Capitol Hill Station Sites Planning

  • Public Engagement
  • Public Review
  • Final Report
  • Council Process
  • Final Decision


What’s Happening Now?

The Sound Transit Board has begun negotiations with Portland-based Gerding Edlen to be the master developer for at the Capitol Hill light rail station.

The proposal for the site includes:

  • 418 apartments in four buildings with 38 percent of units to rent for less than market rate for 12 years and 86 units designated for permanent affordable housing
  • 34 percent of units with at least two bedrooms
  • All buildings built to a minimum of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold standards, with a goal of all buildings having net-zero energy consumption by 2030
  • A provision of a space and a long-term lease agreement with the Broadway Farmers Market
  • A community center and daycare on site with subsidized care available for low-income residents

Sound Transit and the City of Seattle established a formal Development Agreement outlining the priorities for the sites in 2013. The development will be subject to the city's design review process.

The Capitol Hill Station is part of the 3.1-mile University Link light rail extension that in early 2016 will provide service between downtown Seattle, Capitol Hill and the University of Washington.

For more information, read this Sound Transit press release.

Project Goals

Our goal is to achieve the community's vision for the future redevelopment of the five Capitol Hill station sites by:

The End Result

The redevelopment of the Capitol Hill light rail station sites will be a model of transit-oriented development and create a new civic heart for the Capitol Hill community.

Project Documents

Legislation Documents

SEPA Documents

Urban Design Workshops
Three public workshops were held to help us develop an Urban Design Framework for the redevelopment area:

Urban Design Framework

Our framework describes the community’s vision for the redevelopment of the Capitol Hill light rail station sites including development and design guidance to future developers. Our framework informed the terms of a development agreement with Sound Transit.

Capitol Hill Light Rail Station Area Open House

Other Documents


The Sound Transit University Link light rail line will include an underground station on Capitol Hill. Due to construction of the light rail line, Sound Transit was required to buy several properties at the intersection of E. Denny Way and Broadway Ave (see Capitol Hill Station Area Site Plan). After construction is completed in 2016, much of the Sound Transit property will be available for new housing, shops, and other development.

One of the sites will be an affordable housing development that will likely be funded in part by the Office of Housing. Other community priorities for the sites include space for the Broadway Farmers Market, cultural center space, neighborhood retail, a public plaza, and pedestrian and bicycle friendly streets and connections.

The redevelopment of that property will bring new energy to this section of Broadway and the Capitol Hill neighborhood.

Since early 2010, we worked with Capitol Hill community members and Sound Transit to develop the community’s vision for these sites. Major milestones include:

  • 2013 — City Council and the Sound Transit board approved the development agreement that will apply to the redevelopment of the Capitol Hill light rail station sites. City Council also approved the site-specific design guidelines that supplement the Capitol Hill neighborhood design guidelines and apply only to the light rail station sites. These documents will help achieve the types of development envisioned in our 2011 Urban Design Framework.
  • October 2011 — We published the final Urban Design Framework for the sites. This document was the basis for the development agreement between the City and Sound Transit and for the site-specific design guidelines. When Sound Transit sells its properties around the station, the Urban Design Framework will inform proposals for those interested in redeveloping the sites.
  • October 2010 to February 2011 — We partnered with Sound Transit and the Capitol Hill community to develop an Urban Design Framework. Our framework is a shared vision for the station properties and nearby streets and public spaces.
  • Spring 2010 — The Capitol Hill Champion, a joint committee of the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce and the Capitol Hill Community Council, was formed to advocate for and champion the community’s vision for the Sound Transit sites.
  • February 2010 — A Transit Oriented Development subcommittee of the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce released a recommendations report regarding the development and design of the sites.

Related Resources

Project Timeline

  • October 2010 – October 2011
    Develop an Urban Design Framework
  • September 2011 – September 2012
    Negotiate a Term Sheet
    Draft site-specific design guidelines
  • September 2012
    Public meeting on the term sheet and draft site specific design guidelines
  • October 2012 – May 2013
    Draft Development Agreement
  • Summer 2013
    Seattle City Council reviewed and approved the Development Agreement and site-specific design guidelines
  • June 11, 2013
    Final legislation is sent by the Mayor's Office to the Seattle City Clerk
  • June 28, 2013
    We briefed the Planning, Land Use, and Sustainability Committee of the Seattle City Council
  • July 15, 2013
    The Planning, Land Use, and Sustainability Committee held a public hearing on the proposed legislation
  • August 5, 2013
    Seattle City Council passed legislation approving the development agreement and site-specific design guidelines
  • September 26, 2013
    Sound Transit Board voted unanimously to execute the Development Agreement with the City of Seattle
  • Fall 2013
    Sound Transit Board considered and took action on Development Agreement
  • Spring 2014
    Sound Transit released requests for qualifications for development sites
  • Summer 2014
    Sound Transit released requests for proposals to development teams selected from the request for qualifications process
  • Early 2015
    Sound Transit selects proposals for redevelopment of their sites