On December 6th, a community openhouse was held at 420 E. Pike Street to show ideas and preliminary design proposals for development around the Capitol Hill light rail station. Input from the general public was encouraged. Hosted by Capitol Hill Housing and Gerding Edlen, (the latter is developing the site), members of the design team were on-hand to answer questions.
There appear to a number of goals surrounding the development, mostly having to do with creating a centric, community-based environment which promotes easy accessibility, while incorporating affordable housing in the mix. There are four sites that will be developed around the transit station at 140 Broadway East on Capitol Hill, some with resident-friendly features, such as a daycare center.
Here are a few of the ideas being proposed:
a blend of housing and retail, including potentially a restaurant
ground-floor daycare center, including an adjoining outside play area
large anchor retail store
twice-weekly, year-round farmers market on the plaza (adjacent to Cal Anderson Park)
great accessability and an easy walk to the transit station
20-100% affordable housing, depending upon the building site, based on average median income
“festival street” that would close to vehicles during special events
library amenity on a 2nd floor
urban agriculture (they are currently looking for a farming partner)
The Capitol Hill Link Light Rail station links the University of WA to Downtown Seattle on a 3.15 mile-long line, and greatly reduces the normal car commute. The station is located on the surface as well as underground, and was newly opened this year. Construction around the station will begin in the spring of 2018 and last for 18 to 24 months.
The city of Seattle has an agreement with broadband developer Gigabit Squared and the University of Washington to develop a high speed fiber network which will use the city’s unused fiber network capacity. The network is called Gigabit Seattle and will start in twelve areas of Seattle before expanding through the rest of the city. The twelve areas are: UW’s West Campus District, South Lake Union, Capitol Hill/First Hill/Central area, UW’s Metro Tract, UW’s Family Housing at Sand Point, Northgate, Volunteer Park area, Beacon Hill and SODO Light Rail Station, Mount Baker, Columbia City, Othello and Rainier Beach.
The network will include fiber connections directly to homes and businesses, gigabit broadband wireless connections to multifamily and offices across Seattle as well as next generation mobile wireless internet. UW President Michael Young believes the network will help the economy as well as help make Seattle the most wired and connected city in the nation. No money from the city will be going towards the project. Gigabit Squared is to raise all money needed to design and build the network. It is unknown what the cost will be and when the project will be launched. It is believed that will drive down costs but still be similar in price with competitors such as Comcast and CentryLink.