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To me, this is a no-brainer. At this moment and in the forseeable future, the west-end is the place to be. Much closer to shopping, restaurants, and entertainment, night-life, etc. Also greater density on west-end. The UD is still a ways out unfortunately. Plus, I believe that a streetcar will come before light-rail. Streetcar will happen in next 2-3 years, light-rail will happen in next 5-7 years. In reality, the UD will benefit more from streetcar than lightrail.


Rob's got it right, but his timeframe on streetcars and light rail seems pretty optimistic to me. A footbridge across the tracks in the UD? Well, it's gonna be needed if the district is ever going to take off as an urban landscape, but even if it were built today it would seem awfully lonely, since the UD is for all intents and purposes a suburban, commuter campus. The UD seems decades away from aquiring the number of urban amenities already in place on the west side. Budget's an issue? Drive often? Feeling the pioneer spirit and don't plan on leaving? Maybe the UD is for you. Otherwise, go west, dear reader!


West end for the better place to be right now. East end for more long term growth potential and return on investment.


Don't forget that WSU has just put out an RFP for the 3.5 acre Jensen-Byrd site. If an imaginative proposal comes along, it could jump start development in the UD.

But don't expect either streetcars or light rail in the next 20 years. By then that fad will have passed . . .


I don't think that either streetcars or lightrail will be complete in the timeframe that I laid out, but I do think contstruction will have started in that timeframe.


The Flip Side. I wouldn't rule the UD out so fast. So it is obvious, visually and from the comments above, that the west-side has already began radiating an energy that has been foreign to Spokane for some time now. However, I speculate that the UD is not far behind. This comment is warranted by a few critical decisions made recently in regard to the Riverpoint campus (the gasket between downtown and the UD). First, the doubling of WSU-Riverpoint with the addition of the Intercollegiate College of Nursing this fall. Also, EWU is selling their downtown infrastructure and is relocating it to Riverpoint. WSU is also reevaluating their master plan to remove their "research park" image and develop a tightly-knit urban campus. And the 200 million dollars plus allocated for development over the next five years. My point is the UD is growing fast and I would definitely give it a double take.

As a postscript, I am young and possibly naive. However, to qualify my remarks I have ties to both the UD and the west-side. I am a recent graduate of WSU's master of architecture program in the UD and currently work in the Arts district on the west-side, with noc architects who is currently designing work on the west-side.



I hope you are right Carson, but I don't feel any energy in the UD yet. Commuter campus seems to apply. I rarely see anyone even walking through the area. And another RFP for the Jensen Byrd? The Phoenix Project(develop the Jensen Byrd, serve as incubator space for small tech start ups, host public market) is a brilliant response to the first RFP and there was no response from WSU or the community. The Spokane Public Market Committee is moving forward again, organizing and raising funds. A year around marketplace would be a significant step forward for the UD as a home for such an important community activity, as in bringing folks into the area on their feet, interacting, displaying food, playing music-real culture.. Oh, I like the west end today.


To be "near nature" on the river in an industrial warehouse loft (if that's your thing), then it's east end: Iron Bridge.

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