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October 13, 2003

Letter to the Editor: Don't forget there's a price to pay for new development

(Regarding "Another big tenant for S. Lake Union," Oct. 8, 2003.) Tommy Bahama? I had no idea that they were in the forefront of biotechnology research. Sounds like Vulcan's masterplan is working.

On a more serious tack, I think it would be responsible reporting if you would say how much housing and what businesses are being displaced by each new project in South Lake Union. Along with that it is important to know whether Vulcan (or Schnitzer) is replacing that housing and whether the replacement housing is for people of the same income levels.

Similarly I think it is important to know whether the displaced businesses have relocated or have closed down. The South Lake Union development is the closest thing to 1960s-style urban renewal that has happened in our region. It is not realistic to only look at the cheery upside of slick new buildings and trendy businesses moving into the former Cascade neighborhood. We need to consider the social and economic impacts of this type of slash-and-burn development, especially as the taxpayers of Seattle are being asked to subsidize this to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars (at least in the mayor's plan).

Nic Rossouw

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