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development

The current Convention Place bus station is being considered as an expansion site for the Washington State Convention Center.
KUOW Photo/David Hyde

Seattle will get an additional $60 million in public benefits, including affordable housing and bike lanes, as part of the proposed expansion of the Washington State Convention Center.

That’s more than the project’s developers had originally offered. The new money is the result of long negotiations.

Carl Slater at the Good Shepherd Center in Wallingford
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood is known for its restored bungalows and for Gasworks Park. But some people worry it could lose its soul if the city’s affordable housing plan goes through. 


Seattle Design Commission

Groundbreaking for a new mega-project in Downtown Seattle is slipping further back. The expansion of the Washington State Convention Center is now months behind schedule.

Developers still need two big things: money and land.

A look inside More Hall Annex at the old nuclear reactor
Courtesy of Washington Trust for Historic Preservation/Jennifer Mortensen

The Washington State Supreme Court has put an end to a decades-old debate between the University of Washington and the city of Seattle.

The court ruled Thursday that the UW has to abide by the city's landmark preservation laws.

$360,000 is the asking price for this 740 square foot house in the Rainier Beach neighborhood of Seattle
KUOW Photos / Megan Farmer

Sonny Kwan, a real estate agent in Seattle, was shocked recently by a listing he saw just off Rainier Avenue South.

Wallingford is one of several Seattle neighborhoods that will see an increase in affordable housing under the citywide rezone
Flickr Photo/Wonderlane (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/9jiSQm

The City of Seattle is planning a sweeping rezone of urban villages across the city to create more affordable housing. The public can weigh in now on a draft environmental study of the zoning changes.

Dan Schiaffo's business card reads 'Laser Craftsman.' Tap/click on the image for more photos.
KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

It's a lot less expensive to live in Bremerton than on the Seattle side of Puget Sound. That's allowed many people to pursue their way of life. But housing costs have started to tick upward, and builders are redeveloping land where cheap rental housing used to be. The result: fewer cheap places around.

Betty Walker waits for shipyard workers to speed walk past her restaurant, the Sweet and Smokey Diner. The shift ends a few minutes from now at 4:02
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Bremerton grew up next to a Navy base.

The town used to be the economic center of the Kitsap Peninsula. But then, in the 1970s and 80s, development shifted to the suburbs around Bremerton. Now the city wants to get some of that mojo back.


Streets in Bremerton's downtown are frequently quiet. This photo was taken around 11:00 on a Monday morning, in front of the old Bremer department store.
KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

Bremerton’s downtown was a bustling place decades ago. Now it only bustles for a few minutes around 4 p.m. when the Navy shipyard lets out. The rest of the time, it can be a little too quiet.

Courtesy of Mithun Architects

A coalition of black community groups chose Juneteenth, or Freedom Day, for the ceremonial groundbreaking of a new affordable housing real estate project in Seattle's Central District.

June 19 is the day in 1865 when the abolition of slavery was announced in Texas.

A worker pulls a wagon past a "his and hers" garden theme set at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013, in Seattle.
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Is Seattle's convention center really running out of space?


Tang Fung Chin was forced out of her apartment in Seattle's Chinatown-International District in 2015
KUOW Photo / David Hyde

Once again, residents are being forced out of Seattle’s Chinatown-International District. More than a century ago, a wave of anti-Chinese violence hit the West Coast. Hundreds of Chinese workers were made to leave Seattle by ship.

Then came World War II, when thousands of Japanese Americans were taken away.


A year ago, 1,400 people showed up for 110 affordable units on Beacon Hill.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

Seattle officials are calling for improvements in how the city holds developers accountable. That’s because of a problem the Office of City Auditor found in how the city tracks new construction.

Reporter Carolyn Adolph stands on a development site near Black Diamond, WA. Her fellow reporter Joshua McNichols is behind the camera.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Bill Radke speaks with KUOW reporters Joshua McNichols and Carolyn Adolph about what they learned from their time reporting in Black Diamond for KUOW's Region of Boom team.

Harold Nesland III owns Sahara Pizza in Snoqualmie and Black Diamond.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

A woman, a new resident of the huge Snoqualmie Ridge development, had called in for pizza.

It was the first pie order for one of those new shiny houses, and Harold Nesland III, owner of Sahara Pizza, drove it over.

Courtesy of Jane Richlovsky

Bill Radke talks to Seattle artist Jane Richlovsky about why she wants people to rethink how artist keep their business alive as the city of Seattle grows. 

Her talk "When Artist Get Together They Talk About Real Estate" is available through Humanities Washington. 

A construction crane at the Pike Place Market in downtown Seattle.
Flickr Photo/Kiewic (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/MLM8np

Yellow and orange cranes loom over Seattle’s landscape like an army of gentle dinosaurs.  

Bill and Cindy Wheeler have lived on Lake Sawyer for 30 years, but they don't know the weir master.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Our region’s rapid growth is straining our lakes, especially little lakes on the fringes of urban areas. When growth approaches, the communities around them aren’t always prepared to protect them from pollution. 


For this map, we combined a map from 1919 with Google maps to approximate modern roads and living areas. We then took satellite maps from the City of Black Diamond showing proposed new developments and sketched those out as well.
KUOW Graphic/Kara McDermott

A mega housing development is going up in Black Diamond outside Seattle, and some of those houses could be built on top of old mine shafts.

Mine #11 in Black Diamond supported a workforce of 400-500 people, underground and on the surface. This mine operated from 1896 to 1927. Photo is from 1904.
University of Washington Libraries, Special Collection Negative No. UW-23734.

The hill at Palmer Coking Coal Company in Black Diamond is smoldering. 

A vacant lot in Black Diamond, Washington
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Do we have enough land for all the people moving to Washington state? There’s a bill working its way through Olympia that would change how planners would answer that question. It’s backed by builders and realtors.

Artist's rendering of Oakpointe's 'Ten Trails' development
used by permission from Oakpointe Communities

So how did King County's largest development in recent history end up way out in Black Diamond?

It happened in part because of Black Diamond's history as a company town. 

Development signs in Black Diamond
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

The City of Black Diamond may have to shut down, according to its mayor. That is, unless the mayor and the City Council can agree on a budget for 2017 at a meeting Thursday night.

Mary Ann and Bill McDermond have lost friends over their opposition to the massive project that's being built in Black Diamond
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Mary Ann and Bill McDermand moved to Black Diamond 23 years ago for the peace, tranquility and the strong sense of community. Their kids used to play with the neighbors kids, she said, “and we just got along good with everybody.”


Shanty Cafe on Elliott Ave. 'The building was originally a pay station for dock workers, and became 'Violet Shanty' restaurant in 1914 — and they have a menu from the '30s hanging inside.' - @vanishingseattle
Vanishing Seattle/Cynthia Brothers

You'd better hope your favorite Seattle spot never shows up on Cynthia Brothers' Instagram feed. 

To be featured on @vanishingseattle, or on the companion Facebook site Vanishing Seattle, probably means imminent doom.

Not, of course, that Brothers is the cause. She's just the chronicler.


Drivers wait to cross Mercer Street
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Traffic engineers have a nickname for the years 2019 to 2021, when a slew of new megaprojects will get underway in downtown Seattle around the same time. They call it “The Period of Maximum Constraint.” Translated into plainspeak, it means during those three years, we’ll be up the creek in a leaky canoe without a paddle.


A view of the Columbia Tower. Trump Hotels wanted to buy property near here and erect the tallest building in Seattle.
Flickr Photo/Antonio Campoy (CC BY 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/3eEJaw

Trump Hotels said this week that it plans to build a luxury hotel in Seattle, according to Bloomberg.

A floor of classrooms in the Saint Edward seminary building
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Kenmore's historic seminary building at Saint Edward State Park will become a hotel.

The Washington State Parks Commission voted unanimously Monday to approve the plans.

Ken Cage, president of the Marysville Historical Society, says important parts of Marysville history were bulldozed to make room for this mall.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Marysville is the fastest growing big city in western Washington because there’s space to build housing. But there aren’t many jobs in Marysville. So one in six people end up commuting more than an hour to work.

It's a bedroom community that failed to make itself over in the 1980s. Now it's trying again.


Adam Truitt, owner of Pest Fighter, sets traps for rats in an alley behind the University Book Store in Seattle. There are two kinds of rats in Seattle, the Norway rat and the roof rat.
KUOW Photo/Mike Kane

2017 may not be a good year for Seattle’s booming rat population.

The city’s new building code as of Jan. 1 requires developers to get rid of rats from any property they plan to tear down.

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