14 developers in running to forge Capitol Hill Station retail and housing sites

Just build this -- a design submitted by a team of University of Washington students for the Capitol Hill Station "transit oriented development" in a 2011 class exercise

Just build this — a design submitted by a team of University of Washington students for the Capitol Hill Station “transit oriented development” in a 2011 class exercise

Surrounding the under-construction Capitol Hill Station, the development sites will line Broadway and neighbor Cal Anderson

Surrounding the under-construction Capitol Hill Station, the development sites will line Broadway and neighbor Cal Anderson

The candidates to develop some of Capitol Hill’s most prominent and prized projects have added their names to the list and they include a mix of neighborhood, local, and national developers. Fourteen companies and nonprofits officially responded to Sound Transit’s February request for qualifications to develop 100,000 square feet of “transit oriented development” that will surround the future Capitol Hill light rail station. The project will include housing, retail, and community space on five sites stretching along Broadway from John to Denny.

A couple of familiar Capitol Hill names have thrown their names into the hat, including Capitol Hill Housing and a partnership that includes local developer Maria Barrientos. Sound Transit spokesperson Bruce Gray said the agency recieved more responses than it expected.

“It’s obviously a hugly desireable site,” Gray said. “It’s a fantstic opportunity for great development, and people want to be in the middle of Capitol Hill.”

Sound Transit is currently evaluating the qualifications of each bidder and will have a short list by the end of May, Gray said. Criteria include financial capabilities and firm experience. Once the shortlist is finalized, which could still include all 14 firms, those firms will be asked to submit actual proposals for the site.

The firms are also scheduled to meet with the community with the Capitol Hill Champion group on June 2nd. Over several years, the group helped create the community-forged development agreement which sets mandates for affordable housing, a community cultural center, and space for the Broadway Farmers Market at the TOD site.SiteMapv4-W-Map-1024x807 SiteMapv4-W-Legend-1024x828

More about the community framework for the development of the sites can be found at capitolhillchampion.org.

Six of the developers are applying to be named a “master developer” for the project, although all six have indicated they are not interested in developing B North — the 100% affordable housing parcel. Those not applying to be a master developer could develop just the affordable housing parcel or just one of the other parcels.

  1. Bellwether Housing
  2. Capitol Hill Housing
  3. Capitol Hill Housing & Jonathan Rose Co.*
  4. CenterCal Properties
  5. Emerald Bay Equity
  6. Gerding Edlen*
  7. Lake Union Partners
  8. Lennar Multifamily Communities*
  9. Lowe Enterprises*
  10. MacFarlane Partners*
  11. Security Properties
  12. The Wolff Company
  13. TOD Housing LLC
  14. Westbank Projects Corp*

(* applying to be a master developer)

Capitol Hill Housing applied to be both a single parcel developer of the affordable housing site and a master developer through a partnership with New York-based firm Jonathan Rose Co. The entities were named as the final two entities in the Yessler Terrace redevelopment project, which CHH won with another partner.

“We feel that more affordable apartments are desperately needed on Capitol Hill, and that we’re uniquely qualified to be the affordable housing developer,” said CHH spokesperson Michael Seiwerath.

Sound Transit will release a request for proposals for each site in June. Developers will then have until September to submit their plans. Sound Transit hopes to have developers selected by this fall.

Capitol Hill Station is slated to open for service on a new line of the Sound Transit light rail connecting downtown to UW via Broadway in early 2016.

The Capitol Hill Champion will host an open meeting with shortlisted developers June 2nd at 5:30 PM in Broadway Performance Hall at 1625 Broadway.

Capitol Hill Station TOD — Request for Qualifications (Sound Transit) (RFQ criteria starts on p. 12)

12 thoughts on “14 developers in running to forge Capitol Hill Station retail and housing sites

  1. This is an extremely important project and if they get the public space part wrong it will be the epicenter of heroin dealing in all of Seattle and a place to be avoided by everyone at night (I am looking at you, Cal Anderson Basketball Courts and shady alley by Panera where they recently found a dead guy).

    I think the best way to avoid that is to keep it more open and visible. If they close it off with a rats nest of tall buildings then it wont end well.

    • I think a wide open space would feel more unsafe. Empty plaza no, rat’s nest no, shady alley no.

      Having active businesses that bring a steady supply of foot traffic would help with safety, and having balconies and big windows overlooking the public space would probably help too.

  2. My hope is that the space will be designed carefully, and that there will be enough “eyes on the street,” to discourage illicit activity. But if such an approach fails, the possibility should be left open of some kind of a fence which could be locked at night. And of course enforcement of illegal activity will be key….something which is not done much in our neighborhood these days.

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  4. Unfortunately i only see this as being an epicenter of crime just like pioneer station and westlake station and will obviously be another spot for the homies to sell drugs

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