People and businesses continue to move in to the historically diverse, increasingly busy neighborhood

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Population: 12,874

Location: The Central Area District (“CD” for short) has varying borders depending on whom you ask, but it’s contained roughly by 12th Avenue to the west; East Denny Way, then East Roy Street to the north; 31st Avenue East to the east; and I-90 to the south.

Why people move to this neighborhood: It’s a historically diverse residential neighborhood just outside the hustle and bustle of downtown to the west and dining and entertainment options on Capitol Hill to the north. It contains a number of small local shops and businesses, including ethnic restaurants serving Ethiopian, Thai and other cuisines. Residents say two of the main draws are convenience and walkability. The CD has undergone gentrification over the last few decades, growing busier as more people and businesses continue to move in.

Distance from downtown Seattle: About 2 miles, 10 minutes by car without traffic

School district: Seattle Public Schools

Major employers: Seattle University, Swedish Medical Center

Housing: Predominantly older Craftsman and midcentury single-family homes, as well as some modern apartment and condominium buildings that have sprung up on busy street corners in recent years.

Walk score (out of 100): 89

Transit score (out of 100): 67

Bike score (out of 100): 80

Historical facts: Restrictive racial covenants on Seattle’s early homes meant that many of the city’s ethnic minorities had no choice but to live in the Central District or the Chinatown International District, whose residents in decades past were almost entirely minorities, including African Americans, Asian Americans and Jews. In 1970, the Central District’s population was 73 percent black. That number has decreased significantly since the late 1980s, and now it’s estimated that about 20 percent of the current population is black, with other ethnicities, including Asians and Latinos, comprising about 25 percent. Whites have seen the largest increase and now account for nearly 60 percent of the CD’s population.

Recreation: Many first-time visitors to the city make the Central District one of their first stops; perhaps coincidentally, it contains one of the busiest recreational marijuana shops in the city. Locals enjoy the amenities at Judkins Park and Playfield in the south end, with its skatepark, basketball courts, water feature and trails, including access to the Mountains to Sound Gateway trail along I-90. Powell Barnett Park provides a grassy open meadow perfect for picnics and playing fetch with your dog, as well as a playground (and restrooms in a castle-shaped building). There is a handful of small neighborhood parks throughout. Businesses, dining and entertainment options can be found along the main thoroughfares of 23rd Avenue, East Union, East Cherry and Madison streets.

Zillow Home Value Index:$575,400 (as of Feb. 2016)

Zillow Rent Index: $2,499 (as of Feb. 2016)


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:, Seattle Times archives, Zillow.