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Old 02-19-2015, 06:37 PM
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I spent two weeks in Seattle back in 2008, I was there when Chase bought WaMu and the light rail was still under construction. I might be heading up towards Vancouver, so I was wondering how much Seattle has changed and if it would be worth a second visit for a few days?

Someone over on the General U.S. board told me that Seattle has changed massively since then, particularly Downtown. Is this true?

Thanks! I was impressed with Seattle even back then.
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Old 02-19-2015, 07:01 PM
 
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Some things haven't changed, but many more have.

- There is now light rail service between downtown Seattle and Sea-Tac airport. Expansion work is in progress, particularly around Capitol Hill, to extend the routes.

- The SR-99 Viaduct replacement work (replacing the Viaduct w/a tunnel) began. It has been plagued w/many problems, and is well behind schedule, much to the discontent/dismay of locals.

- There has been a noticeable spike in the cost of living, particularly housing, and many neighborhoods have seen rapid gentrification, pricing some locals out - especially in areas like Capitol Hill, Ballard, Fremont, and parts of West Seattle. Some other neighborhoods such as Columbia City and Georgetown have even seen some gentrification as well, though to a lesser extent. South Lake Union/Denny Triangle is also becoming a "crane forest" of growth, thanks to Amazon's success. Overall, Capitol Hill has probably changed the most since your last visit.

- Lots of new apartments and condos are under construction, as population/job growth is booming.

- Traffic has gotten a lot worse. The city is implementing things such as bike lanes, investing in public transit, and other ideas to try and encourage people to get around in ways other than personal automobile use, as more people move here.

Despite the changes, people still do like to whine about the Seattle Freeze, and the grey/wet weather!
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Old 02-19-2015, 07:30 PM
 
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I don't even notice anymore. I totally missed that a 400 unit apartment building went up on a block I drove every week for 3 years. Too many other new buildings were blocking it.

If something isn't under construction, now I look at it and wonder why not.
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Old 02-19-2015, 09:22 PM
 
Location: State of Transition
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Flightoficarus87 View Post
- There has been a noticeable spike in the cost of living, particularly housing, and many neighborhoods have seen rapid gentrification, pricing some locals out - especially in areas like Capitol Hill, Ballard, Fremont, and parts of West Seattle. Some other neighborhoods such as Columbia City and Georgetown have even seen some gentrification as well, though to a lesser extent. South Lake Union/Denny Triangle is also becoming a "crane forest" of growth, thanks to Amazon's success. Overall, Capitol Hill has probably changed the most since your last visit.
Speaking of gentrification, it was discussed on one thread here that Yesler Way and the Central District have transformed almost completely, and are now gentrified. I find that hard to believe. In your opinion, is that somewhat exaggerated, or is it truly unrecognizable, compared to its former self just 10-12 years ago?
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Old 02-19-2015, 09:34 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
Speaking of gentrification, it was discussed on one thread here that Yesler Way and the Central District have transformed almost completely, and are now gentrified. I find that hard to believe. In your opinion, is that somewhat exaggerated, or is it truly unrecognizable, compared to its former self just 10-12 years ago?
It's far different. The crack sold there now is all made from Fair Trade coca leaves and the environmentally unfriendly vials and baggies have been replaced with compostables.
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Old 02-19-2015, 09:36 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
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I've been working in Seattle since early 2009 and to me the central district seems just the same. Just higher rent. In general, there are many construction cranes from high-rise developments, not like 2005-6 but getting there. The biggest changes are the many new huge apartments in Ballard, especially Market above 15th, the completely changed waterfront due to the tunnel and seawall construction, and the Mercer Mess/South Lake Union area that has been completely transformed with new development.
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Old 02-19-2015, 09:48 PM
 
Location: Seattle, WA
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I'm a transplant who's only been here a year, but currently there are a ton of apartments going up in Ballard/Capitol Hill which have been said to have changed the entire feel of both neighborhoods.

South Lake Union and the Denny Triangle, I'm certain, are completely different than you'd remember them. Both areas are forested with cranes. It's basically a 24-hour construction site right now... and in 5 years it'll be filled in with dozens of highrises and midrise buildings.
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Old 02-19-2015, 09:53 PM
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Originally Posted by GatsbyGatz View Post
South Lake Union and the Denny Triangle, I'm certain, are completely different than you'd remember them. Both areas are forested with cranes. It's basically a 24-hour construction site right now... and in 5 years it'll be filled in with dozens of highrises and midrise buildings.
Yeah, these areas were pretty empty when I was there. I took the streetcar and there wasn't much there. But it's great to see that there is so much construction/development going on in Seattle.
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Old 02-20-2015, 09:02 AM
fnh
 
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For big change in such a short time it's hard to top what's happened in South Lake Union, but also visit Pioneer Square if you're swinging through town:
Fixing Pioneer Square: Seattle
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Old 02-20-2015, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Seattle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
Speaking of gentrification, it was discussed on one thread here that Yesler Way and the Central District have transformed almost completely, and are now gentrified. I find that hard to believe. In your opinion, is that somewhat exaggerated, or is it truly unrecognizable, compared to its former self just 10-12 years ago?

I'm a recent transplant, so I can only comment on what the CD is like now, but I personally have no issue in this district. If I want to walk to the local grocery store (Red Apple) at night, I don't worry about running into any issues. I live on the border of Leschi and CD, so perhaps that's why I feel safe(r), but I don't see why everyone makes this neighborhood seem like such a slum. I'm close to everything like the highway, downtown, Capitol Hill, ID, grocery stores without feeling smothered by the city.

Could there be improvements? Absolutely. What neighborhood could do without upgrades? There were just two non-fatal shootings here within the past week - I know that's not a positive advertisement, but you can't tell me other neighborhoods don't experience its own share of crime. Maybe it's because I come from a rougher area on the East Coast, but I'm happy in the CD and if people want to avoid it, then all the more space for me.
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