Geez, how long have I been saying exactly this?
Tony To, a Seattle Planning Commission member and director of the housing agency HomeSight, said developers could take some steps without incentives. He lauded Belltowns moda condos, which got prices as low as $149,950 by cutting unit size to as little as 296 square feet.
While $149,950 is an amazing price by Seattle standards, 296 square feet is not adequate housing for many people. Those condos aren’t going to under under-privileged folk or newlyweds starting a new life. They are weekend homes for people from out of town. A normal person would have a hard time in a space that small. In New York, with its density’s that might be acceptable, but it’s a tough sell in Seattle.
I honestly wish I had a better solution than those proposed in the article. Honestly, I think that all of them suck. I do think that increasing density and improving the quality of life downtown might be a decent solution, but it isn’t an end-all-be-all. We can’t keep going the way we are though, sprawling out in all directions and still not making the area affordable.