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NURTURING GROWTH: MAXIMIZING THE TRANSIT OPPORTUNITY NORTH RAINIER VALLEY: SEATTLE, WASHINGTON This project was the state level first place finalist of the 2011 Urban Land Institute Hines Competition. This project was also entered into the very competitive national level of this prestigious competition. A very rigorous two-week time frame was the only amount of time available to prepare the entry for this competition. I served as team leader of our group of five students consisting of: Geoff Wike, James Sun, Terry Naranjo, Luis Guevara, and Jason Bockanek.


The Mount Baker station site is both a literal and figurative crossroads that lies in a broader area known as Southeast Seattle, or the Rainier Valley. This area encompasses a tremendous mix of economic and ethnic diversity as well as a range of neighborhoods. The 98118 zip code that covers much of the area just south of the station proudly claims to be one of the most diverse zip codes in the nation. Although the Greater Seattle region is not known as being a melting pot, this part of Seattle is home to a host of immigrants from around the world. A drive down Rainier or MLK offers a panoramic tour of ethnic businesses.

CURRENT SITE CONDITIONS: “BIG BOX RETAIL STORE” LOWE”S HARDWARE

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Closer to the Mount Baker station site, the affluent MountBaker neighborhood rises up the hill to the east and affords scenic views of Lake Washington. The area immediately adjacent to the station caters to the automobile. Both MLK and Rainier are wide, two-way thoroughfares with 18,200 and 36,700 average daily traffic counts, respectively. To the east and west of these primary arterials are established single-family detached residential neighborhoods that are relatively affordable by Seattle standards. Franklin High School has a prominent place atop a small hill within view of the Mount Baker platform. The parcels fronting MLK and Rainier all host a variety of low-density commercial uses with abundant parking. The area currently LIVEonly has one new major development project in the works: Sound Transit and Artspace have partnered to redevelop the Firestone building that abuts the station into a 51-unit residential building for artists with street-level commercial space. While the neighborhood has a rich cultural history, little of this history is still reflected in the built environment. One of the area’s most significant historical features that no longer remains is Sick’s Seattle Stadium, a 25-000-seat ballpark (home of the major league baseball Pilots before it moved in 1970 and became the Milwaukee Brewers) located at the current site of Lowe’s until 1979. The cultural makeup of the North Rainier neighborhood has gone through significant changes over time. In the early decades of the 20th century there was a thriving Italian community (known as Garlic Gulch) in the area centered around Rainier Avenue and Atlantic Street, about three-quarters of a mile northwest of the Development Site. In the 1930s, Japanese-Americans began moving in; followed by Chinese-Americans in the 1950s and 1960s; and Southeast Asians thereafter. Hispanics began settling in the neighborhood in the 1960s and 1970s. Until the 1960s, most of Seattle’s African-Americans resided in the Central District, but by 1990 there were more African-Americans in the Rainier Valley. This historic diversity is still reflected in many of the neighborhood’s commercial establishments. The North Rainier neighborhood is also economically diverse, with a relatively high concentration of low-income housing, including the 144-unit Mount Baker Village complex, 386 units at Rainier Court (208 of which are designated for seniors), and the 132-unit Center Park that provides housing for the physically or mentally challenged. One of the largest employers in North Rainier is the Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind, currently with over 300 employees, 200 of whom are blind or deaf/blind. Also, to the east and west of the station, vestiges of the Olmsted legacy linger. Mount Baker Boulevard and Cheasty Boulevard were both part of the Olmsted greenbelt. Martin Luther King, Jr. Park lies northeast of the station.

PAST SITE CONDITIONS: SICK”S STADIUM


Existing Issues to Resolve: Nestled amid the scenic natural splendor of Puget Sound, Greater Seattle anchors the Pacific Northwest and functions as a vibrant cultural and economic center on the Pacific Rim. With over 630,000 residents in the city and approximately 3.5 million in the metropolitan area, Seattle enjoys a reputation as a dynamic, progressive, and trend-setting area. The region includes headquarters for Microsoft, Starbucks, LIVE Nordstrom, and Amazon.com, among others, as well as a sizable presence from Boeing and JPMorgan Chase; all companies other metros would love to host. Culturally, Greater Seattle has cultivated the grunge movement and exported such famous acts as Nirvana and Pearl Jam. Seattle also consistently garners accolades as having a most literate or most educated populace. With this compelling geographic, economic, cultural, and demographic mélange, Seattle has emerged as a leader of the so-called new economy and a center of green technology. In 2010, Seattle set a goal to become North America’s first climate neutral city by 2030. Despite Seattle’s many strengths, its credibility as a leader of all things hip and green lessens when confronted with some of the worst traffic congestion in the nation and a sprawling network of auto-oriented neighborhoods and infrastructure. In an effort to ameliorate the development patterns of the latter 20th century and remold itself into a more sustainable region, Seattleites passed Sound Transit 2 in 2008. This measure authorized an expansion of the region’s Sound Transit bus and light-rail system, including $18 billion of investment in 36 miles of new light rail over the next decade. This commitment has the potential to transform the region as stations open up in low-density neighborhoods and transit-oriented development follows. With the opening of the 15.6-mile Central Link light rail line from downtown Seattle to SeaTac Airport in July 2009, the city now has several areas ripe for transformative development. What transpires at these station areas will likely define how Seattle approaches this unique opportunity to alter its urban fabric and create denser, transit-rich neighborhoods, and how its citizens embrace or reject the opportunity to create a better place. One specific station site, Mount Baker, is particularly promising as a forerunner for what Seattle can achieve. Located three miles southeast of downtown, the Mount Baker station lies in the heart of an economically and ethnically diverse neighborhood. The area around the station currently consists of commercial uses with large parking lots, two heavily-traveled thoroughfares, and single-family detached residential neighborhoods, yet the city and Sound Transit are hopeful that local residents and developers will realize a higher and better use that capitalizes on the new availability of mass transit.


Rainier Ave. S. improvements include fewer car lanes, slower traffic, new bike lanes, and on street parking on both sides.

Martin Luther King Jr. Way S. improvements include Bike lanes, and a new bike trail that connects to the Olmsted Greenway

Improved Street Sections

Forest Walk

Lowe’s Green Home Improvement Center

Rainier Avenue

Field of Imagination

0’ 18.75’ 75’

Improved Site Section

Village Walk

150’

MLK Way

300

450’


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FUSE

STEP #1: THE SEEDS Seeds will need regular care until established to promote healthy growth

Phase 2 Product Type

Sustainable strategies

160,000

250,000

Mass transit

140,000 200,000

120,000 100,000

150,000 SF

SF

Support a multi-modal transportation corridor with an emphasis on walkability

Phase 4 Product Type

300,000

100,000

Rainwater Harvesting Reduce impervious surfaces Raingardens,green roofs, Bio swales Erosion control Reduce compaction Increase organic content Carbon sequestration

Hydrology

40,000

50,000 -

20,000 Market Rate Apts

Series1 63,875

Soils

80,000 60,000

Market Aīordabl Aīordabl Rate e Apts e Condos Condos

Civic Areas

Oĸces

M.O.B.

Aīordabl e Retail

Market Rate Retail

66,500

48,691

133,760

88,000

17,959

260,915

9,275

7,600

-

Rental Housing MR

For Sale Housing MR

Rental Housing AFF

For Sale Housing AFF

Civic

Oĸce

MOB

Retail AFF

Retail MR

-

15,250

-

90,028

-

-

8,949

118,863

Series1 138,825

Phase 3 Product Type

Phase 5 Product Type

250,000 70000

Health & Well Being

200,000

60000 50000

150,000

40000 SF

SF

Physical activity Social interaction Proximity and integration to nature Environmental education

100,000

30000 20000

50,000

g Protection of existing Nature and regional plants Bio diversity Reduced Heat Island

Vegetation

10000 -

Rental Housing MR

For Sale Housing MR

Rental Housing AFF

For Sale Housing AFF

Series1 174,475

75,050

18,650

8,550

0 Civic

Oĸce

124,476 203,389

MOB

Retail AFF

Retail MR

-

16,728

167,992

Series1

Rental Housing MR

For Sale Housing MR

Rental Housing AFF

For Sale Housing AFF

Civic

Oĸce

MOB

Retail AFF

Retail MR

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

6,950

62,550


ROU

ROUTE 14

TE 27

ROUTE 8

ROUTE 48

2 UTE RO ,9E,4 7 34,

II-90 90 NORTHWEST AFRICAN RTH AMERICAN MUSEUM MERI MT. BAKER PRESCHOOL

COLMAN PARK LAKE WASHINGTON BLVD PARK LIGHTHOUSE LIGH FOR THE T BLIND

. YS WA E R. LIV KJ ML

E GIN

6

E3

UT

RO

E FUS

IMA E S. AV ER INI RA

MT BAKER PARK

ROUTE 38

S. MCCLELLAN ST.

MT

CENTRAL BRANCH NCH C PRESCHOOL

.B N TIO STA ER AK

FRANKLIN HIGH SCHOOL

KIMBALL ELEMENTARY

JOHN MUIR ELEMENTARY

STEP #2: THE GROUND Plant seeds in a transit rich area for best results

JEFFERSON PARK JEFFERSON PARK GOLFCOURSE

RO UTE 2

8,4

BEACON HILL 2 MIN. SODO 5 MIN. STADIUM 7 MIN. INT’L DISTRICT/ CHINATOWN 9 MIN. PIONEER SQUARE 11 MIN. UNIVERSITY STREET 13 MIN. WESTLAKE 15 MIN.

COLUMBIA CITY 3 MIN. OTHELLO 7 MIN. RAINIER BEACH 10 MIN. TUKWILA INT’L BLVD 19 MIN. SEATAC AIRPORT 21 MIN.

BIKE ROUTE LIGHT RAIL BUS ROUTE SITE


STEP #5: THE FRUIT Healthy Communities will always bear high quality fruit

1

3

View through the outdoor Public Market

View through Imagination Field


2

View through The Village Grove Walk Residences

4

View through Imagination Field


HOMES ENERGY EFFICIENT

PROGRAMS

CLOSE TO SHOPS SHO

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AFFORDABLE

GREAT VIEWS

SOCIAL SUPPORT

ROOFTOP GARDENS CO CONTINUING ED.

OPPORTUNITIES RTU

LANGUAGE SCHOOLL

NCUB BAT INCUBATORS

ART / MUSIC RESEA CH SP RESEARCH SPACE A CESS TO FINANCING ACCESS

EET MA STREET MARKETS JOB TRAINING

ASS A OFFICES CLASS

ERN INTERNSHIPS

STEP #3: THE GROWTH Growth is spread out over a period of ten years

Phase 1 Move bus depot to new location

Phase 2

Begins year 1, lasts 2 years

Phase 3

Phase 4

Phase 5

Begins year 4, lasts 3 years

Begins year 8, lasts 2 years

Begins year 10, lasts 1 year


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LAND USE DIAGRAM: RESIDENTIAL SHOPPING/BUSINESS OR TRADE INSTITUTIONAL OR COMMUNITY NATURAL RESOURCE RELATED TRANSPORTATION RELATED DEVELOPED SITE W/ BUILDINGS

FUSION ZONE 1. FOREST WALK 2. UW LAUNDRY FACILITY 3. RESTORATION WELLNESS CENTER 4. BUS DEPOT 5. MOUNT BAKER TRANSIT STATION 6. ART MARKET PLAZA 7. FUSION BRIDGE 8. CASA ARTISANO 9. ENTERPRISE BUSINESS CENTER 10. LOWE’S GREEN IMPROVEMENT CENTER 11. ADVENTURE PARK - BUILD YOUR PLAY IMAGINE ZONE 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22.

FUSION SCHOOL OF DESIGN FIRSTFRUITS FASHION MARKET BOOKSTORE/LIBRARY FREE EXPRESSION PLAZA PERFORMANCE ART CENTER INCUBATOR LOFTS FIELD OF IMAGINATION THE FORUM ((CIVIC & EDUCATION) ORCHARD ROW PUBLIC MARKET ATELIER ARTISANO IRONWOOD GYM & REC. CENTER

LIVING ZONE 23. 24. 25. 26. 27. 28. 29.

ROCK ROSE SEQUOIA SOUTH SEQUOIA NORTH KATSURA HEMLOCK VILLAGE GROVE WALK MLK JR LINK TRAIL

STEP #4: THE FIELD If properly cared for, a field will remain productive for many generations

Forest Walk

Lowe’s Green Home Improvement Center

Rainier Avenue

Field of Imagination

0’ 18.75’ 75’

Village Walk

150’

MLK Way

300’

450’


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NURTURING GROWTH: MAXIMIZING THE TRANSIT OPPORTUNITY  

NORTH RAINIER VALLEY: SEATTLE, WASHINGTON This project was the state level first place finalist of the 2011 Urban Land Institute Hines Compe...