The future of Boren at Olive
The $83 million “community package” of public benefits including cash for affordable housing, bike infrastructure improvements, and Freeway Park enhancement will go in front of the Seattle City Council Monday afternoon for final approval in a move that should clear the way for the vacation of city right of way needed to construct the $1.6 billion Washington State Convention Center expansion in downtown Seattle at the foot of Capitol Hill.
There is, however, one small point to consider on the vote necessary to allow the project to begin construction of the expansion later this year with a goal of opening the new 1.2 million-square-foot structure in 2020. The City Council will consider an insurance plan of sorts on the the traffic impact from moving buses out of the downtown transit tunnel. “If the WSCC sends a request to King County to close the Downtown Seattle Transit Tunnel (DSTT) to buses in March 2019, the WSCC shall provide $50,000 to SDOT when the closure request is sent to King County,” the proposed substitute version of the bill up for vote Monday reads. “SDOT shall use the funds to analyze the impacts of closing the DSTT on transit service on 2rd, 3rd, and 4th Avenues between Jackson and Stewart Streets.” Continue reading
The process is underway for the City of Seattle to shake out a final deal for handing over public right of way to the developers of the Washington State Convention Center expansion.
The Seattle City Council’s sustainability and transportation committee chaired by Mike O’Brien held its first session on a proposed vacation of “Block 33, Block 43, Block 44, Olive Way & Terry Avenue” to make way for construction of the estimated $1.6 billion Convention Center addition and development that will create a massive new exhibition facility across I-5 between Pike and Olive Way. Continue reading
(Image: King County)
King County has agreed on a price for the Washington State Convention Center to acquire the Convention Place Station bus facility, part of the $1.6 billion project to expand the center and a harbinger of the end of Metro’s use of the downtown transit tunnel.
The WSCC will pay $161 million for the land over the next 30 or so years — $275 million with interest.
“This proposed sale will help support Metro’s service and reliability improvements for the next three decades,” King County Executive Dow Constantine said in the announcement of the agreement. “Meanwhile, the expansion of the Convention Center will generate thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in economic growth for the region. This agreement is good for taxpayers, transit riders, and workers.” Continue reading
At a Thursday Seattle Design Commission meeting, Washington State Convention Center expansion project leaders presented the public benefits package proposed to justify the vacation of three alleys for the $1.6 billion downtown project. An exact value of the vacations hasn’t been determined, but a coalition of community groups has been leading the push to make sure the package benefits the surrounding neighborhoods.
Representatives with the Community Package Coalition, made up of nine community groups, argue that WSCC’s proposed benefits aren’t enough.
“The size of the public benefits package is nowhere near fair,” said Alex Hudson, executive director of the First Hill Improvement Association said Thursday.
The investments are “critical” to make sure the neighborhoods around the Convention Center are “improved and not degraded,” Hudson said.
“We have people that are asking that we do certain things for the neighborhoods, but we don’t have opposition to the project,” said Matt Griffin of the Pine Street Group, the development firm managing the expansion project for the WSCC.
WSCC’s proposed benefits focus on three areas — affordable housing, the city and Downtown Seattle Association’s Pike Pine Renaissance project, and community projects including a Lid I-5 Study, Freeway Park improvements and downtown bicycle improvements. For some of the projects, WSCC proposes proving funding for them, not heading the design and implementation of them. It’s a lengthy, detailed roster of potential neighborhood improvements from downtown up to Capitol Hill. We’ve embedded the full package proposal, below. Continue reading