The Stranger on Capitol Hill Condo Developments

While out of town I must have missed The Stranger’s recent lengthy feature article on The Death of Pike/Pine:

Seattle Developers Have Used the “Hip” Factor to Sell Condos Up and Down the Pike/Pine Corridor. Now They’re About to Kill the Bars and Businesses That Make the Strip Vibrant.

It’s an extensive look at both the history and future of the Pike/Pine corridor; I don’t have much to add. For those short on attention Erica offers up a shorter version on the Slog, Shorter Pike-Pine Feature for the Attention-Deficient.

While none of the local real estate blogs have picked up on the article it has been discussed elsewhere. The Seattle Weekly blog has a post, Stranger NIMBYs?

Be careful what you wish for, I guess: Now that said density threatens to shutter some of the Stranger staff’s favorite walking-distance watering holes, the paper has done a 180 of sorts, assuming the very same NIMBY stance that it has consistently belittled.

Seattlest also weighs in, Pike/Pine Isn’t Dying – It’s Just Going To Be…Different:

The same thing happened in Fremont. A friend of a friend moved into one of those condos above the PCC and sold almost immediately. “It’s like a dorm in there.” She bought into the marketing-hyped neighborhood energy that her condo helped kill. She didn’t have any trouble selling the place, though, and the next guy knew exactly what he was getting: a condo just off Pioneer Square 2.0 minus the homeless guys and the long commute to campus and you goin’ to the Ballroom tonight, bra? He’s not the only guy who lives in, or goes to, Fremont, though. There are still some great bars and restaurants and music stores and there’s a lot of character. It’s different. Some people would say it’s better, some people are sure it’s complete crap now (“Thanks, Suzie”), but it’s just different. And it costs a lot more. And it’ll be the same with Pike/Pine.

As a general cheerleader of new construction I have to say that I am not a fan of destroying existing viable businesses that give a neighborhood it’s character. And so I wouldn’t trade establishments like the Cha-Cha, Bus Stop or Manray for a six story condo.

About Matt

Matt , Urbnlivn's publisher, has a love for lofts with industrial features and new construction condos that is only eclipsed by his passion for outdoor sports and urban living. Phrases such as “polished concrete” and “exposed brick” are music to his ears. You can also find Matt on Twitter or skiing.

  • Joebob

    It’s funny, in reading all these articles, I realize that I’M the villian who moves into these neighborhoods and ruins them for the older residents.

    I’m a 28 year old renter in the north end of Capitol Hill. I work at a Microsoft-ish company on the eastside, and can just barely afford these new condos that are popping up.

    I’ve lived in the ‘burbs for most of my life, and after feeling pretty damned isolated there, I discovered the north (and apprently “ruined”) end of Capitol Hill. I loved the fact that everyone’s out walking to get groceries at QFC, or some Top Pot Doughnuts, or sipping on coffee and yapping at Vivace.

    Yup, it’s pretty similar to Belltown… but the fact is that everything in Belltown is just a bit too expensive for what I make. What I like about North Capitol Hill is that it’s one notch lower on the income scale, and perfect for me. If I had even less money, I’d go U-District.

    In fact, the only thing I DON’T like about it is getting shifty looks from the old-guard who see straight edge guys like me as a threat to “their” neighborhood. It’s not a big deal really, it just sucks to smile at someone and get a sneer back like “get the f**k off my street”. I guess it’s all they can do to keep people like me from moving in.

    And you know what? The business that are good are good, and will survive there no matter what. Rudy’s gives some damned good cuts for a good price, and I’m sure they’ll stick around no matter what the vibe is like inside. Bimbo’s, on the other hand, has mediocre food, and survives because it plays to the shrinking old Capitol Hill crowd, so suprise suprise, it’s gone.

    I can’t imagine any of my favorites: Rudy’s, or Top Pot, or Vivace, or the parks, or Dilletante, or Broadway QFC going away… and those are all the staples that made ME feel at home in this neighborhood.

    I understand why people like me are being villianized, but come on, we’re not THAT culturally devoid, are we?

  • Joebob

    It’s funny, in reading all these articles, I realize that I’M the villian who moves into these neighborhoods and ruins them for the older residents.

    I’m a 28 year old renter in the north end of Capitol Hill. I work at a Microsoft-ish company on the eastside, and can just barely afford these new condos that are popping up.

    I’ve lived in the ‘burbs for most of my life, and after feeling pretty damned isolated there, I discovered the north (and apprently “ruined”) end of Capitol Hill. I loved the fact that everyone’s out walking to get groceries at QFC, or some Top Pot Doughnuts, or sipping on coffee and yapping at Vivace.

    Yup, it’s pretty similar to Belltown… but the fact is that everything in Belltown is just a bit too expensive for what I make. What I like about North Capitol Hill is that it’s one notch lower on the income scale, and perfect for me. If I had even less money, I’d go U-District.

    In fact, the only thing I DON’T like about it is getting shifty looks from the old-guard who see straight edge guys like me as a threat to “their” neighborhood. It’s not a big deal really, it just sucks to smile at someone and get a sneer back like “get the f**k off my street”. I guess it’s all they can do to keep people like me from moving in.

    And you know what? The business that are good are good, and will survive there no matter what. Rudy’s gives some damned good cuts for a good price, and I’m sure they’ll stick around no matter what the vibe is like inside. Bimbo’s, on the other hand, has mediocre food, and survives because it plays to the shrinking old Capitol Hill crowd, so suprise suprise, it’s gone.

    I can’t imagine any of my favorites: Rudy’s, or Top Pot, or Vivace, or the parks, or Dilletante, or Broadway QFC going away… and those are all the staples that made ME feel at home in this neighborhood.

    I understand why people like me are being villianized, but come on, we’re not THAT culturally devoid, are we?

  • Joebob

    It’s funny, in reading all these articles, I realize that I’M the villian who moves into these neighborhoods and ruins them for the older residents.

    I’m a 28 year old renter in the north end of Capitol Hill. I work at a Microsoft-ish company on the eastside, and can just barely afford these new condos that are popping up.

    I’ve lived in the ‘burbs for most of my life, and after feeling pretty damned isolated there, I discovered the north (and apprently “ruined”) end of Capitol Hill. I loved the fact that everyone’s out walking to get groceries at QFC, or some Top Pot Doughnuts, or sipping on coffee and yapping at Vivace.

    Yup, it’s pretty similar to Belltown… but the fact is that everything in Belltown is just a bit too expensive for what I make. What I like about North Capitol Hill is that it’s one notch lower on the income scale, and perfect for me. If I had even less money, I’d go U-District.

    In fact, the only thing I DON’T like about it is getting shifty looks from the old-guard who see straight edge guys like me as a threat to “their” neighborhood. It’s not a big deal really, it just sucks to smile at someone and get a sneer back like “get the f**k off my street”. I guess it’s all they can do to keep people like me from moving in.

    And you know what? The business that are good are good, and will survive there no matter what. Rudy’s gives some damned good cuts for a good price, and I’m sure they’ll stick around no matter what the vibe is like inside. Bimbo’s, on the other hand, has mediocre food, and survives because it plays to the shrinking old Capitol Hill crowd, so suprise suprise, it’s gone.

    I can’t imagine any of my favorites: Rudy’s, or Top Pot, or Vivace, or the parks, or Dilletante, or Broadway QFC going away… and those are all the staples that made ME feel at home in this neighborhood.

    I understand why people like me are being villianized, but come on, we’re not THAT culturally devoid, are we?