Thursday, December 13, 2007

capitol hill is dying

Our city is being transformed, for the worst. Up on Capitol Hill, it is especially bad. The small businesses of the Pike/Pine corridor are being shuttered and torn down by greedy developers who want to replace them with architecturally bland condominium projects.

These new structures open uninspiring retail stores such as Walgreens, tanning salons, and Kinko’s - those who can afford the rent. These developers, who claim they are “cleaning up” Capitol Hill, are slowly killing life blood of the district. The independent stores, bars, and other businesses are hangouts for poor students, artists, musicians, and other creative types that compose the multicultural and diverse crowd that give the Pike/Pine neighborhood its flavor, its vibrancy, its party, its life – and it is slowly being destroyed.

Kincora, the Bus Stop, the short-lived but beloved Pony, Manray, all are gone, they were closed last month. They are destined to become another generic condominium project that will be inhabited by god-knows-who. The small businesses aren’t being invited back and are the victims of the cultural genocide that is being committed; this “cleansing” of the Hill is producing some pretty horrific results. Look at what happened to Broadway and the new Harvard Market. How hideous is the new Walgreens building? And what about that nasty brick building at the very north part of Broadway? Are these the glories of gentrification?

The new Cha Cha and Bimbo’s location, although nice, just doesn’t feel the same. And NOTHING can replace Pony, Kincora or the Bus Stop. I miss the cheap drinks and the loud music, but will especially miss seeing all the great people and all the good times that were had on that block.

Who are the developers targeting to buy the new condos? Obviously not the crowds who frequented the gritty-chicness of Pony. Eventually, the bohemian coolness that attracted the developers to the area will be gone. We should mourn the loss of small businesses and the part of Capitol Hill which has been murdered. Please observe a moment of grievous silence.

Georgetown, anyone?

Last year’s article from the Stranger pretty much sums up how I feel:
The Death of Pike/Pine, from 29 November 2006


the paper noose said...

I miss the puck shows at Uncle Rocky's.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for addressing this issue!! The city is definately changing for the worst in this respect. I feel most people that want to live in these condos want to live a suburban lifestyle (cook at home, watch TV, etc.) and this should be done IN THE SUBURBS. I also feel it is particularly unfair to evict small businesses that are thriving. Why didn't they knock down the parking garage 2 blocks over and build a parking garage underneath a condo building? Also, do developers realize or even crae that once the city is a bunch of ugly condos with lame businesses below them tourism in our city will suffer greatly?

stephen said...

i feel as if a part of me has died, too. it doesn't make sense to me AT ALL. why destroy this vibrant part of seattle? do we want to be like BELLEVUE? BO-RING!