Redmond is kind of like the nerdy kid you knew in high school who shows up to the 10 year reunion in a Lamborghini. After decades of being stuffed in lockers and picked last for kickball, Redmond is finally blossoming out of it’s awkward stage into a hot urban center. At least out-of-towners seem to think so.

The Luke – 8280 164th Ave NE, Redmond, WA

The Luke condo RedmondPhoto: The Luke

Chicago-based Equity Residential paid $52.7 million for the six-story apartment building Old Town Lofts and Los Angeles-based Benedict Canyon Equities purchased The Luke, a 208-unit building for $74 million, which works out to $354,657 per apartment — a Redmond record, reports Puget Sound Business Journal. The expansion of ground-floor restaurants and shops, economic growth of nearby Microsoft, and development of mid-rise apartment buildings is transforming Redmond into the new big man on campus.

Old Town Lofts – 16175 Cleveland Street, Redmond, WA

Old Town LoftsPhoto: Equity Residential

According to Equity Residential’s website, studio apartments at Old Town Lofts go for between $1,475 and $1,675 a month, one-bedrooms come in at $1,815 to almost $2,000, and two-bedrooms cost $2,490 to $2,700.

If traditional condo-living doesn’t grab you, the Seattle suburb does offer alternative housing options. How does an arboreal apartment sound?

Redmond inventor builds giant tree house

Inventor Steven Rondel spent 20 years building a pirate tree house for his family. The mystical three-story tree house wraps around an old Redmond maple and features a look-out, a beautiful roof covered in moss, spectacular windows, hand-crafted balconies and spiral stairs leading up from the ground. The masterpiece is surrounded by a moat with a little jetty.

Redmond tree house 1Photo: Radek Kurzaj for Pete Nelson’s book Treehouses of the World

Business magazine Inc. referred to Rondel as “The Marathon Man” in a 1989 article featuring his ventures. Inventions included the single-cup coffee maker, a voltage converter, the traveling smoke alarm, a portable lint remover, and a 16-bit, handheld computer called Voice that translated 35,000 pre-programmed words and phrases for travelers. These all sound like amazing creations, but just look at the inside of this pirate treehouse!

Redmond tree housePhoto: Radek Kurzaj for Pete Nelson’s book Treehouses of the World

Since 2010, permits have been issued for more than 1,200 new apartment units in Redmond, and with a current residency of 6,000, the city center is on track to have a population of 11,400 in 2030, reports PBSJ. From fairytale forest tree homes and 40-acre off-leash dog parks, to sleek luxury apartments and five-star restaurants, Redmond seems to have it all. Just like nerd-turned-stud Sandy Frink in Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion, Redmond made its first million and then bought a new face.

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