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Dori Monson: Developers are getting insanely wealthy from middle class along light rail lines

The Capitol Hill light rail station opened in March 2016. KIRO Radio's Dori Monson can't believe how rich developers are getting off the light rail service. (KIRO Radio)

KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson is taking a moment to say “I told you so.”

The Seattle Times reports that properties near many existing and proposed light rail lines are selling for far more than their neighbors one mile away.

Properties near Capitol Hill’s light rail station are selling for about $35,000 more than other properties in the neighborhood; homes near the Beacon Hill station are selling for $61,000 more than homes farther away. Near Pioneer Square’s station, property is going for $78,000 more. And down in Tukwila, the property might be cheaper than in Seattle, but it will cost home buyers $88,000 more to live near a light rail station than elsewhere in the city.

Related: Puget Sound area commuter habits shifting toward buses and rail

For Dori, it’s proof of his previous allegations — that developers and property owners are taking advantage of the light rail service meant for increasing mobility through the area.

“In other words, developers and property owners are getting insanely wealthy and it’s a transfer of wealth from the middle class to developers and property owners along the light rail lines,” he said.

Dori further argued that if the Seattle area wanted to pass a tax for other forms of transportation, he would be for it.

“If they put a $27 billion tax on the table to be the most modern city in the world with driverless cars, and GPS data plotting for trips, and still have bus rapid transit and things that make sense — I would vote for that,” Dori said. “That is a tax I would vote for if we would embrace the future.”

“The future is driverless cars … and electric vehicles that are far more efficient than anything we can conceive of,” Dori said. “If we embrace modern technology we could improve the gridlock around here.”

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