Seattle University Major New Development

Seattle U has announced plans for a large new building on 12th Avenue and E. Marion (the site of the Art Moderne Canada Dry bottling plant building which now houses the S.U. Bookstore).  Details of the project will be discussed by the S.U. Major Institution Master Plan “Standing Advisory Committee” at a meeting on January 9.  The Standing Advisory Committee is a group of neighborhood stakeholders appointed by the City to review significant developments proposed by the institution and to advise on issues related to design and consistency with the Master Plan. The meeting is open to the public.  In fact interested neighbors are encouraged to attend and learn more and provide input.  Meeting Details:

Tuesday, January 9, 2018    5:30 - 7:30 P.M.
Student Center Room #130 , Seattle University
(the Student Center is located at E. James Way/10th Ave.)

Seven Stories, 440 New Unites Planned for 23rd and Union

In October, The Lennar Corporation, a housing developer based in Miami, Florida, filed with the City Department of Construction and Inspection, plans to transform the Central Area site known as MidTown Commons --- the oversize block at the southeast corner of the intersection of 23rd Avenue and E.  Union Street. 

To build the planned four hundred forty new units Lennar will be requesting a rezone of the site from the current 40- foot height limit to an 85- foot height limit.  This is greater than the 65- foot limit contained in the Urban Design Framework/Rezone proposal arrived at through the last two years of a community process known as the 23rd Avenue Action Plan.  With the exception of the additional height, it is expected that the proposal will be generally consistent with the UDF of the 23rd Avenue Action Plan.

The development will include commercial space on the ground floor and approximately 480 underground parking spaces.  All the structures currently on the site would be demolished.  Plans for the James Washington artwork on the site are not known at this time.

At the time of this writing the developer had not publicly announced details of the proposed design or whether or not local community partners will be involved.  It is expected that more will be known in advance of the Early Design Guidance meeting scheduled for January 4, 2017.  (8:00 PM Student Center Room 210, Seattle University.)

To get more up-to-date details see the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections Web site for Project 3025474                                             


Developer and Community Groups Agree on Liberty Bank Site Project

Non-profit housing developer, Capitol Hill Housing (CHH formerly CHIP) and Africatown, the Black Community Alliance, and Centerstone recently announced they had reached an agreement of far-reaching importance. CHH, the owner and developer of the site that had been occupied by Liberty Bank, and later Key Bank, at 24th and E. Union, has agreed that ownership of the new building which CHH will build there can be, in as little as fifteen years, offered to an African-American community-based organization. Centerstone will have both a right of first offer and first right of refusal to acquire the property after fifteen years.

Centerstone, a community agency based in Squire Park for decades, has not been in the business of developing or owning housing or commercial real estate. Within the next fifteen years CHH will provide support and assistance to allow Centerstone to build necessary capacity.

Meanwhile, for at least the next fifteen yeaers, as CHH still owns the site it will work with Centerstone, Africatown, and the Black Community Alliance to ensure the commercial space of the Liberty Bank project is “designed and operated to prioritize affordability for small African American-owned businesses which meet minimum leasing criteria,” according to the four organizations.

“As the Central District has been home to the Black community in Seattle for over 130 years, we are encouraged that this project represents a model for development that honors community legacy, leverages social and cultural capital, and is an important step toward realizing the equity, shared prosperity and social justice goals of Seattle and Martin Luther King County. Mitigating displacement and maintaining affordability is critical to nurturing diversity and making Seattle a world-class city and not a one class city,” said K. Wyking Garrett, Africatown CEO and grandson of Liberty Bank co-founder Holbrooke L. Garrett.

The new building will provide about 115 affordable apartment units above approximately 3,200 square feet of commercial space. For more details on the Memorandum of Understanding see:




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