Follow us:

FYI Guy

Seattle Times news librarian Gene Balk crunches the numbers

April 24, 2013 at 11:37 AM

Can aPodments save Capitol Hill?

Luxury finishes: A kitchen in the new Lyric Apartments on Broadway

Luxury finishes: A kitchen in the new Lyric Apartments on Broadway

Capitol Hill is booming, and not just with those low-rent aPodments that are causing so much controversy, as The Seattle Times reports.

Stroll through the neighborhood, down Broadway or around Pike/Pine.  It’s teeming with new, market-rate apartment buildings.  Stainless appliances and quartz counter tops abound.  If you’re looking to rent a $1,400 studio apartment, you won’t have any trouble finding one here.  That is, in fact, the average going rate for a Capitol Hill studio now, according to real-estate firm Zillow.

The neighborhood has gone upscale, a word that you would not have used to describe this part of the Hill until recently.

fyiguyweb

Click to enlarge

Funky, hip, gay, artsy, young?  Sure.  Upscale?  No.

Think back just a decade ago.  The Hill had no shortage of slightly run-down, older apartments where kids who were working in retail, waiting tables, or going to school could afford to live.

But that’s changing, and the young folks are leaving.

Data from demographics firm Experian show that Capitol Hill is trending older.  Even if 20-somethings still flock to the Hill to hang out, far fewer of them actually live there now.

The chart above illustrates how young people — those aged 18-24 — are projected to decline in number faster than any other age group on south Capitol Hill.  Meanwhile, the two fastest growing groups in the neighborhood are a very different demographic — children under five and adults 35-44.
———-

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

And as you would expect, the neighborhood is getting wealthier, too.  The accompanying chart illustrates how the percentage of higher-income households is increasing while the percentage of lower-income households is decreasing.  By 2017, the two will cross.

Against this landscape of rapid gentrification on Capitol Hill, micro-apartments are helping keep people in the neighborhood who would otherwise be pushed out.  Certainly some of the concerns of property owners who oppose these developments are valid and need to be addressed.  But ultimately Seattle has to decide, as a city, if it wants to maintain diversity — in both age and income — in its urban core.

On Capitol Hill, that diversity is vanishing. Micro-housing is one of the only things helping to stem the tide.

0 Comments | More in Demographics | Topics: Capitol Hill, gentrification, housing

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


Advertising
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►