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WildWest

Anything change in Spokane since...

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around 2000 that has significantly improved or deterioated its livability? About 2000 was when I was there last and had considered moving there, ended up near Denver. Spokane, as I remember, was nice but had a, for lack of anything else to point to, an unfinished feel and seemed slightly slummy in areas. Loved the South Hill and the parks.

Any locals have an opinion? I'm thinking again of moving there. Employment isn't an issue.

Thanks for your thoughts and coments in advance.

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Spokane is undergoing some pretty rapid growth, especially centered around Downtown and its surrounding areas. There's been an upsurge in Downtown living as there has been in most cities across the US and Spokane is taking it in stride. Public Transit has undergone a bit of reconstruction for the better. They are building a few (I believe 3) new skyscrapers not much taller than the ones already present. I-90 is being resurfaced in Downtown... The Valley continues to grow exponentially as well as the Northside. Oh, theyve also began construction on the "North Spokane Corridor", a freeway linking North Spokane (up by Wandermere) with I-90. It will take a while to complete, but sure will beat the hell out of driving up Division all the time... :( In my point of view, Spokane is heading in the right direction. Its not as big as Denver or Seattle, but it sure has an urban feel and holds it's place in the Inland Northwest.

Here's some websites with some cool information:

www.spokanecity.org

www.spokaneedc.com

www.spokanejournal.com

www.downtownspokane.net

metrospokane.typepad.com

Hope this helps!

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Thanks Randy, very helpful. The downtown living that you mention, are you refering to DT lofts type living? Very cool. I just read that PF Changs recently came to Spokane DT. It seems that they do a great job of being very selective in where they expand. One of the best at doing this IMO. Very good sign for Spokane. (Plus I love their food) :)

Smaller than Denver and Seattle, as you pointed out, is a positive. Not too big, not too small, with all (or least most) of the big city cultural aspects w/o the traffic and commutes.

What about the crime I keep reading about in misc. posts and stats. It looks like it might fall into property crimes area (car theft, robberies). That, of course, happens everywhere. Is it so substantial thats its truly a major problem? Or is it simply tracked and recorded more?

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Spokane's Downtown living is a mixture of lofts, apartments, condos, and townhomes. Downtown is definately becoming more dense. They also tend to keep old historic buildings like factories and warehouses and remodel them.

As for cultural Spokane, I kind of chuckle at that concept. I love Spokane, but it has nowhere near the diversity or cultural attractions as Seattle, Tacoma, or Denver. Spokane is increasingly becoming diverse as their economy diversifies, but they still have aways to go. I believe the minority population is only at 10%, while Seattle and Tacoma are at 35%, with Denver at 45% (Though Denver's is a majority hispanic minority). In the times Ive been to Spokane, Ive never once seen a muslim. I dont even know if they an Islamic Center or Mosque. I doubt it. Nonetheless, like I said, Spokane is attracting more immigrants than it has in quite sometime and they aren't all white immigrants either.

And as for crime... that's one thing Spokane is NOT known for. It's definately got a low murder rate, yet like the rest of Washington State, and Im sure the country... it has a high automobile theft rate. Be sure to lock your car and keep valuables out! Other than that, there arent any neighborhoods in the city that you would want to stay out of. There's no minority concentrations in any of the neighborhoods or poverty concentrations for the same matter. And if there is anything... yes I mean anything else you'd like to ask... BE MY GUEST! :-) Message me personally if you'd like...

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I live in Seattle, (though I grew up in Spokane), and think the city's made a lot of progress in the past 5 years. Downtown's looking great, the South Hill, Brown's Addition is still lovely. There's a large new development approved for a large vacant area just north of downtown (Kendall Yards) that could bring 3,000 new housing units, plus retail (including, potentially, a Whole Foods store) and office space, in new urbanist style. The new 'University District' (across the river from Gonzaga) is looking good, and is on the verge of spurring the redevelopment of the old industrial neighborhood directly to the south.

I agree that a parts of the city need to be cleaned up, but believe that definately will happen as the city redevelops. There's even a possibility a light rail line could be constructed in the next 10 years. If that comes to fruition, [big if but it could happen] that could dramatically spur redevelopment.

Spokane was very lucky that they kept their downtown retail area vibrant. Urban design/development seems to kind of 'in' right now, a promising sign for the future. There's a neat blog, metrospokane.typepad.com that keeps track of development, and is always quick to add its two cents on what could be fixed or improved. It's not terribly busy in terms of comments (though this forum isn't, either) but it's definately worth a look.

A previous reply mentioned a lack of diversity, but I don't totally agree. There's been a lot of immigrants to the area over the past 10 years. My mom still lives there, and employs several muslims. I am pretty sure there's an islamic center. Plus, there seems to be a large number of immigrants from the former Soviet Union and Balkans, another positive sign for the city.

Check it out if you have a chance!

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