The Sound Transit Board including King County Executive Dow Constantine and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray voted Thursday to approve Motion No. M2015-34 authorizing the start of negotiations with Gerding Edlen for the Portland-based developer to lease or purchase — and then develop — the transit agency’s two acres of land surrounding Capitol Hill Station.
But the process still has some negotiation to shake out before all is said and done on the selection of the “master developer.”
According to the Sound Transit board memorandum on the motion, “a protest has been submitted that relates solely to Site B-North. Staff will evaluate the protest and will issue a written decision consistent with Sound Transit’s protest procedures.”
Nonprofit developer Capitol Hill Housing sent the letter of protest over the selection, CHS has learned. CEO Chris Persons confirmed the protest but told CHS he couldn’t discuss details until talks with Gerding Edlen were wrapped up in coming weeks. Capitol Hill Housing had been part of a proposal with the Jonathan Rose Companies to develop the properties.
In an email sent from Capitol Hill Housing to Sound Transit, Persons wrote that the nonprofit developers would file “a formal protest regarding Sound Transit’s determination to enter into negotiations with an organization other than a qualified not-for-profit for the acquisition and development of site B-North at the Capitol Hill Redevelopment site.”
“We sincerely believe that an honest mistake has been made,” Persons writes, adding that CHH holds Gerding Edlen “in the highest regard.”