Busy, retail-fueled neighborhood of affordable housing is a quick commute to Seattle and Snohomish County.

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Population: 7,000

Location: Bounded by 115th Street to the north, 103rd Street to the south, 15th Avenue to the east and Aurora Avenue (Highway 99) to the west.

Why people move to this neighborhood: North of the city, this busy retail-fueled neighborhood is an easy commute to Seattle as well as to Snohomish County. With affordable modest homes and multifamily buildings, it offers easy access to Interstate 5, bus lines and a new Link light-rail extension opening in 2021, and there are infrastructure modifications on the drawing board to improve walkability and bike-friendliness. Busy professionals, as well as 15,000 students from North Seattle College, appreciate the neighborhood’s abundant takeout and shopping options, as well as a 14-screen multiplex.

Distance from downtown: 7-8 miles, 30 minutes by public transit, 15-30 minutes by car depending on time of day

School district: Seattle Public Schools

Major employers: The neighborhood is dominated by retailers within and around Northgate Mall, and it’s also home to University of Washington’s Northwest Hospital and Medical Center, which employs 1,900.

Housing: Changed height restrictions mean new apartment buildings are joining older multifamily structures, casting shadows over the midcentury, rambler and midsized homes that dot the neighborhood.

Walk score (out of 100): 86

Bike score (out of 100): 64

Transit score (out of 100): 56

Historical facts: Named for Northgate Mall, an indoor shopping center built in 1950, the Northgate neighborhood is dense and decidedly suburban. The mall was the idea of Rex Allison, then-president of Bon Marché (now Macy’s), and was deliberately sited north of the city for urban shoppers who would travel by car from the nearby highway. Among the first such malls in the nation, Northgate made national headlines in its early years of operation.

Recreation: The neighborhood lacks parks, but locals can walk a 4-mile route along Thornton Creek, which has benefited from watershed restoration efforts in recent years. The Northgate Community Center offers a fitness facility with a nominal ($3) drop-in fee. The center rents meeting and party rooms, and the center and the local branch of the Seattle Public Library offer children’s programs. Northgate is home to several health clubs (24 Hour Fitness, Seattle Athletic Club, Gold’s) and is just a few minutes by bike or car to sports options at Green Lake.

Zillow Home Value Index: $457,200

Zillow Condo Value Index: $243,600

Zillow Rent Index: $1,760

The Zillow Home Value Index is the median Zestimate valuation for a given geographic area on a given day. The Zillow Rent Index is the monthly median rent Zestimate. Sources: City of Seattle, Northwest Hospital, walkscore.com, Zillow.