Urban Villages Struggling To Attract Jobs

<p>Three mixed-use, walkable urban villages near Seattle have become very popular with residents since their creation in the '80s and '90s. But while small businesses prosper and home vacancies remain low, few jobs are available.</p>
August 14, 2007, 1pm PDT | Nate Berg
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"Marketed as suburbia's answer to sprawl, three master-planned communities on the Eastside were once billed as places where residents could saunter down the street and show up to work a stone's throw from their doorsteps. Nearly a decade later, homes have sprouted like mushrooms, restaurants and salons thrive, and locals gather at coffee shops to catch up on the latest gossip."

"But for the most part, urban villages in Issaquah, Redmond and Snoqualmie have yet to provide one missing link - jobs."

"And without nearby jobs, the traffic woes brought on by more development only continue."

"Developers blame it largely on the dot-com bust but point to the state's economic upturn as promising."

"The developments were pushed during the 1980s and '90s as a return to pedestrian centers of days past. Parks, narrow streets and convenient transit stations were designed to get residents out of their cars. Jobs and retail were supposed to encourage people to work and shop where they live. Essentially, urban villages would deliver what isolated subdivisions hadn't - a sense of community."

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Published on Tuesday, August 14, 2007 in The Seattle Times
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