DPD is publishing a final Urban Design Framework (UDF) for the Northgate Urban Center, wrapping up more than two years work to develop ideas and recommendations that will shape future growth and provision of public amenities. The UDF reflects the thoughtful input from a broad cross-section of area residents and stakeholders, gathered at more than 20 meetings and four open house workshops.
The UDF has a special focus on the future light rail station area (service to commence in 2021); it is one of Seattle’s best opportunities to accomplish transit-supportive development with much new housing near the rail station, and at the same time become a more walkable “people place.” The core station area property, today a park-and-ride lot, has about four city blocks of area that will be transformed into a new center with generous public spaces and a compact mix of new residential buildings and other uses. The station will also be served by improved pedestrian and bicycle facilities providing for safe access routes in all directions.
The UDF also recommends strategies for improving the urban form, function and comfort throughout the Northgate Urban Center as it grows – through infill development that brings more residents and provides public streets, pathways and amenities that help to break down the area’s “superblock” form. This will continue to promote the area’s quality as a livable place, building on the positive trends begun with investments in library, community center, streets and at Thornton Place.
In 2014, DPD will continue to work with King County and Sound Transit on advancing designs for pedestrian accesses, the transit station, and future station area development. This includes exploring the designs for key improvements such as the pedestrian/bicycle bridge crossing I-5 and a “cycle track” on 1st Ave NE.