Capitol Hill Housing has been planning to redevelop the long vacant lot at the corner of 12th Avenue and E Jefferson Street with a 6-story building with retail on the ground floor and 40 affordable workforce housing units above. The parcel is currently zoned 4 stories and CHH has been working for over a year, navigating the City’s rezone process. Six stories will allow CHH’s project to pencil out financially, and will provide more housing options in the area and more “eyes on the street” and generally jazz up a really sad, vacant corner lot that has so much potential.
CHH recently went before the City’s Hearing Examiner and we’re happy to report that the Hearing Examiner recommended approval of the rezone! The rezone request met several criteria for approval including:
- Increased housing capacity meets Comprehensive Plan goals for increased density in urban villages by 2024
- Parcels to the south and east are already zoned 65 feet so an increase would match existing zoning in the area
- Increased housing and retail at the site meets Neighborhood Plan goals
- Improved sidewalks adjacent to the project would improve the pedestrian character of the area
- There are no adverse environmental impacts from the increased height at the site
The rezone request needs to be approved by the City Council to make the change official. We hope that the rezone will get on the Council calendar shortly so that the rezone will be in place as we hear back from our City and State funders for the project.
We also want to report on the activity at the site that is going on right now. The site was a gas station in the 1920s-1960s, which left contaminated soil. CHH has been working with King County Brownfields Program and the previous owner of the site on a mitigation plan. Crews are currently digging and removing contaminated dirt from the site, with work to be completed in the next month.
Thanks for all the neighborhood support for this project over the years. With the rezone and mitigation work moving forward, we are one step closer to having a site ready for construction!