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Quest to build Capitol Hill Station retail and housing down to eight developers

SiteMapv4-W-Map-1024x807Sound Transit has selected eight firms to submit bids to develop four housing and retail properties that will surround the future Capitol Hill light rail station.

The shortlisted firms will also sit down with the Capitol Hill Champion group at a June 2nd public meeting to make sure they understand and adopt the community priorities forged over several years.

Fourteen companies and nonprofits originally responded to Sound Transit’s February request for qualifications to develop 100,000 square feet of “transit oriented development” that will include housing, retail, and community space stretching along Broadway from John to Denny.

Sound Transit will release a request for proposals for each site in June. Developers will then have until September to submit their plans. Sound Transit hopes to have developers selected by this fall.

Four of the developers are applying to be named a “master developer” for the project, which includes an all-affordable housing property. Capitol Hill Housing applied to be both a single parcel developer of the affordable housing site and a master developer through a partnership with New York-based firm Jonathan Rose Co. Meanwhile, developers like The Wolff Company are already very active in the area with its about to open Sunset Electric project at 11th and Pine and Pike Motorworks development at Pike and Harvard.

Here’s the list:

Master Developers (Sites A-C)

Capitol Hill Housing & Jonathan Rose Co.
Gerding Edlen
MacFarlane Properties
Lowe Enterprises Real Estate Group (except Site B)

Site A

The Wolff Company LLC
Security Properties

Site B-North

Bellwether Housing
Capitol Hill Housing

Site B-South

Lennar Multifamily Communities, LLC

Site C

Lennar Multifamily Communities, LLC

Firms that were winnowed in this latest update to the process include Westbank Projects Corp, CenterCal Properties, Emerald Bay Equity, Lake Union Partners, and TOD Housing LLC.

Capitol Hill Station is slated to open for service on a new line of the Sound Transit light rail connecting downtown to UW via Broadway in early 2016. While it’s very unlikely the entire development site will be ready by then, officials expect to have Site A complete.

UPDATE: An announcement of the final developer list from Sound Transit is below:

Sound Transit selects short list of potential developers for Capitol Hill sites
Public meeting June 2 for community to meet transit-oriented development proposers

Sound Transit has selected a short list of eight developers who will be invited to submit proposals for new development above the Capitol Hill light rail station in Seattle scheduled to open in early 2016.

The firms were selected from a request for qualifications to develop four sites above the station on Broadway Avenue between East John and Denny streets. Sound Transit expects more than 14,000 daily boardings at the station in the heart of Capitol Hill by 2030.

The Capitol Hill Station is part of the $1.8 billion University Link light rail extension project that will extend light rail 3.1 miles from downtown Seattle to Capitol Hill and the University of Washington. The line is entirely underground and currently more than $100 million under budget and six to nine months ahead of schedule.

A minimum of 397 apartments could be built on the sites, with at least 36 percent reserved for below market-rate affordable housing. The new developments will also feature ground-level retail and a public plaza which could be the home for the Broadway Farmer’s Market.

The firms that will be invited to submit development proposals are Capitol Hill Housing & Johnathan Rose Co., Gerdling Edlen, Lowe Enterprise Real Estate Group, MacFarlane Partners, Security Properties, The Wolff Company LLC, Bellwether Housing and Lennar Multifamily Communities LLC.

For more information on the development sites see:

Sound Transit and the Capitol Hill Champion neighborhood advocacy group will host a public meeting June 2 for the community to meet the potential developers and discuss neighborhood priorities for the sites.

Meeting details:
Monday, June 2
5:30-8:30 p.m.

Broadway Performance Hall
1625 Broadway Ave.
Seattle, WA 98122

Proposals for the sites will be due in September. Sound Transit expects to select winning proposals in October. Construction could begin in 2016 after the station opens.

Sound Transit received submittals from 14 developers this spring after requesting interested firms to submit their qualifications. Sound Transit selected the nine firms to submit detailed proposals based on their experience, financial capacity and ability to deliver projects in a timely manner among other factors.

The Sound Transit Board recently adopted updated transit-oriented development policies to help grow transit ridership by promoting positive land uses and development within walking distance of its stations. Quality transit-oriented development helps create and emphasize vibrant walkable, active communities that are less dependent on driving.

UPDATE: We received this update from the Capitol Hill Champion group to clarify just how many groups are participating in Monday’s session. We count eight developers but Champion points out there are nine different team combinations… we think:

Bellwether Housing and Capitol Hill Housing are each short-listed for site B-North only – there are also three master developer teams short-listed for that site.  CHH is part of the Jonathan Rose team, Bellwether is part of the Gerding Edlen team, and MacFarlane from San Francisco has partnered with Bridge Housing out of the Bay area as their non-profit affordable housing developer partner.  Bridge apparently didn’t make a separate submission on Site B-North only.

Monday night, CHH and Bellwether will each be presenting, as will Jonathan Rose and Gerding Edlen and MacFarlane, and all the other teams – so no, CHH isn’t presenting twice. Screen Shot 2014-05-30 at 10.58.03 AM

Sound Transit is offering each parcel separately.  I find the attached document the clearest statement of who wants to propose on what.  It’s a complicated dance card.


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6 years ago

I think it’s great that there will be lots of affordable housing in this development….4 of the 5 buildings will have 20% affordable, and one will have 100%. I hope those who are always whining about the lack of affordable housing on Capitol Hill will take note. Yes, it’s a few years away, but it will happen.


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