I dunno if this will surprise you or not, Erica, after our many viaduct contretemps, but on this one I'm behind you 100%. This project should be stopped. Again.
I would also add that this is very bad news for RTID - the coalition that just helped pass the City of Seattle street tax probably won't hold for RTID. I smell burning toast...
I read the link Buddy posted. While I agree the Stranger engages in some NIMBYism, I can't believe the comments under the linked article. Those Weekly lovers must have some serious insecurities from all the Stranger-bashing.
No, the Weekly were quite right in pointing out the hypocrisy of the Stranger now that their ox is being gored. ECW finally figured out what all of us horrible neighborhood NIMBY's have been saying all along - that development for its own sake and without restraint will kill what makes Seattle great, and is driven as much by greed and an acquiescent City government (and, currently, easy loan money) as it is by true market demand.
That said, I loved the piece, and share ECB and the Stranger's desire to preserve what I agree is an irreplaceable Seattle neighborhood. Welcome to the party, Capitol Hill Kool Kidz....
Told ya so!
Duh - ECB in sentence #2. Sorry!
Yeah, that article was laughable and jaw-dropping in its hypocrisy. And it wasn't just that it shows a bunch of density champions to be, deep down at heart, a bunch of NIMBY density foes when density comes knocking in their own neighborhood. No, what really blew me away was its unwillingness to really confront the irony of it all. Of course, it doesn't help that you have the typical Erica C. Barnett prose: angry, shrill, humorless, and as lacking in perspective as the declarations of a Marxist revolutionary.
There are two really sad things about that story:
Let me speak to that. I happen to think Fremont is an example of "smart gentrification" -- where it still preserves the character and uniqueness of a neighborhood. Yeah, Fremont no longer has its dives, and I'm not shedding a tear over them.
Anyway, I think we all can agree that it would have been a disaster if Seattle had gone ahead and let some developer demolish the Pike Place Market back in the '70s or whenever.
In contrast, I believe Pittsburgh demolished a lot of distinctive old buildings around the same time. Now that they're trying to attract residents to their downtown, they're kicking themselves over having gone too far.
Also, a few days ago The New York Times did a story about how Cincinnati's previously impoverished Over-the-Rhine neighborhood is going through a renaissance (i.e. a gentrification boom) just five years after being the scene of riots. What was the secret ingredient for that neighborhood's revival? The historic, old buildings.
And therein, I believe, lies one possible answer. It's not the establishments that you have to save; it's the buildings. To some extent, I imagine that's already being accomplished to some extent through whatever historic building protections we now have in place. (Maybe I'm wrong.) Then again, if that's the criterion, I'm not sure you're saving Pike Place Market.
So you see, it's a tough, tough issue -- not exactly the kind of issue that can be addressed the way The Stranger decided to address it.
You reap what you sow, and we told you so.
Cressona is exactly right: save the old buildings. Even -- maybe especially -- the crappy ones. At least some of them.
While I'm with Cressona on the need to preserve existing buildings, if Fremont is a shining example of successful "smart gentrification" preserving both the character and affordability of a neighborhood, we're even more fucked than I thought.
Mr. X: While I'm with Cressona on the need to preserve existing buildings, if Fremont is a shining example of successful "smart gentrification" preserving both the character and affordability of a neighborhood, we're even more fucked than I thought.
"And affordability?" Please don't put words into my mouth. "Affordability" has become one of the most loaded, misleading, and ultimately meaningless words in the PC universe.
If a landlord can charge more for rent or a seller can put up a home at a higher price, that's an indication that it must be affordable for someone. And if it's not, then the marketplace corrects itself, as it seems to be doing now -- moreso in other parts of the country.
If something is more desirable, it costs more money. To me that's a sign of success, not failure.
It's implicit, Cressona, unless you think that running people out of their longtime neighborhood due to rising rents is a really groovy side effect of gentrification (which, evidently, you do).
Thousands of others see it differently - unfortunately, a lot of them have been forced out of the City.
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