by TIM BOND
Last night Sound Transit held an open house for the Roosevelt Station, which is expected to add 8,000 boardings by 2030. STB reported on the design of the station yesterday, knocking it for not having any potential for TOD in the station footprint. While that certainly is a disappointment, we do have to thank Roosevelt residents for their hard work in 2005 to get the station sited at Roosevelt’s commercial core and not at Metro’s NE 65th Park & Ride underneath I-5.
This underground station will be located just west of 12th Ave NE with entrances at NE 65th and NE 67th Streets. Both entrances will have stairs and escalators leading to a mezzanine and an elevator leading directly to the platform. Elevators will directly connect the surface to the platform, 70 to 90 feet below ground. Construction will require the acquisition of three chunks of land: the entire block currently housing QFC, the empty lot at 67th and 12th, and a chunk next to 12th between 65th and 66th. The latter chunk is currently home to four townhouses and the Standard Radio building, which Sound Transit recently announced did not qualify as a historic landmark. The four townhouses are up for sale and could be transported to a nearby location. If not sold, fixtures and materials of the townhouses will be salvaged or recycled. Sound Transit will launch the TBMs tunneling to Husky Stadium from this station.
The 30% design presented has two buildings located along 12th Ave NE. Dubbed “greenhouses” by critics, the buildings will house two entrances to the station that will be bathed in natural light from large windows and skylights. Brainstorming by the architect led to keeping both entrances similar in function and appearance. More than half of the actual footprint of the buildings will be for support facilities—vent shafts, mechanical rooms and the like. These buildings will be pulled away from the sidewalk a bit, allowing for an open plaza area with significant amounts of landscaping. The station will also feature spaces for 50 bikes in the form of racks, lockers, and a bike sanctuary–a locked room for bicycles—and could be expanded to accommodate up to 100. The stairwell and escalators from the surface will lead to a mezzanine, which will connect to two separate sets of stairs for riders to reach the platform level. The mezzanine will have natural light brought in from skylights.
It will be necessary to have two vent shafts with each entrance. The current design—which is not final—has a large stack that will block the windows of some units of the 6 story Dwell Roosevelt Condominiums located next door. This design caused great outcry from residents, citing that their view would be lost due to this shaft. The same residents expressed opposition to any secondary functions or building on top of the station entrance, stating that only a 1-story entrance is acceptable.
Sound Transit suggested that a commercial food cart could be installed at the station, but dismissed the idea of building on top of the station entrances, citing two facts. First, current zoning laws cap building heights at 65 feet here. Building on top of the station entrance, it’s unlikely you could get more than a couple of stories, in a small footprint, thus making this uneconomical. Second, Sound Transit pointed out that much more land will be available from the parcel north of NE 67th and about 75% of the QFC lot. The QFC lot alone could produce as many as 260 units.
Sound Transit expects to have a 60% design in early 2012, and a 90% in late 2012. As always, your feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.