Community Post

Vacant Lot Among Issues at 12th Ave Meeting

There will be a 12th Avenue Neighborhood Meeting this Thursday, March 26th at 6:30pm at the S.U. Facilities Bldg., 1218 E Cherry (red building behind the Shell Station on 12th Avenue). Please join us, there will be beverages and snacks provided!

Representatives of Capitol Hill Housing will be there to discuss their proposal for a mixed-use workforce housing project on the corner of 12th and Jefferson (500 12th Ave). Representatives of the City of Seattle Office Housing, Department of Parks and Recreation, and Department of Neighborhoods will also be there to discuss the history of the site. All with an interest in the 12th Ave. Neighborhood are encouraged to attend.

Background Info:
The Mayor’s 1992 12th Avenue Plan calls for the sale of City-owned property on and near 12th Ave. and the investment of the proceeds in capital improvements in the 12th Ave. area. Following the 12th Avenue Plan the City sold approximately seven parcels of land between 1992 and 2001 receiving approximately $1.8 million. The City received approximately $360,000 from leasing some of those parcels pending their sale.

Most of the money received from the sale and leasing of the property has been spent— producing street and sidewalk improvements including the pedestrian-scale lights, street trees, textured crosswalks, and curb bulbs all on 12th Avenue, and traffic circles in more than a dozen locations between 12th and 15th. The amount paid for these improvements is $1,113,697. The other major payments, mostly to the Dept. of Planning and Development for a rezone analysis and to the Dept. of Neighborhoods for administration of the money have been $404,106.

Money remaining in the 12th Avenue fund is approximately $397,000. Also two 12th Avenue parcels remain in City ownership. One at 12th and James Ct. has been transferred to the Parks. Dept. to become a park — the 12th Avenue Gathering Place. At community meetings there was consensus that money remaining in the 12th Avenue fund be spent on park design and development.

The other 12th Avenue Plan parcel still owned by the City is now controlled by the Office of Housing. That 9,791 sq. ft. parcel at 12th and Jefferson is assessed at $1,128,000. Recently the property was leased for the staging of equipment for a repaving project on Madison Street but no lease money was paid to the 12th Avenue Fund for this use. The Office of Housing has determined that the best course of action would be to transfer that property for development as a mixed-use building with apartments for moderate income persons (workforce housing), and that such a development requires the property to be transferred for no money. This would produce a desirable building on a site vacant for decades. However, transferring for no money will mean no additional funds from 12th Avenue property sales for neighborhood capital improvements such as park development or street improvements.

Questions about 12th Ave. meeting? E-mail Bill Zosel at [email protected]

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