Heard last week that Sound Transit has awarded the bid for the demolition work for the buildings that will make way for the Capitol Hill light rail station. That means we’ll soon know when the work — and the digging — will begin.
The impact to the area will be massive and we’ve written about ways Sound Transit and community members have responded to keep Capitol Hill — and Broadway, especially — alive. Sound Transit also has plans in place to minimize construction impact as much as possible and provide communication resources for residents to keep track of what is happening and let everybody know if there are problems. — will post about this end of the equation soon.
But there’s another effort to help Capitol Hill survive and thrive during the eight-year construction period that you should know about. Hasn’t been written about much, yet — the PI picked it up here:
The Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce says it has finalized an agreement with Sound Transit to help neighborhood businesses during the six years-plus of light rail construction due to begin later this year. As part of this, Sound Transit is paying for a marketing firm, Kite Inc., “to help promote and accentuate the neighborhood as a great place to live, work and shop,” according to a press release.
Full disclosure: I’ve been asked to be part of a group to work with Kite on this and did my first interview with the firm last week, talking about Capitol Hill. It’s volunteer. It’s unpaid. But I’m part of it. Disclosed.
So, is this the best use of money to mitigate light rail construction impact? I would have preferred a more direct route with something like the Summit at John park project that needs funding. But if the Hill is going to have a message and a position to rally around, I wanted to be part of the process.
I’ve put aside wondering about how I’d better spend the money. And I’ve accepted that Capitol Hill can use a brand. Now we need to figure out what the message is that sums the Hill up and won’t make us cringe for the next eight years. I have some ideas that will probably never fly. You?