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:


Our Future in Greenways, Eco Districts, Upzones, Design Reviews, Parks, Major Institution Master Plans, What does it all Mean?

Save the Date, April 11th and Attend

Certainly it is the people not the infrastructure that brings vitality to a neighborhood. Nonetheless, the design and type of development will have a profound effect on the character of where we live and work and this will be the focus of our April Quarterly Meeting with presentations by the Central Area Land Use Review Committee, Capitol Hill Housing and more. Why did you invest in the neighborhood? What are your aspirations for the Squire Park Neighborhood? Deciding to live in a neighborhood is an investment. How can you contribute your neighborhood? Squire Park residents and businesses, along with neighboring community councils have worked for decades to establish the Central District as a great place to live and work, while striving to maintain the residential character, the diversity, and history of our neighborhood. We have a great new board, and now more than ever we need ideas and energy from everyone in Squire Park.

The neighborhood-scape of Squire Park is changing and new development often feels chaotic, exciting and challenging. Newer and long-time residents know that some areas in the neighborhood are finally getting the attention they’ve needed and at the same time do not want to lose what brought them to this neighborhood or its familiar landscapes and landmarks. When poorly executed, these man made forms can contribute to feelings of isolation and alienation.  When well designed, neighborhood architectural styles and landscapes contribute to a welcoming, open, and neighborly feeling, while also reflecting a sense of the history and character of the place. The presentations will give an over-arching picture of what is being planned and currently under construction on 12th Avenue, E. Union, 23rd Avenue, S. Jackson and everywhere in between.

An important piece of the discussion will be how we can connect with the information to become effective advocates for our needs and aspirations for the neighborhood. Make this your neighborhood. Plan to attend the Squire Park Community Council Quarterly Meeting. In addition to the main presentation we will have updates on transportation and how you can be involved in restorative justice.

From the Meeting:



Contact Us

Stay Informed