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development

Teacher Briana Nelson would like to have a place of her own in the Central District.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Seattle’s Central District was historically important to African Americans, until many were priced out.


A view of one of Cast Architecture's backyard cottages. The firm has been a leader promoting backyard cottages in Seattle
Courtesy of Cast Architecture

A housing plan to bring more backyard cottages to Seattle was halted Tuesday when the city's hearing examiner ruled that the proposal needs to undergo a full environmental review, not just approval through the city council.

Snoqualmie Mayor Matt Larson stands in front of the property he wanted opened up to development.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

As you head east to Snoqualmie Pass on Interstate 90, lush green forests line the freeway. 

KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

The city of Seattle wants your feedback on a plan to channel more growth and affordable housing into the city’s most popular neighborhoods.

Seattle police approach man on the street, part of the group show, We are still here, at Gallery4Culture.
Delino Olebar, courtesy Creative Justice Project

Gentrification and housing affordability are hot topics in Seattle right now.

They affect everyone, but typically politicians or media-savvy types dominate the public debate.

KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

As a general contractor who does small house remodels in Seattle, Chris Spott knows how to get rid of a pickup truck load of dirt. 

Flickr photo/Alvin Smith (CC BY-NC 2.0) / https://flic.kr/p/dkzcUU

More 32-story buildings, like the UW Tower, could be on the horizon for Seattle's University District. Proposed zoning changes head to the city council for review next week. Just as big as the high-rise buildings are the arguments for and against the rezone.

The old Liberty Bank building in Seattle's Central Area before it was demolished. Affordable housing will go up in its place.
Google Maps

There's a new building going up in the heart of Seattle's Central District.

It's a project that could help bring back renters who've been priced out of the neighborhood.


Amy Walgamott at her home in Shoreline, where homes have been rezoned so that developers may erect 70-foot apartment buildings.
Courtesy of Amy Walgamott

Sound Transit's light rail expansion project is changing neighborhoods.

People who use the train generally like to live near the station.


The Duwamish River isn't naturally straight - we did that while building the city of Seattle.
Flickr Photo/King County, WA (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/bL547t

Bill Radke sits down with Crosscut's Knute Berger to discuss Seattle's many massive engineering projects that it has undertaken over the years. Berger wonders what the city would have been like if we hadn't straightened the Duwamish River or gotten rid of Denny Hill: Would we have been a city at all? 

Gayle Nowicki of Gargoyles Statuary says growth is coming, so why fight it? She just hopes there will be a place in the future U-District for small, funky businesses like hers
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Bill Radke speaks with KUOW's Joshua McNichols about Seattle Mayor Ed Murray's plan to allow taller buildings in areas of the University District. 

When a man-made disaster of unfathomable scope strikes your city and its central symbol of prosperity has been leveled to ruin — and it's your job to jolt it into resurgence — where do you begin?

Only hours had passed after the planes struck New York City's twin towers on Sept. 11, 2001, when then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani made a promise to rebuild: "We're not only going to rebuild, we're going to come out of this stronger than we were before."

Moe Toure runs Toure Apparel in a strip mall on one of Vulcan Real Estate's 23rd Avenue properties.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

For years, the Central District didn’t get much investment. But recently, the city poured money into infrastructure improvements on 23rd Avenue. Then Vulcan bought a city block of real estate along the route. 

The real estate giant is planning 40,000 square feet of retail space and 570 apartments. They’re also planning a second development across the street.


Jennifer Weitman, left, and Carrie Anderson, right, outside one of their teenage haunts at Totem Lake Mall: Denny's Pet World, now closed. The mall is being readied for redevelopment.
KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

Malls are facing trouble everywhere. But Totem Lake Mall in Kirkland is in a category of its own.  It’s a zombie: an undead mall with just a few remaining businesses. People have been trying to revitalize it for years.

And finally, there’s action. The mall has been bought by a California developer who is reenvisioning it as a place where people can shop, work, play and live. It's a big change from the mall's former identity as a hangout for young people.


A pavement park at the corner of University and Boylston offers a colorful area, but not green space.
Flickr Photo/SDOT Photos (CC BY NC 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/F7VBT2

Bill Radke speaks with Adiel Kaplan about her article for Investigate West about green space in the city and the future of public parks in Seattle. 

Activists and anarchists lived at 1643 King Street for at least 40 years. They called it the King Street Collective.
Courtesy of Ronni Tartlet

If this house could talk, what stories would it tell?

About the Irish-American couple that first owned it?

And the Japanese family sent to an internment camp?

Or the anarchists that played drums during the WTO protests?


'Week in Review' panel Paul Guppy, Bill Radke, Erica C. Barnett and Mike McGinn.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

Duvall, Carnation, North Bend, Snoqualmie and Covington all want to grow. The Puget Sound Regional Council, which oversees the growth and development of the region, says not too big and not too fast. Who gets to decide how rapidly a city grows?

Demand is soaring for Seattle-area homes. Buyers who want to succeed are bidding up prices. This Seattle house recently sold for $100,000 over the asking price.
Seattle MLS

House prices in Washington state are rising faster than in any other state in the country.

Rents are also rising, and it’s all because Seattle companies are hiring. It’s an unusual predicament for people looking for a foothold in this real estate market.

At the South Lake Union Discovery Center, a Vulcan guide apologized that the model was so out of date. It hadn't been updated in a couple years.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Seattle took in over 50,000 new people in the last five years. Suzanne Offen is one of them.

Before moving here, she had family and a comfortable job in Brooklyn, New York.


An aerial view of the proposed addition of the Washington State Convention Center.
Courtesy of Washington State Convention Center

Here in Seattle we like to debate almost everything: a monorail, the downtown tunnel, more light rail.

But some big-ticket decisions are hardly debated at all, like a proposed $1.4 billion plan to build an addition to the Washington State Convention Center.

Seattle Municipal Archives

Emily Fox talks with Crosscut's Knute Berger about the rental crisis that affected Seattle in the early 1960's. In anticipation of visitors for the Seattle World's Fair, some Seattle landlords evicted tenants, jacked up rents, and turned their apartments into short-term rentals.


Under a new city plan, apartment buildings could be as high as the UW Tower (tallest building pictured). They are currently capped at 65 feet.
Flickr Photo/Atomic Taco (CC BY SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/8cYwTm

More high-rises could sprout up in the University District under new zoning recommendations from the city.

It's one piece of the city's plan for more housing to keep up with the booming population. The city held a public meeting about it Tuesday night at the Neptune Theater and will accept public comments until June 30.


Jim Loter documented building a backyard cottage in Seattle. Here's a picture from day 25: erecting the walls.
Flickr Photo/Jim L (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/s/aHsju5PWuH

You won't find many backyard cottages or mother-in-law units in Seattle. City officials say about 220 have been built since city officials started allowing them in 2009.

City Councilmember Mike O'Brien wants to change that to meet the growing demand for housing.

'Week in Review' panel Erica C. Barnett, Ross Reynolds, Gyasi Ross and Jonathan Martin.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Ever heard of Seattle's 20-year plan? We discuss why you should care about it.  And what kind of hope should we have for the new approach to the homeless encampment known as the Jungle? Also, as Sound Transit move towards a light-rail future, are they spending too much on the opening day festivities? What does it mean for Washington state now that the Army Corps of Engineers has put a stop to a new deep water terminal in Cherry Point? 

Ross Reynolds talks over the week's news with writer Erica C. Barnett, columnist Jonathan Martin and lawyer and activist Gyasi Ross.  

Waiting quietly in the living room of a home in an upscale New Delhi neighborhood are a dozen people of all ages — maids, security guards, construction workers, all of whom earn at most a few dollars a day. The elegant, plant-filled room is hushed except for the sound of coughing.

Over in the next room, Dr. Gita Prakash is at her dining table with a stethoscope pressed to a pregnant woman's chest. Prakash has been treating indigent patients here for 30 years, six nights a week, in the evenings after she finishes her rounds at the local hospital where she works.

Housing in the Yesler Terrace area.
KUOW Photo/Dominic Black

Bill Radke speaks with Emily Parkhurst, managing editor of the Puget Sound Business Journal, about why developers like Paul Allen's Vulcan Real Estate are interested in developing Yesler Terrace, Seattle's oldest housing project, and how the Seattle Housing Authority is working to ensure current low-income tenants aren't displaced. The Puget Sound Business Journal recently featured the development.

Can the funky spirit of the University District survive development?
Flickr Photo/Java Colleen (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/9tQL6m

Bill Radke speaks with Margaret O'Mara and Taso Lagos about what development in the University District, and Seattle as a whole, should look like. O'Mara was part of the group that created the University District Strategic Plan. Lagos' family ran the Continental restaurant on University Way for 40 years. 

Former Attorney General Rob McKenna, left, writer & activist Eric Liu, host Bill Radke and state Rep. Noel Frame.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Chelsea Clinton says her mom Hillary would not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Is that what a president should be? 

A classic Craftsman in Seattle's Mount Baker neighborhood. Most of the neighborhood was developed in the early 20th century when architecture was in its heyday.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Look around almost any Seattle neighborhood and you’ll see them: Modest one-story homes, with large, covered porches and eaves that shield wooden siding from the rain.

They’re Craftsman-style bungalows, and you’ll find hundreds of them here, from Wallingford and Ravenna to Mount Baker and over the bridge in West Seattle.

Tiny rooms where seminarians once lived at Saint Edward State Park in Kenmore, Washington. The state bought the land in 1977 but loses money every year on the old building. A developer wants to revamp it into a hotel and spa.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Saint Edward State Park is a swath of forest north of Seattle almost four times the size of Disneyland.

It was once a seminary, and now the state wants to give a building and some acreage to a developer to morph into a privately owned hotel and spa. 

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