King County restarting Northgate TOD project over City Council objections

A map of the site from the original RFP’s fact sheet. Courtesy Metro.

In a surprise move earlier this month, King County officials decided to restart the process that could eventually construct hundreds of affordable housing units within walking distance of the Northgate Station.

The decision will likely delay construction of an eventual dense, mixed-use transit oriented development project. The revamped process could yield hundreds more units of housing, including additional affordable housing.

Why King County cancelled the RFP

Metro, which owns the parcel that will eventually become the site of the TOD project, cancelled a request for proposals on June 5. Two companies, Lake Union Partners and Stellar Holdings, answered the original RFP. The developers did not respond to requests for comment.

In a notice sent to the bidders, and in subsequent public comments, county officials explained that they cancelled the RFP to incorporate new and anticipated changes to laws governing the RFP process.

A new state law, which came into effect June 7, allows local governments to give surplus property to developers for free, as long as the property will be used to house families who earn 80 percent or less of the locally adjusted area median income.

Meanwhile, the Seattle City Council is considering whether to upzone the Northgate TOD plot. As Bruce pointed out, an upzone could make Northgate a major urban center.

Northgate Station under construction from the TOD site. Courtesy Sound Transit.

Diane Carlson, Metro’s Director of Capital Projects, was involved in the decision to cancel the initial RFP. Carlson says that the county wants to take advantage of the statutory changes because of the site’s potential.

“We’ve given [ourselves] an opportunity to potentially create more housing on that site, and we want to take advantage of that,” Carlson says.

What might go into a new RFP

Continue reading “King County restarting Northgate TOD project over City Council objections”

Northgate Open House Report


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On Tuesday Sound Transit held an open house for Northgate Station. Northgate Station is the northernmost station of North Link, which will stop at Roosevelt and Brooklyn stations before connecting to U-Link. This $1.35 billion (2010 dollars) ST2-funded extension is expected to open in 2021. Northgate station alone is expected to add 15,000 daily boardings by 2030; the entire North Link segment is expected to add 62,000 daily boardings. Both numbers assume a full ST2 buildout to Lynnwood.

The alignment consists of 3.3 miles of twin bored tunnels and one mile of retained cut/fill and elevated tracks. The cut/fill section will be very similar to the segment that currently parallels I-5. Previously the alignment was to transition from below to at grade at NE 75th, however last year Sound Transit revised this moving it north to NE 85th which will save approximately $10 million. The retained cut/fill section will parallel I-5 and will become elevated at NE 95th and will continue to the elevated station to be constructed just west of the Northgate Transit Center.

Lots of diagrams and details below the jump.

Continue reading “Northgate Open House Report”

New proposal to keep North Link extension underground

Alternative North Link Portal Location. photo courtesy of Mai Ling via Maple Leaf Life

According to Mai Ling of Maple Leaf Life, Sound Transit unveiled an alternative to the North Link light rail line extension at the recent public meeting at Roosevelt High School:

University Link Deputy Project Director Ron Endlich introduced a new proposal to keep the light rail line underneath Interstate 5 farther than the current proposal, which has the trains beginning their rise to freeway level starting at Northeast 75th Street. Under the new proposal, they would rise above ground en route to the Northgate station starting at Northeast 85th Street…

“This will improve our overall construction schedule,” Endlich said. “We believe it will also have a lower net cost to taxpayers under this approach.”… According to a flier from the meeting, the proposal is expected to save $5 million to $10 million.

North Link: Community Meeting

From the press release:

North Link light rail project : Community Meeting

June 16 , 2010
5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Roosevelt High School Commons

1410 NE 66th St., Seattle

Light rail is coming to North Seattle

Sound Transit is hosting a meeting to kick off final design of the North Link light rail project. North Link is a 4.3-mile extension to the regional light rail system with stations at Brooklyn (University District), Roosevelt and Northgate.

At the meeting you will:

  • Find out how to get involved in the final design process
  • Review engineering drawings and recommendations
  • Talk about next steps

Please join us from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m., with a presentation beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Your participation is important.

For more information
Contact Keith Hall via e-mail or at 206-398-5468

To request accommodations for persons with disabilities, call 1-800-201-4900 / TTY Relay: 711 or e-mail