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King County Executive News

King County Executive News
Sept. 22, 2011

King County Executive reaches creative solution that moves forward North Lot development

Former Kingdome parking site to become the largest transit-oriented project on the West Coast

King County Executive Dow Constantine today announced an agreement that will allow for the long-held goal of constructing a mixed-use development with affordable housing to begin in Seattle's Pioneer Square, on the parking lot just north of the old Kingdome site.

"This is a creative solution that leverages available parking spaces at a county-owned garage to double the County's return on the North Lot property," said Executive Constantine. "It's a great deal for Pioneer Square, for fans at the stadiums, for construction workers and economic recovery, and for the taxpayers of King County."

At issue was finding suitable replacement parking for the Washington State Public Stadium Authority (PSA), which oversees and operates CenturyLink Field and Event Center. As part of the agreement reached today, parking at the King County Metro central campus employee parking garage at 6th Ave. S. and S. Royal Brougham Way will be made available to the public attending stadium events.

Under the agreement, the County will grant rights to the PSA detailing event use of available spaces at the Metro garage. In exchange for these rights, the County will receive $10.2 million for the parking from North Lot Development LLC. The County will receive another $10 million at closing from the sale of the North Lot to the development firm.

The Executive thanked the PSA, First & Goal Inc., and North Lot Development LLC for their partnership in arriving at the agreement today.

The North Lot development is projected to create up to 2,700 construction jobs and generate nearly $727 million in economic activity in Pioneer Square and surrounding neighborhoods with housing, office, hotel and retail spaces on top of what is currently a parking lot.

"The thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in economic activity created by the construction and by new commercial, retail and housing spaces are a sharp and welcome contrast to the current sea of asphalt," said Executive Constantine. "I am pleased that, through this project, we can contribute to getting people back to work, getting the local economy back on track, and re-energizing Pioneer Square."

Development plans anticipate the North Lot will house 400,000 square feet of office space, 35,000 square feet of retail space, and 800 units of family-oriented housing, of which 100 will accommodate affordable housing for tenants at 70 percent of the medium income or below.

The North Lot development would become the largest Transit-Oriented Development on the West Coast, putting housing next to the King Street train station and several major bus lines. It will create an urban development in a walkable neighborhood near the downtown center.

"This project is a model for more efficient land use through compact, mixed-use, mixed-income, transit-oriented development," said Executive Constantine. "I look forward to the jobs and opportunity it will create."

Construction is expected to start next week.