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SPACE NEEDLE BECOMES LAMP POST IF SEATTLE GROWS THE WRONG DIRECTION

 

 

Reading right to left the image of Seattle changes from working port town Seattle to big league sports town Seattle to gorgeous big-city-over-water skyline Seattle, the equal to any world center.

And then the forgotten Space Needle.

There it is all by itself on the left. Alone.

Can we finally agree? Seattle is more than the Space Needle.

It’s had it’s day the same as the Tower Of The Americas in San Antonio Texas, and Knoxville Tennessee’s Sunsphere.

As hard as it is to let go, let it go.

The Space Needle was the tallest building west of the Mississippi. In 1962. Let it go.

Space Needle

At six hundred and five feet tall it’s not even the tallest structure in it’s own yard any more.

It’s getting smaller every year with new high rises on rise.

Things are hopping in the Denny Triangle and the lonely Space Needle gets more lost?

Space Needle

I put my blogger ear to the ground in Seattle so you won’t have to. What did I hear?

Cooperation Seattle where big government and big money meet to make room for new arrivals.

Homer Seattle where names known around the world stay in town.

Space Needle

Denial may not be a river in Egypt, but Amazon is flooding South Lake Union.

Paul Allen and Vulcan run the spillway near the Space Needle.

Vulcan, which owns 60 acres in the neighborhood, will discuss its preliminary plans for a 400-foot residential tower and 240-foot office tower with the city’s Design Review Board on Wednesday night. The meeting is 6:30 p.m. at the Queen Anne Community Center at 1901 First Ave. W.

The 1.8-acre site, bounded by Denny Way and John Street and Ninth Avenue North and Westlake Avenue North, is one of the most visible corners in South Lake Union, kitty-corner from a Whole Foods grocery store and just east of Denny Park.

Vulcan, owned by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, has led the transformation of a sleepy industrial area into a vibrant mixed-use district for tech and biotech firms.

The disappearing Space Needle plot thickens with more skyline.

Space Needle

The changes accelerated in 2008 after Amazon.com signed long-term leases to move its global headquarters to South Lake Union starting in 2010.

Allen’s ownership of land in the neighborhood dates back to the early 1990s, when a committee was formed to promote the idea of creating the Seattle Commons, a 61-acre park along Westlake Avenue North stretching from downtown to Lake Union ringed by research-and-development firms. Allen loaned the committee $20 million to start buying land.

But after Seattle voters rejected a tax levy to pay for the Commons, Allen took back 11.5 acres and quickly assembled large swaths of additional land to undertake a privately led revitalization project focused on commercial uses.

Would a Vulcan owned Space Needle puncture old dreams?

Space Needle

One of the region’s most active developers, Vulcan has built about 5 million square feet in 24 buildings in South Lake Union, and made national headlines in 2012 when it sold Amazon.com an 11-building portfolio for $1.154 billion.

The developer is constructing several buildings, each more than 300,000 square feet, that touch Ninth Avenue North and are leased to Amazon. A two-building complex called Phase 6 between Mercer Street and Republican Street is expected to be completed this year. Phases 7 and 8 are to be finished in 2015.

Seattle grew as a port way before the World’s Fair and the Space Needle.

Space Needle

It ranks third busiest in America when I combine the Port of Seattle-Tacoma the way NY/NJ is combined and LA/Long Beach ought to be.

The state of Washington’s two major ports merged in 2015 to jointly operate their cargo terminals. The Port of Seattle and Port of Tacoma are jointly operated by the Northwest Seaport Alliance, which is the fourth-largest container gateway in North America. Together, the cargo volume of both ports in 2015 accounted for 5.3% of the North American market, handling over 2.1 million TEUs. In April 2017, the Port of Seattle-Tacoma recorded its strongest first quarter international container volumes since 2005.

Don’t think of it as losing the Space Needle behind a wall of glass.

Space Needle

It’s still a grand waterfront and getting better.

Seattle’s about to get a facelift after nearly two miles of double decked highway goes away.

Space Needle

This welcome mat is getting a good shake.

Will facebook leave a footprint here?

About David Gillaspie
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