The citizens committee advising the Seattle Housing Authority on how to redevelop Yesler Terrace signed off June 9 on turning First Hill's 60-year-old projects into a public/private mix of low-income rentals, high-rise condos and office towers -- some topping 22 stories.
All that's left now is for the housing authority's consultants to draw up a final redevelopment plan -- something that the 24-member committee, which includes Yesler Terrace residents, won't get to comment on before the plan is submitted to SHA's Board of Commissioners in August.
Since January, the group has been on working on a set of design criteria -- such as building heights, topography, open space and traffic circulation -- that SHA's consultants will draw from to craft a final plan based on three concept designs. All the drafts for the 30-acre site call for 4,000 housing units (mostly for-sale condos), 1 million square feet of office buildings and 50,000 square feet of retail. But, depending on what the consultants come up with or SHA's finances are, it could be 5,000 units, 1.2 million square feet of office and 100,000 square feet of retail, according to a note in the committee's final site criteria report.
Whatever the final total, the public's first chance to see the "hybrid plan," redevelopment manager Judith Kilgore said, will be when the consultants show it to the housing authority's Board of Commissioners in a meeting set for Aug. 17 at 5 p.m. at the Yesler Terrace Community Center.
After that, the public will have a chance to rearrange elements of the plan, possibly in future meetings of what would be a third Citizens Review Committee. The committee was created as a result of a lawsuit over SHA's previous redevelopment at Rainier Vista, which is years behind on starting its second phase and short on the number of low-income replacement units promised.
A previous citizen committee chaired by former Mayor Norm Rice developed a set of principles for the Yesler Terrace project that includes replacing all 561 of Yesler Terrace's low-income units and allowing all of its current residents to return when construction is complete.