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Get ready to help shape four new seven-story buildings at Capitol Hill Station

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.

Design review: 118 Broadway E — Capitol Hill Station development

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

5:30pm ‐8pm

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.

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12 thoughts on “Get ready to help shape four new seven-story buildings at Capitol Hill Station

    • You who are constantly (and annoyingly) beating the drum about building taller never seem to be satisfied. This development will add 444 apartments to the neighborhood (many affordable)….isn’t that enough?

      In my opinion, new buildings should be reasonably in-scale with those that are there. It’s called good urban design.

    • No, 444 apartments is not enough. We need to build thousands of homes, of all sizes, shapes, and heights, to accommodate our city’s growth. The light rail station can accommodate far more than 444 new apartments’ inhabitants.

    • @bob

      “This development will add 444 apartments to the neighborhood (many affordable)….isn’t that enough?”

      no, it’s not enough. have you not been paying attention to the coverage our city has had about affordability? one reason is that we don’t have enough apartments for everyone who wants one.

      if we’re not going to build higher, in places that it makes sense, then where are we going to put everyone? should we push them out to the suburbs; to sprawl? or maybe we set-up a roadblock at the city limits with a sign that says, “full-up. city closed”?

      i’d like to understand what your suggestion is since you are against tall buildings in a neighborhood that sits on the edge of downtown. a place where we should have taller buildings interspersed with mid- and low-rise structures.

    • Zeebleoop…, I am not opposed to tall buildings. I just think they should be confined to certain parts of the city…..downtown, Belltown, First Hill.

      I’m mystified by those who think we are not doing enough to add density and accommodate an increasing population. Just look around….there are new buildings going up on almost every block! (with more to come).

    • Bob, we have 11+ story buildings scattered around Capitol Hill already. Why not build to 20, 25?

      Regarding your comment about building to the scale of the neighborhood, lets start a new scale where it is appropriate. This location is appropriate. This is a large patch of land. 400 apartments isn’t enough. What we do have enough of are stubby buildings being built block to block.

      Not sorry to annoy you. I demand we do better than continue to accept short particleboard boxes.

  1. There were plenty of community input meetings, hearings and charettes starting in about 2007 when you could have voiced your opinions about skyscrapers on Broadway. I attended virtually every one and not once did I see your point-of-view being voiced. Did you attend?

    The Capitol Hill community spoke quite clearly and what has been returned by Gerding Edlen is a very close representation of what the community voiced – it is a good plan.

    It was a monumental effort just to get to the 7 – 8 story limits on Broadway because there was very strong resistance to increasing them to the present height limit.

    Be happy – this is going to be amazing!!

    • I’m going to be happy because it’s OK, but in order for it to be amazing, it’d have to represent a dramatic improvement over “business as usual”. This site is probably the single best place in the city we could be putting new arrivals. The short-sighted community voice which resisted even such this token amount of density increase, almost a decade ago now, is exactly what I meant when I said “it’s a shame”.