Seattle is drawing in thousands of new workers, feeding a housing and rental crisis. And at least one of the city’s neighbors want to capitalize on the demand.
The City of Bremerton is trying to tempt Seattle’s employees into moving across Puget Sound to “an old city with a new look” where the rents are cheaper, and the traffic is nicer. The city hired a filmmaker for $5,000 to make a series of promotional videos with the goal of diverting some of Seattle’s newest workers to its shore, according to the Kitsap Sun.
It’s not the first voice to sound a call for Seattleites to move west. A recent Seattle Times column argued for local employees to flee rising rents and terrible traffic by moving to Kitsap, citing Bremerton as one example.
Many living in Bremerton and Bainbridge Island have long known how to cheat the sluggish traffic that commuters face each day as they try to get into Seattle. Instead, they spend roughly an hour traveling from Bremerton, or roughly 30 minutes from Bainbridge Island; crossing the pond on a ferry while sipping coffee, reading a book, listening to headphones, or just enjoying the Puget Sound scenery. In fact, the ferry to Seattle is such a big part of Bainbridge life it is prominently featured on the seal of the city.
That’s the image Bremerton Mayor Patty Lent is trying to put in the minds of Seattle’s growing population of tech employees and young professionals. Lent stars in one of the new, jazzy commercials touting the attractions of her city. Seattle is prominently featured in the videos, mostly to contrast the edge Bremerton has on the Emerald City.
Such benefits, Lent notes, are the many new apartments being built in the city that are at least twice the size of Seattle’s pod apartments, at half the price.
“And each one comes with a parking space,” Lent says in the video.
Beyond the apartments, Bremerton also boasts a WWII era housing stock. Lent says the city is full of attractive fixer-uppers.
So would you live in Bremerton? Even if you worked in Seattle?