Converting Pacific Place to offices is just the beginning of the city centre’s comeback

I’m bummed to imagine Pacific Place transformed from an urban retail hub to an office, but I’m a sentimental person. I’ve also been told that most people don’t like shopping, but that’s never been me.

After arriving here in 2007, I was amazed by the downtown shopping scene – from the late 1950s, most American cities have been eliminated by suburban malls – especially the flagship Nordstrom linked to Pacific Place via skybridge shop.

I spent hours shopping at its many stores, watching movies at the AMC multiplex, and eating (don’t judge) at Johnny Rockets.

However, Pacific Place is likely to become a retail hub, According to a recent story Written by my colleagues Paul Roberts and Heidi Groover.

Los Angeles-based Hudson Pacific Properties has applied to the city for permission to convert much of the center into offices. The document also states that the developer is considering “adding 1 to 3 towers on top of the existing structure, possibly residential, office and/or hotel.”

Hudson Pacific is a “potential buyer” for Pacific Place, according to the Seattle Business Journal, which first reported on the project. Washington, D.C.-based Madison Marquette remains the owner.

It’s not just the downtown stores that amaze me in Seattle. Most importantly, I was impressed by the city’s extraordinary talent for transformation. Pacific Place is an example.

The city centre began to decline in the early 1990s after the premier department store Frederick & Nelson closed in 1992. Within two years, the high-end I. Magnin department store across the street went out of business.

according to An article on HistoryLink“Nearby buildings that used to be home to small businesses … vacant, covered in graffiti, sheltering a growing number of homeless people. Crime rates soared and city taxes plummeted.”

The makeover involved a series of complex redevelopments: Frederick was turned into Nordstrom’s flagship store, the older, smaller Nordstrom was converted into mixed-use, Pine Street reopened to vehicles, Pacific Place Constructed across from New Nordis. Mayor Norm Rice, City Council, developer Matt Griffin and Partners, and other civic leaders helped bring about this.includes a Controversial underground car parkpaid by the city.

In August 1998, the new Nordstrom opened, followed by Pacific Place two months later. Both have been hugely successful.

According to HistoryLink, “Griffin pointed out that while local celebrities did eventually make money on the Pacific Place deal, their willingness to invest in the mid-1990s was a huge demonstration of their faith and love for their city. … If Seattle wasn’t Their hometown, they wouldn’t take that risk.”

Along with Benaroya Hall and the Washington State Convention Center, Pacific Place is critical to downtown’s revival.

Now the city center is in trouble again, especially with the pandemic and rising crime and neglect by the city council.

According to the Downtown Seattle Association Recovery Scorecard, office workers on May 1 accounted for 33% of the equivalent week in 2019. This group is critical to retail as employees shop during lunch or commute.

Even before the pandemic hit, Downtown retail faces challenges, the closures of Macy’s and Bed Bath & Beyond highlighted this. At the core is “overstocking,” customer churn to University Village and Bellevue. Pacific Place lost Williams-Sonoma, Barnes & Noble, Victoria’s Secret, Coach, Restoration Hardware and Barneys.

Now, Amazon’s penetration of retail shopping has increased dramatically due to the pandemic.

While workers have been slow to return to the office, the need for more office space remains. Hence the plan for Pacific Place.

The optimistic view is that it will take a while for people to come back. It’s a chicken and egg thing. But the point is to make downtown fun and attractive. Our leading edge is the entertainment industry.

Broadly speaking, it’s not just Benaroya Hall, Jazz Lane, and the Seattle Art Museum, but Pike Place Market, sports, and tourists. When completed, the light rail to the Eastside will bring Bellevue residents here.

Or this is hope.

In 2000, Edward L. Glaeser, Jed Kolko, and Albert Saiz wrote an article for the Harvard Economics Institute. It is named as a consumer city.The point is those places Areas with lots of amenities and density expected to thrive Compare that to the manufacturing-dependent cities of the 20th century.

They argue that “the future of cities increasingly depends on whether cities are attractive places for consumers to live. … If cities are to remain strong, they must attract workers on the basis of quality of life and higher wages. Clearly, some cities Trying to be a successful consumer haven, but many cities won’t.”

This could be the future of downtown Seattle.

As for retail, the ambition is to compete by offering a top-notch street experience, not the best mall. We need to think about how to geographically extend the street retail core experience to Rainier Square and Pioneer Square.

Still, the construction of the 1st Avenue streetcar was essential.Too Reclaiming Third Avenuehit hardest by crime, robbery and organized shoplifting (the latter of which also contributed to the demise of Macy’s and Bed Bath & Beyond).

People have to feel safe in the city center. As such, Mayor Bruce Harrell’s emphasis on tackling crime is more important to the new makeover than the future of Pacific Place.

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