The next group of results in the Beacon Hill Blog Top of the Hill are about the things we want, the reasons we live here, and the reasons why some might consider leaving Beacon Hill. Previous results are here, and there will be more results soon — stay tuned.
(Editor’s note: As with the earlier results, some of these results don’t add up to 100% because people gave multiple answers.)
What do you think is Beacon Hill’s most-needed amenity? We asked for one answer here, but some people listed as many as 17 different amenities!
It seems that, for the most part, Beaconites have food on their minds. The most popular answer was “More restaurants/cafés/coffee shops“, given by 29% of those surveyed. It was followed by requests for two specific kinds of establishments that people would like to see more of: a pub/brewpub/gastropub (a few people specifically mentioned Columbia City Ale House or West Seattle’s Beveridge Place Pub as the type of establishment they’d like to see here), mentioned by 18%, and a pizza restaurant, mentioned by 17%.
More retail in general was mentioned by 14%. 9% of you want more or better grocery stores (and a fair amount of you mentioned Trader Joe’s); one neighbor mentioned the need for a full-service grocery store south of Beacon and Columbian. Some of you are craving hamburgers; 8% of you want a restaurant with hamburgers, sandwiches, and general old-fashioned American “comfort food”. (Many people who gave this answer added that it needs to be kid-friendly, too.)
Beacon Hill once had a drugstore or two, and 8% of you think that a drugstore is our current most-needed amenity.
One neighbor’s answer to this question was a veritable wish list of places:
“pizza joint. drug store. vietnamese/thai/korean restaurants. flower stand. antique/junk/vintage store. ice cream stand. street vendors. vintage clothing store. hamburger joint. wine store. tea house. dessert/wine bar. book store. more of any kind of restaurant. A bread bakery. farmers market.”
Another neighbor’s answer was pragmatic: “Cops and social services that will deal with the dopers in and around Beacon Hill Elementary playfield and that bus stop on 14th across from the school.”
What do you think is the best reason to live on Beacon Hill? That’s an easy one: “location, location, location.” 57% of you said that the Hill’s central location and proximity to other places you might want to go are the best reasons to live here. (10% gave a related, but distinct, answer — our easy accessibility to I-5 and I-90.)
33% of you cited the “the United Nations diversity” of the Hill as a best reason to live here: “There’s no majority. You look at the faces on the 36 and it looks like the world.” Apparently our neighborhood is not just diverse, but friendly as well: 21% of you mentioned your nice, friendly neighbors. One neighbor wrote, “I feel like it’s an incredibly friendly place to live, and that our neighbors genuinely care about one another. And that’s not even our neighbors who profess to live in ‘community’ households the way that we do!” Another said, simply, “My neighbors rock.”
16% mentioned the affordability of living on Beacon Hill, and 8% specifically mentioned the new light rail.
On the other hand… what is the best reason to move away from Beacon Hill? Lack of retail and other amenities in our business district was the reason selected by 29%. One-third of people who gave this answer (10% of the overall total) explicitly stated that they wanted those amenities to be walkable. 12% of you specifically referred to a lack of restaurants, pubs, or coffee shops. Crime is a concern mentioned by 18% of you. 6% mentioned decreasing affordability, and another 6% mentioned noise (almost entirely airplane noise, but one person mentioned light rail noise as well).
7% of you said that there is no reason to ever move away from Beacon Hill. However, two optimistic people said that the best reason to move away would be “winning the lottery.” And one neighbor faced the sad reality of life on Beacon, answering “hard to pursue career as singing cowboy on the hill.”