Though they are less than 5 miles from Downtown Seattle, the neighborhoods of Madison Park and Denny-Blaine feel more like lakefront hamlets than urban enclaves. Of course, this laid-back yet upscale vibe fits well with local residents. While the beaches of Madison Park attract visitors throughout the warm months, both communities are mostly quiet and residential. These affluent neighborhoods have rightfully earned a reputation offering beautiful waterfront views and being a safe haven for some of the city's leading families.
The Location and History of Madison Park & Denny-Blaine
Madison Park and its southern neighbor Denny-Blaine sit on prime real estate along Lake Washington in east central Seattle. Together, these neighborhoods span about 1.5 square miles on the northeast tip of the city's central region. Madison Park is bordered by Lake Washington to the north and east. It's bounded to the west by Lake Washington Boulevard and to the south roughly by Highland Drive, beyond which is Denny-Blaine. The other boundaries of Denny-Blaine are considered to be 32nd Avenue to the west, Howell Street to the south and Lake Washington to the east.
Not long after Seattle's incorporation, planners began envisioning the region along Lake Washington as an in-city retreat area. This idea came to fruition with the creation of Madison Park in the early 1900s. After the completion of Madison Street, which leads directly to the area from Downtown, the park became a lakefront urban escape. Vacationers were drawn to the park's beaches, piers, boathouse and promenade. As the region became more popular, Madison Park luxury real estate emerged near the lake.
Real estate developers also had their eyes on the land south of the park. In 1910, Elbert F. Blaine and Charles L. Denny subdivided the neighborhood that would eventually bear their names. Since its development, Denny-Blaine has remained a strictly residential cousin to the more vibrant Madison Park neighborhood.
Life Near the Lake
While the 8.4-acre Madison Park continues to be a major attraction, the surrounding area has more to offer locals. There are a number of beach-style stores, spas and other businesses on the east end of Madison Street. On evenings and weekends, locals flock to the various eateries in this commercial district. When residents want to enjoy a more peaceful and natural setting, they can head to the Washington Park Arboretum on the west end of the neighborhood. This 230-acre preserve features trails, a botanical garden and beautiful wetlands that lead into Union Bay.
Much like its northern neighbor, Denny-Blaine is known for its various parks and green spaces. Denny-Blaine Park is a 2-acre grassy area with a beach that attracts mostly adults from the community. The largest green space in the neighborhood is Lakeview Park, a 4.5-acre retreat that features picnic areas and a trail to a charming old coastal redwood tree. Perhaps one of the most notable landmarks for Denny-Blaine visitors is Viretta Park. Viretta Park is located just south of the former home of Nirvana frontman, Kurt Cobain and its wooden benches have become de facto memorials to the late singer.
The Madison Park Real Estate Market
As an upscale neighborhood with a popular beach getaway, Madison Park is sought after by buyers. This has brought the median value of a home in the area up to $1,226,600. That averages out to around $620 per square foot. Those quick enough to snatch up some Madison Park real estate will be making a wise investment as, in 2016, neighborhood homes increased in value by 13.5 percent.
Buyers interested Madison Park luxury real estate will find some of the most desirable residences just south of the park near Lake Washington. This area features some wonderful older houses adjacent to Broadmoor, a gated sub-community located on the northwest end of the neighborhood.
The Denny-Blaine Real Estate Market
With no commercial district, Denny-Blaine is a very quiet neighborhood. The median price for Denny-Blaine home is around $870,000 and those planning to purchase Denny-Blaine luxury real estate can expect their investments to grow quickly. Like Madison Park, its housing market has been strong and is predicted to increase in value well into the foreseeable future due to its convenience and lakeside location.
Unlike Madison Park, the vast majority of Denny-Blaine citizens own rather than rent their properties. With more waterfront area available, the community is home to many long-time residents. Denny-Blaine real estate with direct lake access can be found along 39th Avenue and Lake Washington Boulevard. Potential buyers will also find luxury real estate a few blocks inland, nestled in one of the neighborhood's many private cul-de-sacs.