“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
by Will Livesley-O’Neill
- The Capitol Hill Times -
Sound Transit will hold a public hearing Thursday to discuss the proposed sale of surplus land from the Capitol Hill light rail station site to Seattle Central Community College. The hearing, scheduled for 12:30 p.m. at the Ruth Fisher Boardroom at Union Station, will be a chance for members of the public to comment on the current proposal.
The property, known as “Site D,” is two parcels of land, totaling about 10,000 acres, on the west side of Broadway at the old location of Mongolian Grill. It would be the first of four proposed sites around the light rail station slated for sale. Sound Transit has had trailers for construction offices parked on the property during work on the station, but will not need the parcels once the station is completed.
Seattle Central has proposed to use the property for college-related transit oriented development, or TOD, possibly as student housing. The site could eventually house up to five different buildings, according to Sound Transit spokesman Bruce Gray.
“Whenever two public entities enter into their own real estate transaction, you have to go through this process that has a public hearing, so folks know that we’re doing this, and that it’s not going out on the open market,” Gray said of the hearing.
The next step, after public comment is heard, will be to officially declare the sites to be surplus and designate them for TOD. The development agreement between Sound Transit and Seattle Central would go through a City Council review process, with the results likely to come back to Sound Transit’s board for approval sometime in the late winter or early spring.
Sound Transit would then put out a request for development. A design plan from one or more developers could be finished in the first half of this year.
Gray said construction is unlikely to be completed until 2016 at the earliest, when the light rail system is expected to begin operation.
“The idea is to have some development finished, or going on, by the time trains start running,” he said.