The proposed development of the Seattle Area Regional Center project is located on a super block that borders Occidental Avenue and King Street in the Pioneer Square neighborhood of Seattle, and was a surface parking lot used for CenturyLink Field event parking. The property was purchased from King County and the sale contract contained numerous encumbrances. These encumbrances include the requirement that the project have at least 400 units of housing of which 120 units must be affordable at no greater than 70% of medium income levels (option exists that up to 90 units can be located offsite at no greater than 60% of medium income levels), access and view easements to benefit the Public Seattle Area Regional Center Authority (CenturyLink Field), and guidelines as to the size and type of housing units. All these encumbrances have been resolved. In addition, the project's Master Use Permit reflects specific massing limits, view corridors, and design guidelines that must be followed.
Ideally located adjacent to the regional transit hub at King Street Station, the location affords easy access to all forms of regional and local transit,including the Sounder heavy rail, Link light rail,extensive bus routes going to all three counties in the Seattle SMSA, and easy access to the Washington state Ferry Terminal.The City will begin construction of a street car line this year that will connect the Pioneer Square,International District,First Hill and Capital Hill neighborhoods.The streetcar line starts a block north of the property at Jackson and Occidental. With the City's current free transit zone beginning at the project's front door, and with easy access to two freeways and State Route 99, it can be said that there is no other location in the Seattle area that offers such exceptional transportation options to its residents.
Upon completion the project as envisioned will include over 900,000 sf of development with approximately 740 residential units targeting mixed income levels, 369 parking stalls for residents and/or event parking, and 16,00 sf of complimentary retail. All zoning entitlements are complete, and the project features a 15 year term (plus extensions) for its Master Use Permit. The rezone for the site was completed early in 2009 with a unanimous City Council vote, and the project has received outstanding community support throughout its planning phase. The construction of the Podium began with environmental work in late 2011.
The project's location in a National Historic District provides additional cultural benefits within the historic neighborhood, as well as height limits that protect the district and will result in unimpeded and protected views from approximately 100' and above. As a result the proposed residential towers will feature sweeping views on the higher floors without the concern of obstruction by future development.The project will also feature a number of cutting edge green technologies so as to earn the title – the greenest residential buildings in Seattle. Currently the project is exploring adding a district energy system that could be utilized by other structures within the neighborhood, including both public Seattle Area Regional Center. This facility might take wastewater from a King County Metro interceptor pipe immediately adjacent to the property, extract water and return the solid waste, and then extract hydrogen from the water through a patented gas synthesis process. This hydrogen gas will be used to produce electricity with no carbon emissions with the only byproduct being water vapor. Or a more traditional approach using methane gases or extracting heat from the wastewater.
In addition, the first dedicated urban farm is planned on-site that will produce food throughout the year. This farm is expected to be associated with an on-site restaurant where the fresh produce will be available to the public. Additional green initiatives planned include a large living wall along the south side of the complex facing the CenturyLink Field, production of additional electricity from wind and solar, and the re-use of stormwater collected on the site. By raising the bar above LEEDS or Green Built certification, the project is expected to be a model for future buildings in the city.