According to an article published by Seattle Times, King County has agreed to give away a land parcel located near the forthcoming LINK light rail station in Northgate, “taking advantage of a new state law that lets governments give away land if it will be used to build affordable housing.” Plans have been in the works for some time, with King County and Seattle having both committed $10 million to the project, which initially planned to build at least 200 affordable housing units. With the land now being donated, the Times reports that the number of homes “is set to go up.”
The Seattle City Council is also in the middle of a rezoning plan within much of the city of Seattle, which will permit taller buildings in “neighborhoods that sit near light rail and busy bus lines. If the changes go through as planned, the Northgate development could be rezoned to allow 24-story buildings, nearly twice as high as is currently allowed.”
Though they previously accepted bids for the project, given changes to the law, the county is preparing to reissue a new proposal by July 31st.
The changes that will come to Northgate are part of a growing trend of Transit-Oriented Development (TOD), which Svetlana Masjutina describes in a LinkedIn article as, “development that includes a mixture of housing, office, retail and/or other commercial development and amenities integrated into a walkable neighborhood located within a half-mile of quality public transportation.”
The benefits of TOD are many, and include better access to jobs, less congestion on roadways, the opportunity to build affordable housing, less greenhouse gases emitted by vehicles, and a more healthy general population.