Archive for October, 2008

Downtown Slowdown

On the front page of today’s Seattle Times, along with a handy map (pdf). It’s an excellent summary, even though a lot of it is old news (many of these stalled projects were noted in previous posts here and here). The Seattle Times has set up an google map displaying project info supplied by readers, […]

1900 1st Ave Eye Candy

. What may someday rise from the surface parking lot on the northeast corner of 1st and Stewart: 11 stories, 100 hotel rooms, 75 apartments, 5000 sf of street-level retail, 325 parking stalls on four underground levels; designed by OSKA, developed by Touchstone. It’s inspiring.  But can it be financed?  I have no clue, but […]

Busted For Making Shit Up

“He also wants to spend $15 billion to expand highways and reduce traffic congestion, which he says would reduce emissions.” That “he” would be Dino Rossi, and to back up this proposal his campaign cited a study about reductions in — oops! — carbon monoxide, not carbon dioxide. When the Seattle Times pressed them on […]

Up High

. [ Two Union Square ] . . [ Did they put the Space Needle on axis with 2nd Ave on purpose? ] . . [ Two ex-WaMus and a Sculpture Park ] . . [ One tall building hiding behind another ] . . [ Public benefit in exchange for development bonus: open space […]

Fixed Guideway Transit and Land Use Patterns, a.k.a: A Good Reason to Vote YES on Proposition 1

[ 1933 Seattle streetcar system overlayed on current urban villages, by leesroberts, via STB ] One of the biggest benefits of expanding light rail in the Seattle area is the effect it will have on land use patterns. Because fixed guideway transit is a catalyst for focusing development in a bullseye around stations. In the […]

Some Perspective

“The global economy is losing more money from the disappearance of forests than through the current banking crisis, according to an EU-commissioned study.” So reports the BBC, citing the newly released “Teeb” report, that estimates the annual cost of forest loss is between $2 and $5 trillion, or about 7% of global GDP. Those are […]

Kind of Blue

Sterile rather than soulful, this is the all-business blue that fills your screen when you boot up windows; a blue that looks as if it was color-matched to the utilitarian blue of the generic blue tarp you can see in the bottom left of the photo. (Not that you asked…) At 19th and Yesler, this […]

Urban Infill

[ The Madison Street corridor on Capitol Hill as seen from the Bank of America Tower ] In the last decade or so, a whole lotta building has sprouted around the Madison Street corridor on Capitol Hill. In this photo: Trace Lofts, The Braeburn, The Pearl, 1301 East Union, Madison Market, 1700 Madison (Trader Joe’s). […]


For which type of housing might we expect to see increased demand in the coming months and years? Trick question, cause if the economic inequality trends of the last two or three decades continue, the answer may well be both. But hey, no need to dwell on that. Walk two blocks north of here on […]


Dig this blindingly white new 3-pack at 24th and Grand in the central district. The photo was taken from the street, so one presumes there will soon be a big fence going in above the rockery. Please, let it be a white fence.

Comment Black Hole

Hugeasscity’s Askimet comment spam filter is on the fritz, and has been blocking all comments. For now I have turned the filter off, so you should have no problem posting comments. I have tried to manually approve all the previously submitted legitimate comments, and I apologize to anyone who’s comment may have been inadvertently black-holed. […]

What He Said

In the commentary below, Robert Steuteville, editor and publisher of New Urban News, makes the case that anti-density NIMBYs are a “societal plague.” As has been noted numerous times on this blog (e.g. here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here), Seattle is not immune. And we shall soon find out if upzones in […]

What $107 Million Buys

The recently completed $107 million renovation of Garfield High School was the most expensive ever undertaken by the Seattle School District. To put that in perspective, the price tag on the new downtown Four Seasons condo/hotel is $120 million. QWest Field cost $360 million, of which the public covered $300 million. The photo above shows […]

Get Your Conservative On

The August 25 issue of American Conservative randomly ended up in my hands the other day, and a perusal revealed two riffs worth a read. You have to subscribe to see the content online, but oddly, both articles are available for free at In a piece entitled Future Perfect, Brian Kaller posits that yes, […]

Incentive Zoning for Affordable Housing

Apropos the discussions of affordable housing here and here, on Tuesday October 7 at 5:30 p.m, the Seattle City Council will hold a public hearing on proposed incentive zoning legislation that would tie increases in allowed building heights to the provision of affordable housing. This PI piece provides a good overview. The two main points of contention […]


This 4-unit project designed by Hybrid Architects is under construction on Remington Court just off 14th Ave in the Central District. Details here and here, and current status below: HyBrid is known for pushing the edge in advanced design construction, and past work includes the Inhabit modular housing project (with Mithun), and a bucketload of […]

The SE Seattle Hinterlands

Looking south along MLK Way near Cloverdale St, the new light rail line seems disappear off into the boondocks — not a scene many would readily identify as urban. This is about seven blocks south of the station at Othello. This ain’t no North Capitol Hill. Imagine one of those sleek white Sound Transit trains […]

Something for Nothing

[ David Vandervort Architects ] The Issaquah net-zero energy homes project broke ground on Monday, just three months after Howland Homes took over the project from Noland Homes. Check out the project web site for a graphical explanation for how net-zero is hoped to be achieved. The rendering above shows what appears to be an […]

69 (dollars)