Editor's Note

The New Seattle, 10 Years In

This town looked a lot different a decade ago.

By James Ross Gardner March 4, 2016 Published in the March 2016 issue of Seattle Met

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Three mayors, nine skyscrapers, a Lombardi trophy, and, oh, five million, two hundred sixty thousand, three hundred twenty minutes ago, this town looked a lot different. In March 2006, when Seattle Met first hit newsstands, Seattle was on the cusp of one of its greatest growth spurts.

Check this out. Today 28 buildings in the city qualify as skyscrapers—400 feet or higher—and nine of those buildings have been erected since 2006. To put it another way, a third of Seattle’s skyline emerged in the last decade. In 2006 the population was 582,877; today it’s estimated at 662,400. The average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in Capitol Hill and Eastlake, to take one census area, was $1,000 in 2006—and $1,430 by 2014. 

The city has transformed in other, less easy to quantify ways too. To commemorate Seattle Met’s 10-year anniversary, this month’s cover story charts that transformation. Developments in politics, arts, technology, dining, fashion, sports, and the overall economy, we argue, have made the last decade among the most significant in Seattle history. Take Amazon’s move from the Pacific Medical Center, the 16-story art deco manse perched on Beacon Hill, to the southern banks of Lake Union, forcing a shift in the city’s central economic and real estate nervous system. Or the inauguration of mayor Michael McGinn in 2010, which ushered in an era of more progressive politics. Or the Super Bowl win in 2014 that turned a perpetual hangdog sports town into a city that bleeds civic (and Seahawks and Sounders and even Mariners) pride. 

Along the way, Seattle Met has, as mandated in our own mission statement, illuminated “a thriving city for newcomers and longtime residents, chronicling the present and our city’s rich past with both gravitas and irreverence, and tracing our connection to the nation and the world.” We’ve been doing just that for a decade, in print and online. This is, in fact, our 121st issue. (See every cover of every issue and witness how the magazine, like the city, has evolved too.) 

That’s right. The new Seattle started 10 years, a few hizzoners, some trophies, and 120 magazine editions ago. But who’s counting? 

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