the Northgate Activist
NEWS ARCHIVE 2000
The Library is considering putting an option on the Bon Tire site or the adjacent property to the north while continuing to explore options with potential buyers of Northgate Mall's South lot. They are hoping to make a siting decision by June 2001.
The Parks Department focused on the Pro Parks Levy passed in November 2000 which will provide money to purchase and develop the Park & Ride north of Target from King County. To this end, they have sent a letter of intent to the county. A park at this site was identified as a key need in the Northgate Comprehensive Plan. As for the community center, they may seek to option the property north of the Bon Tire site; they do not seem enthused about the community's interest in pursuing discussions with potential buyers of the South lot.
Metro staff want to increase Park & Ride capacity at Northgate, while consolidating to one location at the Northgate Transit Center. They seem amenable to the interest of Parks in obtaining the Park & Ride site north of Target. They note that they have $9 million to spend on Park & Ride expansion and transit-oriented development (see TOD) in the Northgate area. They also have funding for intersection and pedestrian improvements as well. They may pursue talking to Northgate Mall's owner about using the South lot as an interim Park & Ride until it is sold or developed.
Sound Transit dispelled the rumor that the northern tunnel portal might come up at 12th Avenue and 75th Street; it would be in the I-5 right-of-way near 76th Street. Funding exists for design, and not construction, of the link to Northgate. The route alignment from the tunnel's north portal to Northgate has been decided. Further design work is on hold until the Roosevelt routing option is narrowed from the current two, hopefully by June 2001.
Simon Property Group is entertaining five full-price offers for the $25 million South lot, per Don Moody, who is Simon's agent in this transaction. Mr. Moody felt Simon was leaning toward developers who might have mixed use experience, such as Intercorp and Security Partners (the former of which had a representative at the meeting). Simon is targeting late February to try to decide a buy/sell agreement. Mr. Moody is not involved in the negotiations with the Library regarding the Bon Tire Site; Simon is handling these talks directly.
Council Member Richard Conlin endorsed his support for a South lot that would include transit, housing and a daylighted creek. He notes that he was able to get money budgeted for some sidewalks in areas of the city that don't have them. Let's follow up on that! Conlin will also be working on the draft action plan which will be unveiled at the 2/28 meeting. Important elements he would promote in the plan would be a commitment to the north Park & Ride park, siting the library and community center, revising the General Development Plan (GDP) process, improving design guidelines and regulations to enforce community plans, and considering a return to a street grid from the enclosed mall concept.
Bob Vreeland was honored as one of the top 5 environmentalists of the year by the Washington Environmental Council, for his work to daylight Thornton Creek. The Seattle Press has the 11/2000 story, as well as other news about Northgate.
Understanding Northgate Workshops The City of Seattle, King County and Sound Transit are working together to coordinate developments in the Northgate core, including light rail station planning, the library, the commmunity center, and other development projects slated for this area. A series of workshops, completed in December 2000, brought experienced community stakeholders together with the public to form a plethora of visions for the neighborhood. See the workshop report for details.
"Creeks or Concrete" Forum The Sierra Club's Washington State Chapter, Liveable Communities Coalition, Thornton Creek Legal Defense Fund, Citizens for a Liveable Northgate and Thornton Creek Alliance sponsored a hugely successful forum in October 2000 at REI's downtown store attended by many elected officials and a crowd of interested citizens.
The Jet City Maven reports in its November issue that a new legal action was begun October 4th on behalf of Thornton Creek and its Chinook salmon by Thornton Creek Legal Defense Fund and the Waste Action Project against Simon Property Group (owner of Northgate Mall). The groups plan to use the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act to bring Simon to task about what they contend is inadequate detention of stormwater from the Mall's property.
Northgate Expansion The King County Superior Court has issued a ruling that the city made a mistake when it approved the General Development Plan to develop Northgate Mall's south lot, due to the existence of Thornton Creek below the property. The City may appeal, fearing that letting the ruling stand would set a precedent for development on or near other culverted waterways.
Efforts to daylight Thornton Creek can be inspired by King County's Hamm Creek example.
Updated March 17, 2003
© Bunny Hirschmann