News Blog for Seattle's Wallingford Neighborhood


Entries from February 2016

Join Mayor Murray to discuss homelessness 3/2

February 25th, 2016 by sarawilly

Seattle Channel, Seattle CityClub and Crosscut are hosting a Civic Cocktail March 2 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Tom Douglas Palace Ballroom. Seattle Mayor Ed Murray will join us to discuss equity and growth, working with a new city council and the city’s homelessness crisis. Then, a panel including Seattle city council member Mike O’Brien and Daniel Malone, Executive Director of the Downtown Emergency Service Center, will further discuss homelessness in Seattle.

Date/Time: March 2, 2016 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Location: Tom Douglas Palace Ballroom (2100 5th Ave).

Click here for more information.

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Name the new baby gorilla

February 25th, 2016 by sarawilly

Photo from Woodland Park ZooPhoto from Woodland Park Zoo

Woodland Park Zoo needs help naming its new baby gorilla. The winner will receive a variety of great gifts from the zoo, including a chance to visit the gorilla up-close!

To enter, participants must choose a female name from the African languages of Hausa, Yoruba or Igbo, and submit an entry form via mail, online here, or by dropping it off at any ballot box located on zoo grounds between now and Monday, February 29.

One winner will be selected by a judging panel of zoo staff to take home the Grand Prize:

  • One 1-year annual Woodland Park Zoo membership for one family
  • One ZooParent gorilla adoption
  • One opportunity to join a gorilla staff member for a private meet and greet for up to five people at the public viewpoint of the gorilla exhibit once the baby is on view (arranged at a mutually agreeable time)
  • One framed photograph of the newly-named gorilla infant

For official rules and terms of participation or to submit an entry online, click here.  More about the little cutie from Woodland Park:

The baby gorilla was born on November 20, 2015 to mom Nadiri and dad Vip. “Nadiri is a first-time, inexperienced mom,” said Martin Ramirez, mammal curator at Woodland Park Zoo. “Knowing that, we planned for different outcomes while she was pregnant, including the need for human intervention.”

Nadiri gave birth naturally but did not show strong maternal skills initially; as a result, staff immediately stepped in for the safety and welfare of the baby and to allow the new mom to rest. Since her birth, the zoo’s gorilla and veterinary staff have been providing 24/7 care for the unnamed baby gorilla behind the scenes in the gorillas’ sleeping quarters in a den next to Nadiri.

Multiple times a day, the mom and baby gorilla spend time together in the same den. “During recent sessions, the two have lain just inches apart, played and eaten together. The close proximity is a good sign they’re comfortable together and getting to know each other,” said Ramirez.

The baby gorilla remains off view where she is growing and thriving. “She’s developing normally; introductions are progressing slowly but steady,” said Ramirez. Currently, there is no time frame for when the baby will be on exhibit.

In the meantime, zoo staff is excited to officially give the baby gorilla a name. “As an ambassador for her species, an authentic regional name helps share the story of her counterparts in the wild,” said Ramirez.

The baby gorilla’s father is 37-year-old Vip, who has sired six other offspring with three different females at the zoo. He currently lives at the zoo in another group with two females.

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Ballard teen missing: Have you seen Stone Fennell?

February 15th, 2016 by sarawilly

From our friends at

Stone Fennell, a 16-year-old Ballard resident, is missing. He was last seen in Crown Hill late on Friday night, wearing dark blue jeans and a black or dark grey jacket with a black baseball cap. He is 5’10” and 215 lbs.


Seattle Police are searching for a 16-year-old boy who was reported missing.

Stone Fennell disappeared from his home on Crown Hill. He was last seen at about 10:30 p.m. Friday.

Police say family is concerned. They say the disappearance is out of character.

Fennell is 5-foot-10, 215 pounds.

Anyone with information is asked to call 911.

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“Silicon Refugees” drive up market – 2015 Wallingford real estate in review

February 5th, 2016 by sarawilly

A sponsored post from our friends Kris and Daniela

For the last few years when writing our annual review of the neighborhood real estate market we have been talking about rising prices, bidding wars and the shortage of inventory. Well, 2015 was no different, if anything there are even less homes for sale and the competition among buyers has intensified even further. Below, find the 2015 numbers and charts based on hyper-local data capturing only Wallingford and Tangletown as outlined in the map below. The numbers are split out into single family homes including townhomes, and due to popular demand, we are also providing the condominium stats this time around.

Statistics in the table below are based on home sales in the area outlined on the map above and are derived from the Northwest Multiple Listing Service data.

Year over Year Comparison 2014 to 2015

Single Family Homes

8 fewer homes (or 3.3% less) than in 2014 were sold in 2015 showing a illustrating the continuing decrease in inventory.  The median sales price rose 6.9% over the previous year with the average sales price landing 6.9% over the list price in 2015 which is up 3.7% from 2014. We have seen escalations at more than 20% over the list price for certain properties with as many as 30-40 offers for one listing! Seattle values were up 5.4% in 2015 so we are 1.5% ahead of the game compared to the city as a whole. Average days on market were down 42% from 19 to 11 days, another indicator of our fiercely competitive market.

Year-end 2014 to 2015 Home Sales Comparison 2014 2015 Difference %
Number of Closed Sales 246 238 -8 -3.3%
Average Days on Market 19 11 -8 -42%
Median  List Price $629,950 $649,950 $20,000 +3.2%
Median  Sales Price $650,000 $695,000 $45,000 +6.9%
List to Sales Price Ratio 103.2% 106.9% +3.7%


In the condo market, the number of units sold decreased less than 1% in 2015 from 69 to 68 units.  Average days on market decreased 45% from 33 to 18 days. The price appreciation for condos from 2014 to 2015 was 11% and on average condos sold for 2.2% more than asking in 2015.  This shows that the condo market has now more than caught up with single family homes and is experiencing the same inventory shortage, and multiple offer phenomenon.

Year-end 2014 to 2015 Condo Sales Comparison 2014 2015 Difference %
Number of Closed Sales 69 68 -1 <1%
Average Days on Market 33 18 -15 -45%
Median List Price $319,950 $346,000 $26,050 +8.1%
Median Sales Price $319,500 $353,500 $34,000 +11%
List to Sales Price Ratio 100% 102.2% +2.2%

What the Trends are Telling Us

The following charts capture Wallingford (area as defined by NWMLS data) real estate trends for 2014 and 2015. This bar graph tells us how many homes were available for sale (light green), how many went under contract (red line) and how many sales closed each month (dark green).  We can see with the light green bars there were clearly less homes for sale this past year, yet buying activity was strong throughout the year (see red and dark green lines.  Even more intense bidding wars and price increases are how these statistics played out in the marketplace.

In the chart below, the yellow bars represent the average number of days a home is on the market.  There is a clear trend that days on market were lower in 2015 than 2014.  This number would be even lower, except that real estate brokers hold a home on the market for about a week before entertaining offers from potential buyers.  The line at the top of the chart represents the relationship between average sales and list price.  In 2015 you can see that sales prices for all months were well over 100% of list price.

Finally, this chart illustrates months of inventory.  It is derived based on a calculation dividing the number of active  homes for sale by the number of homes that closed in a given month and attempts to project how many months it will take for the entire available inventory to sell.  Anything under 2 months of inventory represents a sellers’ market. In 2015 every single month except February was well under 1 month of inventory which translates into a “crazy sellers’ market”.

And there we thought the market could not possibly get more competitive! However, the continuous stream of “Silicon Refugees” attracted by 50% lower home prices, overall lower cost of living, a healthy and growing tech industry as well as foreign investment and empty nesters seeking out the cultural offerings of our Emerald City continue to drive up housing demand like never before and new arrivals continue to flock to the shores of our lake(s).

As reported by the Puget Sound Business Journal, according to Aaron Terrazas, the senior economist at Seattle online real estate company Zillow (Nasdaq: Z, ZG), Seattle home values will continue to increase this year – as will rents – as people look for the region’s growing number of jobs and opportunities.

Kris Murphy and Daniela Dombrowski are My Wallingford sponsors and real estate brokers who live and specialize in the Wallingford and Green Lake neighborhoods.  They practice out of the Keller Williams Greater Seattle office located on the corner of Stone Way and N 45th St.

Kris Murphy & Daniela Dombrowski /

Keller Williams Greater Seattle
1307 N 45th St, Suite 300
Seattle, WA  98103

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Dinosaurs at the Burke Museum

February 2nd, 2016 by sarawilly

Dino Day and Free Dinosaur Lecture
This March, dig into dinos with the Burke Museum! Discover the ancient lost continent of Laramidia and the remarkable dinosaurs that lived there at a free public lecture with paleontologist Dr. Scott Sampson—better known as “Dr. Scott the Paleontologist,” host of the hit PBS KIDS series, Dinosaur Train. Also see newly collected Triceratops and duck-billed dinosaur fossils on display for the first time, along with dozens of other prehistoric plants and animals at the Burke’s most popular annual event, Dino Day!
Dino Talk: Dinosaurs of the Lost Continent
with Dr. Scott Sampson
Friday, March 11, 2016, 7 pm
Kane Hall 130, UW Campus
Seating is limited, pre-registration recommended at
For more than a century, paleontologists have collected spectacular dinosaur fossils from the Western Interior of North America. Only recently have we learned that most of these dinosaurs existed on a lost continent called “Laramidia.” About 96 million years ago, exceptionally high sea levels flooded central North America, resulting in a north-south oriented seaway extending from the Arctic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico. This shallow sea isolated life-forms on the eastern and western landmasses for most the next 26 million years. Although a small continent only one-fourth the size of today’s North America, the Western landmass Laramidia was home to a variety of dinosaurs including horned, duck-billed, dome-headed, and armored plant-eaters, as well as giant tyrannosaur meat-eaters and smaller raptor-like predators.

Find out more about this lost continent and its dinosaurs with Dr. Scott Sampson—better known as “Dr. Scott the Paleontologist,” host of the hit PBS KIDS series Dinosaur Train. A book signing will follow.

Lecture sponsored by Nathan Myhrvold and Rosemarie Havranek.

Saturday, March 12,

10 am – 4 pm
Burke Museum

Included with museum admission; FREE for Burke members and UW Staff, Students, and Faculty with UW ID

See hundreds dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures from the Burke’s collection that once lived on the lost continent of Laramidia, from giant Triceratops to tiny two-legged crocodiles! Also meet paleontologists and talk to them about their research around the world.

Additional activities:

  • Uncover a fossil in the Dino Dig Pit
  • Watch scientists prepare a large Triceratops skull
  • Crack open fossils with the Stonerose Interpretive Center
  • Dress up in dino-gear and give your best roar
  • Draw your own dinosaur or have a professional illustrator draw one for you

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