Community concerns from the citizens in attendance included a combination of aesthetics, cost and time. Burt assured the attendees that there would not be a building that towers over the rest of the community, but neighbors at the meeting still had concerns over a possible multiple story parking structure. Burt said that an alternative underground parking garage would cost a great deal more on top of the $85 to $185 million-dollar price tag forecasted for the project. But time remained a prominent issue, as Burt explained the wheels of the planning process are projected to still be rolling through 2010. John O. Perry, an advocate for 12th Ave. development since 1992 and a member of the 12th Ave. Development Stewardship Committee was convinced he would not see it completed in his lifetime. “It’s going very, very slowly,” said Perry.
SPCC Secretary Bill Zosel has high hopes for the entire 12th Ave. district, looking forward to more mixed use development, small scale residencies and retail, and the streetcar(maybe some links to our stories on the streetcar). The development of the court facility adds yet another stakeholder into the battle for the route of the car. Michael Kerns, the Associate Vice President of Facilities Administration for Seattle University said he supports research into a 12th Ave. route, commenting on the power of a streetcar over neighbors, workers, and students alike. “It could accomplish community involvement goals as well as transportation goals,” he said.
The meeting then adjourned to the barbecue. With three grills fired up, the volunteer cooks had no trouble providing for the huge line of people craving hot dogs, hamburgers, pasta and potato salad. After everyone had food, candidates including Drago, Phillips, Rob Holland for Seattle Port Commission, David Miller for Seattle City Council, and Joanna Cullen for Seattle Schools Director began mingling with the crowd. While none of the candidates could comment on the record about the possible 12th Ave streetcar alignment, Central District resident Michael Hintze was attending the event and just happened to be an Urban Planner. From his experience, Hintze said that streetcar routes spur development, and revitalize neighborhoods.
A number of Central District News readers were in attendance with a few people having heard about the event on the CDNews event calendar.