Rezone at Northgate Way and 1st Ave NE

In what I consider to be great news for the neighborhood, the City is moving ahead with a rezone of the area north of Northgate Way along 1st Ave NE. The rezone would allow for higher buildings (up to 85 ft) and non-residential uses, i.e. businesses. I know the density issue is contentious, but this specific area is ripe for dense development.

KOMO’s North Seattle blog has more details.

16 comments to Rezone at Northgate Way and 1st Ave NE

  • Sue

    Before you get happy at least get it right. The rezone is for the ENTIRE parcel

    Council Land Use Action to rezone 365,040 sq. ft. of land from MR-60 to NC3-85. The property is bounded on the North by two parcels (11300 1st Ave NE and 11301 3rd Ave NE) on the East by 3rd Ave NE, the South by NE Northgate Way and the West by 1st Ave NE. Addendum to EIS to be prepared.

    Do you seriously think retail is a good idea for a designated green street (3rd Ave NE)all the way up to 113th? Do you have any idea what this kind of “creeping” can do!

    If you read the report it states this could have SIGNIFICANT adverse effects for the neighborhood.

  • Yes, I seriously think that next to Northgate Mall and Northgate North and I-5 is a good spot for tall(-ish) buildings. My position is pretty much the standard Seattle pro-density position. I choose to live here because this is a city and I want city/urban amenities, such as being able to walk to shopping and restaurants, and a short commute into downtown. I can afford to live in a single-family house, and it is a luxury that I’m pretty sure my children will not be able to afford if they want to live in Seattle. We’re not making any more land; there will be no increase in single-family residences in Seattle. My children will need to live far away from me, or in an apartment. So I am for building apartment buildings, businesses, and retail where it makes sense, and I believe this area makes sense.

    Now, I’m also working to get more funding for sidewalks, relief from traffic, etc., to minimize adverse affects of increased development. But as you know, that pretty much amounts to begging and staying hopeful. And you can join us in that.

    Feel free to rebut, but I want details on your thoughts, not just accusations that I didn’t seriously think or that I don’t have any idea.

  • Sue

    Your initial post refered to’a rezone of the area north of Northgate Way along 1st Ave NE.’ This in no way paints a picture of the 365,040 sq. ft. total,on 3rd Ave NE and up to 113th St, that would be Neighborhood Commercial. I did NOT state I was against density, in fact I would have been fine with highrise, which is what the developer REALLY wanted. I would also have been fine with N/C ONLY fronting Northggate Way and 1st.N/C is a slippery slope with many empty store fronts. In the many years now that Northgate North has existed they have NEVER been able to find a tenant for their northeastern unit.

    Stakeholders begged for a CONTRACT rezone to no avail. A green street by definition is meant to be calm and quiet, a space adjacent to the park to chill.

    This isn’t a pro-density, anti-density discussion. This is about smart growth and mitigation of issues the city itself has already deemed significant.

    Have you read the FEIS cover to cover? What are YOUR reasons for supporting N/C in that area? You feel comfortable that the neighborhood can support the impacts and it will make for a liveable situation? I have been active and informed on this issue for over 25 years, and you?

  • Nancy

    Sue, I realize and value your long-time commitment to and in-depth knowledge of neighborhood growth issues as demonstrated here and on other posts. I’m not sure if you realize that your comments come across as somewhat snide, condescending and confrontational. It would be easier to hear your valuable insights and carry on an educational dialog if the tone were more neutral. 🙂

  • Sue

    What you are noting is frustration on my part regarding the numerous posts on this site that seem bias rather than informative.And this from leaders who should know. It is best to link to actual DPD posts rather than blogs and let folks make up their own minds. It is true I feel like I’m not being heard. In fact in reading Eric response I feel like he totally ignored the content of my first post and went immediately to being defensive. If you want to be an activist you need to develop a tough hide or you will get nowhere fast.

  • Richard

    I agree with Eric, this is great news for the neighborhood.

  • Sue

    I don’t want to wear out my welcome but now is the time to comment on the 94 page addendum to the FEIS.
    This is new and only published Dec 1st,this is what some folks are happy about, others not so much.
    Here is what I am conderned about
    These are the 2 things CTIP has said must happen in order for the interesctions at 1st,5th and 3rd and Northgate Way not to fail.

    Modify westbound approach-curb lane,right and on I-5 on ramp; second lane. I-5 on-ramp and through: and 3rd lane through only at the Northgate Way/1st Ave NE/I-5 on-ramp intersection. Widen the on-ramp to have 2 lanes on Northbound I-5 on ramp from Northgate Way
    Secondly adjacent to Mall add new driveway to 3rd Ave to align at Northgate Way…..

    So folks, do we feel the Mall will spend buckets of money to realign their driveway (don’t forget the tunnel there} Do we feel WDOT will spend buckets of money to redo their on ramp that they just spent buckets of money on not so many years ago? If you think these things won’t happen we are in big trouble and you need to comment on this addendum. If you are still happy, well there are always the shadows on the park and the protected trees to consider.
    Again, I’m not against smart growth, its about mitigation. Please read the addendum before you make up your mind.

  • Sue, I’d like you to expand on what you see as the impacts to the neighborhood. I would like to hear what you have to say.

    My comments about density were a reaction to your mention of “creeping”, which I apparently mistook to be that your position was against the rezone from residential to commercial.

    I am unapologetically happy about the idea that a developer could replace those apartments with commercial space. I used to live in the 11300 block of 3rd Ave NE, and living close to businesses (i.e. Target, the Mall) was a positive, whereas living close to those apartments was not.

    I don’t know exactly what it is about that corner of the Northgate North building which keeps it vacant, but I’m not worried about there being too much vacant retail in the neighborhood. Since that building was built, Thornton Creek was built, the Mall expanded, and the 5th and Northgate building opened. All of those seem like successful retail spaces.

  • Thomas Mercer

    Tall buildings on the proposed re-zone land may be great. It is all about how it is done. I can totally see sidewalk cafes opening onto the park, with lots of trees planted and the buildings stepped back and/or completed with some real architectural style. We could really use some more non-chain restaurants with great food and a community focus. Some additional medical office space to replace the former medical office building that was where Barnes and Noble is now would be a nice addition to the greater northgate medical community as well. The zoning itself is only part of the issue. Let’s get a dialogue going with the developer!!

  • Sue

    At this point it is a city council thing with nothing at all proposed in the way of development. Since we couldn’t get the Northgate Apts. to do a contract rezone all we have left is design review when there is finally a proposal.
    As I’ve stated before so far nothing near the park retail wise has worked. To the east of the park we have a driving school, previously a travel agency, and before that… The north east corner of Northgate North has never had a tenant. That would be a great spot for a little deli or coffee spot one would think,but no. Northgate North was told to turn their back to 3rd so as not to disturb the residential. I’m just not seeing it. If folks don’t see an easy place to park, and there won’t be on 3rd, it’s a no go

  • Julia

    What concerns me is that I live in an apartment building in the “A” section of the map, a complex owned by the same company that owns Northgate Apartments (MDC Properties). How soon before MDC decides to sell out and let the new owners tear down the complex for a high rise of $1500 500sq ft studios? It would explain a lot about the minimal upgrades being made and the fact that I feel a cold breeze coming in my windows. Time to get out of dodge.

  • Renee

    Julia –

    My guess is that it will be at least a year or two before construction start, if not longer. The owner needs to get a rezone and they need to go through design review. They also need to have financing. In this case, the property owner may not even be doing the project alone and may still be searching for a development partner. MDC has repeatedly said that they do not plan to sell the property. Also, MDC owns a number of other properties in Pinehurst/Northgate with similar rents.

  • Renee

    The design review meeting for this project was cancelled.

  • Renee

    Oops – I meant the meeting for the second project on NOrthgate Way.

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