“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way.” - William Blake
It is very difficult to get people to realize how huge the Yesler Terrace Redevelopment Project is. Three hundred million dollars; up to 5,000 residential units (approximately 10,000 residents); 5,100 parking spaces; 4,000 employees, plus customers; a building equivalent to half a Columbia Tower in floor space; two buildings up to 300 feet; 13 buildings, many greater than 16 stories, plus many more of up to 85 feet tall. Construction may occur over 20 years. It’s too big!
Yesler Terrace is currently for extremely low-income people. Only 11 percent of the units in the new Yesler will be for extremely low income.
The Capitol Hill and First Hill neighborhoods are the densest neighborhoods in the city. Average Seattle residential density is just over five units per acre. Yesler Terrace will be 166 units per acre. Commercial and office space is additional and will compete with already struggling downtown commercial and office space. This project is the equivalent of plopping a very dense town in the densest part of the city. It’s too big!
The Seattle Housing Authority plans to sell publicly owned Yesler Terrace land to developers. The land should be leased, not sold. Once sold it will be lost from low-income housing or any other public purpose forever. SHA says they have to sell the land. The City Council should ask them to show convincing evidence of that assertion. The new Yesler will change the character of Seattle forever. It’s too big.
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