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A town across the lake seems to benefit from Seattle’s mistakes

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Advantage of Bellevue?

As most Americans get vaccinated and return to something reminiscent of normalcy, the “Superstar Cities” of the 2010s are expected to move forward.

This is evident throughout the country. For example, even if more people work from home than by 2020, young professionals are in a hurry Rent an apartment in Manhattan (relative) after the outbreak of the epidemic.

It may take time, but most companies want to gradually return to offices, especially in high-end cities. According to the New York Times, “executives believe that having employees together improves collaboration, promotes the development of younger employees, nurtures the heart and soul of any company, its culture.”

Do not bet against big cities.

Seattle, although it was definitely one of the superstars of the last decade, may have a different trajectory.

The majority of the city council focuses on a number of police return and social justice initiatives. Seattle’s homeless people have been hit hard, especially those camping on parks and sidewalks, including downtown. Tents make some sidewalks almost impassable, including near at least one major bus stop.

The majority of the council postponed $ 7.8 million for the urgent repair of the bridge, while throwing hundreds of millions into the “homelessness crisis”, which has intensified.

Riots, looting, vandalism and arson rocked the city in early 2020, which was followed by the deadly evacuation of a section of Capitol Hill. Mayor Enki Durka stated that the so-called CHOP could be a “summer of love” before its evil consequences were discovered, he would like to become a helpless lame duck.

Unfortunately, the problems continue. In February, Nordstrom’s flagship ship shattered the display windows, each costing $ 50,000. This month, a group of “protesters” attacked the police and vandalized the central part of the business. Some businesses are still closed.

“Low level crimes” are tolerated (low level as long as you are not a victim) in Seattle. Police response times are suffering, և In 2020, almost 200 officers left the department.

The city on the other side of Lake Washington, on the other hand, has almost none of these problems.

In Bellu, sidewalks are not tolerated, the homeless population is small, and crimes such as shoplifting usually guarantee imprisonment.

Almost all city council members generally have private sector experience, unlike the active-heavy resumes of their Seattle counterparts. Bellevue city authorities want to work with businesses, not fine them.

It is not surprising that Amazon recently announced that it will lease the 25-storey office tower there in 2024, completing its previous commitments. Amazon plans to have 25,000 employees in Bellevue next year.

This may be a sign of future events.

What a turn!

Right after we started working for The Breaking National in 2007, we had a wall calendar with a photo taken near the center of Bellow, with long lenses in the distance in the Seattle skyline. It fed some critics who called us the Bellevue Times because they thought it was too much of Eastside coverage. In fairness, we covered Seattle a lot, but Eastside was booming.

Then came the “return to the urban movement,” from which Seattle, especially downtown, made huge profits. The young talent wanted to be in the city, followed by companies, especially Amazon’s huge corporate headquarters. Expedia left Beliv for Seattle University Reservoir University. For years, Seattle was the soaring capital of America. From 2010 to 2019, it grew by 24% among the population (16% for Bel).

But that was then.

The council’s dislike of the city’s largest private-sector employer, including a job tax on nearly 700 “big businesses”, was soon followed by Amazon’s decision to look for a second “equal” headquarters, building Amazon-sought-after properties “business-friendly” were politics. And Bello seems to be close to HQ3, based on the company’s growth there.

It’s not just Amazon that is driving demand. More than 50 large commercial and residential projects are underway in Bel.

Bellu does not have to be the regional center. With more than 148,000 people in 2019, it is largely the center of a prosperous Eastside with good schools.

To be sure, it suffers from distinct anti-urban features. For example, it lacks the architectural diversity of Seattle and is built around a car with wide streets in the city center. I was walking in downtown Bellu once when the sidewalk just ended as the row continued through the grass and dirt where the sidewalk was supposed to be.

Nor does Bell have a Seattle street-level pre-epidemic retail store. Its retail center is located in the center of the trade, a private property that allows non-traders to throw and catch thieves.

But Bellu is changing. It grew up in the majority of democrats, but Biden Democrats, not the “awakened” extreme left. It is possible that it will receive a light rail in 2023, connecting it to Seattle, then to the Bel-Red Corridor near the center of Bell, and finally to Redmond, Microsoft.

This will no longer be the suburban idyll of the republic with its old main engine, the owner of the largest property in the city, Camper Freeman.

All of this makes it a more formidable competitor to Seattle.

In a healthy situation, it should not become a zero-sum game. In good health, the two cities feed off each other to keep one of America’s most diverse, powerful capitals growing.

Bellevue will never have a strong regional center, a deep-water natural harbor, highly regarded cultural facilities, Seattle’s urban diversity and population.

But now, because America wants to get out of the epidemic next year, Seattle is not healthy. And most of the pain is self-inflicted.

It will take years to repair the damage until the political situation improves.

And the advantage is not only Belluin, but every city that has wanted Seattle Treasures.

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