Chronicling Seattle's Booming Downtown
Seattle seems to have weathered the significant job loses that accompanied the economic downturn and the collapse of Washington Mutual fairly well, with a number of sizable commercial, residential, and entertainment development projects in the pipeline.
Talton credits the downtown's "good bones," transit accessibility, and "urban values" as key factors contributing to its current boom. Also contributing to its popularity is what the city didn't do in the past:
"Seattle never allowed its downtown to collapse, especially losing all its retail to malls. Cities such as Phoenix and Charlotte, N.C., that allowed this have found it nearly impossible to reverse. Seattle didn't experience massive tear-downs, replacing buildings with surface-parking lots."
Indicative of nationwide trends towards urban migration, Talton sees reason to believe that downtown Seattle's recent upswing is sustainable despite its continued suburban competition.
"Downtown is never done. Like Seattle, downtown must continually reinvent itself. But the new upswing is real, broad and to the entire region's advantage."