Inside the Publix Hotel, a Former Single-Room-Occupancy Building in the International District That's Reopening Soon

A few years ago, I got a tour of the inside, and I'll never forget it.


Very evocative article, and you made some good points about unseen, corporate forces reshaping and gentrifying neighborhoods. But "tech bros yelling faggot"? Really? Did you have to go there?

You try to pull any of that homophobic shit on the tech campuses here (MS, Amazon, Google, etc etc), and I GUARANTEE you you'll be ostracized and likely fired soon after. People who say "tech bro" have obviously never met or got to know anyone in the tech industry. Prone to sexism? Sure. Socially challenged and cold? Guilty as charged. But wearing backward baseball caps, drinking Jaegemeister, and gay bashing? Not in the real world, kid. "Tech bros" do not exist, any more than transsexuals lurking in restrooms ready to assault women.

You want my guess? Those gay bashers oozing up the Hill are likely in marketing, finance, or living off mommy and daddy.
Beautiful article Sarah, thank you. I too love decrepit old buildings (and feel like a ghoul). I live near those three abandoned houses on 12th, between Denny and John. They're such gorgeous old things, I would have loved to see them in their heyday. But it is interesting to see the way they crumble, too. I never gather up the courage to get any closer than the front steps though.
@1 keep living that fantasy bud
@ #1: Regarding the "tech bros". Ease up on the author. You gotta have some "others' to objectify, scorn and hate for attributes that you can arbitrarily assign to the class. Since most groups that used to fill this need are now off limits (you know, ethnic and racial minorities, women, etc...), we need to find or invent new ones to hate on, because we are progressives, no?
Even Arabs are off limits now. Who is left but employed straight white men?
I lived in the ID from 2001 to 2004 and loved it to pieces. Warts and all. It's refreshing that we don't just bulldoze our older buildings like they do up in Vancouver.

While I agree, we need to spread affordable housing around town in different neighborhoods. The ID has long been a tough place to live (pre-Uwajimaya Village) but it's a real neighborhood and has a special attraction for me to this day. I may live in Magnolia now but it's a rare weekend that I don't spend a Sunday morning here.
There is another kind of pushing out - some companies are offering telecommuting to those who work in Seattle but are not paid enough to be able to afford working there. It also has the added "benefit" of avoiding the higher minimum wage.
Fantastic evocative piece. I lived on the edge of the ID in an old building for eight glorious years and still miss it. We had friends who lived in the Bush as well as the Alps Hotel, among others. I recall visiting an artist who had a giant place on the ground floor of the Publix--we always hoped the building would become something. Kudos to the Moriguchis for going forward with the development while keeping heritage at the forefront. The economic diversity is what makes Seattle's Chinatown/ID great compared to San Francisco.
@1 Baron Groznik, That is unfortunately not true in all cases. Especially when it's parts of the company not on the main campus. HR was not helpful.
How did the new owners of the Publix Hotel, manage to add-on toilets, showers, etc., to each unit (formerly lacking), without completely tearing down the building? (I presently live in a 1911-era SRO ["grandfathered" in under the Seattle Housing Code], w/o private showers, toilets, etc.--or hot water!)
I really like this article, thank you. I'm very afraid that soon most of the older Asian American people who we can see walking around and going to grocery store in the ID now won't be able to live there anymore. Many of the family owned (1st generation immigrants) inexpensive restaurants in Little Saigon have been told that their leases won't be renewed, and many of the small music stores/hair salons/general stores lost a lot of business during the road construction for light rail, and they say that the customers aren't coming back because of the loss of street parking near their shops on S. Jackson. It's sad, some of those shops have been there for twenty years, and even some of the small groceries are closing. Many of the landowners are choosing to sell or build apartment/condos on their land instead. Soon Seattle won't have an International District. Seattle is losing a lot of the diversity that makes it such a nice place to live. I was part of the generation that was bused to desegregate our public schools, and while it was a pain having to get up earlier for the long bus rides, it was great to go to a school with a really diverse group of kids, we learned a lot from both our differences and our similarities. Those parents who sued SPS and the SCOTUS decision that forced the school district to switch to a neighborhood assignment plan have almost completely re-segregated our schools. Many schools north of the Ship Canal have less than 10 percent minority students, a few have less than 5 percent minorities. I'm worried that there'll be a lot of intolerance in our future. It's easier to scapegoat and demonize people who you don't know.
Sorry about the semi-inchherence. I got caught in yesterday's deluge - cold meds are the suck!
Great article!
Can we have just one article in the Stranger about housing without trotting out the tired myth of the hipsters and artists making a neighborhood desirable then being pushed out because of it? News flash, this areas is being gentrified because it is close to downtown, walkable, and urban. the people coming in do not care about any art there. Is there any art there? No. If anything, I mourn the loss of what is a great etchic and culturally distinct neighborhood. But I started mourning it when non asians started moving in. Please, artists, you are not fooling anyone. You just want to keep it cheap for yourslves. Please stop pretending you care about working class people. They are the first under the bus if it means you can still afford to stay in a neighborhood or find a new neighborhood to populate, pushing them out.