Tonight was the monthly meeting of the 12th Avenue Stewardship Committee, which helps guide development in the 12th Avenue Urban Village. Here’s the news on 12th:
12th & James Park – The city council has allocated $489,893 to fund creation of a long-planned park at the corner of 12th & James Ct.. The parks department is now in charge of the design, and will be planning public meetings for later in the fall to gather public input on the project.
One key element of the design is to turn the 1200 block of E. James Ct into a woonerf, lined with trees and designed around pedestrian use.
The city hopes to start construction in the spring or summer of 2010.
Seattle U Housing at 12th & Cherry – Seattle University is planning a big housing project on the corner of 12th & Cherry, just north of the park discussed above. It will be five stories tall with 240-250 additional beds for students to live on campus. The first floor will have multiple retail spaces along 12th and along Cherry, with a large restaurant space on the southwest corner of the building alongside the park.
View of 12th & Cherry, with environment cleanup in progress
The construction under way on the property right now is environmental cleanup from the Metal Laundry business that used to operate on that corner.
Updated designs should be available in a few weeks, and a planned start of construction for spring of next year, ready for students to move in during the fall semester of 2011.
12th & Jefferson Workforce Housing – Capitol Hill Housing’s plans for a workforce-housing project at 12th & Jefferson will take a bit longer, as they’ve found that they’ll have to seek a contract rezone for the site which can take up to a year for approval. A sixty-five foot height is required to make the project pencil out on the small lot.
CHH has been meeting with neighbors about potential impacts of shading and making sure the design enhances safety around that block.
Streetcar Update – Members of the 12th Ave committee and others in the ad-hoc 12th Ave streetcar group have been meeting with public officials to discuss alignment options on the east side of First Hill, including routes that include 12th Avenue. No decisions have been made yet, and it appears that the mayoral race may push decisions out into 2010.
King County Juvenile Detention – Community members have been lobbying King County for years to better plan and operate the Juvenile Detention center at 12th & Alder. Last year there were some preliminary plans to bring in 3-4 potential partners who could develop the parking lot on the northwest corner, helping to fund a project to reconstruct the offices and courtroom building of the detention center. The economy has impacted those plans, and things seem to have gone back to square one.
Want to learn more? 12th Ave Stewardship meetings are planned to be held on the 2nd Tuesday of each month at the Seattle U alumni center at 12th & Marion.
There’s a Streetcar Facebook Group here for folks to check out and join http://j.mp/3Jb4vB. Let’s not lose sight of streetcar’s unique strengths. Streetcars shape cities in a positive ways, of course, and are place-making tools that encourage the development of compact, walkable neighborhoods. The First Hill Streetcar is no exception. We’re encouraging the City to explore the 12th Avenue/Broadway Loop alignment. A streetcar Loop would give the hospital workforce another way to connect to Light Rail (besides bus transit, shuttle and walking options) while also advancing other important, long-term, public goals. Check it out.