Argument: Waterfront development will explode due to tunnel
- Debate: Seattle deep-bore tunnel - pro argument.
John Coney, co-president of the Uptown Alliance: “As a developmental area, it’s got a lot going for it. We think this is going to be very attractive to developers – its attractiveness is going to be undeniable.”
"Group wants to use deep-bore tunnel to create new neighborhood." KOMO News site. January 28th: "The completion of the deep-bore tunnel, scheduled for 2016, could have massive consequences not only for transportation through the city but for a new city neighborhood a group of local architects and planners are dubbing the Uptown Triangle.
According to the group – largely members of the Uptown Alliance and Queen Anne Community Council – behind the attempt to rebrand and redevelop it, the Uptown Triangle (other name suggestions are Denny Hill and Denny Park) is the area bounded by Aurora Avenue, Broad Street and Denny Way.
At a Jan. 27 meeting with architects, planners, developers and others, John Coney, co-president of the Uptown Alliance, said a new, sustainable neighborhood in the Uptown Triangle would be a child of the deep-bore tunnel when the removal of Aurora as a barrier opens up Harrison Street, Thomas Street and John Street as new cross streets.
“It has been cut off for decades,” said Craig Hanway, chair of the QACC planning commission. “A lot of that is going to be changing with the tunnel and the two-way Mercer Street.”
In May, local architects and planners spent three days at the Edgewater Hotel with a design team from around the country to brainstorm ideas and sketch concepts for the future of the Uptown Triangle, which Hanway described as a blank slate.
“For a long time, it’s been a sketchy area,” Coney said. “It’s got some second-level hotels and dubious night clubs.”
The group presented a map of undeveloped and underdeveloped land in the 36-acre area at the Jan. 27 meeting. The land highlighted includes dive bar and music venue The Fun House, the local Susan G. Komen headquarters, Ride the Ducks, the McDonald’s on Fifth Avenue, a Best Western and more.
The goal is to replace that “neglected and underutilized” land with a mix of commercial, retail and residential developments, green streets, natural areas, a streetcar connecting South Lake Union and Queen Anne and new bicycle and pedestrian connections.
Under the plan, which has been presented to the Seattle City Council, community groups, the Seattle Department of Transportation, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and more, John Street would become a quiet residential street with a separate right-of-way for bicycles and limited street parking. It would feature a mix of townhouses and other residential developments."