City of Seattle
Mayor Jenny Durkan announced on Thursday that she will send legislation to City Council to complete the funding for the $711 million Seattle waterfront redevelopment. If passed, the legislation will ensure that construction will begin this year via funding from the City ($248M), State ($193M), and philanthropic community ($110M).
Part of the legislation includes changes to the City’s Local Improvement District (LID). Initially the LID called for commercial and residential property owners to fund $200 million of the redevelopment. After feedback from property owners over the public comment period, the amount has now been changed to $160 million.
Under this change the typical condo owner would pay approximately $8 per month or $96 per year over 20 years. Meanwhile, commercial property owners would pay $25 per month, or $30 per year over the same term. Deferrals will be available for senior, disabled, or low-income individuals.
Despite the lost funding from property owners the waterfront project will not be scaled back. The difference in funding will be made up by redirecting funds from a commercial parking tax that will no longer be needed to service bonds.
Seattle’s new “Waterfront for All” includes 20 acres of public space as it reconnects Pike Place Market and downtown to the waterfront. Following the closure of the viaduct next week and its subsequent demolition, Seattle’s Office of the Waterfront and Civic Projects will rebuild Alaskan Way and infrastructure in the SR99 corridor.
Additional features to be built include park elements such as a park promenade, park piers, the Overlook Walk, and pedestrian improvements on Union Street; Pike and Pine streets; and Pioneer Square.
The new legislation also establishes a partnership between Seattle Parks and Recreation and the nonprofit Friends of Waterfront Seattle to ensure that the new spaces created by the redevelopment are safe and well-maintained.
Should the legislation pass City Council, construction will begin this year following the closure and demolition of the viaduct. The project is scheduled to finish in 2023.