HistoryWe all know that Seattle has some major ups and downs (elevation-wise, of course), but no area was as steep as the region just north of downtown. After years of debating, city developers decided to do the most logical thing: remove the hill itself. The project, known as the Denny Regrade, took the better part of a decade around 1910 and trimmed back tons of earth, leaving the slope more manageable. Despite the new topography, growth didn’t happen as rapidly as hoped. Several businesses set up shop there, but instead of the grand hotels and skyscrapers there were car dealerships and warehouses. It wasn’t until the 1970s that Belltown got a facelift; the area was rezoned for high-rise residences with ample business spaces on street level. Young, trendy folks moved in and made their homes, bringing with them a unique culture that survives today.
Who Lives Here?
- Corporate Climbers - High-income, high-expense urban singles.
- Urban singles with an up-and-coming income, but with higher-than-average living costs. Most have college educations and are employed in mid-management professions.
- Comfy Couples - Upper-class couples.
- Urban couples making a mid- to upper-scale household income. Most own their own homes. Some have a college education and work in a variety of occupations, including management-level positions.
- Bright Lights, Big City - Very mobile singles living in the city.
- Singles ranging in age from early 20s to mid-40s who have moved to an urban setting. Most rent their apartment or condo. Some have a college education and work in services and the professional sector.
|Median Household Income||$36,022||$45,736|
|Homes With Kids||3%||18%|
|Commute Time||24 min||27 min|
VibeBelltown has the second highest Walk Score in the city at 97 out of 100. What this means is: sell your car. You won’t be needing it. Everything you could conceivably ask for is available within the borders of this small neighborhood. And while the mere mention of the place strikes up my inner techno music (uhnn-tss, uhnn-tss), there is far more to Belltown than its nightclub scene. Even during the day, it’s the place to go if you want the newest, the shiniest, the trendiest.
Activities and AttractionsOh, where to start? The main ‘strip’ of Belltown is 1st Avenue, running parallel to the waterfront and on into downtown. Along this street, you’ll find a gaggle of places to stop: art galleries, clothing stores, home furnishing shops, jewelers, salons, and of course places to eat and drink. Some of the classic venues are The 5 Point Café, The Crocodile (closed for a while, but back by demand of live-music-lovers), and the very vintage Cinerama movie theater. Newer, highly popular additions include Dahlia Lounge, List (an Italian lounge), and Bathtub Gin & Co., a delightful speakeasy tucked in an alley. For a little fresh air, scope out the Olympic Sculpture Park to enjoy the many art installations by local artists, not to mention the view of Puget Sound and the Olympic mountains beyond.
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