The Seattle Times is the latest to try to explain change on Capitol Hill — Cultures clash as gentrification engulfs Capitol Hill:
Incidents like Cônnére’s illustrate a growing culture clash on Capitol Hill, a formerly blue-collar neighborhood that became a home for artists and the gay community decades ago and is now in the throes of yet another transformation.
Gleaming new condo buildings and posh eateries, big dance clubs and craft cocktail lounges have replaced quaint auto-row buildings and inexpensive restaurants.
Again with the condos — they’re apartments! But it’s a worthy read even if you don’t buy some of the simplifications like “If Capitol Hill were a high school, it’d be a classic showdown of jocks and prom queens versus freaks and geeks.”
Here is some of our favorite empirical evidence included in the article:
- “Together, Capitol Hill’s bars and restaurants can hold more than 19,000 people…”
- “There are more than 200 restaurants and bars on the Hill below 15th Avenue…”
- “Once the province of the starving artist, a fifth of the neighborhood’s households now make more than $100,000 a year…”
- “Anti-gay crime has been on the rise; 2014 had 55 reported bias incidents in the police precinct covering Capitol Hill — a 28 percent increase from the year before…”
- “… between 2000 and 2012, the number of Capitol Hill’s same-sex households dropped 23 percent…”
- “Capitol Hill Housing has 25 buildings with 747 units on the Hill. There are no current vacancies.”
- “In the current market, tony eateries and high-volume bars are the businesses able to afford rents, which run as high as $44 a square foot — twice the average rent of a decade ago, according to national real-estate research firm CoStar Group.”
- “… according to the city planning department, since 2010, approximately 89 new buildings have been built with more than 4,600 residential units…”
- “Seattle is the second-highest-paying city in tech, with an average salary of $99,400…”
- “When Derschang recently renegotiated Linda’s lease — one that includes a “demolition clause,” meaning the landlord has to give her a year’s notice if he plans to sell it — the rent doubled, she said.”
Beyond the numbers, the Times piece also dropped this line for you to chew on the rest of the day: “Many of those who lament the Hill’s changes helped instigate them.”
UPDATE: Owner of the Comet and lots of other fun things for boys and girls and their friends to do in Pike/Pine and beyond Dave Meinert responded to the Seattle Times article via Facebook — and the Comet is holding a little contest in honor of Capitol Hill, yet again, being declared dead:
The Comet is, by the way, a CHS advertiser.