Community Post

Goodwill Project Moving Forward

With the tanking national real estate market and the months-long silence on the issue, I had assumed that the big redevelopment project at the Goodwill site had been put on hold. But today there was some movement on the project when the city’s Director of the
Department of Planning & Development conditionally approved the Master Use Permit for the project.

The project would replace all the buildings on the 10.25 acre Goodwill site from Rainier on the east, to 13th on the South, and Weller and Dearborn on the north and south. It includes a six story building with almost 700,000 square feet of retail, including at least two big-box stores, 565 residential units, and parking for 2,307(!!!) vehicles.

There’s a lot of opposition to the project, including the Squire Park and Jackson Place neighborhood groups. Opponents have until May 15th to appeal the project, and if they do there will be a public hearing in early June. It also requires City Council approval as a final step.

(h/t to Andrew)
So let’s hear it: who supports and opposes the project as currently designed?

0 thoughts on “Goodwill Project Moving Forward

  1. I support the basic premise of the project. I know some oppose “big box” stores with parking lots, but having these kinds of stores close by will save everyone in the area a lot time and gas that would otherwise be spent driving to places like Northgate and University Village.

    I would hope the end result is a pleasant place to hang out and walk around. I’d love to see fountains, sculptures, plazas, outdoor cafes, perhaps a little playground or some other diversion for the kids. Hard to judge from the diagrams.

  2. I don’t know much on the back story of this development, other than what I have read in this post, but this seems like a suitable place for re-development based on it being located at the corner of two major throughfares (Rainier Ave and Dearborn) with transit access conviently nearby. I haven’t looked closely at these blocks before, but I seem to recall there are one or more older early 20th century brick buildings that would be lost in the re-development, but not sure they are particularly note worthly. However, it does seem to me that the blocks fronting Rainier Ave in this area are not very streetscape friendly and could benefit from re-development.

  3. I don’t agree with every single argument or goal of the Dearborn Street Coalition for Livable Neighborhoods. It’s a group of many people and many individuals with a variety of interests so necessarily the agenda is large and compromise is necessary. But, I appreciate their efforts and I think that because of their work the project could be much better than the one originally proposed. It’s a big project with a lot of elements and it’s not hard to find appealing parts. But I support the Dearborn Street Coalition in its continuing work to shape it.

  4. This development should have happened years ago! The sooner they start building the better. We need stores not some dirlect corner with homeless guys begging and urinating in front of the few resturants we have there.

    I understand that the developer will be building green development now.

  5. This will be a great addition to our neighborhood, adding lots of jobs, and reducing our need to drive to Factoria, Northgate, and/or Southcenter. The neighborhood groups have fulfilled their role in influencing the project, but the developer has made lots of compromises and this project should move forward.

  6. I think if you scaled this down by half you’d have a manageable project that would still allow the community to keep the neighborhood feel, although there is less and less of that in the area.

  7. I understand the concerns of the neighborhood groups, and I appreciate what they’ve done to shape the project. I don’t like bix box stores any more than anyone else around here, but I do admit that I shop at Lowe’s in Rainier Valley (particularly when I’m shopping at 7pm on Sunday night when the smaller mom-and-pop hardware stores aren’t open) and, a few times a year, even at Target up at Northgate. So I look forward to having both of those closer by (at least that’s what I’ve heard is going in there).

  8. In the one corner:

    and in the other corner:

  9. It seems most people I talk to who don’t support the project don’t like it because of the Target.

    For the record: The project will be much more than just a Target! It’s housing, low-income housing, senior housing, restaurants, coffee shops, local stores, mom & pops, brand stores, a grocery store, open outdoor meeting and gathering places, a new state of the art Goodwill and training facility. I heard service shops, like a post-office may go in. The place is going to be chock-full of greenery (just read about how much they need to plant to reach the green-build status).

    I don’t understand the fixation on the Target. That’s just a part of it. Yes, Target is a big store and it will have a big foot print in the retail aspect of the project – but if you were to see the design, the developer has really tried to minimize the “presence” of the Target. All along the street level will be mom & pop & smaller stores. The Target is nestled inside the complex with an understated entrance. It’s not the “massive, enormous, clod” of concrete the coalition has threatened.

    I’m not a huge fan of Target and I’m concerned about mass-consumerism as much as the next guy. I have a “made in China” ban in my home (least I try)… but that is my personal preference! It doesn’t mean I should dictate my personal politics on what other’s can or can’t have access too in my neighborhood. When I have gone to Target (which is not often), I’m amazed at how many green-products they are starting to carry: I got seventh generation products, as well as organic baby food and bulk Method products. They have a long way to go, but Target, like any business who wants to stay competitive, will have to adapt to consumer’s demands to “green-up” over time, – it seems they already have.

    Also in favor of Target: They have one of the most ambitious community giving programs of a dept. store (%5 for arts & education). And, unlike what the coalition has said, they offer benefits, job growth & competitive pay-packages to all of their employee’s even pt. timers. If I had few skills and were trying to get a leg up in the work force, I’d work there!!

    I’m not a big Target proponent. I can count on one hand the times I’ve shopped there in the past.

    But I do get real sick & tired of the misguided bashing…

  10. And how will this development project help that “homeless” “urinating” guy on the corner? I’m not against the project, but I think your reasoning is a bit elitist.

  11. I might be mistaken, but didn’t Target agree to build the building for Goodwill in exchange for the use of half the land? (I’m ignorant of the details, obviously – but I was under the impression that Target initiated a project that would really be a win-win for both organizations.)

  12. This corner has been a blighted eyesore for way too long. The neighborhood can fight for improvements to the design, but not to the point where nothing ends up happening. Clean that area up and give people’s eyes a break!

  13. “The neighborhood can fight for improvements to the design, but not to the point where nothing ends up happening.”

    Completely agreed. That is why I would at least like to see the developers try a little harder to make this pedestrian and public transit-friendly. I feel that doing that would really make the project more successful in the long run and less susceptible to becoming a blighted eyesore in the future.

  14. I am glad to hear that the project is moving forward. Just like the new Uwajimaya store brought more opportunities, this complex can do the same. More power to the reasonable opposers who are fighting for a beautiful footprint that invites in the neighborhood (pedestrian friendly).

  15. Hi,
    When I was a volunteer at the Goodwill in 1999-2000 there were plans to develop the area, but the project (an office tower on a big chunk of the lot) fell apart. It seems to me that the timing around 2001 and downturn (understatement) after 9-11 had something to do with the halt to planning. The current plan seems to be an improvement in that it will bring more retail and employmant opportunity to this part of the city.
    Goodwill needs this project to better serve in the education of people in our community. It’s a real non profit and this education pays off in real jobs. I am thrilled that a nonprofit has the vision to affect the growth of this area in such a positive way.

  16. An intersting fact to note is that the site is equidistant between 2 future Link stations–Stadium Station and Judkins Station. It is aout .5-.6 miles from each one. The proposed Futurewise legislation requires that areas within .5 miles of transit stations must accomodate up to 50 residential units per acre. However, areas around stadiums are exempted. So, the stadiums will be served by light rail, but will only have high traffic during games and will have few housing units. The goodwill project is not served by high occupancy transit, but it’s only a 15 minute walk to the Link and it will meet the density requirements. Judkins park will become much, much, much more dense.

    Things to think about:

    1. Should the site be required to provide acceptable shuttle service to the Link Station as part of its traffic mitigation?

    2.Should Stadiums receive an exemption under the Futurewise bill? (This exemption basically protects the Montlake Neighborhood from affordable housing/mixed use developments as well as Sodo.)

    3. Areas like Judkins that will be forced to accomodate higer densities–should they receive compensation from exempted areas in the form of development transfer credits?