The party-line emerges: Viaduct tunnel cost offset by other gains, study says.
One of the big issues in Seattle is whether the (supposedly-failing) Alaskan Way Viaduct along the downtown waterfront should be
• replaced with a tunnel
• (or simply removed.)
The pro-tunnel forces are selling this project as a "free" one in which the rise in property values exceeds the costs. The obvious answer is "Great! You don't need us then. You property-owners go form a Local Improvement District and pay the marginal cost and make a lot of money!"
The study also said that a tunnel along Seattle's central waterfront would add up to $1 billion a year over the next 25 years in enhanced value of the waterfront. It also would bring up to $1 billion in new visitor spending and up to $960 million in increased property values...the enhanced value was calculated by assuming 20 to 30 million local visits each year, at $2 a visit, and a 1 percent increase in out-of-town visitors...said the added property value would come from improved views and less noise, which can lead to higher rents and higher property sales...looked at other projects around the country where similar projects led to financial bonanzas. He said removing Harbor Drive in Portland led to property-value increases of 10 percent a year, and removing the Embarcadero along the San Francisco Bay waterfront increased property values by 300 percent.
Is it likely that identifiable property-owners who will directly and measurably benefit will agree to pay? When pigs fly.