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Seattle Public Schools recently released a district wide report on state test scores and yearly improvement rates. Eighty-two schools were involved and rated from 1-5, one being low passage rates and little improvement and a 5, the contrary. Some schools received high grades, while others scores were not so impressive. Twelve schools in the district got a perfect score, but almost just as many received a 1. Belltown schools scored fairly well, with McClure Middle School’s grade of 3 and Garfield High School’s grade of 4. The elementary school in the Belltown neighborhood of Seattle is John Hay (pictured), and according to score reports on seattleschools.org, John Hay received a score of 5.  John Hay Elementary received a perfect score while the middle and high school had a mid-range average.

In the areas who scored lower, district leaders have conferred and said that if these rankings don’t improve (in schools scored in the lower range) in the next couple of years, replacing the staff or closing some schools may both be possible consequences. Schools will be provided funds to carry out improvement plans, and those with the lowest scores will get the largest dollar amounts. Among other communities whose primary schools received lower grades, residents have expressed concern over how this reflects on the education and curriculum in the community, and school representatives plan on providing them information as well as a meeting to discuss the reports. Because the data is fairly extensive, some school staffers are organizing meetings for residents to attend. Hopefully, these resulting scores will increase the emphasis put on the importance of education in our communities. More detailed reports can be seen at www.seattleschools.org.

What changes are coming for the waterfront? We’ve got some Belltown news to share. The last time we posted an update about the Alaskan Way Viaduct Project was in September after the neighborhood meeting. The Viaduct is scheduled to come down in 2015, and discussions for its future are still underway. Today, the Seattle PI posted an online photo album of the current Viaduct and a number of simulated images that could be the new Seattle waterfront. The images were taken from and compiled by the Washington State Department of Transportation. The “future” images provide Seattleites with a little bit of hope, because the replacement will surely be timely and messy. If we have this to look forward to, it may just be worth the trouble!

Featured Photo Credit: Washington DOT concept image

Just as the McGuire Apartments are headed to demolition, a new apartment project is proposed for Belltown. The 17-2tory apartment building, to be called “Alto”, will be located on 3rd and Cedar. The expected 184-unit building ‘s construction will be the first of multiple proposals in Central Seattle in the last three years to start. The building will also have 2,700 sf of retail space. The developer, Harbor Properties (who is well known for Downtown’s Harbor Steps project) bought the land in March of last year, but decided not to build until the financial market had improved.

The high demand for rentals in Seattle, especially among the younger populations in Belltown, has increased substantially in the past few years. As many of the projects in Belltown are condos, it is a nice change of pace to see some new apartment buildings. This will be the newest among a number of other buildings including 2300 Elliot, The Avalon, and Archstone Apartments, to name a few. The apartments will be aimed at middle-income renters as well, which is a plus for the younger population.

Looks like Belltown real estate is back on the rise, as we expect the residential project from Goodman Real Estate (located on Western) to start in the near future as well.

Featured Photo Credit: Seattlemet.com

This Belltown condominium, sold in 2008, offers sweeping views of Elliott Bay.  It’s a charming and bright two bedroom, two bathroom end unit. There is a wonderful, gas gourmet kitchen and the interior decor features designer colors. This is a popular building and the unit comes with two parking spaces and three storage units. You can walk to Pike Place Market, the sculpture garden and all that lively Belltown has to offer. It just doesn’t get better than this in Belltown real estate!

Featured Photo Credit: UrbanCondoSpaces.com

This Belltown condominium at Waterfront Landings is the only condo on Seattle’s vibrant waterfront, and is an example of great Belltown real estate. The building is just across the street from the Aquarium and a short elevator ride to the market and all the downtown shops and cafes. The large, one bedroom condominium has a gourmet gas kitchen, and a nice fireplace. The bedroom is large and has two closets and a wonderful bathroom with a deep soaking tub. The views from this condominium are unbeatable. See the waterfront, ferries come and go, cruise ships and container ships, all from your window. The building has security and included parking.

Featured Photo credit: UrbanCondoSpaces.com