Normandy Park - Dashpoint Modern Homes
Bounded by Seattle to the north, Kent to the east, and Tacoma to the south, four cities line the eastern shore of south Puget Sound with an abundance of waterfront properties, commercial areas, and small-town charm.
South of White Center, this historic community was incorporated into King County in 1993 and still maintains plenty of small-town charm. It boasts six miles of Puget Sound shoreline, a close proximity to Sea-Tac International Airport, and a diverse community. In fact, minorities make up 38.5 percent of Burien’s population, and the different cultures are reflected in the town’s array of global restaurants. Other draws for residents: a revitalized downtown area, featuring wide streets, boutique shops, lush landscaping, and classic lampposts, plus a fantastic skateboard park.
High-end homes line the waterfront, while affordable properties and mixed-use buildings, provide plenty of housing options. On the commercial side, local modern architect and former Burien resident Robert Dennis Theriault built several community buildings here, including Northeast Senior High School, Glendale Evangelical Lutheran Church, and the old Burien Library.
Originally intended to be a stately community built in the French Normandy style, the dream for Normandy Park was cut short by the Great Depression. Years later in the 1940s and 1950s, the city was “rediscovered,” resulting in the classic mid-century modern homes that still standing today. As is with most real estate, the closer to the water, the steeper the price, but some of the more affordable modern housing options in the area exist here.
Tucked between Burien and Des Moines, Normandy Park is conveniently located close to Boeing, Sea-Tac International Airport, and Southcenter Mall. And at just 2.5 square miles, it offers the quiet, pedestrian-friendly, community-oriented lifestyle that families crave.
A skinny swath of land bordering Puget Sound and about halfway between Seattle and Tacoma, Des Moines has plenty to attract residents and visitors from around the region. Originally a lumber town that was settled in the late 1800s, the city experienced a boon of suburbanization after World War II. Today, some preserved mid-century classics are sprinkled among an array of more recent developments and contemporary builds. As always, the waterfront is a catalyst for high-end properties.
For recreation, the marina district attracts flocks of people with its blocks of restaurants and retail. Walk the waterfront promenade, watch sailboats out on the water, and keep an eye out for seals, seabirds, and other wildlife. Elsewhere, Saltwater State Park is a favorite for its beaches, forested trails, tide pools, and artificial reef.
The sixth largest city in Washington, Federal Way started out as a small logging settlement and grew in the ’50s and ’60s with residential and commercial development, including homes for engineers and executives at local businesses Boeing and Weyerhaeuser. Rapid growth in the following decades led to The Commons at Federal Way mall, the Wild Waves water park, a bonsai museum, a rhododendron botanical garden, and 397-acre Dash Point State Park with trails, saltwater shorelines, and other outdoor attractions.
Homes with beach access or water views are coveted, while ramblers, split-levels, and other styles of properties fill out the community. On the commercial side, perhaps one of the more stunning examples of contemporary design is the Federal Way Library by Mithun. Nestled between trees, the postmodern building features a striking silhouette with floor-to-ceiling windows.