Police Beat, and How Seattle Has Grown Since 2003


I spent most of 2003 walking up and down Boren from First Hill down to Cascades (now called South Lake Union) to my shitty warehouse job. At that time, the REI flagship store was there, but nothing else. It was a decrepit neighborhood; unmaintained streets breaking way and revealing the old streetcar lines, georgetown-level rents, and plenty of tweakers and crackheads.

Even then, it was highly apparent that things were changing. Paul Allen's park idea had flopped, but he'd owned most of that land for nearly a decade by '03. People were clamoring that Georgetown would be the new Capitol Hill. Construction cranes were abundant, both in that neighborhood, and throughout downtown Seattle.

Instead, Cascades became the new Belltown, and Georgetown never quite popped off.
I lived in the upper half of a 100 year old house, with my own entrance, that was between Dexter and Westlake for nine years to the day. 1976-1985. It was almost in the middle of Lake Union with a perfect visa view. Paid $65.00 a month when I moved in and about $165.00 when I moved out. It was great. That place is long gone, just like those rents. I hope in another 30 years or so, today's rents don't as good as the old ones.
Sorry, typo, "today's rents don't look as good as the old ones."
"The current construction boom, which began in 2013, has completely transformed the city." What transformed Seattle was Microsoft Employees cashing in their stock options WAY BACK in the ancient past.

Dear Mr. Mudede, with all due respect, that was the moment Seattle began to crack the shell of it's remote location and enter the big wide world.

The recent building boom is the end of a long process of growth.
@4, indeed.
Yeah, the world is getting smaller, people discovered our beautiful Pacific North West and love it. What are you gonna do? It's the same reason so many of us stay and are heart broken if we're taxed out.
Charles, not to make a point of it, but San Francisco rents 15 years ago look like a steal today.
We all get nostalgic for certain periods in a city's life, and it's usually nostalgia for that time that you first discovered it. I can bore the hell out of people reminiscing about how amazing the Seattle of 1976 was to an eleven year old, but I try to restrain myself.
@4 A forgotten truth. All those newly minted millionaires did what they were supposed to do with that money, which is to sock it into real estate. Unfortunately, having that many people with excess cash hitting the market totally perverted values. The easy lending that came later just made things even worse. The boom from 2013 was started on a still distorted market.
I think you're painting with an awfully broad brush, Sir Vic. I have quite a few associates who became wealthy by buying real estate in the cash-strapped 70's, mostly for themselves as housing. I do have one friend who bought up a good chunk of the West Seattle Junction and downtown Burien while working at the old packing house. He was just thrifty and never expected to make much off of it, and now he's a multi-millionaire.