‘Community Package’ including affordable housing, park cash gets support in Convention Center expansion hearing

Council member Mike O’Brien (right) views a model of the planned convention center expansion (Image: CHS)

Fine tuning some $83 million in public benefits — and how quickly the cash to pay for them will be delivered — was the theme of the night as neighborhood, transit, and public space advocates came to City Hall Wednesday.

“The sooner we can get more money for affordable housing the better,” said Seattle City Council sustainability and transportation committee chair Mike O’Brien.

Wednesday’s hearing featured mostly speakers in support of the Community Package Coalition formed to create a shared platform of community priorities for a roster of public benefits to be exchanged for the vacation of “Block 33, Block 43, Block 44, Olive Way & Terry Avenue.” The city land is planned to be part of the construction of the estimated $1.6 billion Washington State Convention Center addition and development that will create a massive new exhibition facility across I-5 between Pike and Olive Way.

“Equity and equitable outcomes should be at the forefront of discussions around large real estate projects such as this one,” said McCaela Daffern from Capitol Hill Housing. “I ask that you make note of the significant contributions toward affordable housing secured thanks to advocacy of Capitol Hill housing and the rest of the coalition.” Continue reading

Process begins to finalize convention center expansion public benefits package including affordable housing, street improvements

The process is underway for the City of Seattle to shake out a final deal for handing over public right of way to the developers of the Washington State Convention Center expansion.

The Seattle City Council’s sustainability and transportation committee chaired by Mike O’Brien held its first session on a proposed vacation of “Block 33, Block 43, Block 44, Olive Way & Terry Avenue” to make way for construction of the estimated $1.6 billion Convention Center addition and development that will create a massive new exhibition facility across I-5 between Pike and Olive Way. Continue reading

‘Bikeways and schools to housing and commercial development’ — I-5 lid designs come together

John Feit at January’s kickoff design event (Image: Alec Dietz for CHS)

The process bringing neighborhoods from both sides of I-5 together to design solutions for lidding the busy freeway with space for resources like open park space and housing will move forward with a night of beer-fueled presentations Thursday night.

It’s time for the Central Hills Triangle Collaborative Collab #1 event:

Central Hills Triangle Collaborative — Collab #1

CHS reported on the January design charrette that kicked off the process as teams of community members, engineers, and architects worked together to explore possibilities for lidded space above I-5. Continue reading

With hope for 2018 construction start, time to finalize design tweaks on $1.6B convention center expansion

After three years of design review, the final touches on plans for the $1.6 billion expansion of the Washington State Convention Center are down to the nitty gritty. The refined massing, the updated glazing pattern, the landmark lighting plan — each will be broken down as the project takes what could be its final bow in front of the review board Tuesday night at City Hall. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Community Post | Central Hills Triangle Collaborative — Join the tours and charrette

From Lid I-5

Funded by a $48,000 Neighborhood Matching Fund, the Collaborative is a major Lid I5 design initiative that will bring together the First Hill, Downtown, Denny Triangle, and Capitol Hill communities throughout 2018. We’ll use the results of the Collaborative to inform the scope of the City’s lid feasibility study and to create captivating illustrations of how lids will benefit the health, economy, and cohesion of urban neighborhoods.

Click here to register for the main event, the Collaborative kickoff charrette, on Sunday, January 21, 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM, at 12th Avenue Arts’ Pike-Pine room (please note the date has changed from previous notices).

Continue reading

Central Hills Triangle Collaborative focuses on ‘lidding I-5 in the heart of Seattle’

(Image: Central Hills Triangle Collaborative)

Powered by a $48,000 Department of Neighborhoods grant, the Central Hills Triangle Collaborative will join the Lid I-5 group and the Pike/Pine Urban Neighborhood Council with a goal of putting together teams of community representatives and design professionals to develop concepts for three lidded areas across the interstate: Continue reading

Renaissance ‘Act One’ plans include improved streetscape, one-way Pike and Pine below Hill

A project to transform Pike and Pine from the waterfront to the base of Capitol Hill with an improved streetscape — and the possibility of shifting the busy streets to one-way traffic — is nearing the end of its first early design phase. You have one more day to weigh in on the Pike Pine Renaissance: Act One.

Here is the “online open house” for the project including the opportunity to leave public comment on the proposals. Continue reading

Community groups pushing for public benefits package have $80M agreement with Convention Center — UPDATE

With reporting by Kelsey Hamlin

The Community Package Coalition has reached an agreement on an $80 million slate of public infrastructure investments surrounding the planned expansion of the Washington State Convention Center in downtown Seattle.

Details of the agreement were set to be unveiled in a Monday afternoon press conference:

On Monday, October 16th at 1:30 PM, the Community Package Coalition, an alliance of community organizations adjacent to the planned the three-block, $1.6B Washington State Convention Center Addition (WSCCA), will announce results of their months-long negotiations with the developers of the WSCCA to secure a fair public benefits package for the people of Seattle.

The coalition represents community groups and nonprofits including the First Hill Improvement Association, Lid I-5, Capitol Hill Housing, Cascade Bicycle Club, Central Seattle Greenways, Housing Development Consortium, Freeway Park Association, and Seattle Neighborhood Greenways.

UPDATE: Here is the announced roster of projects that made the benefits package cut:

Summary of WSCC Addition Public Benefits and Investments
Item$ MM
Community Package Projects
Freeway Park Improvements$10.0
Lid I-5 Study$1.5
Pike-Pine Bicycle Improvements$10.0
Olive Way Pedestrian Improvements$0.5
8th Ave Bicycle Improvements$6.0
Terry Ave Promenade$4.0
Affordable Housing$29.0
Subtotal$61.0
Other Public Benefits (current estimate)
Pike-Pine Renaissance Pedestrian Improvements$10.0
9th Avenue Pedestrian Improvements$0.6
Public Art$1.9
Historic Building Lighting$1.0
On-Site Features$8.1
Improvements to Olive Way$0.2
Subtotal                                                                             $82.8

The coalition has been pushing Convention Center and public officials to create a broader — and more expensive — package of public benefits package required to justify the vacation of three alleys for the $1.6 billion downtown project. Continue reading

Community Package Coalition gains ground in push for I-5 lid study, Convention Center public benefits

A coalition of neighborhood groups and advocacy organizations CHS first told you about in February as the new team pushed for a stronger public benefits package in the planned $1.6 billion Washington State Convention Center addition project is growing. The Capitol Hill Community Council is the latest organization to throw its weight behind the Community Package Coalition.

The alliance including the First Hill Improvement Association and the Lid I-5 group is calling for a $79 million benefits package in return for the WSCC’s plans to take over three alleys, and land under Olive Way and Terry Ave for its expansion and development project:

Metro has $161 million deal to sell downtown bus center for convention center expansion

(Image: King County)

(Image: King County)

Screen-Shot-2015-03-02-at-10.49.16-AM-400x337King County has agreed on a price for the Washington State Convention Center to acquire the Convention Place Station bus facility, part of the $1.6 billion project to expand the center and a harbinger of the end of Metro’s use of the downtown transit tunnel.

The WSCC will pay $161 million for the land over the next 30 or so years — $275 million with interest.

“This proposed sale will help support Metro’s service and reliability improvements for the next three decades,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said in the announcement of the agreement. “Meanwhile, the expansion of the Convention Center will generate thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic growth for the region. This agreement is good for taxpayers, transit riders, and workers.” Continue reading