Center City Seattle
Center City Seattle Projects
Many exciting projects (see Initiatives Underway fact sheet) are planned for the Center City Seattle area in the next few years, including:
- Major Planning Efforts
- Transportation Projects
- Public Amenities Projects
- Center City Development Projects List
- Center City Development Projects Map
Major Planning Efforts Transportation Projects
|Center City Public Realm Strategy|
This guide focuses on the public realm: the spaces between private properties including sidewalks, roadways, parks, alleys, transit zones and the front edge of private property. It is a working document prepared by a number of City Departments and partners to summarize aspirations for a first rate public realm in ten Center City neighborhoods. The guide highlights commonalities from past plans and looks towards the future.
The Alaskan Way viaduct and the seawall along the central waterfront have been damaged and weakened, thrusting the central waterfront towards yet another major milestone in its evolution. City planners are working to take advantage of this once-in-a-century opportunity to create a waterfront that will meet Seattle’s challenging needs.
|Downtown Zoning Changes|
The Mayor's proposal to provide additional housing by increasing height and density limits in specific areas of downtown Seattle.
The overall goal of the South Downtown project is to stimulate housing and related development consistent with the Mayor’s Center City for great urban neighborhoods. The South Downtown planning project will examine growth and planning issues specific to Pioneer Square; Chinatown/International District (including the Little Saigon area east of Interstate 5); and the northernmost edges of the Greater Duwamish Manufacturing and Industrial Center.
|South Lake Union|
Creating more housing and employment opportunities, building a street car, updating the neighborhood plan, and creating a new waterfront park are all part of the Mayor's Action Agenda for South Lake Union. DPD planners are contributing to the Mayor's Action Agenda to create more housing and employment opportunities with two sets of land use and zoning changes in South Lake Union (see website).
|North Downtown Park Plan|
Based on Park Plan 2000 goals, participant input, and park and recreational facility research, the North Downtown Park Plan identifies park and recreational facility goals and priorities for each of the subareas within the North Downtown area. These needs are translated into a set of priorities for land acquisition, guidelines for facility development, and an integrated implementation strategy.
|Broadway Retail Revitalization|
Strengthening the Broadway business district by improving the retail mix and creating redevelopment opportunities is the focus of a strategy that includes providing storefront improvement grants, addressing public safety concerns, and changing land use and zoning regulations.
|First Hill Revitalization|
Creating redevelopment opportunities and strengthening the First Hill business district.
|Family-Friendly Urban Neighborhoods|
The Center City Family-Friendly Urban Neighborhoods project is a broad-based effort aimed at making the greater downtown area a more attractive place for families with children to live, work and play. The project will suggest projects and policy recommendations in the areas of open space and the public realm, affordable family size housing, arts and programming and exploration of possibilities for a downtown public elementary school. A number of public safety initiatives also support this project.
- Center City Transportation Improvements
Numerous transportation projects are being studied and constructed that will enhance our downtown street grid to ensure bus and freight mobility, and add alternatives to driving, such as light rail and monorail. By working together, transit agencies and the City are using a coordinated approach to construction that will keep downtown open and moving. Transportation projects include: replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct and Seawall Project, King Street Station Transportation Center, Central Link Light Rail, Mercer Corridor, Monorail, South Lake Union Streetcar, Spokane Street Viaduct Widening, and SR 519 Phase 1 Surface Improvements.
- Light Rail
This initial 14-mile light rail line serves downtown Seattle, the industrial area south of downtown, and residential and commercial neighborhoods in Beacon Hill, the Rainier Valley, Tukwila, and SeaTac. Sound Transit worked with neighborhoods, artists, and cities to ensure that the light rail system and stations are an asset to each community. Link trains take riders to a number of destinations, providing greater access to jobs and services and increased choices for housing.
- New and Renovated Parks
Parks, community centers and pedestrian corridors are key elements in creating unique, but connected, neighborhoods.
- Cascade Playground
The Cascade Playground in the South Lake Union neighborhood underwent a complete restoration with the installation of new play areas, natural landscaping and the demolition of a large retaining wall.
- South Lake Union Park
Parks will create a totally re-furbished park with a focus on maritime heritage, featuring a model boat pond, pathways, boardwalk, public art, a boat launch, and access to the water. Completion is expected in 2009.
- Olympic Sculpture Park
The Olympic Sculpture Park is a vibrant, 8.5-acre green space where people can experience art outdoors. The Olympic Sculpture Park transformed the largest undeveloped waterfront property in downtown Seattle into a unique park that reflects the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest.
- Queen Anne Park at Uptown
The Uptown Park vision is for a park that is vibrant, unique and attractive. The site is challenging, and will require bold ideas outside traditional park design to respond to potential site security issues and counteract potential undesirable urban activities.
- I-5 Colonnade
The I-5 Colonnade project will develop an area under I-5 into open space and consider an off-leash area, stairs to make pedestrian connections, and other amenities.
- Freeway Park
Activating Freeway Park to create a park’s that is an “urban oasis,” while being balanced with a need for more activities in order to turn this park into a city-wide destination.The edges of the park will be enhanced with major, visible anchors to attract visitors and create a positive image for the park.
- Plymouth Pillars Park
Currently under contruction and scheduled for completion later this year, the park includes a dog off-leash area, pedestrian walkway, stairs and landscaping.
- Seattle Aquarium / Pier 59 Remodel Project
The Seattle Aquarium project is a remodel of the Seattle Aquarium and Pier 59. Seattle Parks and Recreation restored structural integrity to the majority of the facility by installing new driven and posted piles and new concrete aprons (to replace existing wooden ones). Following the pile work, the east end of the building was carefully removed; the existing building façade (front of building) was restored before it was replaced.
- City Hall Park Improvement Project
This project will transform City Hall Park, located directly south of the King County Courthouse, into an attractive gateway to downtown Seattle.
- Pioneer Square Area Park Improvements
The park improvements will transform Occidental Square into an active, vibrant, and neighborhood enhancing public space.
- Belltown/Lower Queen Anne Waterfront Connections
Creating a pedestrian connection at Thomas Street.
- Cal Anderson Park and Bobby Morris Playfield
Opened to the public in Sept. 2005, this newly completed park in Capitol Hill features new pathways, a play area, an artist-designed water feature, a new shelterhouse and comfort station, basketball courts, and a resurfaced athletic field for year-round use.
- Cascade Playground
- Community Centers
Creating community gathering places for communities that are accessible to all, including the disabled.
- Park Acquistions
Parks acquisition staff are interested in partnering with developers on the following projects:
- Downtown Parks Task Force
The charge of the Downtown Parks Task Force is to advocate for the parks, implement strategies for park improvements, and guide the expenditure of funds proposed in the 2005 capital and operating budgets for the operation, maintenance, and improvement of six downtown parks.
- The Blue Ring
The Blue Ring is Seattle’s open space strategy for Center City, which grew out of strong community activism and a commitment to creating urban vitality, eclecticism, sustainability and social equality at the core of Seattle and the Puget Sound region. The Blue Ring is being developed by CityDesign, the City of Seattle’s office for urban design, with the help of a planning and design team led by Mithun.
September 5, 2012