I found that insert in a copy of the Stranger.
homes for sale there had a median selling price of nearly $150,000 less than the Seattle median.
Crucial Missing Bit of Info: Homes in High Point are apparently smaller. Click on the Avg. price/sqft tab.
Westneat covered this last week.
I just came.
Do you realize how ridiculous this sentence sounds:
"Another thing the high-gloss promotional brochure and web site don’t portray is the challenge of integrating a whole new group of (mostly white, middle-class) people into an area that has traditionally been diverse..."
Yes, there is no great threat to diversity than a new group of people.
ECB, thanks for this post. The High Point debacle is really interesting. With local prop values falling into what may be a long downward cycle, those who bought the "green" High Point market-rate housing at the top will be looking for scapegoats to blame as their home values start dipping lower than their mortgage balance. Oo, look at the trashy neighbors, it's their fault, etc.
Sounds like Columbia city right before the newer, higher income residents moved in back in the early and mid 90's. Gentrification starts somewhere, sure you can make it look nicer as it was in Columbia city with a more liberal crowd, who moved in with the, " I want to live in a diverse neighborhood" rap, but the result is the same, lower income and darker people get sent somewhere else like Skyway, Federal Way and Highpoint. Highpoint is more blatant, there it begins with the HOPE 6 housing plan which brings high end home owners in Columbia city it began with artsy types who were then followed by the fleece wearing crowd. Its economics. Lower housing prices bring people from other neighborhoods who cant afford to buy in places where they grew up or live and party in. Georgetown and Highpoint were the last places with affordable housing. Georgetown is deep into gentrification, Highpoint doesnt need luck with gentrification, the housing market will drive new residents there.
I thought she was a redhead.
Ericqa, YOU get to choose where you buy/rent/squat - your personal living space. You can make your own choices, completely yours.
Please allow others the same choices. And, really, really, what is the news value??.
Are you guys on a daily quota to post stuff on Slog?
This is the bottom of non-news.
Wrong, sorry. Columbia City always has had a business district to build around. High Point doesn't.
It could have one eventually, around 35th and Morgan. But it doesn't.
thats a good point ivan, though i wouldnt call what use to be on rainier as a business district, i beleive the infrastructure was there in terms of historic buildings so i think it helped speed that up, at least it did for the east side of rainier, for you can see the old neighborhood which was anchored by angies did not build as fast and the busy bee remains. most of the old businesess died quickly until the new crop of residents started moving in. i do think that the housing market is a lot worse for first time homebuyers than it was back then so thats why i think it will bring homebuyers to the area, though i think youre right about the business district.
I've lived two blocks away from High Point for 12 years--and the neighborhood ain't "a part of Southwest Seattle that has resisted gentrification". It was a sadly run down public housing project that was made up of sub-standard structures originally built to temporarily house WW2 Boeing factory workers. Nor was the neighborhood "diverse"--east of 35th SW, mostly poor, mostly people of color, many immigrants; west of 35th SW, white, middle class. Except for within the "project" the neighborhood has been rapidly gentrifying, just like everywhere else in Seattle.
It is also not a coincidence that the Mini-mart on 35th SW and Morgan St SW was the only store I've seen in West Seattle that sold crack vials, glass pipes, and miniature zip-lock baggies right at the counter.
Folks like ECB might get mad when whitey moves in and ruins a perfectly good slum by demanding civil behavior in the streets, but there's no way I can't see the redevelopment at High Point as anything but a good thing for the whole neighborhood.
If the community is as bad as you say, ECB, how do you propose they fix it? Obviously you disagree with this approach.
I'd be interested to hear your ideas, instead of your senseless ridiculing.
"Most people don’t think of High Point, a landlocked chunk West Seattle just north of Seattle’s southern limit that was once dominated by subsidized low-income housing"
Actually, it's about 4 miles north of the city's southern limit. Golly, Erica, you really do have this Capitol Hill centric mindset, don't you. I actually live about a mile further south than High Point and most folks would call Lincoln Park an integral element of the city of Seattle. Most folks, but not you, apparently. Why don't you visit the place, it's actually being built as a sustainable community with non-polluting streets where water runs into swales. Maybe the next time you're trapped on a West Seattle-bound bus you can actually explore part of the city you live in.
It's a 15 minute walk from High Point to Morgan Junction - which IS a business district. It's also a 10 minute walk from High Point to Camp Long. It's also got the 128 and 21 bus routes which border the neighborhood. It's also got way better views of the city and Cascades than I'll bet you have.
OMG! Music that's not Norah Jones (though only her first album, her others were too upbeat)! Shocking!
Jesus, people. If you want boring-ass white bread housing, come on out to Issaquah. We're wallowing in it here. There's even crappy bus service so you can justify driving your SUV everywhere.
While I understand that it sucks to live in a place where there is an active drug problem, instead of constantly bitching about it and the people who look different than you or are in a different income bracket, how about reaching out to the neighborhood and working to change that? I'm sure the people listening to "the sweet sounds of Baghdad" aren't any more fans of crack dealers than you are.
Damn it Erica, quit letting facts get in the way of your agenda!
>>"...many a weekend afternoon I’ll be sitting in my living room with the window open listening to the sweet sounds of Baghdad"
See, when I first read this I assumed they meant they were hearing automatic gunfire and explosions all the time. But music? Count your blessings, whitebread.
I feel like I know that woman from somewhere. Or maybe I just really, really want to.
ECB also said:
"Most people probably think of it as either (uncharitably) one of Seattle’s last remaining ghettoes or (more charitably) a part of Southwest Seattle that has resisted gentrification. It has a failing elementary school; a high crime rate;"
check the crime statistics for yourself - High Point doesn't seem to have a particularly high crime rate:
appears to be about the same crime rate as Broadway area.
What the fuck is "Westneat"?
Erica, you should buy one of the condos and show the other white people the right way to be 'down with' those who have an ethnicity.
chas @14 has a good point.
I once helped buy a bike in High Point - nice area. Not suprised it's been more developed.
Westneat is a columnist at one of the dailies - think it's the PI.
It sounds like you need to visit like a previous poster mentioned.
I live a few miles away and I drive through there often because I LOVE what is happening there, a really, really great neighborhood community blossoming.
Please check it out, it is not that far away, even by bike!
She said most people "probably think" of it having a high crime rate. Which can be true at the same time that it does not have a high crime rate.
Get some reading comprehension.
Uh, High Point is in the city of Seattle. Really. Even if it IS West Seattle.
Unfortunate that ECB parroted the Times' verbiage and overrated the college boy who typed the racist rant as having a 'community blog.' The site was abandoned for months earlier this year until shortly before this idiotic little whine that got far more attention than warranted. No updates ever since, this 'blog' appears to be growing dandelions again.
I've lived near HighPoint for 21 years. It was the lower colon of Seattle with lots of Santorum splashing out everywhere. The "ghetto chil'rens" kept selling drugs and their sisters at all hours of the day and night. Those sweet dear poeple that tried to plant gardens and fix things up (gentrify thier yards not ghettoizing them) where barred from doing so. Gheeezuz Phuking Keerist it's a whole new place now. Better, nicer, cleaner, and like in the past multi-ethnic, multi-gender, multi-orientation, multi-income, multi-spending, multi-....
I love how ECB is a suddenly an expert on life in the Westside only two months after claiming that West Seattle was not part of the City of Seattle.
Now she's trying to convince us that High Point is destined to fail, based on the rantings of one person's outdated blog and an advertising brochure. Ace reporting, as usual.
@17: Yeah, I thought machine guns, too.... until they started bitching about the Islamic music. Unless Islamic music means machine guns?
ECB has her foot in her mouth here, for sure. But she's still awesome. Unlike Annie Wagner. Who is a bitch.
I love how ECB is a suddenly an expert on life in the Westside only two months after claiming that West Seattle was not part of the City of Seattle.
She rode the bus over here to West Seattle that day, by accident, and was probably smitten by the charms of the area and is sneaking over here regularly now.
Her foot being always in her mouth is what makes ECB so awesome.
@30. Hi, Poe. No one's bitchier than thee.
It wasn't that many years ago Columbia City had a Penneys AND a bowling alley. Their business district never really died - it faded for a decade or so.
High Point was always more dependent on White Center for its kicks. And White Center has always been mostly bars.
For comparison, look to Holly Park. How has it fared since it's makeover?
Hmmm...well played, murderer!!
I know EXACTLY what you were doing last night! I'm callin' the SPD. You'll hear from them in four to six business days.
Yeah, I can't believe they built all those "breathe-easy" homes for people with Asthma (http://www.thehighpoint.com/breatheasy.html) and had the gall to build some more homes that weren't Condos. How crappy. I wish developers would tear down some nice houses in West Seattle and put up Condos so we could be more like The Hill.
And that brand new library doesn't have hardly any homeless, crazy or smelly people hanging out in it all day like the Capital Hill Library.
Yeah, fuck High Point. I liked it better when it was all WW2-era shacks full of poor people. Now that those are all gone, my 1920's house 10 blocks away that I bought in 2003 has only doubled in resale value. I wish those eyesores were still there so I could have have only appreciated a few thousand dollars.
@9 - You're right. She has totally robbed you of your ability to think for yourself. Goddamn it, Erica!
I also live just blocks from the new High Point, and I don't have a freakin' clue what ECB is talking about.
I bought my house about two years before they started Phase I when this was one of the last affordable areas left in the city. We had five gang-related murders in two years, including a 14 year-old boy who was shot to death on my block.
Now, the builders down there are selling out of $400,000 and $500,000 houses; property values have doubled. Crime has dropped to the city average. I walk my dogs through there all the time and it seems fairly well integrated between the market rate housing and the subsidized housing; everyone seems relaxed and happy. The buildings are all high density--the kind the Stranger allegedly advocates--and people have traveled from all over the US to examine the green design, which includes semi-porous sidewalks and natural drainage, among many other features.
The neighborhood is vital, humming and a complete 180 from when I first moved here. Plus we're only 10 minutes from the Junction, Downtown and Alki Beach.
If this is supposed some kind of indictment of the new neighborhood--as if it were somehow better before(!)-- then not only do you not know what you're talking about, you're also totally BONKERS!!
the problem is not the poor people. it is the stupid people moving in trying to "civilize" the natives. When money is scarce, what do you think people are going to do? just roll over and die? it doesn't work that way. Poverty creates sub-economies that exist beneath the eye of outsiders. When outsiders move in, the natives are not going to just say "oh, these people are obviously better than us, lets just change." if you buy in highpoint, you get what you get. buying there and getting mad when you get what you pay for is like going to the dollar store, buying some fake fruit loops, then complaining that they don't taste like real fruit loops. you buy cheap shit, you get problems.
The words in quotes ("green," "vibrant") must be implying something. Could they be implying that people are trying to live up to the very ideals that ECB espouses, but are falling short? How dare they. They are obviously entitled to more derision than Hummer-driving Republicans.
step 1: people in neighborhood sick of gang violence
step 2: ...?
step 3: thinly veiled racism
oh yeah....who's really stupid, the "ghetto children" who at a very young age have a masters degree level of intelligence in supply and demand economics or the stupid middle aged idiots who say "hey, these houses are so much cheaper then other houses in seattle, lets buy honey!" that 14 year old "ghetto chilen" would be smart enough to know that cheap shit is cheap for a reason.
I live nearby, but in the traditionally white middle class part of town.
Phew. God, it's such a relief to come out.
Anyway. I go to the (relatively new) High Point Seattle Public Library fairly often, and it's one of the greatest places in the city to see real, actual, big-city(tm) diversity(tm) in action. You know, the kind of shit The Stranger usually writes about with such predictable approval.
There's, like, teenage E. African girls in chador doing their homework after school and getting books. There's older Vietnamese men checking out the VNmese book section. There's whitey with a laptop.
The Capitol Hill library? Older whitey, younger whitey, homeless whitey. Gay whitey, lesbian whitey. Clean whitey, smelly whitey.
Highpoint is the next Hunts Point. I know there is a saying about suckers but I can't remember what it is.
The first place I lived in Seattle when I moved here more than 20 years ago was at a extended stay apartment house right across the street from from High Point. I rented it over the phone, sight unseen. When I landed at the airport and told the cab driver the address, he said, "Oh, that's right by High Point Housing Project!" I was apprehensive because the only housing projects I'd been exposed to were pretty dangerous places.
It wasn't totally spooky, but it was loud and undeniably depressing, there were lots of little crack bottles scattered about the street, and going out at night meant certain safeguards had to be taken. I was fine with it for a little more than a year until I was walking to my bus stop at around 10 PM during the summer, going to work, and all of a sudden there was a knife at my throat and a demand for $20. I thought I was a goner. I'm not sure the attacker lived at High Point, but I am sure one of the residents called the police, because they arrived about two minutes later - out of nowhere - and the guy with the knife disappeared with a blur - the police, guns drawn, in pursuit.
I moved within the week. I carried a lot of animosity toward High Point for a long time thereafter. I was also ready with some swift generalizations about the its population saying things like, "They need to raze the place and start over."
What they've done isn't exactly what I had in mind. I never wanted poor people to lose their homes. High Point was little more than a series of prefab duplexes raised above ground by concrete blocks. It was minimal shelter. It could be said that it's the kind of place that breeds - among other things - contempt. The website pics of the new development look not unlike something out of Celebration, Florida. Soulless gentrification.
I never want to forget the kindness of the low-income resident who came to my aid without thanks.
And by the way, the West Seattle Junction is more than a 10 minute bus ride. You either have to negotiate a steep hill down to California and catch a bus there or catch a bus on 35th and transfer at Alaska. Either option takes probably a half hour or more. West Seattle is one of those communities where it's hard to be without a car and depending on buses makes for frequent unhappiness. It's why I moved downtown. Remember the Blizzard of '91? Three days, no buses. Later in the week, one or two buses a day, but no one ever knew when they were coming.
seattle is like Brazil. It tries to beautify its ghettos by painting them up and then pretend that the people there don't exist. other cities have tough neighborhoods and everybody knows where they are. this city, slick hustlers try to pretty them up and then get suckers to pay top dollar to move there. They say Seattle is a city that has no real streets or ghetto but the only reason is that this city denies the existence of the people who live in ghettoes and keeps making them move somewhere else. Seattles name should be changed from the emerald city to the "ghetto on wheels" since the streets here move every other year to a new place. I mean look at this shit....the AVE...university way was a street....then they cleaned it up and had the pigs patrol it extra until all the street people moved downtown. High point was a street... then the city started prettying it up and the new people there are like "oh my god....I didn't know Seattle had people like this in it!" Yeah....they will leave...go somewhere else like Fed Way which is gonna be the new street.....for a few years....until the city paints it up and moves the street somewhere else. Seattle needs to quit fucking around, admit to itself that it DOES have a street population and give them a stable part of town to be in. All of this "broom sweeping the dirt around" shit don't do anything other than move the dirt somewhere else. Cali has compton and watts and Oaktown. New york has the bronx. Atlanta has the trap. the cities have established places for street people to be in. Seattle just goes "these people don't REALLY exist, lets just sweep them somewhere else every 5 years and pretend they don't exist.
"Three days, no buses. Later in the week, one or two buses a day, but no one ever knew when they were coming."
I would probably be so angry I would stop working. Completely.
yeah, exactly. this city seems to think that it can do what no other city in america has done which is have no Streets. THey kick niggas out of the CD, out of high point, out of Hilltop, out of University way. The EAst african posse used to be there and was kicked out. in la and other cities, there a lot of cops kicking niggas around such but they don't keep trying to actually MOVE us to other parts of the city every other year. I mean....this is some BS. every time we get somewhere, settle down....some minivan with 5 kids, and a little woman and a small poodle wearing a sweater and a dude move next door which is ok and cool. but...THEN they go....we don't like these guys living next to us.....we want them to move. so then we have to move...and do it all over again. Man.....do my armpits smell or something?
When I first moved to Seattle in 1997 I rented at the Westview Apts (now called something else) at 35th and Morgan and lived there for about a year and a half. I tried getting a place in a hip part of town but no can do, not without a job. Anyway, it wasn't all that bad. But I was waiting for the bus one weekend and some old white lady started complaining about the "arabs" in the neighborhood. I wonder if she posted that comment about Baghdad on the blog.
One of my favorite characters was an Asian kid, maybe 20, who had a tattoo that read "playboy devil" on one of his forearms. He seemed to always be high and would just talk to you about nothing. I used to see him downtown for years but not much after 2000 or so. Anybody know this guy or have any idea what became of him.
Then there was the obese teenage boy who smelled like a corpse. Literally - sometimes he'd get on the 21 and you'd have to sit all the way in the back to get away from his stench. It wasn't like piss or dirt, it was like death. He lived in a highrise that I think is the same place Bauhaus @ 45 was talking about. My polling place was in that building, over on 34th SW.
Actually, there was the time some guys were having an argument outside my window and when my wife looked to see what was going on the guy yelled "whachoo lookin at cracker!" Priceless.
BTW, Bauhaus, there is (or was) a direct bus link, the 128, that goes down Morgan to California and up to the Junction and ends at Admiral. That bus takes only 10 minutes from 35th and Morgan to Alaska and California.
We eventually left for the greener pastures of 103rd and Aurora in North Seattle. Good times...
Well what the hell do you want people to do? Lots of folks outside of Seattle proper want to live in city limits but can't afford to buy in Greenwood, Ballard or even Beacon Hill anymore. Where do you go? You go where the prices are lower and get your damn foot in the door.
#48, the east african posse were crack/arms dealers and violent thugs. nobody needs to deal with that.
if any of you have actually BEEN to The Ave lately you would see that there are plenty of black people there. sure some of them are loitering and some of them sell drugs (bank of america is the place if you want crack), but it's not nearly as bad as when the east african posse were around.
the worst part of the ave is the heckling. this happens from any number of people, but it's hardly ever the black kids doing it in my experience. i don't usually get heckled, but my girlfriend sure does. it's almost always some tweaked out white guy who's standing outside of rite aid or jack in the box. really annoying shit.
@49 Oh, right. I do remember that route, but it was hourly and I never used it because it was inconvenient. I'd wind up walking down Morgan or just walking period instead of waiting an hour.
And my apartment house was three floors and a basement on 34th and Graham. It was a furnished, short-term lease place that got so dilapidated and uncared for that the owners, I heard, sold it to the state for halfway housing used by mental health patients. Don't quote me. I was gone by then.
The housing in most of Issaquah (East Gate, Squak Mtn, Downtown, Mirrormont, Klahanie) isn't any more "white bread" than West Seattle, Magnolia, or Greenwood.
I can walk from my house to shopping, libraries, (community) theater, parks, etc. We have outstanding Thai, Indian, Chinese, brewhouse, and other cuisines. Though there is a "chain store area", it's kept away from downtown so the city center is filled with locally owned businesses. I know city people have no interest in living here, but do you really have to diss the town on the Slog?
I will say Issaquah Highlands and Talus are the work of the devil, though.
Good job, Erica.
You got a rousing response - fun and educational. Visit me at my house sometime and see a 270 degree out to the horizon view - only thing I can't see is downtown and CapHill/FirstHill area. Granted, I can't roll out of bed and into a morass of eclectic shops. Tradeoffs.
Nice attempt, ECB, but neighborhood reporting works better when you visit the neighborhood in question and make the effort to talk to somebody who actually lives there. Just a thought.
I moved into the Delridge neighborhood about a year and a half ago. Now while I agree that the advertising for the High Point community might be a little misleading as far as distance to the nearest shops, Erica's use of one person's blog as proof that all newcomers are scared stiff of gangs, drug users, and Islamic music is very poor reporting.
I, as well as the rest of my neighbors knew where we were moving, true I didn't move into the High Point community, but we did think about it. I was impressed that the project included low income housing in the conversion, and I like the diversity. Yes there is still gang activity, but that comes with the territory. Erica should think about talking to some of the people in the neighborhood, before shooting from the hip and totally missing the mark.
This is typical of the Stranger to use their slog to pimp out articles they know would get flak if it was published under the papers real name.
Get it right next time Erica.
It never fails to amuse me, in a certain mordant fashion, when people freak out about how scary High Point is. I grew up in High Point, back in the early 60's when it was all still government housing. Sure, that was pre-crack and pre-meth, but there were still knives and guns and people willing to use them. Mostly there were broken bottles and people only too happy to break them over your head. There were also a hell of a lot of decent working folks just trying to get on with their lives and raise a family, just like everywhere else, but with maybe less disposable income and less shit to steal.
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