More Capitol Hill datapoints — how dense, how poor, how many jobs, how many bars

8953248995_9716720c6c_bWednesday, we posted an exploration of a new study documenting Broadway’s retail opportunities and challenges. Here are a few more datapoints we found worthy of more attention in understanding the neighborhood and how it work.

  • The densest area of the city: Capitol Hill’s blocks of apartments below Broadway really is the densest area in the city — making it one of the densest areas on the West Coast:

    8954445534_bed8417fcf_b

    2010 census block groups with a population density of over 35,000 people per square mile

  • Starving artists: We’re tightly packed — and poor:

    census block groups with median household disposable incomes of less than $32,000 are highlighted

    census block groups with median household disposable incomes of less than $32,000 are highlighted

  • Workers: How many people work on Capitol Hill? 5% of the city’s workforce:8961034942_7e84ed7784_b
  • Leakage: Wednesday, we discussed the study’s “leakage” analysis which showed that Broadway’s businesses captured a greater share of Seattle revenue in food and drink and retail than the share its residents spend in the same categories. The takeaway — Broadway remains a draw for shoppers, diners and drinkers across the city. This table shows just how strong that draw is. For retail, Broadway is sucking in about 15% more “business” than Capitol Hill residents can produce demand for. For food and drink, the Broadway core is capturing almost double its area demand. It’s pretty amazing — and an indicator how important it is to the businesses in the area to continue to draw people from off the Hill.8959840517_5244d5a316_b
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23 thoughts on “More Capitol Hill datapoints — how dense, how poor, how many jobs, how many bars

  1. Very cool – The Broadway corridor has pretty much anything I need (groceries, tailor, dry cleaning, library…) but I’ve noticed there aren’t many hair salons to choose from (or am I overlooking them?).

  2. Fascinating stuff. I’d guess that, outside of some neighborhoods in San Francisco and maybe LA, Capitol Hill is the densest in the West.

  3. So is it an advantage or a disadvantage to put more lower income housing on Capitol Hill? I ask this because yesterdays retail survey indicates we don’t have certain types of retailing because our median income is too low, and then Capitol Hill seems to get more lower income housing then other neighborhoods. Does this help the residents because there are available social services, or does it nominally depress the demand for the entire neighborhood?

    • It seems to me this income data supports what many of us have said…that Capitol Hill has a lot of lower-income residents, and lower-rent housing…and that all the hand-wringing about “shoving poor people out of the neighborhood” is just not justified, or accurate.

      • The low-income housing here is largely what’s left over from decades past. Almost no low-income housing is being built on the hill. And no, apodments don’t count. That’s not housing, that’s motels.

      • Well, I certainly agree with you about apodments. There are at least four, large Seattle Housing buildings on Capitol Hill (dirt cheap rent) and two Seattle Senior Housing buildings (ditto), as well as a number of Capitol Hill Housing buildings (and more to come). In my opinion, Capitol Hill has more than its share of low-cost housing for those who need it.

  4. I love this comment in the post: “For food and drink, the Broadway core is capturing almost double its area demand. It’s pretty amazing — and an indicator how important it is to the businesses in the area to continue to draw people from off the Hill.”

    Yes. Draw more people from off the Hill, and what are some simple solutions we can implement to make this better for businesses that support our community. Oh here’s one idea – PARKING! How bout we lower our parking rates or drop from 8 PM back to 6 PM or provide affordable parking lots. I hate to give Portland props but this is one way they totally outclass Seattle, even with all their public transportation options, they still recognize the need for something like SmartPark. I’ve lost track of the amount of times I decided to go to Ranchos Bravos or La Spiga over other restaurants because they have parking available!

      • Granting extremely valuable street real-estate to car parking that could otherwise provide value moving goods and people in the form of car/freight/bus/pedestrian/bike travel lanes is a subsidy for people who own cars and don’t want to pay for garage space from everyone else in the city who pays taxes. Mind you, I park a car on the street and pay local taxes, but it’s important to recognize the hidden subsidies that I’m receiving for parking my car for free!

        My original point wasn’t about whether government should or should not provide parking, it was that charging less for parking doesn’t make it easier to find. It makes it harder.

      • True making parking cheaper or reducing the time doesn’t make it easier to find. It’s more of a general gripe of mine. I sometimes feel like owning a car is the new cigarettes here in Seattle. Let’s add more taxes to registration that we have to pay every year. Let’s increase parking rates to $4 an hour in certain places and make you pay up until 8 PM.

    • Cars are the past. We’ve evolved to use metro, lyft, ride sharing with friends, biking, car2go, zipcar, walking, taxis, pedicabs, skateboards, etc. CH has walk scores in the high 90’s… and most of us have woken up to the idiocy and inconvenience of personal vehicle ownership.

      Drive-in folks *should* be grateful for every subsidized waste-of-space parking spot that we’re all paying for via taxes, and all the dead space set aside for parking lots, for which very few of us get the benefit. Try to also appreciative that what makes this neighborhood awesome is the walk-your-neighborhood culture. Individuals are not entitled to free parking, or cheap parking, or any parking at all. It’s a luxury that could easily go away, so be thankful that there is any parking at all for outside visitors. If you value parking over great neighborhoods, I recommend Bellevue. All the parking you want, and no culture.

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