First look at Capitol Hill Station development designs — Seven stories, 427 units, and a new Broadway plaza

Here are the first official public design proposals for the four seven-story buildings including a combined 427 market-rate and affordable apartment units and more than 59,000 square feet of commercial and community space slated to rise surrounding Broadway’s Capitol Hill Station.

The proposal represents a decade of planning and public process that is set to further reshape Capitol Hill’s Broadway core and make new housing for hundreds while adding a new community plaza adjacent Cal Anderson Park. The full review proposal is at the bottom of this post.

As the project is lined up for its first design review next week, master developer Gerding Edlen will meet with residents, and business and community group representatives who will neighbor the massive — and massively important — development in an open house Tuesday night:

Capitol Hill Station development open house

The open house is designed as drop-in event with opportunities to speak with Gerding Edlen representatives — and practice your feedback on the project’s planned 668 334 parking stalls. The 1.5 0.78 stall to unit ratio is just a little higher than pretty much in line with recent trends across the city. UPDATE: Sorry for the error!

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Get ready to help shape four new seven-story buildings at Capitol Hill Station

It is showtime. After years of planning, December 14th brings the start of the public design review process to shape the four seven-story buildings that will create 444 affordable and market-rate apartments plus thousands of square feet commercial and community space surrounding Broadway’s Capitol Hill Station:

118 Broadway E: EDG application proposing a 7-story apartment structure containing 153 units & ground level retail. 1830 Broadway: EDG application proposing a 7-story apartment structure containing 92 units & ground level child care facility & retail. 923 E John St: EDG application proposing a 7-story apartment structure containing 99 units & a community room at ground level. 123 10th Ave E: EDG application proposing a 7-story apartment structure containing 100 units & ground level retail.

Design review: 118 Broadway E — Capitol Hill Station development

The development will finally put the two-acres of fenced-off empty pavement around Capitol Hill Station into motion sometime next year. It will also begin a new stream of communications around the project, eventually helping the neighborhood navigate another two years of major construction at the site. But first there are the pesky details of what it all is going to look like. Continue reading

Popular: Sound Transit 3’s big win celebrated

Tuesday’s national election results were a prime example of how, sometimes, it’s not as important how many votes you get but how you get them. But the hugely important decision faced by Puget Sound voters on the future of the region’s transportation system ended up a celebration of the popular vote. The campaign to deliver a combined “YES” on Sound Transit 3 vote across King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties celebrated its victory Thursday.

screen-shot-2016-11-10-at-10-21-52-amHere is the statement from Abigail Doerr, campaign manager for Mass Transit Now:

Today, I am honored to officially declare that Sound Transit Proposition 1 has passed with majority support from voters in Pierce, King and Snohomish counties.

With this landmark vote in favor of regional mass transit we’ve turned the page on our tumultuous transportation past, and begun a new chapter that will redefine our future.

Proposition 1 finally gives us the full-scale public transportation system we have always needed. It will benefit all of us, as well as our children and grandchildren by improving the environment, our region’s economy, and the quality of life of people in the Puget Sound for generations to come.

On behalf of the entire Mass Transit Now campaign and our coalition partners, I extend my sincere gratitude to everyone who supported Proposition 1 with their time, treasure and votes.

Prop 1 passed despite failing to our south in Pierce County. You can see by the tallies, with King County’s strong support, the more far flung “NO” voters didn’t have a chance: Continue reading

Why they’re building a hotel and apartment building on Harvard Ave

screen-shot-2016-11-07-at-4-13-49-pmAdding some hotel space and apartments to Capitol Hill was an easy decision for Jon Coulter and his business partners Rod McClaskey and Terry Boyle.

In spite of the common perception of soaring rents and developers making money hand over fist, Coulter says they are running up against some softness in the market, at least in the higher-end range where they build.

“The pressure of the rents is downward,” Coulter said. “We’re testing the top of the food chain.”

Design review: 1818 Harvard Ave

And he’s expecting that downward pressure to keep up, with hundreds, if not thousands of new units coming online over the next few years.

“We’re not sure what 380 square feet will get us in Capitol Hill in three years when it’s done,” Coulter said. Continue reading

John/Thomas intersections from Capitol Hill Station to Miller Park selected for major pedestrian improvements

screen-shot-2016-10-29-at-11-05-59-amOften overshadowed by the more bustling sections of Capitol Hill, the “John and Thomas corridor” is nonetheless a crucial pedestrian and transit passageway through the neighborhood. Thanks to a community-initiated proposal, 11 intersections in the corridor between Broadway and 23rd Ave are on deck for a $1 million pedestrian safety upgrade paid for by the Seattle Neighborhood Street Fund.

The proposal from David Seater, a volunteer with Central Seattle Greenways, calls for installing curb bulbs along all the corridor’s un-signaled intersections. It was recently approved by the Neighborhood District Council, setting up a final vote at City Council.

“I walk along John/Thomas frequently and have been frustrated with how unsafe and difficult it can be to cross at any of the intersections without signals,” Seater said. Continue reading

Hotel plus microshousing development planned right around corner from Capitol Hill Station


Don't judge the design just yet -- this is just the massing concep

Don’t judge the design just yet — this is just the massing concep

A new seven-story development planned for Harvard Ave just off E Denny will include “small efficiency units” for around 42 residents interested in a place to live on Capitol Hill at a reasonable price and near one of the neighborhood’s greatest new assets — Capitol Hill Station. They’ll have some interesting, though transient neighbors. The first four floors of the planned building at 1818 Harvard Ave, if developers get signoff on the plan, will be a hotel:

The proposed project consists of a 7 story building with 42 small efficiency dwelling units above, four floors of hotel with 70 rooms. Parking for 19 vehicles will be located on one level of below grade parking with access off of Harvard Ave. The existing three story apartment building will be demolished.

The developers behind 12th Ave’s Sola 24 building are now moving forward with plans to develop the Harvard parcel they acquired in 2012 for just under $2 million, according to county records. The project is being planned for a site where a 1950s-built, three-story apartment building stands today, just around the corner from the sprawling Capitol Hill Station campus where development is on track for a 2019 opening of new affordable housing and commercial space around the transit hub. Continue reading

CHS Pics | Fun and games on Capitol Hill Station’s Denny festival street

Idiot? Do it. (Images: CHS)

Idiot? Do it. (Images: CHS)

Wednesday afternoon, the still relatively newly one-way E Denny Way running through the midst of Capitol Hill Station was put to use as intended — as a giant game board. The planned “festival street” designed to be easily shut off and used as a public space hosted a Seattle Department of Transportation-sponsored game of giant Scrabble as the department celebrated the National Association of Transportation Officials conference in the city this week.
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HALA map: Broadway, area around Capitol Hill Station part of affordability plan’s proposal for taller buildings

325582184-mha-draft-rezone-mapping-11x17_capitolhill_firsthillThe mayor’s Housing Affordability and Livability committee has released a preview of maps detailing proposed zoning changes across Seattle coming as part of the effort to link the creation of affordable housing with market-rate development in a legislative process expected to play out over the next two years. Included in the preview of the planned October release is a map detailing proposals for changes around First Hill and Capitol Hill including raising allowed heights by another story along Broadway and a new “midrise” designation in the area around Capitol Hill Station currently limited to three-story “lowrise” buildings.

The HALA announcement on the proposed Mandatory Housing Affordability zoning says the full package of proposals, shaped and vetted by stakeholder groups organized by the city, is expected to be released in October.

Based on our MHA Principles, we have maps illustrating a first draft of zoning changes in five example urban villages: South Park, Othello, First Hill-Capitol Hill, Aurora-Licton Springs, and Crown Hill. This first draft is intended to solicit your feedback and ideas for improving the zoning changes that will implement MHA affordable housing requirements. In October 2016, a full citywide draft zoning map will be available.

The full set of preview maps — and an easier to read view of the Capitol Hill map — is below. Continue reading

Boost to Broadway, cocktail bar Witness used to tout benefits of Sound Transit 3

Happy six-month birthday, Capitol Hill Station.

Mass Transit Now, the pro-Sound Transit 3 campaign, is using the half-year milestone since this spring’s opening of light rail connecting the Husky Stadium and Broadway to downtown to tout the local success both transit and economic of the service as part of its push for the $53.8 billion funding package.

“For the past six months, Capitol Hill businesses are thrilled to see an increase in customers using light rail to shop, dine and drink,” Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce director Sierra Hansen says in a press release sent out by the campaign Monday. “Broadway and surround areas are abuzz with new visitors from around the city, region and world as folks realize they can travel to the coolest neighborhood from downtown in under 10 minutes.” Continue reading

Central Co-op CEO announces exit

arnettAs Central Co-op attempts to win a place anchoring the commercial development around Capitol Hill Station and repair the situation in Tacoma where it is looking for a new location to open a market after this year’s merger, it will do so while searching for a new leader.

CEO Dan Arnett told the 40-year-old cooperative’s members Thursday he will be stepping down in December to head a co-op in Sacramento. Arnett told CHS he was ready for a new challenge and that controversy over the closure of Central Co-op Tacoma had no impact on his decision to leave Seattle.

8446998444_a8c3a36dab“It’s really irrelevant to my decision making process,” he said. “There’s always some group that’s mad about something.”

Overseeing the merger of the Tacoma co-op with the  E Madison-headquartered Central Co-op was one of Arnett’s most significant accomplishments during his four years in Seattle. The Tacoma store later closed when Central Co-op could not reach an agreement on a new lease. Arnett said there were no plans for Central Co-op to make any further mergers, with Sacramento or elsewhere.

Last month, CHS reported on the frustrations of Tacoma co-op members following the abrupt closure of their store in the wake of a merger. Christine Cooley of Tacoma’s Friends of the Co-op group told CHS that she hopes Arnett’s resignation could expedite the opening of a new Tacoma store. “I worry a lot for Sacramento,” she said.

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Sound Transit begins pilot allowing buskers at Capitol Hill Station

A busker at Capitol Hill Station's grand opening earlier this year

A busker at Capitol Hill Station’s grand opening earlier this year

Just like a real big city neighborhood, Capitol Hill now has a subway station. And like a big city of the future, you can use your phone in the subway tunnels. Starting today, our subway will get another important feature — station buskers.

Sound Transit began a six-month trial Thursday allowing busking on Capitol Hill Station and University of Washington Station property:

Sound Transit believes that allowing buskers to perform at the University of Washington and Capitol Hill light rail stations will help retain existing users, as well as attract new users, and is consistent with promoting transit-related activities. Accordingly, Sound Transit is adopting this pilot program for a 6 month period to assess the feasibility of adopting a permanent policy regarding performances by buskers.

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Agreement on $17M+ land lease will put Capitol Hill Station development on track for fall 2019 opening — UPDATE

In spring 2018, developer Gerding Edlen will finally break ground on the 100,000-square-foot Capitol Hill Station commercial, housing, and community space project. To do it, the developer needs to sign a land lease for the Sound Transit-owned property.

On Thursday, the Sound Transit board will vote on three 99-year lease agreements to hand over control of Sites A, B-South, and C — the paved over, fenced off parcels along Broadway between E Denny Way and E John. If approved, it would put Gerding on track to finish the project in fall 2019.

UPDATE (3:20 PM): The Sound Transit board unanimously approved the lease agreements Thursday afternoon, paving they way for Gerding Edlen to dive into the design phase of the project. “Today is a really exciting day,” said Sarah Lovell, a member of Sound Transit’s “transit orientated development” staff.

In addition to some 400 apartments, the project will include a retail “bazaar” anchored by a grocery store. Portland-based New Seasons Market and Capitol Hill’s Central Co-op are currently vying to take over the space. The project is also slated to include a daycare, community space, and permanent home for the Broadway Farmers Market.

Board members said the project would be an example for all future TOD projects along the expanding light rail system. Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff praised his staff following the vote, saying many had lived and breathed the deal for the past six months. “It’s easily the most ambitious TOD action the agency has ever taken,” he said.

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