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Thursday, July 6, 2006

Stadium District

Posted by on July 6 at 10:11 AM

As residential density increases downtown, new Seattle neighborhoods will rise up alongside the old ones, and with recently announced developments near Qwest Field, a stadium district appears to be taking shape. Approximately 1,000 residential units will be built over the next few years — “That’s a brand new neighborhood,” said King County Executive Ron Sims, who held an informal press conference Monday morning to present the projects to reporters.

I’ve got pictures coming, but first here’s the statistical picture: The big project on Qwest Field’s north parking lot will be 956 residential units, with the majority portion being apartments, 140 of which will rent as affordable housing, within the price range of people making roughly $35,000. The market-rate condos will cost $500 - $600 per square foot. There will be 34,000 square feet of retail and roughly 1,000 parking stalls. The small project is the renovation of the Johnson Building, a storage facility at 1st Avenue South, Occidental Avenue and Railroad Street. There are 69 units planned, including three live/work lofts on12 of which will be affordable to people within range of people making up to 115 percent of Seattle’s mean income, which is roughly $63,000 for a single person.

Before he got into these specifics, Sims talked about the cities that in his opinion represented the best integration of sports stadium and neighborhood — Yankee Stadium in the Bronx; Fenway Park in Boston; Wrigley Field in Chicago. Kevin Daniels, president of Nitze-Stagen, which has a hand in both projects, drew his inspiration from San Francisco, where AT & T Park (formerly PacBell Park) complements the Mission Bay neighborhood.

Sims talked about how in those cities and others, cameras showing nationally telecasted sporting events would venture outside the stadium to show distinctive parts of the neighborhood surrounding the park. “Impressions of a community are always drawn by what you see on TV,” said Sims, who imagines more pedestrians in the blocks circulating through the stadium and through brightly lit stores and restaurants. “That’s a shot that you can’t pay enough money for.”

Today, if a cameraman were sitting above the north end zone of Qwest Field, and he whirled around to look for an outside-the-park shot, here’s what he’d see:

N Lot 2.jpgPhoto courtesy Weber + Thompson

Acres of asphalt: Not much of a “money shot.” It’s even more offensive from a bird’s eye view:

North Lot BEV.jpg

The project planned for the north lot does not completely eliminate that parking lot blight, but it drastically reduces it. Here is a computer graphic that shows how it would look if we were hovering above I-5, again looking north.

N Lot.jpgGraphic courtesy Weber + Thompson

Now let’s switch to an artist’s rendering of the new mixed-use project, from the same perspective but closer:

N Lot 6.jpgCourtesy Weber + Thompson

[A dozen pictures after the jump, along with consideration of the projects’ impact on Pioneer Square and the opinions of downtown real estate mogul William Justen.]

It's a little hard to see the detail, but there are two 150-foot towers, one on the corner of South King Street and 1st Avenue South, the other at the corner of South King and 3rd Avenue South. On the ground floor the plan calls for rowhouses, townhouses, parking, and 34,000 square feet of retail -- a restaurants or cafes at the corners on King, plus a small grocery market at King and 3rd.

The floors above will be condos -- roughly 400 of them, and they'll sell at market rate, which according to Daniels is between $500 - $600 per square foot. Some of the condos will have three bedrooms and Daniels is intent on marketing the units to families.

The two smaller buildings in the middle -- each of them are 7 stories tall -- will be apartments. In all there will be more than 500 of them, 140 of which will be developed by Seattle Housing Authority and rent to people who make 60 percent or less of Seattle's mean income, which comes out to about $35,000, with monthly rent ranging from $875 - $1,020, according to Tom Tierney, SHA's executive director. Those smaller buildings will face 2nd Avenue South, which is likely to become a pedestrian esplanade. (Note: the 150-foot towers are contingent on passage of the recommendations by the South Downtown planning project, which calls for a height increase in Pioneer Square.)

Here is a blueprint of the ground floor:

N Lot 4.jpgCourtesy Weber + Thompson

A computer graphic, from the perspective above Pioneer Square:

N Lot 3.jpgGraphic courtesy Weber + Thompson

Back down to street level, this is an artist rendering looking east down South King toward Union Station.

N Lot 5.jpgCourtesy Weber + Thompson

The rowhouses are an interesting wrinkle. The architect, Blaine Weber, of Weber + Thompson,, says the rowhouses "will bring a new flavor of housing to Seattle," adding that they've worked well in Boston and Vancouver.

There will be four levels of parking, one of which will be below grade -- the water table restricts the amount of underground parking. The roughly 1,000 stalls will be enough to make up for surface parking spaces lost to the project.

For all of Sims' talk of neighborhood creation, these residents will surely be adopted by Pioneer Square, where both businesses and residents want "stakeholders" -- permanent, socially responsible folks invested in the neighborhood's safety, appearance, and economic vitality.

There are scores of new condos planned north of downtown, but Daniels says that's "not a significant issue" and doesn't think they'll compete for his project's buyers and tenants. "This is a different neighborhood and a different opportunity."

Nitze-Stegen and its partner, Minneapolis-based Opus Northwest paid the county $10.1 million in cash for the land, and the combined retail and residential space in their development will be 862,000 square feet. Developers would lose the site if construction begin by November 2008, but Daniels says that he hopes the groundbreaking can happen sooner than that.

A much, much smaller project will happen a few blocks south, where 1st Avenue South meets Railroad Street and Occidental Avenue. That weird intersection created this flat iron-shaped building:

JohnsonBuilding.jpgPhoto courtesy King County

That's the Johnson Building, formerly known as the Seattle Plumbing Company Building.

Here's the view from the sky:
Picture 1.jpg

The county sold the Johnson Building for $2.2 million, which will go toward a youth sports fund. It will be renovated -- not demolished! -- by Historic Seattle, which is partnering with Nitze-Stagen.

According to the King County Procurement and Services Section, the building dates to 1903 and since 1980 it has been used as a storage facility. Currently, it's 75 percent vacant. The building was damaged in the 2001 Nisqually earthquake.

Here is a view of the building from Occidental, near 1st. Qwest Field is behind, over your right shoulder.


The interior of the building will be gutted -- its existing support structure doesn't look likely to survive another quake. But Historic Seattle will be using the same style of heavy timber construction, so that it will look old. This picture gives you a better sense of its location relative to Qwest, from Railroad Street and 1st, looking West.


Right in the shadow. The renovation calls for 9,750-square feet of ground floor retail, three live/work units, and parking stalls, as you can see from this blueprint:

JB_GroundFloor.jpgDrawings courtesy Johnson Architecture & Planning

Three stories of condos will be built atop the current structure. Here's a sketch of what it would look like from the East: (That's 1st Avenue South in the foreground.)


Now looking from the West, so that Railroad Street is in the foreground:

JB_WestElevation.jpgDrawing courtesy Johnson Architecture & Planning

That's a terrace on the south point of the building, and there's a similar one on the west point. There is also a 1,120-square foot garden on that third floor, which will be at the bottom of an open air light well. Here is the roof plan:


That blank square on the drawing's top is the light well. The gray area in the middle is the deck, which is designed around two small gardens. There will be 69 units in the renovated building, 12 of which qualify as affordable housing, defined loosely to qualify buyers with incomes $63,000 and less. It will be called Stadium Lofts. The market-rate condos have not been priced, but the expectation is that they'll be at or below the cost of high-rise condos planned for Denny Regrade.

Daniels says that Nitze-Stagen views the two developments as one "legacy project" that will go a long way toward establishing a stadium district, while also nudging Pioneer Square toward renaissance.

John Chaney, executive director of Historic Seattle, expects more old industrial warehouses in Pioneer Square to follow a renovation design similar to that at the Johnson Building, and his organization has assumed a leading role. Says Chaney: "The development history for Pioneer Square after the great fire was brick buildings at a scale of 5 - 6 stories, and then in the turn of the century with the boom of development there were more warehouses and manufacturing buildings, again mostly 5 - 6 stories. A number of those were damaged in earthquakes and had upper floors removed, and so a challenge is to find an economic model that would work for relatively small-scale historical buildings."

The solution, says Chaney, is to shore up the old buildings' structure, add condos and apartments above. "The construction is effectively a new building," says Chaney. "You and I should be able to distinguish that these parts of the building were built at two different times; yet the design should be compatible between the new and old. It could be new and old in the whole district."

The Johnson Building's development will be the first condo added to Pioneer Square since the Olympic Block building in 1985. Construction will begin in October or November of this year and it is scheduled for completion before the end of 2007.

Of course, Pioneer Square is the neighborhood with the most to gain from these two projects. Residents and businesses there have been clamoring for more residents. "Stakeholders" is the word that politicians, neighborhood activists, and developers use. During the day it's crowded with tourists and at night with clubgoeers, but permanent residents will be better stewards for the neighborhood -- frequenting stores and restaurants, watching for crime, and routing the bad neighbors.

William Justen has no connection to the project, but as managing director of Samis Land Co. he is one of Seattle's leading downtown developers. Justen was struck by how despite the huge addition of residential units, there is relatively little retail development in the new plans. For Pioneer Square merchants, that's good news. "The last thing you want is to have a new complex with a ton of retail that immediately competes with retail in Pioneer Square," says Justen. "You just want to add customers, and with all the new residents, that's what will happen."

By Justen's analysis, the mix of income levels among future residents is another plus, largely because in his view there is an excess of low-income housing there now. "Pioneer Square needs market-rate housing," says Justen. "The low-income residents do not have the disposable income to support the retail stores and restaurants in the neighborhood."

Justen points out that in the current climate, it's hard for restaurants to survive as just that -- because business falls off after the work day. They tend to either evolve into night clubs or go out of business, then sell to a night club.

The only aspect of the plan that Justen quibbled with was the plan to market condos to families. "It's a small percentage of families that want an urban lifestyle," he says. "Encouraging families to move downtown is a good thing, but most will prefer a home with a yard and a neighborhood with other kids, like in the suburbs."

In most every other major American city, there would be anxiety over whether the market can support 1,000 new residential units in a part of town where traditionally, residents have been scarce. Not in this case. Justen, as well as the project's developers, believe that for the forseeable future the demand for housing downtown will far out-pace the supply.

I would love to get the perspective of another major downtown developer, Greg Smith, who has a particularly strong presence in Pioneer Square; but Smith is on vacation this week. I have a message in to him. If/when he calls, I'll update this post.

CommentsRSS icon

It's kind of cool, and it obviously needs to be done -- having a parking lot for a football stadium that fills ten times a year in the middle of downtown is retarded. But I wouldn't get my hopes up about "vital urban neighborhoods". The housing units are not for the likes of us, and the rents for the retail spaces will be astronomically high, which will ensure that they are geared towards football and baseball fans, meaning overpriced theme bars and restaurants, souvenir shops and fast food joints.

The business about the sports cams going out onto the street and filming the thrilling neighborhood is bizarre and laughable: "here are our beautiful CONDOMINIUMS!" The cameras will do what they have always done: focus on the water, the ferries coming in to dock, the sunset. Sims is high on something.

That's pretty and should definitely be done. A huge challenge is marketing, to the carmongering suburbanites and ruralites, the idea of catching the bus to the games instead of driving.

Cleaning out the trash, if you know what I mean, is a whole other issue altogether.

The, uh, "trash" is going to be an extended battle. But the big losers are going to be the clubbers, who rely on the desertedness of the area at night. I'll bet most of the clubs close, or scale way down when they have to control the noise and crowds. Personally I'd call that good riddance to bad rubbish, namely wasted suburban types barfing on the sidewalks, but there's going to be discussion about it.

Gomez - I asked Justen about that, and he made the point that projects like these will add more cosmopolitan-type residents to the neighborhood, so that the "trash" elements -- the homeless, drug dealers, etc. -- are reduced in proportion. But that invites concern about whether Pioneer Square becomes Disney Land, right?

Disneyland is the wrong metaphor. Upscale bar and restaurant area is more like it, with the kind of shops that can attract sports fans in. The stadiums are still there, and while the games are not EVERY day like the residents are, that flow of 50,000+ is going to be jsut as tempting as ever. Sports fans do not browse in bookstores or antique stores on the way to the game.

I'd also like to hear more about the anticipated impact on Western and Alaska a few blocks away. AND, of course, the impact that the proposed whatever-it-is with the viaduct will have on the sales of these $500,000+ condos.

Besides, even the New York glamour described in Davidson's article has been left far, far behind. Apple Store on Fifth Avenue? 20th Century. If this is shopping as culture, you have to go where the culture is, and it's not in America. Go to Singapore or Dubai.

Uh ohs... good point about the neighborhood-club battles. Can you say Good Neighbor Agreement, boys and girls? The cover story this week is all about the battles that have resulted from them.


Sports fans do not browse in bookstores or antique shops on their way to the game? Would you like a pitchfork for that bullshit?

I know a whole hell of a lot of sports fans who do just that.

Sounds good... Pioneer Square / South of Downtown is one, if not the only, area where this sort of project could be built. A project where high/middle/low income can all live together since the pioneer square already has the art galleries/decent restaurants/social service those income types usually demand from a inner-city neighborhood. This is a type of area where low-income folks who have moved to middle-income could live, yet remain downtown, something that is very scarce and will prevent the necessity of moving to Lake City or Columbia City. South Lake Union, as Paul Allens large scale project, will attract middle-income folks who either are, or think of themselves, as upwardly high-income folks who will feel comfortable in a million dollar condos (the average price of) neighborhood. The other project over on Dearborne (within a city mile of safeco), which will be above a Goodwill, seems like it will bring in residents that would, well, want to live/own a condo above a Goodwill. Once these three projects (and anything else in the planning) are complete, maybe the downtown core will move away from the playground of the rich and provider of services to the poor and be a city for everyone.

Just a question:

Where's the schools?

Where's the playgrounds?

Why should the rest of Seattle subsidize the ultra-rich while much of Seattle still doesn't have sidewalks?

Will - Daniels fielded the school question Monday. He mentioned [Bailey] Gatzert grade school and Washington Middle School, plus Garfield High and Center School.

Ivan: I've been to over a hundred baseball games, in several other cities as well, and I've even been to Qwest a couple of times (to see a soccer game), and the only person I've ever seen holding a book is me.

Will asks a good question.

Look at all the affordable development going on around the downtown core. Tremendous quantities of new housing in Pioneer Square, Belltown, South Lake Union, the new Stadium District.

Where in the world are the schools to serve these people? Where are the open public space? How about public transportation.

It's truly great that these dense new urban neighborhoods are being created. But there's a lot of infrastructure still needed to support the housing, and I don't see it being developed at the same rate.

props to the weekly in order?

Will -

Please explain how this project is being "subsidized" by the rest of Seattle? If anything, developments such as this subsidize improvements to the neighborhood that otherwise would not occur.

just to contribute to a tangent point... last I heard 70% of the road area in Seattle City Limits does not have sidewalks... seems correct to me the more north/northeast/southeast one goes "off-the-beaten-path". But, those areas are the residential "crunchy" in-city neighborhoods/burbs (not business districts). But those areas house the ultra-rich and low/middle income folks alike (has more to do with view of water and mountains, then "class-divide" like in other cities). Other then the historic reasons why there are no sidewalks (such as the fact that most of north seattle was farmland until the 1970's, and it was optional for a developer to include sidewalks on their land plats) have more to do with the resident's voting patterns then city policy.

Anyone without a sidewalk in front of their homes may petition the city to build one, at the home owners expense (most of the time at an unequal level with the bulk being on the homeowner), on city right-of-way (the grass side of the road where those residents park). Some neighborhoods have over the years increased their property taxes so that everyone (for a fraction of the cost a single home owner would spend) would have a sidewalk infront of the house and extending down every road in the neighborhood (when compared to only the "main" drags which have the sidewalk/road combo). While sidewalks do encourage people to walk, which is great for the "Greater Good", they are not encouragement enough (for rich/moderate/low income folks) to cough up dough for something they will get very little direct benefit from. Most folks in Seattle don't see value in spending hundreds or thousands of dollars for sidewalks to the corner store when they can walk there now for free (al beit in the gutter, dodging traffic).

That is also not even counting the number of neighborhood associations who kill any proposed plans to build sidewalks for any number of reasons that never get any airing in the media.


You miss the point entirely. When the area north of 85th was annexed by Seattle, the City promised that it would install sidewalks. They're still waiting 50+ years later.

Hey, where's the monorail in the pic?

You don't seriously expect people to live there with a bus system that's SLOWER than WALKING, do you?

subsidized - like I said, where's the frickin sidewalks north of 85th? they pay taxes too, but you just made their commute even harder.

as to [Bailey] Gatzert grade school and Washington Middle School, plus Garfield High and Center School - get real. Do you know how LONG it takes to get to those schools from that area of town? Now try to do it on a Game Day! Now try to do it on a Game Day while the Viaduct is being rebuilt for 8-10 years!

Again, no schools. Excuses don't work.

oh, and noone answered my question about parks for kids. there are none.

my son used to go to Paideia Academy, a Montessori school in the building next to SAM, don't give me excuses.

Anyone wanna bet that the city forgets to get in on the ground floor lecturing the new residents near Pioneer Square about not relying on cars? So what if the new residents will live on flat land within easy and convenient walking and biking distance of downtown. It will still be just the longtime residents in the outlying hilly neighborhoods of Seattle who will keep getting shit from the city for not giving up their cars and making things pedestrian friendly.

By the way, the city aleady plans to build at public expense a massive new garage for Allentown in South Lake Union. So much for the pedestrian friendly hype.


Don't be surprised if a goodly number of these new downtown residents work on the Eastside and therefore drive.

Creek, where is the "city planning to build at public expense a massive new garage for Allentown in South Lake Union?"

As far as I can tell nowhere. Maybe you're thinking of the new garage at Seattle Center to take the place of the parking lot the Gates Foundation bought. But that's on the other side of Aurora not in South Lake Union.

Yeah, still *waiting* for sidewalks. Just because most of the area was/is "low income" for decades and decades (but only as property values sky-rocket does those lack of sidewalks make those $500,000 homes look very, very low income. indeed, especially when it is next door to a house that was last painted when Reagan was in office and a camero slowly being parted out on EBAY) that is no excuse to be socially lazy.

My point stands. Sure, the city promised sidewalks around 1960 and the homeowners north of 85 (greenwood/carkeek park neighborhoods, etc. etc.) could organize to force the city to come clean on its promise, or come up with a plan to tax themselves as a community to install sidewalks, or just pay for the damn things themselves. But they don't.

Too bad for folks that rent and take the bus in those areas that the homeowners won't cough up the dough for sidewalks. But renters can move once they get tired of bitching. I hated the area for that exact reason that lots of roads lacked safe places to walk and the bus service was spotty. I, like tons of other folks, moved into a neighborhood that does have sidewalks and good bus service. I am glad to see these big developments going into areas that have sidewalks and good bus service already in place. Those developments will be of assistance right away and not 50+ years away.

I think this settles it.

I think I am the last person remaining in Seattle who actually enjoys, appreciates, supports and would argue for the benefits of affordable and available street level parking.

I feel like Charlton Heston in "The Omega Man.


PS--A development this size and in this location will also make "earthquake roulette" in this whole area a lot more fun, won't it? Especially if we're still trying to figure out what to do about the Viaduct...

Yeah, still *waiting* for sidewalks. Just because most of the area was/is "low income" for decades and decades (but only as property values sky-rocket does those lack of sidewalks make those $500,000 homes look very, very low income. indeed, especially when it is next door to a house that was last painted when Reagan was in office and has a camero being parted out on EBAY) that is no excuse to be socially lazy.

My point stands. Sure, the city promised sidewalks around 1960 and the homeowners north of 85 (greenwood/carkeek park neighborhoods, etc. etc.) could organize to force the city to come clean on its promise, or come up with a plan to tax themselves as a community to install sidewalks, or just pay for the damn things themselves. But they don't. 50 years is a long time and the blame is not 100% in the Seattle's lap.

Too bad for folks that rent (no homeowner status) and take the bus/walk in those areas. Its the homeowners that need to cough up the dough for sidewalks. But then, the residents in those areas might need to stop parking on their front lawns. But renters are lucky in that they can move once they get tired of bitching. I hated the area for that exact reason and exercised my right not to live there. There were way to many roads lacking safe places to walk and the bus service was spotty. I, like tons of other folks, moved to different a neighborhood. One that does have sidewalks and good bus service. I am glad to see these big developments going into areas that have sidewalks and good bus service already in place (to mention only two). Those developments will be of assistance right away and not 50+ years later.


You can yell all you want, but it doesn't make you correct.

First off, North Seattle has always been considered a more desirable area of the City than South Seattle (Lake City would probably be the exception, here) - until property values went through the roof, these neighborhoods were basically solidly middle to upper middle class (btw - when I lived in Montlake in the 70's, it was considered pretty scummy, but that was also in the wake of the Boeing bust). I have nothing against low-income neighborhoods, mind you (I live in one, in fact), but by no stretch of the imagination could you call North Seattle "low income" - not then, not now.

The City promised to provide sidewalks when the area was annexed - not an opportunity to pay a shitload of money for them to be provided. So you can bitch all you want, but the promise was made and not kept, and the City has instead chosen to fund art museums, stadia, and symphony halls instead of basic infrastructure (North Highline and White Center take note).

It's a pity you can't pave a street with self-righteousness - you'd have the problem covered.

"I think I am the last person remaining in Seattle who actually enjoys, appreciates, supports and would argue for the benefits of affordable and available street level parking."

No, you're not. Far from it, in fact.

Unfortuately, small business owners and the 80% of Seattleites who rely on cars to get around apparently don't read or post on Slog.

Seattle citizens at large have no reason to pay for sidewalks so all 70% of remaining road ways in the city have them(maybe 20 years ago this was a good local government arguement, but, like the national debate on flag buring, there are bigger issues on the Government's table in 2006 then 1986). (and this is just a tangental topic, so it is all pie-in-the-sky debate. The lack of sidewalks, like flag burning, is so 20th century and is a non-issue at this point in time, but slogging is fun, so why not?)

The lack of sidewalks is embarassing in a "hick" way (especially to tourist-residents who did not come-of-age in Seattle and have no fondness for the 'what was' but only the 'what will be' (like our Chicago born mayor)), so the issue doesn't get the public debate (its a "black sheep" issue. important? yes. something you want the whole world to know about? nope, goes against the metropolitan feel the city government is trying to cultivate.) But property owners don't really don't care enough about sidewalks to start writing checks, only to complain about shit.

So what? A 50 year old promise was made to the voters who approved the annex 50 years ago by the City government. Everyone knows that and the North Seattle "middle income" folks(sorry if I offend. My labeling your neighborhood as "low-income", I was going by AHA and SHA housing demographics. That is why these mixed income developments in the downtown area are being built because North and South Seattle has historically been home to the bulk of subsidized housing in the city. subsidized housing = low income) in 2006, are "living with the sins of our parents and grandparents". Their 'sin' was not forcing the sidewalk issue to a point of winning say, anytime before now. They, our grandparents and parents, never, ever, forced the city to make good on that promise. Nor did the grandparents and parents of other areas force the sidewalk issue. Which is a shame, but, hey, if sidewalks in a neighborhood is important, then move to one of those neighborhoods or pay for them yourselves.

It is easy to say, but today's residents should, should if sidewalks are as big a deal as the Viaduct, mass transit, failing roads, should organize, find a good lawyer, pony up the fees for said lawyer, and force the city to make good on any and all legally binding promises. But, um, when they win, where will the money come from to? Taxes. Which puts us back to the big picture reason why nobody who owns property in the area wants those sidewalks so badly that they stop bitching about them and do something. But, no one wants to pay for them, either as a single home owner or as a taxpayer.

Fact check - the bulk of subsidized housing in Seattle is in SE Seattle, the Central Area/Capitol Hill, and SW Seattle. North Seattle certainly has some, but not nearly to the degree that those neighborhoods do. Moreover, whether a neighborhood is classified as low-income or not is measured by median incomes and property values, not the presence of subsidized housing projects (which, if they're big enough, will certainly skew those figures downward).

On the other hand, the City won't even put a sidewalk on busy 30th Ave NE next to U-Village despite the neighborhood coming up with matching money, so you're pretty much just talking out of your ass anyway.

It's nice to know how important you think keeping promises is, too...

um, yeah, some poor people in North Seattle, more poor people in South Seattle. Everyone tuning in at home got that.

parking garage charlie --

Another new parking garage for Seattle Center? I hadn't heard about that one...

Re: the parking giveaways to be anticipated for Allentown: Due to lack of public information, I can’t presume to anticipate the full and exact details of estimated parking garage subsidies for Allentown, but so I’ll have to wait and see how much the few financial projections available turn out. Keep in mind that, not counting the Allen-sponsored press conferences where city staffers are paid to attend as audience members, there have still been ZERO—zilch—council hearings for the public to ask questions or raise concerns about the untold millions (I’ve heard anything from $350 to $500 million) in city subsidies for Allentown.

The city council has passed a number of seemingly repetitious pro-Allentown resolutions, and it’s anyone’s guess how many financial loopholes have been slipped into those resolutions. (For example, some of the resolutions say that the city will “maximize” its financial assistance to Allentown.) Under current circumstances, the last concrete example I can give to you about parking subsidies is a five-year-old SLU historical document along the lines of “Allen determined to strike in South Lake Union.” The outdated 2001 document appears as an SLU protocol agreement on the city website at:

According to that protocol document, some portion of the parking subsidies will include Allen building 160 parking spaces and selling them to the city for 55K each ($8.8 million total in 2001 dollars). Keep in mind that the SLU streetcar, which cost the city $25 million in subsidies directly benefiting Allen, wasn’t even imagined by the original protocol, so who knows how many millions in other costs have been added since then or will be added.

Sorry I can’t give you more specific data, but that would appear to be the way the city and Allen both want it right now.

- Creek

Did some one mention playgrounds? I always thought that playground in downtown was where Harbor Steps Condo owners and renters aired out the kiddies... its a school huh?

Well... does Yesler Terrace or the International district have playgrounds? Pratt park isn't that far, its like a mile, mile and half up Jackson from the stadium.

Yesler Terrace will be going through a remodel I hear, will the plans include a public swingset?

But that is a great question. Will any of these big fance developments have swingsets? monkey bars? Kids have to run and play or else they turn into blimbs, you know? Shit likes thats important went the lard comes home crying and a parent has to do something to help out.

I work in the Paul Allen buildings (Union Station Towers) next door. I think this would be a very exciting project *if* done right. (Big if, of course.) But I have not seen some incidentals reported: 1. It's one block from the bottom (and revitalized/ing) part of the ID, and 2. Wasn't there a recent piece about the Salvation Army warehouse just two/three blocks south of there being turned into a Big Box store? That seems to add an odd twist to my feelings about the development in the area.

BTW, $500/sq ft? Plus? Has real estate gone up that much since I bought my townhouse loft condo on Capitol Hill? I thought I was paying through the nose...

I haven't heard of a parking garage to be built in South Lake Union. There is one proposed for the Seattle Center as part of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's new campus. The plan includes a green roof and other amenities that will soften the presence of the structure.

Never did get an explanation from Will regarding how this project is supposedly "subsidized" by the rest of the city. Maybe it's because he's 100% incorrect... Simply more meaningless bluster by the anti-growth/natives first contingent that wants to keep Seattle the way it was back in 1972...

The truth is that mixed use projects such as this are the ones that are subsidizing the pseudo-suburban malcontents such as Will. Interesting article in today's PI about the annexation of North Highline. Without state and fed help, this neighborhood would cost our fair city $5 million a year!

A direct quote from the article: "Like nearly all residential areas in Seattle, it would be a drain on the city. Because property taxes fail to generate enough revenue to pay for city services, business and other taxes from Seattle's downtown commercial core subsidize virtually all residential neighborhoods in the city, officials say."

Hey Will - maybe you'd be so kind as to do a little research in the future before subjecting us all to your hyperbolic drivel.

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