Region Of Boom | KUOW News and Information

Region Of Boom

Why We Stayed

Nov 16, 2017

Wednesday, January 17, 2018
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We know people want to move to Seattle. But for many of us, Seattle isn’t a brand-new place. Maybe we grew up here, maybe we moved here years ago. And we see Seattle changing, but we’ve decided to stay. And those stories  - stories about why we stay - need to be heard too.

Amazon confirmed a second and 'full equal' headquarters somewhere other than in the Puget Sound region.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Regional politicians have been assembling a multi-county strategy to keep Amazon’s growth here.

The company’s announcement last month that it will pick a second headquarters has sent cities scurrying to meet an October 19 deadline.

KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Seattle has a shortage of housing. But all over town, houses stand vacant. Either they’re in foreclosure, or they’re waiting to be torn down for development. Some people think vacant homes are an underused resource.

One man steals them.


Growth makes driving Seattle streets crazy - in front of schools, on narrow streets in old neighborhoods, and 59th St. and 22nd Ave NW  where this crazy thing went down. Our audience's question, by a landslide: where are the stop signs to restore order?
KUOW/Megan Farmer

As traffic has worsened in the Seattle area, drivers have taken to side streets to beat the brake lights.

This prompted one of our most popular Local Wonder questions: Why doesn’t Seattle have more stop signs?


KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

The rising cost of housing in America's most desirable "creative" cities troubles Richard Florida, urbanist thinker and author. In those cities, the cost of housing is affordable only to the creative class themselves. The rest of the working population — those in service industry or manufacturing — struggle to keep up with rising housing prices.

Florida says what's happening in Seattle, specifically, is surprising even to someone like him, "supposedly in the know."

Justin Robinson, left, and the man who bought his apartment building, Dan Robins.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

When an old apartment building goes on the market, all of a sudden, everybody starts doing the math.  


Steve Moddemeyer on Brooklyn Avenue in Seattle's U-District.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Seattle doesn’t get hurricanes like the ones that recently dumped trillions of gallons of water on Texas and Florida. 

Kevin, Kelvin and Georgia Hinton at their old apartment
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

The movers have arrived at the Hinton household. They load up boxes onto dollies and wheel them out the door.

A toddler watches the garbage trucks at Wallingford's rebuilt transfer station
KUOW Photo / Joshua McNichols

The south end of Wallingford used to stink because of a smelly old transfer station. 

KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Bill Radke speaks with John Fox, of the Seattle Displacement Coalition, and Roger Valdez, of Smart Growth Seattle, about their (very different) ideas for how to make sure Seattle has enough affordable housing for those who need it.


KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Until last week, Seattle’s growth looked endless and predictable. Amazon was hiring at a fierce pace, and planners were struggling with housing and transit needs that are a consequence of all the new jobs.

But with Amazon’s announcement that it will build a second headquarters elsewhere, bets about the future of Seattle’s growth are off.

KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Emily Fox speaks with KUOW's Region of Boom reporter Joshua McNichols about the team's upcoming coverage of Seattle's housing crisis.


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. 


Image Courtesy/Vulcan

Amazon wants to double its footprint by building a second headquarters — for 50,000 more workers.

Consider that its current Seattle headquarters has more than 40,000 people at its Seattle headquarters.

Jeremy Noble flies his Cessna 182 airplane on Wednesday, August 23, 2017, to the Renton Municipal Airport during his morning commute to work.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

It's after 3 p.m. on a Wednesday afternoon, and Jeremy Noble is about to leave his job as an air traffic controller at Sea-Tac International Airport. 

If he were driving home to Stanwood, north of Everett, his commute would take two hours. But today, he's taking his plane.


Fiona 'Jell' Pena-Rolla commutes on the Monorail to Seattle Center on Wednesday, August 30, 2017, in Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

For 27 years, Jayme Gustilo has been a cashier and conductor on the Seattle Center Monorail.


Tour leader and architect Donald King points out Central District buildings that were built with - and without - community involvement.
KUOW Photo/Posey Gruener

Seattle's Central District was once the largest black enclave in the Pacific Northwest. But no longer.

Architect and Central District resident Donald King says the trend is only going to continue. "Our old sense of a black community will be gone in the next 20 years."

Road congestion has more than doubled in the Puget Sound region in the last five years. Sound Transit has been trying to build a light rail system to give commuters an option to get off the roads. Now, federal funding for the Lynnwood line is in danger.
Sound Transit

Voters approved a light rail line to Lynnwood from Northgate in 2008. Now there’s word the cost of that line is half a billion dollars over estimate.

KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

Seattle’s boom has made Sea-Tac a busier place, particularly at the south terminal where international passengers arrive after long flights. But that terminal was built in the 1970s.

The Port of Seattle is starting a nearly $800 million project to replace it.

Foreclosure housing house
Flickr Photo/Taber Andrew Bain (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/6WB4v4

Seattle’s real estate market is booming, but contrary to what you might think, foreclosures are still happening. Foreclosures can be disruptive in neighborhoods.

Last year, about 700 people in Seattle lost their homes to banks. The city wants to help them. 


Joshua McNichols and Carolyn Adolph
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Emily Fox speaks with KUOW reporters Joshua McNichols and Carolyn Adolph about why they spent a month reporting on Bremerton, and what it taught them about our growing region.


Linda Johnson, 33, a single mother of three, holds her 4-month-old daughter, Zimera, while sitting in her car that she often times sleeps in, on Thursday, June 29, 2017, in Bremerton.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Linda Johnson, 33, has three children and a four-door sedan with diapers stashed in the back.


Mike Heath, left, laughs  as Blue Collar Tattoo owner Sean Ewan cleans his arm before tattooing a tribute to Metallica, on Wednesday, July 5, 2017, in Bremerton, Washington.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Tattoo parlors tend to cluster near the Navy base in Bremerton. And indeed, a good chunk of the work done there is nautical in nature.

But it’s not all octopuses and anchors.

There were about 25 passengers on the final trip of the morning from Seattle. The Rich Passage I holds 118 people.
KUOW Photo/ Carolyn Adolph

In a region where traffic congestion is making commutes longer and longer, one commute just got shorter. It now takes half an hour to get from Seattle to Bremerton.

Kitsap Transit’s fast ferry service began Monday morning.

Display at the Valentinetti Puppet Museum in downtown Bremerton, Washington.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Starting Monday it will only take half an hour to reach Bremerton if you take Kitsap Transit’s fast ferry. It runs from the King County dock just south of Colman dock – the one used by the water taxis – to a dock close to WSDOT’s car ferry terminal in Bremerton.

Until today, a car trip from downtown Seattle to Snohomish County took less time than a ferry trip to Bremerton. Now, the opposite is true. 

Paul Lundy repairs typewriters for a living.
KUOW Photo/Joshua McNichols

Office space is cheap in Bremerton. That's one reason you can find eccentric businesses there, like a business that repairs old typewriters.


Manette, seen here from the ferry, is one of the few Bremerton neighborhoods with an active association. Bremerton Neighborhoods Now! would like more neighborhoods to join their ranks.
KUOW Photo/Megan Farmer

Bill Radke speaks with Marie Vila, co-chair of Bremerton Neighborhoods Now!, about why she thinks block parties, potlucks and "crappy dinner parties" are what Bremerton needs right now. 

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.

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