Forbes magazine invited real estate experts around the country to opine on whether the decline in real estate prices means the end of gentrification. Spencer Rascoff of Zillow spoke about trends in Seattle neighborhoods:
Forbes asked Rascoff why anyone would need to head to these gentrifying neighborhoods when Capitol Hill is becoming more affordable.
Yes, a lot of Seattle has become gentrified, though many of the neighborhoods still retain their flavor. Capitol Hill still has a very lively music scene, a lot of coffee shops, and many gay bars. (Am I allowed to say that? Well, the truth is the best defense.) So despite having recently become a reasonable place for Bugaboo-pushing yuppies to live, it still retains its historical charm.
It’s not dissimilar to what has happened to the West Village in New York (where I used to live). It’s not the same Greenwich Village where my mom went to NYU in the 1960s, but it’s not completely unrecognizable either.
The dark side of gentrification is when a neighborhood completely loses its local flavor and becomes totally Starbucks-ized. When that happens, it’s a shame. But that is the exception, not the norm.