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Seattle's Broadway business district has a well-earned reputation for being a hip and happening place, just like the surrounding Capitol Hill neighborhood. But merchants and property owners say Broadway's bright lights will dim unless they take action.
They worry about the recent appearance of empty storefronts, a rash of graffiti vandalism and the perception that panhandlers and street teens are increasingly part of Broadway's sidewalk scene.
Sound Transit threw an element of uncertainty over the business district with its proposed light-rail tunnel, now on hold. The agency's acquisition and construction plans disrupted several tenants and landlords, leaving empty spaces behind.
A sense of vulnerability is in the air.
"Everybody has some anxiety about the future," said Monica Moe, executive director of Businesses of Broadway, a merchants association.
As a result, some property owners and merchants are trying to rally the business community. Property owners are considering whether to form a …