Moving the Youth Services Center (Juvenile Court and Jail)?

Today the Seattle Times reports that Wright Runstad has been in negotiations with the County to move the ENTIRE facility off of 12th Avenue and to the Pac Med Building on Beacon Hill:

Up until now, King County has communicated to the neighborhood that leaving  keeping he Juvenile Jail on 12th was a priority – the Jail building is actually quite new, it is the rest of the facility that is in disrepair (courts, etc.)

This could mean that 9 acres in the heart of the 12th Avenue Urban Village could soon be up for sale and transformation from largely a surface parking lot to….?

Next 12th Avenue Stewardship Meeting – Tuesday, August 9th @ 5:30pm!

Please join us for the next 12th Avenue Stewardship Meeting on Tuesday, August 9th from 5:30-7:30pm at the Seattle University Admissions and Alumni Building (corner of 12th Avenue and Marion).

The agenda for this meeting will include:

  • Update on King County Youth Services Center Redevelopment Plans
  • Update on 12th Avenue Neighborhood Festival
  • Update on First hill Streetcar
  • Update on Seattle University Major Institution Master Plan process
  • Update on James Court Park/Woonerf 

If you have any questions please contact Bill Zosel at [email protected] or 206-329-3986.

Notes from the June Meeting

Mixed-Use building at James and Broadway, Michael Willis, Ankrom Moisan Architects

  • New building starting construction next year, will demolish building that currently houses El Mestizo restaurant and the teriyaki restaurant (both will have to move).
  • Near future Jefferson Streetcar stop.
  • Will consist of 140 units of very small studios (350-400 square feet) and 5,000 sq feet of retail.
  • Will be going through design review soon, please attend these meetings.

Mixed-Use building at Jefferson and Broadway, Joe Nydahl, Gerding Edlen Development (formerly presented to us by another firm that took it through design review and rezone)

  • GE is a large green development firm (41 LEED projects)
  • Starting construction on this project in six weeks, 13 month construction schedule
  • 118 apartments, 450-850 sq feet, up to 2-bedrooms available.
  • Retail on the first floor and amenities like green roof, gym and parking off alley.
  • Entrance will be on Jefferson.
  • Wright is the GC.
  • Looking for a restaurant for two-story corner restaurant space.

King County Youth Services Center Update, Jim Burt, King County

  • County is again in the midst of a procurement process to find a development partner to help develop their new courtroom and admin building (When Prop 1 failed last year, they lost their source of funding to do this and are seeking creative partnerships to make this happen).
  • They have received 6 proposals – 4 on site and 2 off site
  • Still in review process so cannot say much more.
  • When review completed KC will reach out to the neighborhood for involvement again.
  • KC expects to select by July one of two options 1) on site redevelopment or 2) off site – would issue RFP for off-site portions and would sell current property in new RFP
  • In all of these options the community will be re-engaged to refine requirements for property disposition in 2012.
  • The priority is still to keep courts and detention together
  • Question: Would SU want it? SU answered “no” outside their Major Institution Overlay.

Seattle Housing Authority Update, Anne Fiske Zuniga

  • Anne presented a very thorough and detailed update on the redevelopment of Yesler Terrace and the SHA application for Choice Neighborhoods Grant Funds from the federal government.
  • She discussed at length that the plan will be for a more dense mixed-income community, but that SHA remains focused on bringing low-income families back to the neighborhood to live in close proximity to downtown and amenities.
  • Question: Will daycare be built into the development. Answer: Yes, lots of planning for daycare operators currently living there.
  • SHA is looking at replacement housing in 12th Ave Urban Village. She mentioned KC Records Building on Yesler, Urban League building and the King County Youth Services Site as possibilities. They want to relocate people as close as possible to original Yesler.
  • Question: how will people cross Boren, right now it is very dangerous? Answer: Right now there is no plan to create a new crossing over Boren even though it is an ideal location for it. There are conversations about enhancing the Yesler crossing to Bailey Gatzert Elementary though, when the streetcar is constructed. This work will focus on bike and pedestrian safety.
  • SHA is looking at creating much better connections to and through the new Yesler neighborhood.
  • Question: Will 8th Ave intersection at Harborview be improved. Answer: Yes, signal will be added there.
  • Question: Will the stairway to Little Saigon be improved? Answer: Yes, the current one will be removed and a new connection will be built that will be much safer.
  • Question: What about parking? Answer: It depends on the use, residential or retail, but the new Yesler will use smaller parking ratios due to new codes and it will be on the new Streetcar line, which will hopefully enhance transit opportunities here.
  • Choice Neighborhoods is a $27m application and includes more than just Yesler footprint. It wraps up into the 12th Ave Urban Village, Remington to the North and 14th to the east.
  • It includes money for housing, community improvements ($4m) and supportive services ($4m). Sommunity improvements include Washington Hall funding, staircase to Little Saigon and new sidewalks and street trees for south end of 12th!
  • If funded, work would start ASAP on 12th ad Yesler, the vacant lot that SHA currently owns. This would be a mixed-use building with affordable retail on the first floor.
  • SHA recently committed to replacing current 561 low-income housing units with 661 units.

Capitol Hill Housing Update, Kate Gill de la Garza

  • 12th and Jefferson Workforce Housing is in development (finally!)
  • Things are going well, Marpac is GC and site has been fully remediated of contamination.
  • We should be done by next summer (2012) and are actively looking for great local retail and restaurant tenants.
  • All apartments will be affordable workforce housing (40 units all together)
  • 12th Ave Festival date has been set for Sunday August 14th on 12th between Madison and Pike. Will be 20 great retail and restaurant booths again this year.

Seattle University Update, Joy Jacobson

  • Steve Shepherd at the City is actively working with SU to fill some seats on their Community Advisory Committee (CAC)
  • The CAC helps guide SU’s master planning on campus.
  • If anyone is interested please contact the City or SU (Contact info???)


  • Come to the next Woonerf Meeting on June 29th.
  • Come to the next SU CAC meeting on June 30th! Citizens Advisory Committee meetings to consider the new Major Institution Master Plan proposed by Seattle U are ongoing.  To see the proposed plan and schedule of meetings see

12th Avenue Street Clean This Saturday!

Please join us for the Annual 12th Avenue Street Clean! We will be meeting at about 9:30am on Saturday May 21st at the Seattle University Alumni and Admissions Building (824 12

th Avenue) to enjoy fresh coffee and bagels from Eltana, a great new local business in the neighborhood. From about 10am to Noon we will clean-up 12th Avenue and the surrounding streets by picking up litter. All supplies and food will be provided. Just show up, meet your neighbors and help strengthen our community!

Questions? Call or e-mail Kate Gill de la Garza at 206-204-3831 or [email protected].