As controversy swirls around its plans for an anchor tenant in the project, a representative for Gerding Edlen said the developer is “really close” to finalizing its big deal with Sound Transit to create 100,000 square feet of housing, commercial, and community projects on the now-empty land surrounding Capitol Hill Station.
“We’re working really closely with Sound Transit to a deal structure that works for us and them,” Gerding Edlen partner Jill Sherman tells CHS.
“It’s been extremely productive.”
The light rail station and the 3.1-mile U-Link subway line between downtown and the University of Washington via Broadway is slated to open March 19th. But the “transit oriented development” around the project likely won’t begin construction until late 2017.
More good news for the process to shape the development came for the Capitol Hill Champion community group this week with word it has received a $10,000 grant from the city to boost its “outreach and advocacy for community priorities” on the massive development.
Group representative Mel Burchett tells CHS the Champion plans to use the funding to learn more about the needs of specific groups around the Hill:
Specifically, we want to hold smaller meetings/charettes with focus groups in coordination with the development team for the sites. We don’t know yet what priorities our groups will focus on, or specifically who these groups will be. We plan to review our outreach to-date and target groups that we feel have been underrepresented at our larger meetings (such as parents with small children, students, seniors, etc)
Earlier this month, CHS wrote about the growing need for senior housing on Capitol Hill but Champion representatives said it is too early to say what the focus will be for the group’s work to shape the coming projects.
“We are just beginning to develop our strategy, and plan to re-survey the community soon,” Burchett said.
A five-year fight to shape the bidding process for the developments with community priorities including affordable housing and a market plaza culminated in last year’s selection of Gerding Edlen as the “master developer” for four project areas around the future light rail station. Because of the community guidelines, developers were allowed to plan for 85-foot tall buildings along Broadway in exchange for going above the minimum affordable housing requirements.
According to Gerding Edlen, the company will purchase the property planned for affordable housing property from Sound Transit and sign leases for three other parcels. Sound Transit said the land was worth around $25 million and that Gerding Edlen was aiming for a 75-year deal to lease the properties. Continue reading