Uptown: Framework for the Future

What's Happening Now?

Provide feedback and let us know your thoughts about our Draft Neighborhood Design Guidelines. Take the survey by May 25:

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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.

After several meetings and a walking tour with UA-LURC members, we have a draft to share with the broader community. The draft reflects the community vision expressed in the Uptown Urban Design Framework and recently adopted zoning changes. Also, the draft eliminates duplication and inconsistency with the citywide guidance in the Seattle Design Guidelines.

To learn more about this project:

  • Stop in at What's New in North Downtown on April 25. Staff from several city departments will be there to talk about several planning efforts in Uptown, including Uptown Neighborhood Design Guidelines.
  • Attend the Uptown Alliance General Meeting on May 8.
  • Drop by the KEXP Gathering Space on May 15 from 11:30am-1:30pm, and May 22 from 3:00-5:00 p.m. City staff will be on hand to talk about the update and hear your comments.
  • Read the draft Uptown Neighborhood Design Guidelines
  • Subscribe to the Uptown Mailing List to get updates on this project.

Click here to take our Draft Neighborhood Design Guidelines survey by May 25 and provide feedback on the project.

We will use your input to create a final draft for City Council to review and adopt in Fall 2018.

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
  • Early 2017
    Council consideration of Rezone Recommendation