Downtown Seattle

Development
4:03 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Design Firm Offers Ideas To Make Downtown Seattle More Inviting, Visually Interesting

The landscape design firm Gustafson Guthrie Nichol has come up with ideas for improving downtown Seattle's cityscape
Gustafson Guthrie Nichol

Seattle's downtown looks "spectacularly disjointed." That's the assessment of landscape architect Shannon Nichol after walking every block in a 65-acre area around the city's Pike and Pine streets, from just east of Interstate 5 down to the waterfront. 

Nichol's design firm Gustafson Guthrie Nichol was hired by Downtown Seattle Association to come up with ways to spark a renaissance along the Pike/Pine corridor and make downtown more inviting and visually interesting. The group of downtown boosters wants to extend the vibrancy of Pike Place Market and the waterfront all the way up to Capitol Hill. 

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Election 2013
12:00 am
Mon October 21, 2013

Behind 'Political Grandstanding,' Shared Views on Street Safety

Sea_Turtle Flickr

The race for mayor of Seattle has put public safety downtown front and center, and at first it might seem to be following a familiar storyline: a polarized fight between the get-tough camp and the services-oriented approach. 

"There are hotspots, and we’ve been very, very slow to act,” said challenger Ed Murray, advocating the hiring of 100 new police officers. 

"You know, that's political grandstanding," said Mayor Mike McGinn, arguing we "can't arrest our way out of the problem."

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Downtown Safety
1:22 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Stabbing Death Prompts Call for Tax to Fund Mental Health

Paula Wissel

Last weekend’s random killing of Shoreline Community College English Professor Troy Wolff in Pioneer Square has prompted Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn to call for more money to be spent on mental health resources, including a possible tax dedicated to mental health.

Donnell Jackson has been charged with first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder in the stabbing of Wolff and Kristin Ito, who survived the attack.

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Seattle Mayoral Race 2013
5:01 am
Wed July 31, 2013

A Leading Question: Peter Steinbruck and Smart Growth

Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU News

Editor's note: KPLU has asked all nine candidates in the Seattle mayoral race to tell us about a time when his or her leadership skills were put to the test. One candidate's answer follows.  

Peter Steinbrueck served on the Seattle City Council for 10 years, from 1997 to 2007.

“They called me the activist council member. I’m also an architect, so I brought my background, experience, training as a problem solver and designer to public policy,” Steinbrueck said.

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Parking in Seattle
4:57 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Seattle Launches Pay-by-Phone Parking Service

Paying for parking in Seattle is about to get easier.

The city of Seattle is partnering with PayByPhone to allow drivers to pay for street parking on their phones, rather than through pay stations. Likewise, Seattle Police Department Parking Enforcement officers can check their phones for a real-time update on license plates of drivers who have paid by phone. 

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Homelessness
2:03 pm
Mon November 5, 2012

Seattle's mentally ill on streets helped by 'roaming counselor'

Street counselor Larry Clum, with street 'ambassador' Carlo Garcia in downtown Seattle, near a few belonging left chained to a sign by a homeless woman
Keith Seinfeld KPLU

If you’ve been to downtown Seattle, you’ve probably seen people talking to themselves on street corners, or shouting at strangers. Now there’s a fresh face trying to help those in psychiatric crisis.

He’s a roaming mental health counselor, hired by the Union Gospel Mission and downtown’s business-funded Metropolitan Improvement District.

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Business
4:23 pm
Mon June 25, 2012

Downtown apartment construction signals a recovery

Construction has begun on the Insignia Towers, the first condo development in downtown Seattle since 2007
Ashley Gross KPLU

The number of apartments being built in downtown Seattle has jumped almost 10-fold compared with two years ago, suggesting the city’s downtown core is in the midst of a rebound.

The first condo building to start construction in five years also recently broke ground in the city's Denny Triangle neighborhood. That's another sign that the market may be beginning to revive, after the real estate crash brought condo construction to a halt.

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Metro Transit
12:00 pm
Mon April 16, 2012

Helping the poor when Metro 'free ride zone' disappears

For nearly 40 years, riding the bus in downtown Seattle has been free. Now, with Metro Transit set to end the free ride zone in September as a cost saving measure, officials are wrestling with how best to serve people who won’t be able to afford the new fares of $2.25 to $2.50.

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Real Estate
6:51 pm
Tue September 27, 2011

Building project aims to revitalize Pioneer Square and Seattle

A construction crew prepares to break ground on Stadium Place, a new building project developers say will revitalize Pioneer Square.
Charla Bear KPLU

Construction of a shiny, new high rise is underway in Seattle’s oldest neighborhood. Residents, elected officials and the developer ushered in the Pioneer Square project they say will bring big changes to the entire city.

While one new building on the outskirts of downtown doesn’t seem like cause for a big to-do, King County’s executive, a couple of councilmembers and a former mayor all came out to the ground breaking. 

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Commercial Real Estate
8:58 am
Fri September 2, 2011

Another major retailer leaving Pioneer Square: Masins

Another landmark retailer is leaving Seattle’s Pioneer Square. 

Masins Fine Furnishing and Interior Design has put its building up for lease and started looking for another Seattle location where its customers won’t get so many parking tickets.

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Cancer research
11:36 am
Wed July 13, 2011

Research 'factory' added to downtown Seattle's science hub

Cancer researchers will be growing specialized immune cells in this former biotech factory on Boren Ave. in Seattle
Jake Ellison KPLU

You may associate downtown Seattle with its shopping, hotels and offices, but the city's core also has a growing medical research community. From global-health focused non-profits to the University of Washington, it seems scientists all want to be near downtown.

The latest addition is a combination cancer research lab and bio-factory. Seattle Children’s Research Institute plans to open the new lab and "factory" in the Denny Triangle next month.

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Transportation
6:05 pm
Thu June 23, 2011

More leaving cars behind when going to work in Seattle

In a newly released survey, commuters say they take public transit more than any other means of transportation to work in downtown Seattle.
King County Metro

More people who work in downtown Seattle are riding mass transit than driving to the office. That’s according to a survey just released by Commute Seattle, a non-profit that tries to reduce the number of people who drive alone. 

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Apartment Market
4:20 pm
Wed April 20, 2011

Race to build apartments could be good for renters and construction workers

Developers broke ground on the Alto Apartments in Seattle's Belltown neighborhood in November 2010. It's part of a rush to build more rental units in the city.
Charla Bear KPLU

Some industries are slowly creating jobs again, but construction isn’t really one of them. The state lost about 2,400 construction jobs just last month, according to state employment economists. But in Seattle, hope could be on the horizon.

The clanking and pounding sounds of construction are starting to return to the city. Some builders who work on high-rise projects have been able to dust off their nail guns, thanks to a growing demand for apartments.

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Holiday Season
6:30 am
Sat December 25, 2010

Holiday spending up this year

A shopper enters Nordstrom Rack in downtown Seattle as the holiday shopping season began in late November.
Gary Davis/KPLU

Here’s some holiday cheer: Consumer spending is up since last year. The increase is a small one, at about 2%. The National Retail Federation expects that number to rise to 3% by the end of the season. Why the increase?

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Business
1:56 pm
Thu November 4, 2010

Tacoma's loss, Seattle's gain: Russell Move Complete

Part of Russell Investment's newly remodeled space in the former WaMu Tower in downtown Seattle. It's now the Russell Investment Center.
Russell Investments

What was once the WaMu Tower is now the Russell Investment Center. The financial services company that was downtown Tacoma's largest employer has now formally opened its new headquarters in downtown Seattle.

Seattle's civic leaders turned out in full force to welcome the company famous for its stock market indexes. 900 well-paid employees now occupy five floors of the skyscraper at 2nd and Union, next door to the Seattle Art Museum.

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