This article from Sustainable Industries wonders whether the city will be able to create a game-changing neighborhood like other nearby cities.
"Portland, Ore., has the Pearl District. Vancouver, B.C., has its entire downtown cluster of residential towers and street-level shops and schools. Such an example in Seattle might be the most powerful way to convince the rest of the city to relax its skepticism toward density and mass transportation, according to proponents.
The idea that Seattle needs a trophy development comes from Marshall Foster, the city's planning director, a veteran of one of those leading architecture and planning shops (Mithun). He understands that for all the enthusiasm in the green urbanism crowd, the city still has a lot of single-family, suburban style neighborhoods. It's a place where "Lesser Seattle" and "Keep the bastards out" took root as catchphrases against big-city growth aspirations. It's a place where a parking rate hike became a 'war on drivers.'"