Silverdale is an unincorporated city on the on the Kitsap Peninsula, situated ten miles northwest of the city of Bremerton and nine miles south of Poulsbo. Because it is unincorporated, it is known as a CDP – a Census-designated place. Also because it is unincorporated, its growing population and thriving businesses bring welcome tax revenues into county government coffers.
As of the 2010 census, the population in this 7.9 square mile city was 19,204 – a 21.4% rise from the 2000 census.
Thirty years ago Silverdale was not much more than a wide spot in the road between Poulsbo and Bremerton. In 1990, just 25 years ago, the population was 7,660. It was best known for its chicken farms, and didn’t even have one traffic light.
Today Silverdale is Kitsap County’s retail mecca and its fastest-growing population center.
The median sales price for homes in Silverdale WA in late 2015 was $273,000. This is 5.1% higher than the Washington average and 58.2% higher than the national average.
Median rental rates are 16.8% greater than the Washington average and 25% greater than the national average. Prices year over year have dropped slightly, and the number of sales decreased by 19.7%. Since there are only 100 homes offered for sale as of late 2015, this decrease may well be due to lack of homes available for purchase.
Privately owned single family homes start at prices just under $200,000 and go up to nearly $700,000. Bank-owned single family homes start in the mid-100s and go to nearly $400,000. The few condos available are priced at about $150,000.
In keeping with slightly higher than average home prices, household and family income is also slightly above state averages.
The median income for a household in the CDP was $48,164, and the median income for a family was $54,538. Only 4.8% of the population lives below the poverty line.
A bit of history…
When Lieutenant Charles Wilkes of the U.S. Navy visited Puget Sound during his exploration of the Pacific Ocean in 1838, he and his crew were stunned by the huge trees that grew to the waters’ edge. The expedition’s taxidermist, John Dyes wrote: “I never saw Sutch large forrist trees in any part of the world before.” He also marveled at the beauty of the waters “without a shoal or rock or any danger for the whole length of this Internal Navigation.”
Dyes’ name is now attached to the inlet that is the site of present day Silverdale.
The trees that Dyes so admired were the resource that lured the first Scandinavian immigrants to the area in the 1880s. Logging began on the shorelines and then expanded into the valleys, with the crews building roads as they advanced. As the timber was harvested and land was cleared, homesteaders
realized that the rich soil and the climate were perfect for farming. Along with the crops, dairy, chicken, and hog farms sprung up and a farming community was born.
Silverdale was named in 1878 by settler William Littlewood. He originally wanted to name the community Goldendale, but then he learned that another community already bore that name. Thus he changed the gold to silver and the community became Silverdale.
Steamer boats had begun traveling between Seattle and the Kitsap area in the mid-1880s, and by 1900 the sloop “Telka” was making a weekly run. Silverdale Dock became the center of commercial trade as well as entertainment in this quiet, family-oriented town.
Real growth began only after the Navy announced that it would develop its West Coast Trident Submarine Base at Bangor. More people moved to the area and more businesses soon followed.
However, the city retained its rural atmosphere. You can still find undeveloped land, with pastures and wildlife, and the remnants of barns the first settlers built. The Silverdale waterfront park, Island Lake County Park, and the Clear Creek Trail all offer a relaxing, rejuvenating step back into nature.
Silverdale has become a retail center – and a destination city for both shopping and recreation.
Hundreds of shops, malls, pubs, restaurants, breweries, and movie theaters offer a variety that’s sure to please any taste or interest. Art and antique lovers will appreciate Silverdale Antiques and the Lisa
The historic 1800s buildings in Old Town Silverdale are now home to boutique shops, cafes, micro-breweries, and spas. One of the most popular destinations is the historic Old Town Tavern, while one of the newest additions is CASH Brewing, which offers classic pub fare along with its brews.
Should visitors tire of shopping, they can stroll across to the Silverdale Waterfront Park, which is a favorite for its kid-friendly, pet-friendly amenities. The large play area and picnic shelter invite you to bring your lunch and relax while the kids unwind with play.
The 2.3 acre Silverdale Waterfront Park also offers both a large picnic shelter and a gazebo for family or business gatherings. Rental rates are reasonable and come with access to electricity.
Eateries in Silverdale offer everything from traditional American menus to sushi bars and authentic Thai cuisine.
The Kitsap Mall is home to a number of small stores in addition to well-known outlets such as Costco Wholesale Center, Best Buy, Trader Joe’s T.J. Maxx, Barnes & Noble, Ben Bridge Jeweler, Kay Jewelers, J.C. Penny, Macy’s, Sears, Cost Plus World Market, Dollar Stores, and Target. Hungry shoppers can choose from a dozen or more eateries in the mall, including Applebee’s, Red Robin, and Subway.
For those who wish to come and stay for a few days, Silverdale offers a variety of accommodations, including two of the largest hotels in the Kitsap area. Both the Oxford Suites and the Best Western Plus
Silverdale Beach Hotel & Conference Center are located right on the waterfront and offer stunning views of Dyes Inlet, Mt. Rainier, and the Olympic Mountains. The breathtaking sunsets are an added bonus.
Near the waterfront hotels is Old Mill Park, , picnic areas, restrooms, beach access, and access to the Clear Creek Trail Estuary, as well as two official Washington State Audubon Birding sites. Birding is a popular activity and maps are available by visiting the Kitsap Audubon Society website.
Kitsap County Gateway Park is also just a few blocks from the hotels on Silverdale Way. It offers free parking, a separate dog park, a skate park, and restrooms, as well as access to the 6-mile Clear Creek Trail.
Clear Creek Trail winds behind and around Silverdale’s retail areas and takes hikers on a beautiful trek through wetlands and salmon habitat.
Expansion in Silverdale, Washington isn’t likely to slow down soon.
The Navy has increased personnel for an expansion of their new logistics program and construction has begun on a new 350 bed hospital at the Harrison Medical Center. This will replace the current facility, which offers 94 beds.
Group Health’s Silverdale Medical Center also offers both primary and emergency care, and there is no shortage of doctors, dentists, chiropractors, optometrists, therapists, and veterinarians in Silverdale.
Employment in Silverdale, Washington
One major employer with facilities in or near Silverdale the U.S. Navy, with the Kitsap Naval Base, the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, and the Naval Hospital Bremerton. At least eight private sector defense contractors are also located in or near Silverdale.
Another large segment of the population works for the government in education and public transportation, while at least ten major manufactures join health care and the retail/hospitality industries in providing private industry jobs for Silverdale’s growing population.
At $32,791 the income per capita in Silverdale is 6.9% greater than the Washington State average and 16.9% greater than the national average. The median household income of $60,176 is 1.4% greater than the Washington average. The poverty level is 39.4% less than the Washington average and 47.4% less than the National average.
The majority of Silverdale residents report travel time to work at under 35 minutes. About 85% drive alone while another 10% carpools.
Education in Silverdale
Central Kitsap School District operates twenty-four public schools, serving approximately 11,000 students in grades K through 12. They also operate a home-school support program and offer both
junior high and high school level alternative programs. The Cottage Montessori School is the one private school in Silverdale.
There are seven colleges or universities with enrollment above 2,000 within 17 miles of Silverdale. The high school graduation rate in Silverdale is far above national averages, while the percentage of residents with post-secondary degrees is in keeping with national averages.
Would you enjoy living in one of Washington’s fastest growing cities? If you’d like to explore the possibilities, get in touch. I’d be pleased to help you find that “just right” home. Meanwhile, click here (link to silverdale search) for a preview of homes in Silverdale offered for sale today.