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Amendments to sale agreement allows major construction project on former Kingdome parking lot to move forward

Summary

Council adopts legislation maintaining construction of family wage housing on parcel

Story

As the developer prepares to begin construction on the parcel that was once part of the Kingdome parking lot, the Metropolitan King County Council wants to ensure the developer adheres to its agreement of building affordable housing into its proposed urban neighborhood.

The Council gave its unanimous approval to legislation amending the purchase and sales agreement to clarify the covenants that will bind the property with the developer's obligations before construction can begin.

“We remain committed to providing affordable housing to the working class residents in King County,” said Council Chair Larry Gossett, prime sponsor of the legislation. “Through all of the changes in the Purchase and Sale Agreement, providing affordable housing has remained a condition of purchase.”

“It’s good that we can move forward on this important project,” said Vice Chair Jane Hague. “This multi-use and transit oriented development, which includes office, retail, housing—both market and affordable—will help to further revitalize Seattle’s historic Pioneer Square neighborhood.”

“I am glad these amendments have strengthened the affordable housing component of this sale agreement,” said Councilmember Kathy Lambert. “This is an important component that will provide more opportunities to meet our region’s housing goals.”

The North Half Lot was purchased along with neighboring properties by King County in 1971 from Burlington Northern Inc. for the purposes of the Kingdome stadium development. The 3.85 acre parcel is adjacent to Century Link Field and was purchased from the County by the development team of Opus/Nitze-Stagen in 2007. In the sales agreement, the developer said it would work with the city of Seattle to develop family-wage housing on the parcel.

There have been several modifications to the original sales agreement, but through them all the commitment to providing 100 units of affordable housing has always remained a condition to the purchase.

This amendment to the purchase and sales agreement adopted today ensures that the development will continue to include the affordable housing units but allow the developer to start construction this year on at least half of the proposed project.

The developer estimates this construction will mean 2,700 construction jobs over the course of the project and pump approximately $727 million into the local economy.


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