ST announces developer for Capitol Hill TOD

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Sound Transit today named the highest-ranked proposer for developing more than two acres of housing and retail space at the Capitol Hill light rail station.

In a competitive procurement, the Portland-based Gerding Edlen Development Company's proposal for the master developer contract scored highest for all four empty sites located above or adjacent to the station. The Sound Transit Board will review the outcome of the process at its April 23 meeting and discuss moving forward with the contract.

With the property no longer needed for station construction, the Gerding Edlen proposal for its future includes:

  • 418 apartments in four buildings with 38 percent of units to rent for less than market rate for 12 years and 86 units designated for permanent affordable housing
  • 34 percent of units with at least two bedrooms
  • All buildings built to a minimum of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold standards, with a goal of all buildings having net-zero energy consumption by 2030
  • Provision of a space and a long-term lease agreement with the Broadway Farmers Market
  • Developing a community center and daycare on site with subsidized care available for low-income residents

"Light rail can build strong communities by anchoring transit-oriented development with mixed-income housing and convenient shopping," said Sound Transit Board Chair and King County Executive Dow Constantine.

"This development will be a neighborhood asset for decades to come," said Sound Transit Board member and Seattle Mayor Ed Murray. "As a centerpiece of the Broadway business district, with affordable housing, a farmers market and a daycare, this proposal envisions a community for all to enjoy."

Open house to meet the developer

The full Board will be briefed on the proposal at its April 23 meeting and consider a motion directing staff to begin negotiations with Gerding Edlen. On Saturday, May 16 Sound Transit and the Capitol Hill Champion neighborhood advocacy group are planning an open house for the community to meet the developer and hear more about the proposal.

Sound Transit received submittals from 14 developers after requesting interested firms to submit their qualifications. Sound Transit invited nine firms to submit detailed proposals and received four. Among those four proposals, Gerding Edlen's scored highest for each of the four parcels. The scores were based on the firms' development programs, financial capacities, project approaches and transaction structures.

The proposals were also scored on how well they addressed city and neighborhood priorities established over several years of outreach and work with the community.

Sound Transit and the City of Seattle established a formal Development Agreement outlining the priorities for the sites in 2013. The development will be subject to the city's design review process.

The proposal includes a seven story building on Broadway between Denny Way and East John Street with apartments above ground-floor retail; a seven story building on the southeast corner of Broadway and Denny with apartment above ground-floor retail; and two buildings on the west side of 10th Avenue East between East John Street and Denny Way that are all housing and include the community center and daycare space.

For more information on Capitol Hill Station and the development sites see: soundtransit.org/capitolhillTOD

The Capitol Hill Station is part of the 3.1-mile University Link light rail extension that in early 2016 will provide congestion-free service between downtown Seattle, Capitol Hill and the University of Washington. The line is entirely underground and currently $150 million under budget and six to nine months ahead of schedule. By 2030 Sound Transit expects more than 14,000 daily boardings at the station in the heart of Capitol Hill.

The Sound Transit Board adopted an updated transit-oriented development policy in 2012 to help grow transit ridership by promoting positive land uses and development within walking distance of its stations. Quality transit-oriented development helps create and emphasize vibrant walkable, active communities that are less dependent on driving.