Named after Newcastle upon Tyne in England, Newcastle, Washington is another King County city that has gained recognition as one of the best places in America to live.
Newcastle ranked in the top 20 in CNN Money’s 2011 report, was #17 in Newsweek’s 2009 rankings, and listed by Money Magazine as one of the best small towns in America for 2013. In terms of per capita income, Newcastle ranks #11 in the State of Washington.
While the majority of residents commute to some of the best jobs in the Pacific Northwest, they come home to enjoy that small-town feeling, beautiful scenery, and abundance of opportunities for outdoor recreation, including well-tended hiking trails. Extensive choices for shopping, dining, schooling, and medical care are all but a few miles away in Seattle and eastern King County communities.
With an income per capita and median household income of roughly twice the national average, these well-educated Newcastle residents enjoy the best of both worlds.
Real Estate in Newcastle
As of mid- 2015, the median home sale price in Newcastle was $650,000. This is an increase of 15.3% over mid-2014. During this same period, the number of homes sold increased by 18%.
These prices reflect not only the high earnings of area residents, but the desirability of the view properties on the hills of Newcastle. Located across Lake Washington from Seattle, between Renton and Bellevue, the terrain East of southeast Lake Washington is hilly, affording residents a panoramic view of downtown Bellevue, Seattle, and Mercer Island, as well as the Olympic Mountains.
A bit of history…
Considered a suburb of Seattle, this small city has a total area of only 4.46 square miles and had a population of 10,380 at the 2010 census. The majority of residents commute approximately a half hour to work in Seattle, Renton, or Bellevue.
However, this area has had a significant impact on the growth of Seattle and the surrounding towns.
In 1863 surveyors Philip H. Lewis and Edwin Richardson were surveying the area for the General Land Office when they discovered coal along the creek which is now aptly named Coal Creek. The discovery brought jobs for coal miners, along with jobs for the construction of the first
railroad in King County. The Seattle and Walla Walla Railroad was built from Seattle to Newcastle in the late 19th century.
By 1870 the mines were producing coal. By 1872 there were 60 men working and the mines were producing between 75 and 100 tons of coal per day. The coal helped fuel the growth of the Port of Seattle and attracted the Great Northern Railway.
By the time the mines closed in 1963, they had extracted more than 13 million tons of coal.
By then, Newcastle residents were finding employment in nearby cities, so the town continued to grow.
This was an unincorporated community, with residents having addresses in Bellevue or Renton and children attending school in nearby cities. Then in 1991 Bellevue began the process of annexing Newcastle. Residents resisted, and after a battle, Newcastle was incorporated as its own city in 1994.
As might be expected, Newcastle grew up along the banks of Coal Creek, which flows through the city from the Issaquah Alps to Lake Washington. Today the business district is centered primarily along the Coal Creek Parkway.
While the city did grow up along the creek and the banks of Lake Boron, many affluent residents now choose to build on the hills, where they can enjoy unobstructed views.
Although a “bedroom community” when it comes to employment and choices in dining and shopping, Newcastle is a bustling small town, with plenty going on.
The city is home to an active trail building community. Volunteers, assisted by the Washington Conservation Corps (WCC) are constructing a system of trails that will eventually lead all the way to Lake Washington. It is already connected to Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park in the east. This system of trails is being integrated into parks as well as into the new housing developments.
Newcastle is a city that honors diversity, and The Coal Creek Family YMCA is a fine example of that attitude. A membership organization, it welcomes men, women, girls, and boys of all ages, races, ethnicity, religions, sexual orientation, abilities and financial circumstances. Reaching out even further, the YMCA offers a variety of programs that are open to all residents – not just members. They sponsor events such as Newcastle Days, the Fall Festival, and Healthy Kids Day.
Lake Boren Park is the site of a number of community events, including Newcastle Days, 4th of July Fireworks, summer concerts in the park, and the Newcastle Car & Truck Show.
The park also features a children’s play area, picnic shelters, a fishing dock, restrooms, and looped walking paths. For the athletically inclined, there are two tennis courts, a sand volleyball court, and a basketball court.
More than a dozen other parks and mini-parks offer children’s playgrounds, picnic areas, hiking trails, and open spaces for quiet contemplation.
Nearby Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park has more than 3,100 acres of wild habitat for deer, bobcats, porcupines, coyotes, bears and birds. Cougars have also been spotted on occasion. As would be expected, the park is laced with hiking trails.
The Coal Creek shopping center is home to many of Newcastle’s eating establishments, including three pizza places, Starbucks, Baskin Robbins, Quiznos, and restaurants featuring Mexican, Chinese, and Thai cuisine.
Grocery shoppers can choose between Safeway and QFC. The center also offers drugstore, gas station, pet supply store, movie rentals, a jeweler, and a liquor store. Services offered include banking, physical therapy, massage, and hair styling.
Newcastle Fruit & Produce is a specialty grocery store and fruit and vegetable store, featuring a wide selection of Northwest grown produce. It also hosts a Farmer’s Market.
TripAdvisor.com lists 14 restaurants in Newcastle, including such offerings as Starbucks, Subway, Baskin Robbins, and Mc Donald’s. Most Internet listings note “best places to dine near Newcastle.”
Perhaps most noteworthy of those nearby places is the Calcutta Grill and Pub at the Golf Club at Newcastle.
The Golf Club at Newcastle comprises 350 hilltop acres above the city, and is the premiere Pacific Northwest golfing destination. The club offers 36 holes of championship golf, breathtaking scenery, and a 44,000 square foot club house, complete with year-round practice areas.
Open Table’s 2014 Diner’s Choice Awards ranked the Calcutta Grill as one of the top 100 scenic view restaurants in America for the panoramic views, and for the dining experience itself.
The personal service, the extensive menu selections, the full wine list, the charm of the English Pub, and “fun” libations, make this a destination dining spot for the entire area.
In addition to the Calcutta Grill, visitors to the Golf Club at Newcastle enjoy the Wooly Toad lounge, located upstairs in the Golf Club, and Turnberry’s. Situated to offer a breakfast treat before golf, or lunch or an ice cold beverage after the first nine holes, Turnberry’s offers a full breakfast and lunch menu, including an expansive list of adult beverages.
Seven colleges and universities are located within 4 to 9 miles of downtown Newcastle. These include:
· Renton Technical College
· Bellevue College
· Seattle Community College-South Campus
· Seattle University
· Seattle Central College
· University of Washington-Seattle Campus
· Highline Community College
Valley Medical Center’s Newcastle Clinic specializes in family medicine, internal medicine and geriatric medicine. Several nursing homes and a dialysis center are located within 3 or 4 miles of Newcastle.
Overlake Hospital Medical Center in nearby Bellevue provides a full range of medical and surgical services and is considered one of the Seattle area’s premier hospitals. (link to: http://www.overlakehospital.org/services/)
The city is served by three dental clinics, one chiropractor, and one Optometrist. Of course many more are available just a few miles away in nearby cities.
For pet lovers, Newcastle offers the Animal Hospital of Newport Hills, plus two more veterinary clinics in nearby Bellevue.
Would Newcastle be a perfect fit for you?
If so, get in touch. I’ll be happy to take your wants and needs list and do a search of homes available today. For an Internet preview of what’s on the market, click here. (link to Newcastle search page.)