets in Northgate

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47.7019583326842 -122.317713324773

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