On a 30-acre site just north of our site, the Seattle Housing Authority (SHA) is redeveloping the original low-income housing project that was first constructed in the early 1940s. It will be a mixed income community of 5,000 housing units, 900,000 square feet of office space, 88,000 square feet of retail space, 65,000 square feet for neighborhood services, and a 1.8-acre central park, three pocket parks, and an acre for community gardening.
The redevelopment of Yesler Terrace has begun to change the area. We envision our project as the next step in that process. Through productive talks with SHA we have identified several areas in which there can be substantial mutual benefits for the residents of the redeveloped Yesler Terrace and Asian Plaza. We are in productive cooperative discussions with SHA regarding project complementarities in design and issues of common interest.
A first major effort to pursue these common interests involves our designing the retail corridor of our project to match up with the SHA Hillclimb pedestrian path that was recently completed. The Hillclimb is a very elegant HDCP accessible connection to Jackson Street from Main Street. From the bottom of the SHA Hillclimb, pedestrian traffic will flow through the retail corridor of our project and then out to Jackson Street below. Since our site is two blocks long we decided to include a second “hillclimb” within our project, so pedestrian traffic flow between the two projects will be doubly easy and convenient. The redeveloped Asian Plaza will serve as the “Gateway” from Yesler Terrace to Little Saigon and the Chinatown-International District. By linking our neighborhoods we can greatly enhance the livability of both neighborhoods. The sum is much greater than the individual parts.
We are also discussing the need for improving public safety in the area, what to do about the transient population living under I-5 adjacent to Yesler Terrace, and other common issues that must be resolved if both communities are to flourish. Our plan to bring patrons into the area in the evenings to eat at the restaurants, attend the theater, and shop will help enhance public safety.