On Thursday, August 3, Sound Transit staff briefed the ST board’s Executive Committee on the agency’s goals for two TOD projects near the Capitol Hill Link station.
Both projects will feature ground floor retail and affordable housing, and will build to the maximum density that their zoning allows. The First Hill site, near the intersection of Broadway and Madison, is zoned to allow for up to 13 stories in construction. The second site, which ST will procure through a land swap with Seattle Central College, will allow for seven stories.
First Hill site
According to Sarah Lovell, ST’s TOD Planning Manager, the First Hill site will have:
- A minimum of 12 stories
- At least 250 housing units
- Affordable housing standards
- At least 80 percent of units occupied by residents at or below 80 percent AMI
- The buildingwide average income at or below 60 percent AMI
- At least 80 units at or below 30 percent AMI
- At least 8 percent of units will have 2+ bedrooms, for families
- 4000 square feet of active storefront
- Meets Washington State Evergreen Standard
- Minimal auto-oriented design features
Sound Transit is in the late stages of negotiations with Bellweather Housing and Plymouth Housing Group. Staff hope to present the board with final contracts in August or September. ST does not plan to spend any funds on the project.
Lovell also briefed the Executive Committee on a more complicated project to be built on Broadway between Pike and Pine. The site is in a historic auto repair shop (the Eldrige Tire Building) between Neighbours and a mixed use building with Rite Aid on the ground floor.
According to Lovell, this project will have:
- At least 7 floors, though with MHA it could have 8
- Target 78 housing units
- 100 percent of residents earning 60 percent AMI or below
- 23 percent of units 2+ bedrooms, for families
- At least 4,500 square feet of commercial space
- Meets the Evergreen Standard
- Restoration and inclusion of the Eldrige Tire facade
Lovell said that the income requirements will be locked in for 40 to 50 years, as part of a covenant typical to most private affordable housing developments. ST plans to work with Capitol Hill Housing to develop the project.
Sound Transit doesn’t yet own the plot. It will acquire the land through a swap with Seattle Central College, which currently owns the building. SCC will gain access to a lot on the west side of Broadway, next to the SCC portal to the Capitol Hill Link station.
According to Lovell, SCC intends to develop that project into its own mixed commercial and affordable housing TOD project. So, in a sense, Sound Transit will incubate two affordable housing developments when it makes the land swap later this year.
Sound Transit has clearly learned from the long-delayed projects above the Capitol Hill Link station. The agency’s thoughtful approach to these three projects, and its close collaboration with community partners, bodes well for its ambitious TOD program.