Seattle is too sentimental

First we save a Denny’s and now we’re trying to save 1650 East Olive!?

Here it is in all its glory.

b&o2006 Seattle is too sentimental

Really? I think Seattle has become much too sentimental recently.

Let me be one of the first to say we should bulldoze those buildings and create better quality housing stock on Capitol Hill. The hill needs it more than an old home for B&O.

If you disagree then you’ll like these supporting posts from Seattlest, the Slog and Smarter Neighbors.

Now I’m not anti-B&O. I like B&O for breakfast when Glo’s has a two hour line but death to 1650 East Olive is not death to B&O. Last time it was on the demolition list last summer I heard B&O was looking for space at 12th and Madison but balked (like everyone else) at Ted Schroth’s outrageous demands.

I’d much rather see Capitol Hill get up in arms about bad design than rightful demolition.

Bonus link: Demolition on Boren

About Matt

Matt , Urbnlivn's publisher, has a love for lofts, floating homes and mid-century moderns.

For years Matt resisted becoming a real estate agent preferring to be an executive in the startup world but he recently caved in the spring of 2014 and became an agent.

You can also find Matt on Twitter or skiing.

  • jcricket

    Thanks for your post Matt – I agree 100%.
    I don’t think Seattle’s sentimental as much as change-averse and NIMBYistic (is that a word)? Everyone loves all the change that happened before they moved into the neighborhood (that B&O hasn’t been there for 100 years), but wants the change to stop pretty much right then.

    I do think it’s sad to see long-time business moves out of the area – especially if they aren’t replaced, or are replaced with “soulless” corporate chains. That really ruins the character of the neighborhood. So too does bad design.

    But more dense and improved housing + retail stock is a very good thing (unless we want Capitol Hill to be like the U District/Ave). Let’s get good zoning laws and better design review. Let’s also get better building codes to prevent those buildings that seem permanently wrapped up due to leaking/re-siding issues.

    And hopefully B&O or whatever other businesses get displaced when new buildings go up can find a home in the new building or elsewhere on the hill. If they can’t (rents too high to justify continued operation), I’ll be sad, but it’s the unfortunate price of progress. Unless we want to rent control everything, rental rates will go up in the core/close-to-downtown Seattle neighborhoods. Plenty of retail and restaurant tenants are finding ways to thrive, so I don’t fear us turning into the ex-urbs any time soon.

  • jcricket

    Thanks for your post Matt – I agree 100%.
    I don’t think Seattle’s sentimental as much as change-averse and NIMBYistic (is that a word)? Everyone loves all the change that happened before they moved into the neighborhood (that B&O hasn’t been there for 100 years), but wants the change to stop pretty much right then.

    I do think it’s sad to see long-time business moves out of the area – especially if they aren’t replaced, or are replaced with “soulless” corporate chains. That really ruins the character of the neighborhood. So too does bad design.

    But more dense and improved housing + retail stock is a very good thing (unless we want Capitol Hill to be like the U District/Ave). Let’s get good zoning laws and better design review. Let’s also get better building codes to prevent those buildings that seem permanently wrapped up due to leaking/re-siding issues.

    And hopefully B&O or whatever other businesses get displaced when new buildings go up can find a home in the new building or elsewhere on the hill. If they can’t (rents too high to justify continued operation), I’ll be sad, but it’s the unfortunate price of progress. Unless we want to rent control everything, rental rates will go up in the core/close-to-downtown Seattle neighborhoods. Plenty of retail and restaurant tenants are finding ways to thrive, so I don’t fear us turning into the ex-urbs any time soon.

  • http://www.smarterneighbors.com G

    Jcricket, you’re wrong about most (but not all) of Seattle’s sentimentality. This city’s not as change-adverse nor NIMBYistic as you think – it’s just tired of being continually disappointed by the mediocre-at-best development results encouraged by the zoning loopholes and weaksauce design reviews you mentioned in your comments.

    If ‘progress’ in Seattle actually meant replacing buildings with cooler, better, more sustainable development you’d see a lot less ‘sentimentality’.

    I’ve got to ask you though, what do you think the odds are that whatever goes in here is going to be something with a stupid name (say…’The CapitolHillia’), be built in that faux ‘Italian-y’, ‘Craftsman-y’ or maybe even ‘Funk-y’ look that is defining this generation of Seattle architecture, and whose retail anchor is a tanning salon? Pretty high, I bet.

    If, however, I’m wrong and we’re instead getting some real improvements to the neighborhood in the style of developments by the likes of Liz Dunn, Miller/Hull or Johnston Architects-style then I’ll be the first one to shut up about this project.

  • http://www.smarterneighbors.com G

    Jcricket, you’re wrong about most (but not all) of Seattle’s sentimentality. This city’s not as change-adverse nor NIMBYistic as you think – it’s just tired of being continually disappointed by the mediocre-at-best development results encouraged by the zoning loopholes and weaksauce design reviews you mentioned in your comments.

    If ‘progress’ in Seattle actually meant replacing buildings with cooler, better, more sustainable development you’d see a lot less ‘sentimentality’.

    I’ve got to ask you though, what do you think the odds are that whatever goes in here is going to be something with a stupid name (say…’The CapitolHillia’), be built in that faux ‘Italian-y’, ‘Craftsman-y’ or maybe even ‘Funk-y’ look that is defining this generation of Seattle architecture, and whose retail anchor is a tanning salon? Pretty high, I bet.

    If, however, I’m wrong and we’re instead getting some real improvements to the neighborhood in the style of developments by the likes of Liz Dunn, Miller/Hull or Johnston Architects-style then I’ll be the first one to shut up about this project.

  • jo

    So what you guys are saying is that you really don’t care if B+O comes down as long as you think it’s an acceptable project that will replace it?

    Reminds of the nimwits in Ballard who were OK about the Denny’s being demolished for a monorail station, yet when condos wanted to be put up, the same people started crying “it’s a landmark it’s a landmark!”. It wasn’t a landmark when a monorail station was going to be put in? Yet, when condos are going to be put in, it’s all of a sudden a landmark? Yea, that makes total sense.

    I’d love for someone to start a “Tear Down the B+O” petition.

  • jo

    So what you guys are saying is that you really don’t care if B+O comes down as long as you think it’s an acceptable project that will replace it?

    Reminds of the nimwits in Ballard who were OK about the Denny’s being demolished for a monorail station, yet when condos wanted to be put up, the same people started crying “it’s a landmark it’s a landmark!”. It wasn’t a landmark when a monorail station was going to be put in? Yet, when condos are going to be put in, it’s all of a sudden a landmark? Yea, that makes total sense.

    I’d love for someone to start a “Tear Down the B+O” petition.

  • jcricket

    I’m saying I wouldn’t protest any development like this – but I would like for the retail mix to be eclectic and for places like the B&O to not just be “thrown out” if possible.

    I certainly wouldn’t legislate/zone some rule that businesses have to be protected if the building they’re in gets torn down.

    There’s a difference between hoping for a particular outcome and demanding it.

    I hope, like G in the 2nd comment, that the development isn’t “mediocre”, but I’m wary about too many restrictions that seem to result not in well-built buildings, but often just in sprawl (like Seattle’s building-height caps from the 80s).

  • jcricket

    I’m saying I wouldn’t protest any development like this – but I would like for the retail mix to be eclectic and for places like the B&O to not just be “thrown out” if possible.

    I certainly wouldn’t legislate/zone some rule that businesses have to be protected if the building they’re in gets torn down.

    There’s a difference between hoping for a particular outcome and demanding it.

    I hope, like G in the 2nd comment, that the development isn’t “mediocre”, but I’m wary about too many restrictions that seem to result not in well-built buildings, but often just in sprawl (like Seattle’s building-height caps from the 80s).

  • http://www.2200life.blogspot.com EconE

    Hmmmmm. It’s not like they’re tearing down the Brown Derby. And WRT the Denny’s…is one less Denny’s in this world such a bad thing?

  • http://www.2200life.blogspot.com EconE

    Hmmmmm. It’s not like they’re tearing down the Brown Derby. And WRT the Denny’s…is one less Denny’s in this world such a bad thing?

  • http://www.2200life.blogspot.com EconE

    oh…and for the readers who are unfamiliar with the Brown Derby…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_Derby

  • http://www.2200life.blogspot.com EconE

    oh…and for the readers who are unfamiliar with the Brown Derby…

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_Derby

  • Bob

    Just more condos on that street and much higher rent for that retail space. Innovative development? Don’t bet on it.

  • Bob

    Just more condos on that street and much higher rent for that retail space. Innovative development? Don’t bet on it.

  • Pingback: VintageSeattle.org - ‘Visualizing the Emerald City’s Past’ — Smarter Neighbors

  • The MD

    Actually, Seattle as a city is very much so “change averse.” This is perhaps the slowest moving “city” in the country on so many levels. Progressive? Absolutely not!!! People here just don’t get it nor do they want to understand it. I call it the ignorance-is-bliss syndrome. Change DOES happen, folks. And generally speaking, change happens for the betterment of all. Just because YOU don’t like a particular development or initiative, it doesn’t mean it won’t eventually become a “landmark” in its own right several years from now. Let’s face it, 1650 East Olive has absolutely NO architectural significance, nor is it even a very interesting building to look upon. This is no more than a ploy or excuse by change-averse individuals to keep a favorite breakfast joint as they’re probably too lazy to walk to another establishment for breakfast, probably after they themselves voted down several public transportation initiatives, which would have made it easier for them to make it across town to get to Denny’s! After all, you ARE living on land that only a couple hundred years ago was rendered to be less-than-ideal-for-living-day-to-day by the Native Americans that inhabited the region. Ironic, eh? UGH!!! The stupidity around here never ceases to amaze me.

  • The MD

    Actually, Seattle as a city is very much so “change averse.” This is perhaps the slowest moving “city” in the country on so many levels. Progressive? Absolutely not!!! People here just don’t get it nor do they want to understand it. I call it the ignorance-is-bliss syndrome. Change DOES happen, folks. And generally speaking, change happens for the betterment of all. Just because YOU don’t like a particular development or initiative, it doesn’t mean it won’t eventually become a “landmark” in its own right several years from now. Let’s face it, 1650 East Olive has absolutely NO architectural significance, nor is it even a very interesting building to look upon. This is no more than a ploy or excuse by change-averse individuals to keep a favorite breakfast joint as they’re probably too lazy to walk to another establishment for breakfast, probably after they themselves voted down several public transportation initiatives, which would have made it easier for them to make it across town to get to Denny’s! After all, you ARE living on land that only a couple hundred years ago was rendered to be less-than-ideal-for-living-day-to-day by the Native Americans that inhabited the region. Ironic, eh? UGH!!! The stupidity around here never ceases to amaze me.

  • jcricket

    I think part of the change-averseness is also tied to “I like Seattle small” thinking. Of course small is relative, and anyone who came here in the early 90s is used to a much larger Seattle than those here since the 70s (and so on).

    You can see this every time people in this area vote down some big new initiative because of the price tag. Despite the “cost per person” not being nearly as high as some initiatives in the past, everyone’s stuck in the mindset that Seattle is small. That any package with a “B” in the price tag is “too big”.

    Compare this to other major metropolitan areas (SF, LA, NY, Chicago, DC-metro, etc.) where people realize those places are big and getting bigger.

    Unless we all want to live in an amenity-less city (think Seattle as the Undre Arms), we’ve got to approve _some_ kind of improvement packages. If you want to stop being nickled and dimed by various initiatives, support a progressive income tax and repeal the various regressive taxes (like our huge sales tax). Otherwise, STFU. TANSTAAFL.

  • jcricket

    I think part of the change-averseness is also tied to “I like Seattle small” thinking. Of course small is relative, and anyone who came here in the early 90s is used to a much larger Seattle than those here since the 70s (and so on).

    You can see this every time people in this area vote down some big new initiative because of the price tag. Despite the “cost per person” not being nearly as high as some initiatives in the past, everyone’s stuck in the mindset that Seattle is small. That any package with a “B” in the price tag is “too big”.

    Compare this to other major metropolitan areas (SF, LA, NY, Chicago, DC-metro, etc.) where people realize those places are big and getting bigger.

    Unless we all want to live in an amenity-less city (think Seattle as the Undre Arms), we’ve got to approve _some_ kind of improvement packages. If you want to stop being nickled and dimed by various initiatives, support a progressive income tax and repeal the various regressive taxes (like our huge sales tax). Otherwise, STFU. TANSTAAFL.

  • Easton

    Whether the building is interesting to look at or has architectural significance is irrelevant The MD. And keeping B&O in business has nothing to do with people being too lazy to walk to another breakfast joint. It has more to do with the fact that some people (myself included) have eaten at B&O for years and have a very strong sentimental attachment to the place and don’t want to see it torn down to make way for another Plaza Del Sol. Maybe that’s a tough concept for you to wrap your head around, but I wonder if you’ll make a fuss if some developer wanted to rip Dick’s down to build a condo? In the meantime consider that Seattle Developers have had ample opportunities to show Seattle-ites that they will apply innovative design techniques to their buildings but have failed miserably to do so aside from the Live Historic buildings. Consider this blog for example – I would be that there has been more moaning about bad design than celebrating good design. It’s not that Seattle is change averse, we just want change to happen tastefully which generally has not happened to this point. And if a group of people taking issue with your desire for development is too much for your delicate sensibilities to handle – then move to the eastside or belltown and enjoy your characterless, sterile, cookie-cutter environment all you want.

  • Easton

    Whether the building is interesting to look at or has architectural significance is irrelevant The MD. And keeping B&O in business has nothing to do with people being too lazy to walk to another breakfast joint. It has more to do with the fact that some people (myself included) have eaten at B&O for years and have a very strong sentimental attachment to the place and don’t want to see it torn down to make way for another Plaza Del Sol. Maybe that’s a tough concept for you to wrap your head around, but I wonder if you’ll make a fuss if some developer wanted to rip Dick’s down to build a condo? In the meantime consider that Seattle Developers have had ample opportunities to show Seattle-ites that they will apply innovative design techniques to their buildings but have failed miserably to do so aside from the Live Historic buildings. Consider this blog for example – I would be that there has been more moaning about bad design than celebrating good design. It’s not that Seattle is change averse, we just want change to happen tastefully which generally has not happened to this point. And if a group of people taking issue with your desire for development is too much for your delicate sensibilities to handle – then move to the eastside or belltown and enjoy your characterless, sterile, cookie-cutter environment all you want.

  • jo

    Maybe the developers would have more money to put up innovative projects if they didn’t have to waste time fighting issues like this which they’re going to end up winning anyway.

    Give me 150 new residents in a neighborhood rather than an overpriced breakfast and desert joint. B+O can always relocate somewhere else.

    Isn’t this the same building that had the smoke joint shut down last spring for allowing minors?

  • jo

    Maybe the developers would have more money to put up innovative projects if they didn’t have to waste time fighting issues like this which they’re going to end up winning anyway.

    Give me 150 new residents in a neighborhood rather than an overpriced breakfast and desert joint. B+O can always relocate somewhere else.

    Isn’t this the same building that had the smoke joint shut down last spring for allowing minors?

  • Easton

    Indeed it is the same building (aargh). Maybe the developers would have more money if their initial design proposals were of buildings with some character the resembled the rest of the neighborhood instead of another Brix or Plaza del Sol. You make it sound like just because the developers will develop the spot no matter what, that we should just cave to how they want to do things from the get go. That kind of thinking just kills me

  • Easton

    Indeed it is the same building (aargh). Maybe the developers would have more money if their initial design proposals were of buildings with some character the resembled the rest of the neighborhood instead of another Brix or Plaza del Sol. You make it sound like just because the developers will develop the spot no matter what, that we should just cave to how they want to do things from the get go. That kind of thinking just kills me

  • The MD

    Easton, the kind of thinking that kills me are people who think like YOU. Whether you like it or not, YOUR kind of thinking is the kind of thinking that has held Seattle back for years and continues to inhibit it from growing the infrastructure needed to stop urban sprawl, create true living neighborhoods, and supply ample public transportation. Get over it already, okay? This place is growing and your pissing and moaning about it isn’t going to make that go away. If you want to live in a place that has “character,” move to Wichita Kansas. You sound like your capacity to grasp “the big picture” would land you in such a place.

    Basically, you’re saying you’d rather create urban sprawl in the name of pleasing your friggin’ tastebuds with B&O. Yeah, that sounds like you really care. Please, get real.

  • The MD

    Easton, the kind of thinking that kills me are people who think like YOU. Whether you like it or not, YOUR kind of thinking is the kind of thinking that has held Seattle back for years and continues to inhibit it from growing the infrastructure needed to stop urban sprawl, create true living neighborhoods, and supply ample public transportation. Get over it already, okay? This place is growing and your pissing and moaning about it isn’t going to make that go away. If you want to live in a place that has “character,” move to Wichita Kansas. You sound like your capacity to grasp “the big picture” would land you in such a place.

    Basically, you’re saying you’d rather create urban sprawl in the name of pleasing your friggin’ tastebuds with B&O. Yeah, that sounds like you really care. Please, get real.

  • Bob

    The MD, what’s wrong with urban sprawl? It is called progress. All those trees and parks should be replaced by condos. Concrete jungle is the future. Get over it already.

  • Bob

    The MD, what’s wrong with urban sprawl? It is called progress. All those trees and parks should be replaced by condos. Concrete jungle is the future. Get over it already.

  • as

    what! B&O is going, too? That whole area near Broadway!

    Actually, I was on Boren Street near Pike the other day, there was a selective demo going on an old brick building. I said cool, this old lady is getting her groove back! But I was wrong! I drove by it today, it’s entirely demolished. I will vomit if I see another efis clad, vinyl windowed, color challenged, cheap condominium!

    I’d say East Lake Condos have been much more attractive than Capitol Hill Area. I’m just a little nervous about Equinox being out of scale! Did you see the hole in the ground??

    Another gigantic hole is that project on 2nd and stewart. is that project stopped?

    Also, I saw a land use proposal for a 34 story hotel and condo thing on 2nd and Virginia. I wonder who is doing that..

    lots of demolition sites around the city! We’re like big moles digging away the city. I hope 10 years from now we don’t scratch our heads and wonder where the fuck did Seattle go? so maybe it’s OK to hold on to whatever we can :)

  • as

    what! B&O is going, too? That whole area near Broadway!

    Actually, I was on Boren Street near Pike the other day, there was a selective demo going on an old brick building. I said cool, this old lady is getting her groove back! But I was wrong! I drove by it today, it’s entirely demolished. I will vomit if I see another efis clad, vinyl windowed, color challenged, cheap condominium!

    I’d say East Lake Condos have been much more attractive than Capitol Hill Area. I’m just a little nervous about Equinox being out of scale! Did you see the hole in the ground??

    Another gigantic hole is that project on 2nd and stewart. is that project stopped?

    Also, I saw a land use proposal for a 34 story hotel and condo thing on 2nd and Virginia. I wonder who is doing that..

    lots of demolition sites around the city! We’re like big moles digging away the city. I hope 10 years from now we don’t scratch our heads and wonder where the fuck did Seattle go? so maybe it’s OK to hold on to whatever we can :)

  • The MD

    Bob, urban sprawl is what we’re avoiding by ADDING condos. Hard concept for you to get? Let me explain it to you… Its call den-si-ty… Can you say that? Progress IS density. Denisty means you ARE NOT cutting down trees and paving over parks… DUH!!! BUILD UP – NOT OUT! If you build up, you don’t build outward, cutting down those trees and adding more concrete and asphalt roads. What’s your point again? Help us all understand it, because your logic just doesn’t add up.

  • The MD

    Bob, urban sprawl is what we’re avoiding by ADDING condos. Hard concept for you to get? Let me explain it to you… Its call den-si-ty… Can you say that? Progress IS density. Denisty means you ARE NOT cutting down trees and paving over parks… DUH!!! BUILD UP – NOT OUT! If you build up, you don’t build outward, cutting down those trees and adding more concrete and asphalt roads. What’s your point again? Help us all understand it, because your logic just doesn’t add up.

  • The MD

    Bob, also, just as an FYI.. The discussion involves pre-set footprint of existing structures (ugly ones for that matter). Where did you EVER get we should create a concrete jungle? Ummmm, this jungle is already created. B&O is not a tree, nor is it a park; therefore, it should be okay to tear it down if it is not architecturally significant. It is an ugly, insignificant building that takes a pre-defined footprint. Tearing it down, and creating a taller structure within that SAME FOOTPRINT is NOT increasing the footprint of the existing concrete jungle. You’ve totally missed the point.

  • The MD

    Bob, also, just as an FYI.. The discussion involves pre-set footprint of existing structures (ugly ones for that matter). Where did you EVER get we should create a concrete jungle? Ummmm, this jungle is already created. B&O is not a tree, nor is it a park; therefore, it should be okay to tear it down if it is not architecturally significant. It is an ugly, insignificant building that takes a pre-defined footprint. Tearing it down, and creating a taller structure within that SAME FOOTPRINT is NOT increasing the footprint of the existing concrete jungle. You’ve totally missed the point.

  • Mark W

    I’ve never been to the B&O, and having lived in Seattle for just six years, I’m probably too new to feel much nostalgia. Before moving here, I visited Seattle several times over the years from my home in suburban Dayton, Ohio. During those visits, I liked heading up to Capitol Hill – the openly gay neighborhood and the nightlife were a great open contrast to the much more closeted Dayton gay community. But I also liked the fun, funky vibe of the neighborhood, the quirky retail, the odd mix of shops at the old Broadway Market, and the eclectic mix of folks on the sidewalks and in the restaurants. Capitol Hill had a defining personality, something I suspect a lot of urban neighborhoods have.

    I moved here for good in April 2002. After the move, the first movie I took in at the Broadway Market Landmark turned out to be the last day it was open. It was being replaced by Golds Gym. That mall-ette is now a QFC, and the whole north end of Broadway is unrecognizable. A big chunk of Pine is coming down. Thumpers. B&O. What’s next?

    I was 40 when I finally moved here and am 46 now. And I was never really funky even when I was visiting here at a much younger age. The numbing suburbia of Dayton does that to a person, I suppose. But even though I ended up living downtown instead of Capitol Hill, I still consider it to be my neighborhood. I like having a neighborhood that feels the way Capitol Hill feels, a place where Wiccans, restaurants, barbers and feather boas can share a block of storefronts.

    But while a lot of these places can afford the rents for the older, smaller storefronts, the street level retail options that the new buildings offer is out of the price range of most. We end up losing what gives the neighborhood its character. Walgreens is a fine establishment, to be sure, but having a Walgreens at Broadway and Pine just doesn’t feel like Capitol Hill.

    I’m not some fuddy-duddy against new development. And I certainly can see why developers want to be part of the action in neighborhoods like Eastlake or Capitol Hill. But that doesn’t have to involve wiping out the places in the neighborhood where the local community gathers, the businesses that support neighborhood events, the affordable storefronts for the niche-filling shops, community groups and theatre troupes that define Capitol Hill.

    There are plenty of small apartment building sites that could easily support higher density. New housing doesn’t need to take all the most visible sites where the already establilshed community gathers.

    Capitol Hill is already a living neighborhood. It has great access to public transportation, and some of the highest population density in the city. Increasing density further can be done while respecting what the community already has. We didn’t need to lose a block of Pine to get more density in the neighborhood.

  • Mark W

    I’ve never been to the B&O, and having lived in Seattle for just six years, I’m probably too new to feel much nostalgia. Before moving here, I visited Seattle several times over the years from my home in suburban Dayton, Ohio. During those visits, I liked heading up to Capitol Hill – the openly gay neighborhood and the nightlife were a great open contrast to the much more closeted Dayton gay community. But I also liked the fun, funky vibe of the neighborhood, the quirky retail, the odd mix of shops at the old Broadway Market, and the eclectic mix of folks on the sidewalks and in the restaurants. Capitol Hill had a defining personality, something I suspect a lot of urban neighborhoods have.

    I moved here for good in April 2002. After the move, the first movie I took in at the Broadway Market Landmark turned out to be the last day it was open. It was being replaced by Golds Gym. That mall-ette is now a QFC, and the whole north end of Broadway is unrecognizable. A big chunk of Pine is coming down. Thumpers. B&O. What’s next?

    I was 40 when I finally moved here and am 46 now. And I was never really funky even when I was visiting here at a much younger age. The numbing suburbia of Dayton does that to a person, I suppose. But even though I ended up living downtown instead of Capitol Hill, I still consider it to be my neighborhood. I like having a neighborhood that feels the way Capitol Hill feels, a place where Wiccans, restaurants, barbers and feather boas can share a block of storefronts.

    But while a lot of these places can afford the rents for the older, smaller storefronts, the street level retail options that the new buildings offer is out of the price range of most. We end up losing what gives the neighborhood its character. Walgreens is a fine establishment, to be sure, but having a Walgreens at Broadway and Pine just doesn’t feel like Capitol Hill.

    I’m not some fuddy-duddy against new development. And I certainly can see why developers want to be part of the action in neighborhoods like Eastlake or Capitol Hill. But that doesn’t have to involve wiping out the places in the neighborhood where the local community gathers, the businesses that support neighborhood events, the affordable storefronts for the niche-filling shops, community groups and theatre troupes that define Capitol Hill.

    There are plenty of small apartment building sites that could easily support higher density. New housing doesn’t need to take all the most visible sites where the already establilshed community gathers.

    Capitol Hill is already a living neighborhood. It has great access to public transportation, and some of the highest population density in the city. Increasing density further can be done while respecting what the community already has. We didn’t need to lose a block of Pine to get more density in the neighborhood.

  • Bob

    The MD, you have totally missed the sarcasm. What you think is ugly, others may not think so. You want to build up, others would rather build out. Density is progress? To who? Expansion can be considered progress too.

  • Bob

    The MD, you have totally missed the sarcasm. What you think is ugly, others may not think so. You want to build up, others would rather build out. Density is progress? To who? Expansion can be considered progress too.

  • jo

    It’s the owners land and they can do whatever they want with it as long as it’s within the law.

    Yea, they do some tacky things. However, their money, their land, THEIR choice. I don’t have any right to try and impose on what they should do with THEIR land.

    Don’t like it? Move or start buying up land yourself.

  • jo

    It’s the owners land and they can do whatever they want with it as long as it’s within the law.

    Yea, they do some tacky things. However, their money, their land, THEIR choice. I don’t have any right to try and impose on what they should do with THEIR land.

    Don’t like it? Move or start buying up land yourself.

  • Jed

    1) Mark W – I completely agree with you. For myself, I find many of the developers have not been respecting the communities as much as they should. (the developer of the Pine Street development came out saying they wouln’t allow any bars to go into the retail areas…. which was most of what it tore down)
    I think you need to look at all the developments underway as a whole on capitol hill and look at what is being demolished. When taken as a whole it looks as though Capitol Hill is losing grasp of what makes it unique.
    Many of the developers undergoing work on Capitol Hill do not live anywhere near Capitol Hill (Most likely living themselves in Suburbia/Medina/NYC) and I bet if they did live where they developed you would see a HUGE difference in the type of projects going up.
    Also, I really hope the real estate market DOES calm down because a lot of the REALLY UGLY/POORLY DESIGNED condos going up are in response to the “Hurry before the bottom drops out” mentality. Rushing architects through the design process and rushing construction in general because they know if they hurry, they can get the money out of a cookie-cutter shoddy designed building. All this talk of sustainability… and the buildings being thrown-up (no pun intended) are not sustainable.

    I would rather slow the process down and have QUALITY buildings than half-assed buildings that will be considered the SLUMS of Seattle in 10 years.

    And Jo, in response to saying it’s their own property and they can do what they want with it…. I would disagree. If it was all their choice, we wouldn’t have set up regulations and a Design Review process and neighborhood review meetings…. The whole idea is that it’s supposed to be a conversation between developer, city and community.

  • Jed

    1) Mark W – I completely agree with you. For myself, I find many of the developers have not been respecting the communities as much as they should. (the developer of the Pine Street development came out saying they wouln’t allow any bars to go into the retail areas…. which was most of what it tore down)
    I think you need to look at all the developments underway as a whole on capitol hill and look at what is being demolished. When taken as a whole it looks as though Capitol Hill is losing grasp of what makes it unique.
    Many of the developers undergoing work on Capitol Hill do not live anywhere near Capitol Hill (Most likely living themselves in Suburbia/Medina/NYC) and I bet if they did live where they developed you would see a HUGE difference in the type of projects going up.
    Also, I really hope the real estate market DOES calm down because a lot of the REALLY UGLY/POORLY DESIGNED condos going up are in response to the “Hurry before the bottom drops out” mentality. Rushing architects through the design process and rushing construction in general because they know if they hurry, they can get the money out of a cookie-cutter shoddy designed building. All this talk of sustainability… and the buildings being thrown-up (no pun intended) are not sustainable.

    I would rather slow the process down and have QUALITY buildings than half-assed buildings that will be considered the SLUMS of Seattle in 10 years.

    And Jo, in response to saying it’s their own property and they can do what they want with it…. I would disagree. If it was all their choice, we wouldn’t have set up regulations and a Design Review process and neighborhood review meetings…. The whole idea is that it’s supposed to be a conversation between developer, city and community.