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The Stranger on Capitol Hill Condo Developments

By December 11, 2006

Pine and Belmont

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.

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