Follow us:

The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

August 23, 2012 at 6:56 PM

Sound Transit rolls ahead with development talks at U District Station

Sound Transit’s governing board voted unanimously Thursday to negotiate a development deal at its future U District Station, despite calls to consider building a public square instead.

The underground station, on Brooklyn Avenue Northeast behind the Neptune Theatre, opens in 2021 and could eventually serve up to 12,000 light-rail riders daily. Philip Thiel, a 91-year-old professor emeritus at the University of Washington, has circulated his model of a European-style brick plaza. (Last week’s coverage is here.)

The board voted to hold exclusive talks with the University of Washington, potentially leading to a six- to eight-story building with retail at ground level. A final land deal, including any University of Washington payments to Sound Transit for the airspace, requires a follow-up vote.

Plaza supporters told the board to seize the unique chance to establish open space, as the surrounding neighborhood becomes extremely dense. The area is now zoned for buildings up to 65 feet high. Backers of a mixed-use development said Seattle residents need more housing options next to transit hubs, and that the city would fail to keep addicts and loiterers out of a large square.  

Sue Alden, who lives in the 23-story University Plaza condos, suggested another concept — build a taller, leaner housing tower and surround it with greenery.

The board, led Thursday by vice-chair Metropolitan King County Councilwoman Julia Patterson, D-SeaTac, listened but didn’t debate those ideas. Thiel suggested officials go visit plazas in Rome, to which Patterson joked, “best public testimony ever.”

Comments | More in General news, Traffic & Transit | Topics: light rail, Sound Transit, U District Station

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►