…die by the density sword.
Boo fricken’ hoo.
So the scribes at The Stranger are density-a-go-go, but then bellyache when developers want to tear down a series of low-slung, one story buildings that just happen to house their favorite bar. All of this in a part of town that’s in high demand for housing.
You can’t lecture people to accept density and then, uh, not accept density just because they’re tearing down your favorite bar.
So to help them through these tough times, give the staff at The Stranger some suggestions for their next hip booze joint. Put ’em in the comments.
Drinking Liberally meets tomorrow (and every Tuesday night) at the Montlake Ale House. Maybe that could be The Stranger’s new booze joint?
I side with the Stranger here. Most of the new construction in Seattle has so little style or sense of community that i am reminded of Soviet Era construction in Moscow.
I do not object to tearing down old stuff IFF what is new s not only dense but effin attractive. Is there ANY area of Novo Seattle that anyone thinks is worth more than a quick raised leg from my dog?
Also, I am mystified as to howsit that my taxes are going up to support this high priced high density housing. It seems to me that 500k a pop for loftominiums or executive studio apartments otta mean THOSE folks taxes should cut my taxes. Or.. is it that the more $$ you spend on your effin housing the more need for services?
One friend tells me the reason no one is building schools in Novo Seattle is that nobody who can afford these plaster board palaces can afford to have kids. The mean family size in Bovo Seattle is said to be .87 people/household!
Guest from Dalllas spews:
I have been here about six months and I would suggest they all give up the pot and booze for a few month and get clean and sober – would improve the writing and the willy nilly attitude problems they exhibit.
Perpetual drunks and pot heads abound there. Hangover haven is one nickname, the gin mill is another.
But they won’t. So, go to one of the new joints on Pike just two – three blocks from their offices.
By the way, the block they are recycling, is full of rats and code problems. They are one story buildings neglected for 30-40 years. Check a major victory for recycling old decrpit buildings. More density, code modern, and BIGGER tax base on the same site. Fewer rats, and functioning toilets. Yeah.
Not to mention tens of millions of dollars of work and fees flowing into the local economy. Oh, that. Paychecks for workers.
Guest from Dalllas spews:
Jew person from Seattle – you are stuck in the past. A romantic version of the past and a crop of old dead buildings.
The drawing of the new building is quite attractive. Are you expecting les Palais de Rue Pine – dream on. C. Hill has always been working class, bedrooms for downtown, walking distance, easy bus, 8.00 cabs….
As to the birth rate – have you ever paid attention to the number of gays and lesbians in Seattle. Lots. I am one. We do not have large families, despite a lot of sex. Duh.
Our function in nature is to brake population explosion, as well as cutting hair, and selling fashion and waiting tables, and running most cities.
So in Seattle Jew’s opinion, a person in Seattle should only be allowed to build a building, including a house, office building, apartment complex, warehouse, etc., if that building has been determined to be “attractive.” Who would decide if the building is attractive or not? A commitee, a vote of the citizens of Seattle, the city council, the neighbors….? And if a building or house has not been voted attractive enough to build, who will pay the extra money it will cost to make it more suitably attractive? What if it’s a family wants to build a house, the it was decided it was not attractive enough, and it will cost $50,000 more to make it attractive, but they don’t have that much?
There used to be a time (and it still exists) when neighbors didn’t want black people moving in to their neighborhoods because they didn’t “fit in.” I see Seattle Jew as no different than the racists of old, only instead of being intolerant of people who don’t look the right way, he’s intolerant of buildings that don’t look the right way. So much for claiming to like diversity, huh?
The Stranger has a point about development done wrong:
It’s important to raise questions about how density is done, or else the interests of developers ($) will always come before those of residents. Seattle should be a different city than Dallas, we should have independent businesses as well as national chains, people shouldn’t have to live in poorly and inconsiderately designed buildings that inhibit the formation of community.
Why not take the opportunity to discuss some of these issues and help shape the future city before it’s done for us by a gaggle of various out of town developers? It shouldn’t be a choice between, in this case, old 1-story buildings and a shiny new human storage facility.
1. Gays in Seattle …
There is so much wrong with your post on this issue that I hesitate to remark, but here goes:
a. the homsexual community is significant but nonetheless only part of this city, a smallish one at that.
b. I hod thought we were beyonf ghettoes for gays … my understanding is that increasingly gay folks live where ,, well wherever other live. You seem to he suggesting Seattle should create a preserve, a reservation, a ghetto. Ick!
2. Who decides?
err ahhh .. have you heard of zining? There are many standards about what can be built and yes, in some cases, these are set by architectual commission.s
3. Is CapHill worth saving?
I think some parts, esp. the pine corridor, are. Ever been to Bellevue? That si why I live on Cap Hill! If investors dop not like the controls, they can choose to build elsewhere, it is not as if Seattle has too little building activity.
4. Are there communities other than homosexuals to consider?
Contrary to the post, Cap Hill has a very complex ethnic history. The homes around Federal and Vol Park are hardly working class. On the other hand, parts of the Hill served for a long time as the arts community, The Hill has also been at the forefront of the AA middle class.
5. Is the new building kool?
I hope so. But that changes little of what I said. Most of novo Seattle is bullt on the cheap. Beyond just money, there is s striking lack of attention to the SORT of amenities that can make a high density barracks function as magnet and as a neighborhood.
If I took you seriously, I suppose we could hire some ex Sviet to build Stalin Style or maybe we need to figger how to make 56 story adaptations of the Motel of the Mysteries?
Josh Feit spews:
I’m so bored with this cute criticism.
We’re for density on Capitol Hill.
We badgered City Hall to increase heights on Brodway (and won) and to lower parking requirements on Pike/Pine. We love what Liz Dunn is doing up on 12th—building, building, building.
The only complaint I’ve got with ripping out the Bus Stop block on Pine is: That strip is already part of the density equation, catering to all the apts. around it.
The businesses there are successful and vibrant and add to the packed street traffic there. So, in a sense, ripping them up is jeopardizing the urban environment. Even though the condos will bring more bodies—the change may actually take people off the street. We’ll see.
Is it the end of the world that they’re going? No. Are we waging war to save the block? No. Certainly, I’m a little sad about it. I’ve had some great times on that block, at the Bus Stop in particular.
Give me in-fill, and retro-fit, and more height, and more development all over Capitol Hill. I’m psyched about the development at the N. end of Broadway. Again, we advocated for that. And we gave Liz Dunn a political genius runner up for building big on 12th.
The NIMBYs we make fun of for resisting density aren’t fighting to save urban environments like Pine St., they’re resisting height increases and in-fill and conversions from two units to six etc.
The city needs more density. Spread the wealth. It’ s not like that block on Pine—already a bustling, urban core—needed more density. Give us some development where there isn’t any. All over the city, including Capitol Hill.
At least no one can complain about not being able to smoke in there any more.
please pay attention spews:
Josh–you are not half as bored with this criticism as we all are of the Stranger’s campaign to save this block of one-story buildings. Your arguments are fundamentally elitist and ignorant of how development works.
You don’t get to decide what block is treated like a museum to be frozen in time and what block is developed with density. Zoning must be consistent in neighborhoods. Capitol Hill is one of the densest areas in the Western US. It is centrally located with great bus service and light rail on the way. Your cherished Bus Stop block is about four blocks from the light rail stop at SCCC. It is exactly the type of block that should be developed. Owners of property develop that property when zoning and profit opportunities match. This isn’t evil, it is how development happens.
The Stranger should be lobbying for is good design on the block rather than carping about the development itself. Developers are influenced by neighborhood pressure because many of their prospective clients are already in the neighborhood. Neighborhoods will change over time. Sometimes that is sad, but people will always find new spots to get the “services” Josh thinks this block provides.
But here is where Josh really takes the cake and vividly illustrates the bubble the Stranger is in.
“The NIMBYs we make fun of for resisting density aren’t fighting to save urban environments like Pine St., they’re resisting height increases and in-fill and conversions from two units to six etc.
The city needs more density. Spread the wealth. It’ s not like that block on Pine—already a bustling, urban core—needed more density. Give us some development where there isn’t any. All over the city, including Capitol Hill”
Josh–if you actually left Capitol Hill more often and looked at the rest of the city you would realize that infill and dense developments are happening everywhere. In West Seattle–an area that already has almost 20% of the city’s population–large scale developments are happening up and down California Avenue and nearby streets. Delridge is becoming packed with new townhouses and developments. You make judgments based on an elitist assumption that has no basis in reality. The Stranger treats West Seattle with its ten minute bus ride to downtown like it was a suburban city. Infill is happening in almost every neighborhood in Seattle. People want to live here. Ballard is booming. Greenwood is attracting more new developments. The entire north end is becoming denser. Neighborhoods like Roosevelt are planning for density and encouraging it in their core. The Rainier Valley will be transformed by light rail. Density is happening everywhere–you just never get off the hill to see it.
The neighborhoods that fight density in Seattle are a short list–Magnolia, top of Queen Anne, Wallingford, Montlake, Laurelhurst, and View Ridge. These people actively fight development of almost any kind. They just want their neighborhoods to remain a museum like the Stranger does for the Bus Stop block. You are every bit as NIMBY as they are despite your stirring list of developments you have supported.
Time to give this campaign up Josh–it doesn’t pass the straight face test.
Roger Rabbit spews:
It’s only a matter of time before Montlake Ale House is razed to build a parking garage for the shiny new high-rise public library next door.
Roger Rabbit spews:
You can’t stop progress.
Piper Scott spews:
Given its clientele, that would be a genuine public service…as would turning it into a vacant lot.
Touché Piper, well said.
Josh Feit spews:
1) “The Stranger should be lobbying for is good design on the block rather than carping about the development itself.”
Good idea. That’s why we published this article as the news lead last month: http://www.thestranger.com/sea.....oid=424494
2) “In West Seattle–an area that already has almost 20% of the city’s population–large scale developments are happening up and down California Avenue and nearby streets.”
That’s true. And that’s why I wrote this column called “West Seattle is Cool” http://www.thestranger.com/sea.....?oid=21428 —criticizing Capitol Hill’s Broadway district for not following suit.
3) “Josh–if you actually left Capitol Hill more often and looked at the rest of the city you would realize that infill and dense developments are happening everywhere.”
And that’s good. And we cheer neighbors who are for it: http://thestranger.com/seattle/Content?oid=20280 . And we criticize neighbors who are against. Keep in mind, though: 75% of the land that’s available for residential zoning in this city is zoned single family. That’s lame. And that’s what I’m talking about when I say we should bring density to more parts of the city.
4) “You don’t get to decide what block is treated like a museum to be frozen in time and what block is developed with density.”
That strip on Pine is hardly a “museum.” It was vibrant. And it was a big part of the density equation for all the residential buildings jammed up against it. Again, if the new condos mean more people out and about in that neighborhood than that’s excellent. However, that block is already mobbed with action. So, we’ll see how adding the condos plays out. Seems to me, we’re replacing density with density. Okay. But it’s kind of redundant.
5) “the Stranger’s campaign to save this block of one-story buildings.”
What campaign are you talking about? We’re not doing much to save this block. We campaigned for the surface/transit option. Now that was a campaign. And we won! We also campaigned for the monorail. (Won that one 3 out of 5 times, I think before we got trounced.) There’s been no Stranger campaign to save this block.
1) We are calling for good design.
2) I praised the development in West Seattle.
3) It’s crazy that 75% of the residential land in this city is zoned single-family.
4) Lively commercial strips aren’t museums. Hopefully the new housing will keep the neighborhood as action packed with people as it already is.
5) Surface/Transit. Monorail. Now, those were Stranger campaigns. The block on Pine. Not a Federal case, and we haven’t treated it as one. No campaign.
Did love the Bus Stop, though.
David Sucher spews:
“We campaigned for the surface/transit option…And we won!”
You are dreaming.