With the pavement laid on the Capitol Hill light rail station construction site and the empty lot about to go unused for the next three months, CHS asked Brooke Belman, a community-outreach program manager for Sound Transit, how community members might work with the agency to activate the space.
Belman said Sound Transit is again working to coordinate artworks for the space similar to the program they created for the empty buildings in the area on Broadway prior to demolition. She also says Sound Transit is looking to work with people in the community to put the space to use:
Our original thought was to use the site for a groundbreaking/community celebration, which is what we talked to you about a couple of weeks ago. As we got closer to the site actually being paved, more interest has grown about using the space and we’ve had some good ideas come our way – like the skate party. Other ideas have been using our art program sort of like we did when we had the vacant buildings (same idea, but different concept given the space) and/or showing films.
If you are starting to brainstorm events and uses you’d like to see in the three-acre space (roller skate party for Ref 71?), Belman has some good news. One, your idea can involve power — electrical power. And, two, ST is looking for ideas:
We did direct our last contractor to provide some power sources so that we’ll have some flexibility on what we can do with the site. We’re interested in hearing specific ideas that the community has. We might have some issues around specific ideas, but we’re game to hearing ideas and seeing where we can meet.
Sound Transit offered the following guidelines to shape any ideas:
- Non-Sound Transit sponsored event – If a private entity wanted to hold a non-commercial event, they would need to be in a position to organize and hold an event and be able to provide liability insurance.
- Sound Transit sponsored community event – If a good idea emerges and there is a group who can help define and organize the event, Sound Transit would be willing to work them.
- No alcohol, no commercial use and a mindful eye on how public funds are spent towards a community event
There’s the empty lot. Here’s the framework. Fill it up.
If you’d rather not think out loud and want to contact Brooke Belman directly, here’s her address belmanb at soundtransit.org