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View Poll Results: Which has a better Downtown
Philadelphia 190 62.09%
Seattle 116 37.91%
Voters: 306. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 05-10-2016, 08:10 PM
 
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Seattle's info would be a combination of sources. Obviously Census counts for 2000 and 2010 are part of the story.

The State of Washington has estimates by year per census tract. With this giant table you can "hide" columns and rows until you end up with only King County tracts 006600 through 009300. http://www.ofm.wa.gov/pop/smallarea/...p_tract10.xlsx (or main page at OFM | Small areas

This shows Seattle census tracts and their areas. https://data.seattle.gov/Community/C...CT90/8t5t-75fx

All of that skips the last 12,000 units or so...about 7,000 underway now, a few thousand completed since July, and the remaining lease-up capacity in units completed in the year or so before July.

I'll add up some numbers and post a tally based on 2000-2015.
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Old 05-10-2016, 08:36 PM
 
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More Seattle, from those sources:

Tracts 71, 72, 73, 74.01, 74.02, 80.01, 80.02, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85 are about 2.7 square miles, a little under 1/4 the area you'd get from a two-mile radius. Per State OFM numbers, the population was 44,857 in 2000, 54,462 in 2010, and 67,851 in 2015. Densities (obviously well below Philly's) were 16,571, 20,119, and 25,065, an increase of 8,500 per square mile. About 27,000 added.

Another 1.82 square miles could be added. They went from 24,857 to 28,380 to 33,825 with a density of 9,182, 10,484, and 12,495. Not very dense but that's another 9,000 added, averaging another 3,300 per square mile.

So 36,000 added. Assuming my 12,000 stat is reasonably close, that might translate to another 16,000 to 18,000 people for a grand total change in the 44,000 range when current construction projects complete and fill up.

Of the 7,000+ that are underway now, I could post photos from other boards but apparently that's not done on City Data.

Edit: I was counting the two-mile radius wrong in Philly's favor!

Last edited by mhays25; 05-10-2016 at 09:50 PM..
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Old 05-10-2016, 09:39 PM
 
Location: The City
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mhays25 View Post
More Seattle, from those sources:

Tracts 71, 72, 73, 74.01, 74.02, 80.01, 80.02, 81, 82, 83, 84, 85 are about 2.7 square miles, a little under half the area you'd get from a two-mile radius. Per State OFM numbers, the population was 44,857 in 2000, 54,462 in 2010, and 67,851 in 2015. Densities (obviously well below Philly's) were 16,571, 20,119, and 25,065, an increase of 8,500 per square mile. About 27,000 added.

Another 1.82 square miles could be added. They went from 24,857 to 28,380 to 33,825 with a density of 9,182, 10,484, and 12,495. Not very dense but that's another 9,000 added, averaging another 3,300 per square mile.

So 36,000 added. Assuming my 12,000 stat is reasonably close, that might translate to another 16,000 to 18,000 people for a grand total change in the 44,000 range when current construction projects complete and fill up.

Of the 7,000+ that are underway now, I could post photos from other boards but apparently that's not done on City Data.
Seems like a lot of construction and growth however you are still looking at densities 30 to 50 percent that of not only the downtown but also the neighborhoods that extend. Nearly all of South Philly is 25 to 50 k ppsm with U City 25 plus and area like fishtown etc 20 to 30 k. The core 49 square miles of Philly is at a density of 20k ppsm. Seattle is impressive and growing but has less compression and drops off much faster. There is good and bad to that

In that core Philly is probably has about 5k units under construction today with about the same approved and ready to break ground. Would seem Seattle is adding more right if your numbers are correct. There is also another 3500 at Broad and Washington if the projects get under way. Either way both have good DTs also a lot in U city next to the Philly DT but not sure how many there to be honest. I wish Philly were adding more jobs downtown though to be honest. We need jobs more then residential here to be honest

Last edited by kidphilly; 05-10-2016 at 09:48 PM..
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Old 05-10-2016, 09:49 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
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Originally Posted by kidphilly View Post
Not to mention two miles has also a huge park or significant parts of it. I posted the link to show that while Philly isnt growing fast on the whole it is growing rapidly in the core and already had a pretty large lead in population and density in both the direct downtown and extended neighborhoods. That difference would takes many many decades at the current change rates to be closed if ever

They are built differently and I find Philly more seamless by a large margin unless somehow 2 years have flipped this on its side and I will be honest not sure I can believe that based on the numbers I have seen. That said Seattle punches above its weight and is impressive. Just not the same density or to me vibrance of Philly and the close to DT neighborhoods though many may prefer Seattle it's just to me not at the same level of the next tiers of DAS outside of retail

We actually have a pretty good model for how you grow a 20th century city (and its downtown) to densities greater than Philadelphia in Vancouver B.C. The process took ~20-30 years and involved lots of pencil towers and intense development along the sky train lines.

That's all to say while cities don't generally shift a lot in 2 years, 10-20 years is enough time for significant changes given constant development.

Also as a reality check: Philadelphia is still more than 2x as larger as Seattle and 40% denser. That's a huge city wide gap. The population gulf being the more significant piece.

And as a final aside: its actually a shame the census report you referenced didn't include tables for a full set of the N largest cities which would have been fun.
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Old 05-10-2016, 09:56 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kidphilly View Post
Seems like a lot of construction and growth however you are still looking at densities 30 to 50 percent that of not only the downtown but also the neighborhoods that extend. Nearly all of South Philly is 25 to 50 k ppsm with U City 25 plus and area like fishtown etc 20 to 30 k. The core 49 square miles of Philly is at a density of 20k ppsm. Seattle is impressive and growing but has less compression and drops off much faster. There is good and bad to that

In that core Philly is probably has about 5k units under construction today with about the same approved and ready to break ground. Would seem Seattle is adding more right if your numbers are correct. There is also another 3500 at Broad and Washington if the projects get under way. Either way both have good DTs also a lot in U city next to the Philly DT but not sure how many there to be honest. I wish Philly were adding more jobs downtown though to be honest. We need jobs more then residential here to be honest
Agreed, Seattle's density drops way off. Most of it is in the core and in nodes around town, while 2/3 of the city of Seattle is single-family.

I don't like to count potential future starts in these numbers. The worst ones are the master plans that could happen in a decade. Others are planned for this year or next, but might not happen. Some of them are racing each other to fill each developer's concept of the market's capacity, and they'll pause if they think there's risk of overbuilding. And of course condos and rental apartments can by countercyclical. But mostly I watch this stuff as a general contractor marketing guy for 19 years, and have learned to take things with a grain of salt.

But hey, if we're counting, Seattle's similar area has units planned in the 20,000 range, within the four square miles, not the 12 square miles of the (thanks benleis) two-mile radius.
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Old 05-10-2016, 10:23 PM
 
Location: The City
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Originally Posted by mhays25 View Post
Agreed, Seattle's density drops way off. Most of it is in the core and in nodes around town, while 2/3 of the city of Seattle is single-family.

I don't like to count potential future starts in these numbers. The worst ones are the master plans that could happen in a decade. Others are planned for this year or next, but might not happen. Some of them are racing each other to fill each developer's concept of the market's capacity, and they'll pause if they think there's risk of overbuilding. And of course condos and rental apartments can by countercyclical. But mostly I watch this stuff as a general contractor marketing guy for 19 years, and have learned to take things with a grain of salt.

But hey, if we're counting, Seattle's similar area has units planned in the 20,000 range, within the four square miles, not the 12 square miles of the (thanks benleis) two-mile radius.
I am talking about what we call center city which is about 2 square miles not 12 and the units referenced are ones under construction or with site prep, likely not just approved. Said approved and ready to break ground not just drawings etc and do agree though that always believe when I see the steel rising as things even demoing and site prep can always run into issues like the SLS hotel/condos on Broad which seems to be dragging on now etc. Time will tell
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Old 05-10-2016, 10:28 PM
 
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I just lost a larger post...thanks Microsoft.

This is a schedule of design review meetings for upcoming Seattle projects. The details are often outdated (for example they often cut parking spaces) but the massing etc. is right (if not they'd have to start over). Some have presentations you can download. Highlights from the next couple months: Edit: click on the link because it's not working here without crashing Explorer. http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/aboutus/n...comingreviews/
1120 Denny: 41/41stories, 1,179 units
1901 Minor: 39/39stories, 943 units
620 Terry: 23stories, 237 units
121 Boren N, 41 stories, 421 units
800 Columbia: 30stories, 287 units
1933 5th: 47 stories,437 units
1001 John: 43stories, 403 units
920 Olive: 29stories, 438 units

Last edited by mhays25; 05-10-2016 at 10:42 PM..
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Old 05-10-2016, 10:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kidphilly View Post
I am talking about what we call center city which is about 2 square miles not 12 and the units referenced are ones under construction or with site prep, likely not just approved. Said approved and ready to break ground not just drawings etc and do agree though that always believe when I see the steel rising as things even demoing and site prep can always run into issues like the SLS hotel/condos on Broad which seems to be dragging on now etc. Time will tell
A lot of Philly sources say "Center City" but mean something else.

For example the "State of Center City 2016" lists only 4,000-something units completed in the past three years, and they use a larger area, which they call "Greater Center City." They even count single-family houses, which were a sizeable portion of the 2015 completions. In 2015 the completions look pretty sparse in the central two square miles. I'm not surprised because that's a pretty full area.

I'm having a hard time believing the 5,000 unless it's a larger area.

Edit: Another part of the same 2016 report showed about 4,200 units underway -- again in that much larger area.

Last edited by mhays25; 05-10-2016 at 10:42 PM..
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Old 09-16-2016, 11:24 AM
 
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Philly easily got this one over Seattle: more lively, bigger, lots of history, cooler neighborhoods and safer with less homeless people and mentally ills.
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