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Living in Columbia City, Seattle

aerial view of arlo apartments in Columbia City, surrounded by green spaces and neighborhood shops/homes/buildings, with view of mountains in the distance

Learn more about this unique neighborhood of Seattle and why people choose to call it home.

Where is Columbia City located?

Located in the southeastern part of Seattle just a few miles south of downtown, Columbia City's most recognizable boundary is its commercial district along Rainier Avenue South.

What's the history of the neighborhood?

Originally developed in the late 19th century as a planned community by developer J.K. Edmonds, Columbia City was after the Columbia River and was envisioned as a self-sufficient city outside of Seattle. The arrival of a railroad in 1891 helped spur additional growth and boom years into the 20th century, including the commercial corridor on Ranier Avenue South.

Beginning in the 1980s, historic preservation, business development, and community engagement initiatives helped breathe new life into the area. Today, it's known for its historic architecture, relaxed suburban charm, and great shopping and restaurants within the commercial district.

Why choose to live here?

  • Historic Charm: A designated landmark district, Columbia City is home to many well-preserved historic buildings, including beautiful craftsman-style homes and storefronts. Enjoy a more relaxed, suburban lifestyle that's still near the best of the city.

  • Convenient Location: Public transportation options, including light rail and bus services, make it easy to commute to Seattle, Redmond, and beyond. Downtown Seattle is just a few miles away.

  • Restaurants & Retail: Shop and dine to your heart's content across a variety of locally owned gift shops and clothing boutiques, plus a foodie scene of diverse restaurants, bars, craft breweries, food trucks, farmer's markets, and more. Local spots near Arlo apartments include delicious breakfast at Geraldine's Corner, snacks and coffee from Coffeholic, live music at The Royal Room, movies at The Beacon Cinema or Ark Lodge Cinema, superb Italian food at La Medusa, and more.

  • Green Spaces Galore: Popular nearby parks such as Columbia Park and Genesee Park & Playfield are perfect for picnics, walks, outdoor sports, and scenic views of Lake Washington.

  • Friendly Community: The neighborhood is known to have a strong sense of community, with residents and local organizations working together to organize events, festivals, and initiatives.

  • Affordability: The apartment rental market can be a bit more affordable compared to other areas of Seattle.

What are the demographics?

As of 2023, the City of Seattle reports that 43% of the population of Coumbia City is White; 21% is Asian; 20% is Black; 9% are two or more races; 4% is Latino: 1.4% is Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander; .1% is American Indian or Alaska Native; and .8% is other.

The median household income is $87,464, and 47.8% of residents rent their home. 90.8% of residents have a high school degree or higher; 54.9% have a bachelor's degree or higher.

Discover Arlo

Located on Ranier Avenue near some of Columbia City's best shops, restaurants, and green spaces, Arlo offers modern new apartments built for comfort and sustainability. Explore what makes our residences and amenities unique.