Sept. 27, 2011
King County Executive reaches creative solution that moves forward North Lot development
Executive Constantine joins with developer and local officials to turn first shovelful of dirt on mixed-use development that is expected to revitalize Pioneer Square
King County Executive Dow Constantine was joined by developer Kevin Daniels, King County Councilmember Joe McDermott, Seattle City Councilmember Sally Clark, and former Seattle Mayor Charles Royer today to break ground on the long-awaited North Lot development next to CenturyLink Field - a project that is key to revitalization of Seattle's Pioneer Square neighborhood.
The Executive announced that the County's sale of the property to North Lot Development LLC closed on Monday.
"What has been a sea of asphalt since 1976 - a spectacular downtown location for parked cars to enjoy - will finally become a bustling center for housing, offices and shops to revitalize our beloved Pioneer Square community," said Executive Constantine. "The sale is final. The deal is done. We are moving to get this economy back on track with a project that puts thousands of people to work and generates a quarter-billion dollars in construction and business activity."
The Executive credited the tenacity of developer Kevin Daniels for assembling the plan and financing over the past six years.
"We're on the cusp of the greatest economic recovery for Pioneer Square since Gold Rush days, and I am thankful to be able to contribute to a rebirth in the community," said Daniels, president of Daniels Real Estate, which also worked with the team that developed the nearby Starbucks Center and renovated Union Station. He is also co-chair of the Alliance for Pioneer Square.
The project to be built on the North Lot of the old Kingdome site is expected to create up to 2,700 construction jobs. Over the next decade, the development is projected to generate more than $727 million in economic activity.
The $180 million first phase of the project will become the largest transit-oriented development in the Pacific Northwest. The development is expected to include nearly 1.5 million square feet of uses, including up to 800 mixed-income residential units, a hotel, 400,000 square feet of office space, and 35,000 square feet of retail space.
"This project will revitalize Pioneer Square and give its businesses and residents a jolt of recovery when it's needed most," said Gov. Chris Gregoire. "It will put people to work immediately and create more jobs in the future as businesses and residents move here to work, live and play. I look forward to watching this project rise and thank all the parties for their hard work getting to this point."
"Regional collaboration and a community's dream for a vibrant Pioneer Square have brought us to this successful result," said Metropolitan King County Councilmember Joe McDermott, whose district includes Pioneer Square. "This project is a win not only for the residents of District 8 but for all of King County, bringing in thousands of jobs and millions of dollars in economic activity."
The project will create an urban development in a walkable neighborhood near the downtown core. Its location near Amtrak at King Street Station and several major bus lines will provide residents and users with a number of transportation alternatives.
"Pioneer Square and Seattle as a whole win big with today's groundbreaking at the North Lot," said Seattle City Councilmember Sally J. Clark, who led the Council's review of zoning changes necessary for the project to move forward. "This is a catalytic event bringing jobs and much-awaited new housing to Seattle's historic heart."
"This project will bring the most new construction to Pioneer Square since the rebuilding from the Great Seattle Fire of 1889," said former Seattle Mayor Charles Royer, co-chair of the Alliance for Pioneer Square and host for today's celebration. "The positive impacts on the neighborhood can't be overstated."
Under an agreement struck last week with the Washington State Public Stadium Authority, stadium replacement parking for the public will be made available at the King County Metro central campus employee parking garage at 6th Ave. S. and S. Royal Brougham Way
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. King County received another $10 million from the sale of the North Lot to the development firm, to be used by the County to honor long-standing commitments for affordable housing funding and for other one-time investments.