A study highlighted by The Atlantic Cities site says that there is a connection between “Gayborhoods” and gentrification:
The results of the study do point to a connection between gay neighborhoods and some of the markers of gentrification. Across the board, the researchers found neighborhoods that began the decade with larger concentrations of gay men saw greater income growth, and, especially in the Northeast, greater population growth as well. This last finding, perhaps one of the most significant in light of current debates about gentrification, largely backs up research done a decade ago by UCLA’s Gary Gates. (However, several of the study’s other conclusions, including the finding that gay couples were no less likely to live in racially or ethnically diverse neighborhoods, contrast Gates’s research from the 2000 Census).
Of course, the study is also filled with confounding takeaways when considering Capitol Hill’s development:
Contrary to popular perception, there was little evidence that gay or lesbian households were more likely to live close to downtown. Gay men, however, were more likely to live in neighborhood tracts with older, historic housing stock.
OK, the classy old housing stock fits the narrative.
The more interesting question might be where in Seattle are gay men “gentrifying” the neighborhood next? Looks like a neck and neck race between West Seattle, First Hill and the Central District.
UPDATE: Just in case it’s not clear, it would be absurd to pin the “gentrification” of any area on any one group or factor — yes, even tech workers. In the meantime, The Seattle Times has posted a look at the areas of the city that have “gentrified” the most.