Uptown: Framework for the Future

What's Happening Now?

Summary of Public Feedback
In January 2018 we began working with the Uptown Alliance Land Use Review Committee (UA-LURC) to review and assess the Uptown Neighborhood Design Guidelines. These guidelines are used by the Design Review Board to review and make recommendations about new developments in Uptown. This update will use community input from the multi-year (2013-2017) community planning process.

We held several meetings and a walking tour with UA-LURC members to identify priority design issues. We proposed revisions that reflect the community vision expressed in the Uptown Urban Design Framework and recently adopted zoning changes. Other changes eliminate duplication and inconsistency with the citywide guidance in the Seattle Design Guidelines. On April 16, 2018 we shared a DRAFT Uptown Neighborhood Design Guidelines with the broader community and held a series of events to gather feedback.

• Posted a DRAFT on the project website on April 16, 2018.
• Sent emails to the project listserv with links to the DRAFT and an online survey list on April 25, May 7, and May 24.
• Staffed a display at What New in North Downtown community open house at the Seattle Center on April 25, 2018.
• Held "office hours" at the KEXP Gathering Space on May 15 (11:30am-1:30pm) and May 22 (3:00-5:00 p.m.).
• Shared an update at the Uptown Alliance General Meeting on May 8, 2018.
• Briefed the Uptown Arts Collaborative on May 16, 2018.

Here is a summary of the feedback we received. We are now working with City staff from multiple departments to review and refine the Draft, and will create a FINAL DRAFT for City Council to review and adopt in late 2018 or early 2019.

Linking Uptown to August Wilson Way along Republican Street.

Creating and strengthening pedestrian links between Uptown and the Seattle Center is a key objective of the Uptown neighborhood. The Uptown Urban Design Framework describes the opportunity to link the heart of Uptown to August Wilson Way on the Seattle Center campus along Republican Street. We are preparing a preliminary design to further develop this concept.

The future of Uptown implements requirements that will generate 600 new affordable homes for low-income people, providing capacity for more market-rate housing and jobs, supporting new spaces for cultural organizations, and enacting the community's vision for the future of the neighborhood. Implementing the City's Mandatory Housing Affordability (MHA) program will require developers to build or fund affordable housing, helping keep the neighborhood affordable as it grows.

View/download our latest documents for more information:

What's Next?

Over the next 20 years, the proposed zoning changes will result in an estimated 600 new income-restricted and rent-restricted homes for low-income residents through the City's new MHA program. Under MHA, Uptown development will be required to include between 5 percent and 10 percent affordable homes in each building, or contribute between $8.00 and $29.75 per square foot to the Seattle Office of Housing to support affordable housing, depending on the specific location in the neighborhood.

Project Benefits


  • Foster leadership and collaboration between the community, City staff, and other local organizations
  • Engage a broad constituency in the neighborhood, including traditionally underrepresented populations
  • Assess opportunities for improving connectivity around Uptown
  • Recommend opportunities for community improvements around ongoing planning and capital investment efforts in the area
  • Physical and cultural integration of Seattle Center with the surrounding neighborhood
  • Strategic organizing around business district health and development

As Uptown grows, we want to encourage:

  • Diversity in household type and affordability
  • Investment in the neighborhood
  • Support for local business year-round
  • Employment to bring people to the neighborhood during the day
  • Living and working without a car
  • A vibrant and safe public environment

The End Result

We will develop a collaborative vision of Uptown that describes how the physical development of the area can positively affect quality of life, recognizing the role that place-making and urban design play in creating a walkable, livable, healthy, and vibrant neighborhood.

Project Timeline

  • June 2014 
    First community design charrette (see the charrette notes)
  • September 2014
    Second community design charrette
  • November 2014
    Third (and final) community design charrette
  • October 2015
    Publish draft Urban Design Framework
    Public workshop for review and comment
  • December 2015
    Publish final Urban Design Framework
  • Spring 2016
    Release Draft Rezone Environmental Impact Statement
  • Fall 2016
    Release Final Rezone Environmental Impact Statement
    Release Draft Rezone Recommendation
  • September 2017
    Council adopts new Uptown Zoning and resolution
  • January 2018
    Work on Neighborhood Design Guidelines Update, Historic Resources Survey and Republican Street Streetscape Concept Plan begin
  • April 2018
    Released Draft Neighborhood Design Guidelines
    Hosted a What's New in North Downtown Community Open House
  • Fall 2018
    Send updated Neighborhood Design Guidelines to City Council
  • Early 2019
    Council Adopts updated Uptown Neighborhood Design Guidelines