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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey, all. I'm not as new to this forum as I seem. I do quite often visit my hometown (Indianapolis) forum, but don't post very much. Anyways, I'm a planner in Indianapolis right now, but have applied for a job in Seattle as a planner. I've only been through Seattle once, but I have to say that the work environment would be much more interesting. All I tend to deal with now, because of our government structure, which includes the entire home county in our planning jurisidiction, are pole barns and pools (okay, that may be an exaggeration). I like the urbanity of Seattle and the direction things are headed in, so I decided that it would be worth my time to try and get a job there. My only concern right now is where to live. I've noticed quite a few posh areas of town that would probably be right on the cusp of my price range, but I'm looking for an area that is a little cheaper, yet still very urban. I don't mind a little grit at all. I live in a pretty tough neighborhood here, albeit, its transition is going to make me some pretty decent money when I sell. I don't plan on buying in Seattle any time real soon if I move there. I've been perusing the rental market, and it seems that most of the great neighborhoods come with a pretty hefty price tag. Do any of you know some of the best deals in town for cool areas? Any other thoughts/ opinions/ ideas?

Thanks in advance.
 

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Journeyman
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Focusing on affordable yet reasonably central...

If you're looking for a bungalow, Anything south of Dearborn would be a good idea, somewhere without a view. Rainier Valley, Beacon Hill, and West Seattle are all more affordable. Farther north, the Central District is good. All of these areas have been cheap in the past and have have areas of "grit" but have gentrified a bit. All will continue moving up in value as the proximity becomes more valued.

If you want a condo, West Seattle is another good affordable choice, like Admiral Junction. Central Ballard might be affordable due to the amount of supply.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks! I'll check those out. The jobs I've applied for are with the City of Seattle, so I'm assuming their governmnet center is downtown. Transit is not a must, necessarily, but good, safe bike routes to work are definitely something I'd like, although I'm in no way opposed to riding on city streets, just not four-lane giga-arterials.
 

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Focusing on affordable yet reasonably central...

If you're looking for a bungalow, Anything south of Dearborn would be a good idea, somewhere without a view. Rainier Valley, Beacon Hill, and West Seattle are all more affordable. Farther north, the Central District is good. All of these areas have been cheap in the past and have have areas of "grit" but have gentrified a bit. All will continue moving up in value as the proximity becomes more valued.
Yes, those are good areas for what you are looking for. You'll also want to consider Madrona, Mt. Baker, and even Columbia City. They are very much like Indianapolis' Broadripple neighborhood. They are close to downtown, though you'll drive through some grit and tough areas to get to downtown, but those areas are still urban and hip with nice leafy, quiet streets. I would say also consider Ballard.
 

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City offices are mostly up a hill at the south end of Downtown. There's a little city hall, then DPD is (I think) in the 62-story Gateway Tower, a neighboring 1990-vintage commercial tower purchased at half-price during the mid-90s downturn.

Bike routes are reasonably ok into Downtown, if you're experienced. Our trail systems tend to end a mile or two short of Downtown, including the I-90 Trail, the Burke Gilman along the Ship Canal, and the trail from West Seattle. But the city has been striping more bike lanes in the CBD. Quite a few people bike, and the City encourages their employees who do.
 

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Harpua,

Having once tried to be a planner here a while ago, and having been forced to give it up due to inability to find regular work, let me forewarn you that there are a zillion wanna-be planners who come to Seattle for the exact same reason as you. Every job you apply to will have 30 or more local qualified applicants. I would actually advise against it, to be honest. You could get lucky, but if you already have a job, I would keep it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Harpua,

Having once tried to be a planner here a while ago, and having been forced to give it up due to inability to find regular work, let me forewarn you that there are a zillion wanna-be planners who come to Seattle for the exact same reason as you. Every job you apply to will have 30 or more local qualified applicants. I would actually advise against it, to be honest. You could get lucky, but if you already have a job, I would keep it.
Wow, that's really strong advice. Were you a planner for he city, or with a private firm? I noticed that the planner jobs I applied for were hourly positions, and that got me wondering if I wouldn't always get 40 hours. I would certainly heed your warning if you were working for the city when you had such difficulties. Is that the case?
 

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Wow, that's really strong advice. Were you a planner for he city, or with a private firm? I noticed that the planner jobs I applied for were hourly positions, and that got me wondering if I wouldn't always get 40 hours. I would certainly heed your warning if you were working for the city when you had such difficulties. Is that the case?
I did a little bit of everything. My highlight was 2-2/3 years doing basin planning (I dealt with the land use aspect of the basin plans) for King County. I also had several internships, including 1 full year with the City of Seattle and over 1.5 years with the City of Kirkland. Then I also did some "small jobs" type things, including a research/mapping project for the Redmond Downtown Association, a bit of freelance work for a real estate developer, and twice I counted parking spaces for the Puget Sound Regional Council. After my job at King County ended, I only managed to get a couple of those "small jobs" things, then after about 2-1/2 years of looking for another full-time job, I gave up. I got plenty of interviews, but there truly are a gazillion planner-types, environmentalists and similar types around here.

You might get lucky and have better luck than I did, but seriously, if you've got a job, I would keep it.
 

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Ignore Bond, he's our resident "never had a steady job" guy on this board. Anyone who has any aspirations in urban planning he shoots down. Gee, I really wonder why no one has ever hired him...

If you want to be a planner here in Seattle, go for it. Don't let one guy who is bent out of shape and bitter sidetrack you.

Better to try than wonder "what if"...
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well, I guess I'll just see what happens and be sure to be positive that they can guarantee 40+ hour work weeks, if I get an interview. My resume from here is pretty strong, so I feel good about my chances. I'll post any news as I get it. Anyway, back to the neighborhoods....


So, Lester, you say that those neighborhoods are like Broad Ripple? ARe you familiar with Fountain Square? That's where I live in Indianapolis. Much grittier than Broad Ripple... very far from being gentrified, but still a safe, hip place with lots of artists and a great commercial area. I'll check in those areas you mentioned, but something even more gritty is fine, too.
 

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I'm neither jaded, nor a pessimist, and yes, I do have a steady job.

If you want to give it a try, Harpua, good luck. If you're applying from Indianapolis, I'd be very surprised if you got any interviews. I don't mean that as a personal comment, it's just that I see little need why anyone looking for a planner would bother interviewing someone so far away, when they will almost certainly get plenty of local qualified candidates. But hey, don't let me discourage you - give it a shot, and keep us updated.
 

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hey bond have you ever thought about looking for work as a planner in Tacoma? We've got some decent firms looking to expand and do big things in the near future. BCRA and Mcgranahan look to be the front runners. And looking at some of the recent projects like Tollefson plaza the city could definitely use some better planners though I'm not sure if they're actually looking. well it couldn't hurt to look casually if you haven't already. Ill admit that Im kind of greedy and am half asking because I want to see more things happening in my city and I honestly believe that you and and a lot of other posters here are more qualified than the people already doing the jobs.
 

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oh, i c. :tongue3: harpua ought to look though. I think Tacoma is probably a little more friendly to out-of-staters trying to get established in the sound area.
cheaper real estate and less job competition. for now anyway :)
 
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