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The pros and cons of living in Pioneer Square
January 7, 2010  |  Fun, PI

I recently had someone ask me why we live in Pioneer Square, what we like about it, what we don’t like about, etc. After a few emails back and forth, I ended up with this list of pros and cons.

As a side note, we lived in downtown Seattle (cosmopolitan on 8th & Virginia) for two years, and initially made the decision to move down here because our space doubled in size, was a loft (which we love), and the price was great. Those were the initial reasons that we decided it was a good switch. But shortly after we moved here, we fell in love with the neighborhood and the character down here.

Pros:

  1. Tons of character
  2. Beautiful historic buildings
  3. You know your neighbors
  4. Close to sports arenas (we just walk a few blocks to soccer, football, etc.)
  5. Free parking (or easy to find paid) (we honestly find free parking every. single. night. right in front of our building — better than when we had to drive in circles up 6 stories…the only real difference is it’s out in the open, not secure)
  6. More space for what you pay in rent
  7. Close to transit (light rail, bus tunnel, waterfront bus, all free)
  8. Short walk to Waterfront, Pike Place Market
  9. Active community, working hard to make the neighborhood better
  10. Great local shops (Grand Central Bakery, Planet Java, Tats, Salumi, Synapse 206, Rocky Mtn Chocolate, Magic Mouse Toys, to name a few)

Cons:

  1. Bars can be loud on Friday and Saturday nights, but our apartment muffles the sound really well… check with your neighbors in the building you’re thinking about moving into for how loud the bars are on the weekends
  2. Loitering problems by vagrants/drug dealers/addicts
  3. There are areas to avoid (just like 2nd and Pike downtown..ha) – specifically by the Saveway store North of Occidental
  4. No main grocery store, but close walk to Pike Place, Uwajima… most of us just use Amazon Fresh and spud for groceries and get it delivered right to our doorstep
  5. Buildings don’t usually have concierges, or other “downtown” amenities
  6. Drug problems [the biggest, in my opinion] – but it’s been our experience that if you leave them alone, they’ll leave you alone (we just call 911 once we walk past them)

But just to be very real – this is still a downtown neighborhood, and one that is still working through some problems. We came down here with the right expectation of what we were moving into, and wanted to do it anyways. We’re loving being involved, and in general, love walking around the neighborhood. I feel the same level of safeness / unsafeness as when I lived on 8th and Virginia, right next to the police station.

Out downtown at night, is still out downtown at night.

Note:

If there are other residents out there that have different perspectives than mine, email me (info[at]thenewp2[dot]com) and I’d love to do a series on why people live here (or why they choose to leave).



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  1. The New Pioneer Square- Why Pioneer Square is so great – Blog Title
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