Bell Street Park
Parks and Green Spaces Levy
Location: First to Fifth Avenue
Construction began on Thursday, March 21, 2013 on the first phase of this project from 1st -2nd Avenue. See the progress picture to the right. Parks and AGR Construction anticipates completion of this phase by the end of May 2013. Seattle Parks is providing safe access to all businesses and residents along this portion of Bell Street during construction.
Thank you for your patience and cooperation during construction. Please contact the project manager, Patrick Donohue with any concerns or question during project construction.
Parks awarded the construction contract to AGR Construction of Monroe WA. They were the low bidder and met all bidder qualifications. The contract award is $3,377,000.
The project will be divided into phases with each block being constructed individually to minimize disruption to local residents and business.
The Parks and Green Spaces Levy funds the entire four blocks of the park from 1st Avenue to 5th Avenue on Bell Street.
We have successfully negotiated a Memorandum of Agreement with other City agencies that spells the responsibilities of each agency for the long term maintenance of Bell Street Park.
This project transforms four blocks of Bell Street into a 56,000 square foot new street park. The continuous level pavement will encourage pedestrians, cyclists, and automobiles to share the space.
The work is limited to the following blocks; 1st to 2nd, 2nd to 3rd, 3rd to 4th, and 4th to 5th. No work shall take place in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th avenues right-of-ways or where there may be a City of Seattle Department of Transportation paving moratorium in place.
The existing street lights will be removed and replaced with an average of 5 energy efficient LED street lights and 10 energy efficient 14 foot pedestrian lighting fixtures per block. This new lighting raises the ambient light level and is designed to minimize light pollution.
After changes in the licensing requirements for outdoor restaurant dinning Parks adjusted the design to accommodate and encourage outdoor dining for all existing restaurants in the corridor and proposed restaurant on Bell at 2nd.
The trees along Bell Street will be removed. This is an issue the City does not take lightly. Specific tree information can be found here. Parks did an extensive review of the existing trees within the four blocks of the proposed Bell Street Park. An element of the tree replacement plan is Parks staff and the project design team will be developing a long-term tree management plan covering maintenance, pruning and replacement of the trees over the next 30 years for the Bell Street corridor.
Thank you for your attendance and participation in the Bell Street Park public meetings. Parks presented an update at the Best of Belltown on June 14, 2011 for the Belltown Business Association and neighborhood residents.
Together Seattle Parks and Recreation and the Office of Arts and Cultural
Affairs is happy to announce the selection of Sheila
Klein as the project artist for Bell Street Park. She is a nationally
recognized public artist that has worked from Los Angeles to Pittsburgh.
Sheila will work with project designers and city staff to develop site-specific
artwork consistent with the goals of the project. It is hoped that the
art will be the catalyst for park activation. The artwork development
schedule will follow the design and construction schedule for the park.
The artwork is commissioned with Parks and Green Spaces Levy 1% for
The third meeting for the park development in May 2010 was well attended.
The design team presented a hybrid design that was developed with community
input from the previous meeting. Please see presentation below.
Over 130 people attended the second public meeting held on January
13, 2010. The designers, SvR + Hewitt, presented two different design
options that took their inspiration from the history of the area and
a lighting specialist presented information on light levels on Bell.
The design team walked the audience through a comparison of the options
requesting input on the Sluiced Surface option and the Measured
Movement option. The community offered positive feedback and direction
for the design of the park. The community encouraged the designers to
look into a combination of the two designs emphasizing the importance
of safety, activation, lighting, and using green / recycled materials.
In October 2009 Seattle Parks selected SvR + Hewitt as the primary
design consultant for this project. Four Belltown blocks, from First
to Fifth Avenues will be turned into Seattle's first park boulevard
with swales and natural landscaping.
The conceptual design was approved by the Parks Levy Oversight Committee
in April 2009 for $3.5 million in funding based on its ability to provide
17,000 square feet of much-needed open space for the Belltown Community.
The conceptual design was subsequently presented to the City Council
in June 2009. They approved both the funding authority and a transfer
of jurisdiction of the Bell Street right-of-way to Parks so that the
plan could be implemented as envisioned.
First to Fifth Avenue
$3.5 million from 2008 Parks and Green Spaces Levy. An additional $1.5 million of funding from the acquisition fund will be applied to this project upon approval from City Council in March 2013.
Planning: Summer 2009 - Spring 2010
Design: Summer 2010 - Winter 2012
Construction: Early 2013 - Late Fall 2013
Completion: Winter 2013/2014
The neighborhood of Belltown holds a unique spot within the City on many levels. Geographically it links other neighborhoods: the waterfront, Pike Place Market, downtown, Seattle Center, and the Denny Triangle. It has an eclectic mix of businesses, residents, and architecture. It is a dedicated, caring, and inclusive community that not only supports, but also embraces more than 30 human services agencies and low-income housing located there.
Belltown is one of the highest density neighborhoods. From 1990 to 2005 the number of housing units increased by more than 246% and it is expected to grow by another 30% by 2010.
Per the City’s goals for open space, the neighborhood should have 8.64 acres of open space now, and 13.34 by 2024. Unfortunately, the land and resources dedicated to open space has not kept pace with this growth in both residential and business use. Belltown has one park (Regrade Dog Park) that is about one-half acre, clearly falling short of providing for basic needs, let alone establishing the livable, pedestrian-oriented and active mixed-use neighborhood visualized in the neighborhood plan and by the City.
Long term aggressive planning for additional open space in the form of parks and green relief is needed. However, there is an immediate need to provide pedestrian amenities that a great neighborhood like Belltown deserves.
The project was first proposed in the 1998 Belltown Neighborhood Plan, and has been endorsed by a range of community organizations – including Belltown Housing and Land Use Committee and the Bell Town Community Council.
The project converts one traffic lane and reconfigures parking to create a park like corridor through the heart of Belltown. The four block area will be improved with landscaping, better lighting, and more open space.
Property Owner Meeting 11-09-09
Public Meeting 11-10-09
Public Meeting 1-13-10
Public Meeting 5-19-10
Public Update 1-22-13
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May 16, 2013