$2200 / 321 sqft Studio, a vintage building "revitalized"!

$2200 / 321 sqft Studio, a vintage building "revitalized"!

Seattle, you've jumped the shark.

Seattle you were once an affordable and wickedly cool place to live. Now you "revitalize" what were reasonably affordable buildings by subdividing livable spaces into a micro apartments the size of a camper, for the low low price of, triple the cost of the larger apartments they once were.

I went away to college, in that time you've changed so much I hardly recognize you. I've been dreaming of going home to you my beloved hometown. I gave you so much of myself, we made some beautiful things together, I was really looking forward to sharing what I've learned while I was away, teaching, capturing your stories and making new art together. You've nipped and tucked everything that made you interesting. Good luck Seattle! I hope you find what you're looking for, and I hope that you somehow manage to survive without the depth and richness you once had.

Seeing how you've changed so much, I'm absolutely sure I'll never go home, we've simple grown too far apart.

Goodbye my love, you'll be missed

Warmest regards,
Natural born Seattlite (1968)

  $2200 / 321ft2 - Amazing New Lofted Penthouse Studio - Huge Views - 7 or 8 Month Lease! (Capitol Hill)

I expect and accept inflation, and I accept that I don't know all of the factors involved in the rent hikes (like the details of property taxes). What I DON'T UNDERSTAND is why developers are trying to make "luxury" micro units. Does a 321 sqft place really need marble surfaces and a heated bathroom floor? I'd trade that marble for lower rents in a heart beat, concrete is fine, really.

Hows about some non-luxury apartments for a lower price point?

This isn't a new "problem" I'm old enough to remember the pre-Westlake and the pre-Bus Tunnel downtown (I Mangnum anybody?). Some of downtown was a legit shit show, the initiatives and development that happened around 2000 homogenized the Pike-Pine, 1st-3rd blocks in a way that made a lot of people uncomfortable, e.g. stripping out the adult clubs to put in good clean family friendly stuff was the beginning of this change and that was nearly 20 years ago. Then Belltown happened where the buildings creatives were occupying were replaced with hi-rises that sat empty for up to 7yrs, and then, and then, and then... development has been creeping over the city in a lot of good ways. Small local businesses have benefited tremendously from the "revitalization" and the tech industry has drawn a lot of talent to the city which has boosted the cycle of economy for the city. My concerns are that the encroaching development is scraping away everybody without highly desirable tech skills, replacing Seattle cultural epicenters, the people who created those spaces and the work that came out of them. I appreciate progress, yep, sure do. What I don't appreciate is the hovering attitude that every denizen of Seattle must keep up or get out. The service sector is being squeezed out, and forced to pay to commute for the privilege of working. Now, I am not a service worker, I'm an upper management, director level arts professional, and when I look at the cost of living compared to the highest possible pay I may generate as a non-tech professional, I'm scared away. I don't want to participate in a community that is actively scrubbing the place clean.

And it's not just Seattle, I'm seeing these massive rent hikes and luxury reimaginings of tiny apartments in other rental markets as we scout the country looking for a place to move (that isn't Seattle). Lots of tiny-lux, everywhere. It seems like the tiny-lux rents are pulling up the market rate for everything else as well, so even the average places and shit holes are becoming expensive too.

Interestingly, where we live now was $800 when we moved in and will be rented to the next tenant for $1300, in one year. The market rate for the are was $1200 last year, so an increase of some kind was to be expected, but to rent this dump, with a new laminate floor (which covers over sagging water damage) over the market rate is ridiculous.

In contrast, one could buy a house in our area the same size as our apartment for $30-60K, of course there are "better" houses in "better" neighborhoods, but the disparity between rents and home prices is pretty striking.


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