I had coffee this morning with a southside powerbroker who reminded me how ludicrous it was for the city to blight MLK Way in order to: (a) drop the eminent domain sledgehammer on any potential scrums that might impede that leg of light rail construction, while (b) avoiding having to pay businesses fair market value for their properties. (While eminent domain/blighting professes to ensure property owners fair market value for their parcels, anyone familiar with these transactions instantly recognizes that this is a crock of shit, especially in a real estate market as hot as Seattle's).
What the aforementioned southsider and I have in common is that we both went on professional sabbaticals in notoriously hardscrabble metropolises in the eastern half of the United States. In other words, we lived amidst blight, we know what real blight is, and Martin Luther King Way, you are no blighted area. For an example of where blihgting/eminent domain should be used, check out this dispatch from ex-Weekly intern Keegan Hamilton, who's now writing for my alma mater, St. Louis' Riverfront Times.