Columbia City is a neighborhood located in the southeastern part of Seattle, Washington in the Rainier Valley district. It has a landmark-protected historic business district and is one of the few Seattle neighborhoods with a long history of ethnic and income diversity.
Named after Christopher Columbus, this neighborhood aspired to be great from its beginning. With a sawmill that could make neat work of the area’s giant trees and a rail line that connected to Downtown Seattle, Columbia City was a popular place to settle in the late 1800s. With its many businesses and services, it was even considered a downtown to the smaller communities nearby. After World War II, the neighborhood saw a decline. Businesses closed, and crime rates rose. In the past few decades, however, many efforts have successfully spruced things up and attracted residents once again.
Today, the thriving pedestrian business district along Rainier Avenue S. is home to six bars, a grocery store, a number of restaurants, bakeries, coffee shops, assorted retail, an art gallery, fitness facilities, a fraternal clubhouse, a movie theater, and multiple live music venues.
Housing stock include craftsman bungalows, a mix of market-rate and low-income apartment buildings, and townhome developments. Community estimates have put the number of new homes in the planning pipeline as numbering at least 1,500. Many of these developments are in formerly vacant lots.
Train service at the neighborhood's Link Light Rail station began in July 2009, connecting the neighborhood to both SeaTac airport and Downtown Seattle. Rainier Vista, once a post-war suburban public housing project, has been redeveloped into a mixed-use, mixed income community built around the light rail station, and includes more than 900 new homes (some subsidized, some rental, some owner-occupied). For things to do in Columbia City, please visit here.
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