Chronicling Seattle's Booming Downtown

Jon Talton reports on the recent upswing in development in downtown Seattle, as new jobs and residents signal a quick rebound from the Great Recession.

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."

Full Story: Seattle blessed by downtown's upswing

Comments

Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

New! 4th Edition of the Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs just released.
Starting at $24.95

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $209
Book cover of Unsprawl

Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places

Explore visionary, controversial and ultimately successful strategies for building people-centered places.
Starting at $12.95
Red necktie with map of Boston

Tie one on to celebrate your city

Choose from over 20 styles of neckties imprinted with detailed city or transit maps.
$44.95