Kery Murakami has a good article in today’s PI about Jim Mueller’s development projects in the neighborhood. He quotes a whole bunch of residents on their thoughts about the changes that will be coming:
Adrienne Bailey, who has lived in the Central Area for 50 years and is vice president of the Central Area Neighborhood District Council, worries that raising the area’s height limit for Mueller’s project will open the door for other tall buildings at the intersection. …
“It would be like if you’re in Manhattan, and there’s high-rises and no sunlight. It would destroy the character of the Central Area,” she said.
“I’m not going to be able (to afford) to live there,” Black [owner of Earl’s Cuts + Styles in Midtown Center] said of the new apartments.
Jean Tinnea, co-owner of the Central Cinema a few blocks from 23rd and Union, joked that she’s lived in the neighborhood a long time. “Since 1978 — B.C.”
“It’s high time,” she said. “Our hope is that it creates the vibrant business district that we’ve all been hoping for.”
“Whenever you have development that gets people walking around with a legitimate purpose, it’s going to push some of the illegal activity away. Sometimes they go a few blocks away, but it disperses and goes in several directions and it’s never as large as where it was before,” said [Seattle Neighborhood Group’s] executive director, Kay Godefroy.
Sure, I would have been more in favor of four stories than six, but I don’t think you can remotely characterize that as being like Manhattan. Maybe Manhattan 100 years ago – but not now.
The future of the city as a whole is to densify the arterial intersections and business districts. The overwhelming majority of our land use base is single family…so we gotta put people somewhere.
The only reservation I have about these projects is the imminent demise of The Twilight Exit. I’ve only recently discovered this little joint, and I love it. I’ll hate to see it go. I like having a dive bar in my neighborhood where I feel safe. I never went until Deano’s was no longer a threat across the street.
Having lived at 23rd and Madison with and without Deano’s/Chocolate Hell Hole, I have to say it’s so much better with those businesses gone. Before I wouldn’t even ride the 11 bus or visit Safeway without mace clutched in my hands. My friend had a gun pulled on him at 7 am in front of Safeway by some crackhead demanding his wallet. I saw a drug deal gone bad at Planned Parenthood and the ensuing chase, at gun point, that passed right in front of me as I walked home from Trader Joe’s.
Now that Deano’s is rubble, I have not seen ANYTHING like this at 22nd/23rd & Madison in months. The bus is pleasant, there are moms pushing prams up and down Madison, and I can walk to the Twilight Exit at 10 pm, alone, and not say Hail Marys under my breath the whole way. I hope these positive changes are realized at 23rd and Union, too.
My neighbor is the owner of the Twilight and he’s been looking around for a place in the neighborhood to move to. I know he would love to keep it in the hood. He’d consider Thompson’s Point of View if she ever wanted to retire.
There is a Chinese saying: move a tree and it dies, move a man and he thrives. People and neighborhoods need to turn over and get out of their ruts. Inertia and illiquidity in any local real estate market has always led to disinvestment and decay. Now the CD is on an upward spiral; the Pike-Pine progress is right over the hill, SU is booming, Madison Park is thriving. People born and raised here could choose to appreciate that fact and take advantage of a chance a prosperity. It takes some sweat and brains though. Get serious, get skills, get a trade, get a business going, in other words get down to brass tacks.
I would like to give some ideas to the owner of the Twilight re a new dawn in a new place or to the owner of the Bottleneck or any other local, viable business with a good idea, good execution and a growth curve. Drop me a line care via CD News?