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Issaquah Highlands and Klahanie Conceal their Wealth


									                        June 27 - July 3, 2008

Residential Real Estate: Wealthiest ZIP Codes
Issaquah Highlands and Klahanie Conceal their Wealth
Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle) -
by Jessica Gottesman Contributing Writer

   Seventeen miles east of Seattle, the Issaquah areas               Highlands Central Park was named to mark that fact.
ZIP code 98029 has surged into the top 10 wealthiest                    The Klahanie community was mostly a collection
ZIP codes in the Puget Sound area, with an average                   of dairy and poultry farms, with some logging busi-
household net worth of more than $1.4 million.                       nesses, according to Maniez.
   But as with other local pockets of affluence, you                    Ava Frisinger, a 41-year resident and the mayor
have to look hard to actually see the big money.                     of Issaquah, remembers dairy cattle along the town’s
   It’s very interesting when you fly in a helicopter,               Gilman Boulevard, where you’ll find a Safeway and
said Judd Kirk, CEO of Port Blakely Communities,                     a Target today.
the developer of the Issaquah Highlands. You see se-                    She says she’s not surprised that part of her city is
cluded money homes you can’t see from any street,                    now in the top 10 wealthiest ZIP codes, but increased
and there are some extremely large homes up there.                   net worth among residents presents both opportuni-
   While Kirk’s Issaquah Highlands development                       ties and challenges.
has its share of the ZIP codes wealth, it prides it-                    “There’s a wonderful new group of people inter-
self on offering a mix of                                                                    ested in the art and music our
housing including $300,000                                                                   city has to offer,” she said. “But
condos and $400,000 row                                                                      sometimes the expectations of
houses that attracts a range                        98029                                    new residents can exceed what           Dr. Jay Kaufman owns Occhio Optometry in
of income levels. Still, well-                                                               is here – people are concerned       Sammamish (ZIP code 98074, sixth wealthiest in the
heeled Highlands buyers can                                                                  with snow removal in the win-        region) and opened a second location in the Issaquah
choose view homes starting at                                                                ter, and things like that, and       Highlands in 2006.
                                         Issaquah Highlands, Klahanie
$1.5 million.                                                                                these are things we work on.”           “We’re doing almost as well in the Highlands in
   “I have seen a Maserati up                                                                   The areas Klahanie neighbor-      two years as we have in Sammamish in six years,”
                                      Puget Sound area wealth rank:
here,” said Highlands busi-                                                                  hood is more like an island. It      he said.
                                            8th out of 223 ZIP codes
ness owner and resident Matt                                                                 doesn’t belong to any city, but         Kaufman grew up in Beverly Hills, California, (yes,
Snook, “but that’s about it for                                                              both Sammamish and Issaquah          that 90210 ZIP code) and he knows what it means to
                                             Last years rank: 15th
obvious money.”                                                                              have been interesting in annex-      show off wealth and status.
   Snook owns World Pies, an                                                                 ing it. Klahanie’s residents cur-       “But you just don’t see it here,” he said. “People
upscale pizza restaurant, and         Average household net worth:                           rently pay the county for essen-
                                                       $1,450,369                                                                 are down to earth. It’s more of a family-oriented em-
the attached Nine Bar Espres-                                                                tial services such as police and     phasis – people work hard to support their families.”
so coffee shop.                                                                              fire protection.                        Snook, the pizza restaurant and coffee shop owner
   Other than the occasional           Average household size: 2.63                             “Growth in the area has been      in the Highlands with a background in banking, says
mom pushing a baby in a                    Source: ESRI Business Information Solutions
                                                                                             phenomenal,” said Mary Ann           his businesses are also doing quite well.
Bugaboo Cameleon stroller                                                                    Currie, a Windermere Real               “People don’t mind spending $4.10 for a cup of
($899 before accessories) you                                                                Estate agent who specializes         specialty coffee, and they’re still going out to eat,”
see a lot of jeans and fleece in both Klahanie and                   in the plateau. “People are shopping for good                he said. Snook’s businesses are 4 months old and he
the Issaquah Highlands, and very little evidence                     schools and new construction, and this is where they         said revenues have increased monthly; the businesses
of “status.”                                                         can find both.”                                              could break even by the end of the summer.
   Residents say they do enjoy their celebrity sightings                Klahanie, the older of the two main planned                  As for real estate, Keller Williams agent Kuno said
of former Mariners star Jay Buhner running around                    communities in the 98029 ZIP code, was started in            home prices may be softening, but not yet like other
in his Hummer and current Mariner pitcher J.J. Putz,                 1985 and finished 10 years ago. It includes 3,100 liv-       areas in the Puget Sound region.
who maintains a home in the ZIP code during the sea-                 ing units, a shopping plaza, parks, tennis courts and           Current luxury listings include brand new five-bed-
son but calls Arizona his full-time residence.                       two heated pools.                                            room, five-bath, 7,400 square-foot home on two and a
   But it’s not all about celebs or fancy cars.                         Issaquah Highlands is still being built, and has          half acres in the Grand Ridge neighborhood for $3.4
   “Average people could be driving up in their Pruis                nearly 3,000 living units completed, with plans for          million, and a brand new five-bedroom, five-bath,
to the $2.7 million house on the hill,” said Rebecca                 another thousand. The community has it’s own direct          6,000 square-foot home with a theater and wine room
Kuno, a Keller Williams real estate agent who also                   access to Interstate 90, “which helps with the com-          in the Issaquah Highlands for $2.6 million.
lives in the Highlands and maintains one of several                                                                                  Residents of 98029 say that while you don’t see
community blogs at                                                                                              tremendous evidence of material wealth – aside from
   She describes her neighbors as ranging from upper-                                                                             a big home – you do know it’s there when you stop to
level Microsoft, T-Mobile and Starbucks executives, to                                                                            think about how much the kids’ Mandarin language
Boeing test pilots, to lawyers and accountants, and she                                                                           lessons cost, or that month long family vacation
said, “The mom’s I know, they’re all deal-finders.”                                                                               in Europe.
   The postal zip code 98029 was created on July 1,                                                                                  Coming soon to 98029: businesses that follow the
1995, because of explosive population growth on the                                                                               money, especially health care.
south Sammamish Plateau. It has jumped from No.                                        In the Highlands,
                                                                                                                                     Swedish Medical Center, which currently operates
15 last year to No. 8 in average household net worth                                   the High Streets                           a satellite emergency room in Issaquah, has acquired
among the Puget Sound area’s 223 Zip cods, accord-                                     retail village                             nearly 18 acres of the Issaquah Highlands on which
ing to California-based research firm ESRI.                                            is open, but a                             it plans to build a full-service, 175-bed hospital and
   Issaquah’s other Zip code, 98027, sits just outside                                 planned major                              health complex.
of the top 10, at a not-too-shabby No. 11 on the net                                   destination                                   Also in the Highlands, despite the pause in signing
worth list.                                                                                                                       national tenants for the High Streets retail complex,
                                                                                       shopping center
   Zip code 98029 is generally south of Southeast                                                                                 Port Blakely’s Kirk says the project is moving for-
Eighth Street, east of Lake Sammamish, north of In-                                    has been delayed
                                                                                                                                  ward with some local favorites.
terstate 90, and west of about 275th Avenue South-                   mute,” said Windermere’s Currie.
                                                                                       six to twelve
                                                                                                                                     “We’re still moving ahead,” he said.
east, and encompasses the Issaquah Highlands and                                       months High Streets retail village
                                                                        In the Highlands, the because                                The vision includes a hotel, health club, movie the-
Klahanie.                                                                              planned major
                                                                     is open, but a of the current destination shopping           ater, and a mix of restaurants and major chains and
   Long before high-end workers lived in Klahanie,                                     delayed six to twelve months because
                                                                     center has been national retail                              local shops and services.
the Issaquah Highlands and in-between the land was                   of the current national retail slump and credit crunch.
                                                                                       slump and credit                              Issaquah Mayor Frisinger said she’d like to see an
being worked.                                                           Still, an announcement on the Highlands’ major
                                                                                       crunch.                                    expansion of parks and recreation in her city, as well
   “The Issaquah Highlands community is built on                     grocer and drug chain is expected any time, accord-          as more businesses, so that residents can spend their
the old Grand Ridge Mine, which was owned by the                     ing to Port Blakely’s Kirk.                                  money locally.
Central Coal Company,” said Erica Maniez, director                      So far, many small businesses in the ZIP code are
of the Issaquah History Museums, who noted that the                  bucking the trend of a slowing economy.

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