|Retail/Commercial Lofts | Residential: Two and three bedrooms plans|
South Downtown encompasses the neighborhoods of Pioneer Square, Chinatown/International District, Little Saigon, and the Stadiums. The area is bounded on the West by Elliott Bay and on the East by Rainier Avenue.
For more than a century this area has been the first home to many who’ve just arrived in Seattle. The residential hotels of Pioneer Square served the needs of the men who worked the waterfront, and those waiting to catch a ship to the gold fields of Alaska. Chinatown grew and flourished with the wave of Chinese immigrants who landed in Seattle to work in the mills or build the railroads. The Chinese were followed by Japanese who cleared the land for small farms, and Filipinos who came to work in the canneries that lined the waterfront.
As Seattle grew during the closing days of the 19th Century a network of streetcars branched out to new communities outside of downtown. The Rainier Valley that stretches south from the heart of our city to its southern border provided fertile soil for small scale farmers. For the hundreds of Italian immigrants brought over to work the coal mines of Black Diamond, it was an attractive place to settle, build their homes and nurture small farms.
Competition among the Italian and Japanese farmers manifested itself in ever more elaborate presentation of their produce in the Pike Market. What started as a way to attract buyers to their stalls is still evident today in the neatly arranged stacks of colorful produce you see in the market today.
Vestiges of the Italian influence can be seen in the historically Italian owned businesses such as Borracchini’s Bakery, Oberto Sausage Company, and Mondo Meats. And of course Our Lady of Mount Virgin church on Bradner Place South, built in 1913, was the hub of the Italian community. This is where Mother Cabrini, America’s first saint, obtained her citizenship.