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.
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.Lead developer Gerding Edlen and the Capitol Hill Champion, the chamber of commerce and community council-backed organization formed to advocate for community design priorities, will also hold an open house to provide the public updates on the project.
“Our intent is to continue to work with the community and get feedback,” Jill Sherman, a partner at Gerding, told CHS.
A date for the open house has not yet been set. UPDATE: Here are the details on the open house:
Keep Capitol Hill’s Voice Strong! Attend a Community Open House with Gerding Edlen and members of the the design team, and see what they have planned for the station sites. Stop by anytime between 5:30pm – 8pm and tell them what you think! Don’t miss your opportunity to have direct input into this important development on Capitol Hill:
Community Open House
Hosted by Gerding Edlen
Tuesday, December 6th
Summit Space on Pike (420 E Pike)
Sherman said the open house will focus on the site as a whole, the massing of individual buildings and plaza design.
Under the community design agreement that has helped shape the massive project, Gerding is working under an expedited design process that will allow the firm to present fewer options to the design board.
The design materials for the December 14th meeting have not yet been released publicly.
That community agreement began nearly 10 years ago as neighborhood priorities were documented and sifted out. In 2011, the Capitol Hill Light Rail Stations Site Urban Design Framework document was published, distilling information shaped over a period of years in the community.
In 2013, the City Council approved the development framework allowing developers to plan for 85-foot tall buildings along Broadway in exchange for going above minimum affordable housing requirements. Overall, the “transit oriented development” plans call for 444 apartments with 38% of units to rent for below market rate for 12 years and Site-B North’s 110 units designated for “permanent affordable housing.” A quarter of the units will have at least two bedrooms. Local nonprofit developer Capitol Hill Housing has been picked to operate light rail station’s affordable housing site.
Sherman said currently Gerding expects to break ground on the project in the spring of 2018 and construction is expected to last about 18 to 20 months. In its initial bid, Gerding had hoped to complete the project in 2018 — that clearly won’t be the case now.
In addition to the more than 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 had been vying to take over the space. The project is also slated to include a daycare, community space, and a planned permanent home for the Broadway Farmers Market.
Seattle Central College has been given a right of first refusal to develop a fifth parcel, Site D, due to the site’s location directly next to the school’s Broadway promenade. SCC officials have previously said they are interested in building faculty housing on the site, but no formal plans have been announced.
This summer, Gerding Edlen and Sound Transit finally agreed on a $17 million-plus land lease to put the Capitol Hill Station development on track for fall 2019 opening. The transit agency’s board approved 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.
In August, the Champion group began recruiting participants for focus groups to discuss community priorities including the transit-oriented design. The group is planning to hold its first meeting with focus group participants in December.
“We’ll frame the discussion of the development in terms of the vested community priorities, which should be already reflected in the design of the development,” Champion coordinator Mel Burchett tells CHS. “We are specifically looking for feedback from the unique perspectives of the focus group participants.”
The focus groups will be split into four different community voice representations — seniors, families and people with accessibility challenges; artists, students and the nightlife community; business owners and workers; social service professionals and people who are homeless.
While the Champion will finally complete its work once the development is finalized and the construction begins, the organization will continue to advocate for community priorities as the project moves forward, Burchett said.