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Jon Talton

Analysis and commentary on economic news, trends and issues, with an emphasis on Seattle and the Northwest.

Topic: Downtown Seattle

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October 28, 2014 at 10:33 AM

Seattle real estate expected to be hot in 2015

Once again, Seattle ranks among the top 10 markets in the influential Emerging Trends in Real Estate by the Urban Land Institute and the consultancy PwC.  For 2015, it ranks No. 8 overall based on the tech industry, highly skilled workforce and attractiveness to millennials. “Seattle is one of the top capital destinations outside the…

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Comments | More in Real estate | Topics: Downtown Seattle, Portland, Real estate

August 27, 2014 at 10:08 AM

Weyerhaeuser rides the waves

In the early 1970s, when Weyerhaeuser was one of America’s mightiest corporations, it could have built a landmark downtown skyscraper in its hometown of Tacoma. But downtowns were on the outs. Gasoline was cheap. Traffic was relatively light. Outlying land was inexpensive. The externalities — hidden costs — of sprawl were not even considered. So…

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Comments | More in | Topics: Downtown Seattle, Pioneer Square

October 10, 2013 at 10:27 AM

The elephant in the mayoral debate: Downtown crime

I keep waiting for Mike McGinn and Ed Murray to seriously engage on the most critical economic issue facing Seattle: Crime in the central business district. An economic issue, Talton? Yes. Seattle is fortunate to have an incredibly dense downtown full of retail, restaurants and offices, along with world-class assets such as Pike Place Market, Benaroya Hall, the Seattle Art Museum and Pioneer Square. Unlike most American cities, Seattle still has two major department stores downtown, including the flagship Nordstrom.

According to the Downtown Seattle Association, downtown accounts for 41 percent of the city’s jobs in just 4 percent of its total land mass, a highly efficient and transit-friendly use of space. It generates one-third of all state and local tax revenues. And population has grown by 70 percent since 1990. Nearby, Amazon.com has created an urban technology campus that is recognized globally as a better way to site a headquarters than the car-dependent office “park.”

From corporate headquarters and offices with high-paying jobs, to innovation and tourism, downtown Seattle is a backbone of the region’s economy and should be recognized as essential to the city’s health. And yet, in a relatively safe city for its size, downtown has seen crime rise, particularly violent outbursts from vagrants that are warehoused there for the entire region.

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Comments | More in Downtown and urban issues | Topics: Downtown Seattle, Seattle mayor race