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Seattle Light Rail Expansion Brings Redevelopment Boom

The city’s Northgate Link extension has spurred development around the new stations, and one neighborhood is poised to change dramatically.
October 3, 2019, 9am PDT | Camille Fink
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Doug Trumm takes a closer look at development around one of the stations that is part of Sound Transit’s Northgate Link extension project in Seattle. "With trip times to Downtown Seattle cut to a fraction of their former time (regardless of mode), Sound Transit is expecting the 4.3-mile extension to add between 41,000 and 49,000 daily riders by 2022, and builders are predicting these neighborhoods will become extremely popular places to live, and they are adding apartments in droves."

The new underground Roosevelt Station will anchor three transit-oriented developments, including a project that will offer over 250 units of affordable housing, on nearby sites owned by Sound Transit. "Sound Transit has pledged to sell the property to the nonprofit developers at a discounted price, and the City of Seattle, for its part, has promised up to $15 million to the affordable TOD project," says Trumm.

Trumm notes that commercial development is also ramping up in the area around the station. It is a shift, he notes, for a neighborhood that historically was made up of single-family homes. "On one hand, it’s great that the area near a light rail station is getting denser. After all, we’re spending almost $2 billion on the Northgate Link extension. It’d be a shame not to get the most use out of it. On the other hand, the fact that, seeing their neighborhood change so fast, some people have a hard time with it is also understandable. It takes time."

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Published on Wednesday, September 25, 2019 in The Urbanist
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