Seattle considering mixing housing with new police station

by: David Ham Updated:


Seattle City Council members authorized a $32,000 consultant's study to see if multi-family housing, office space and retail space is a feasible addition to the new North Precinct Station that will be built at Aurora Avenue North and North 130th Street.

"The City Council, which is interested in exploring opportunities that maximize public benefits gained through large public works projects, directed FAS to determine the feasibility of collocating other uses at this particular site.

As a result, FAS commissioned a real estate research company to evaluate several public/private options that could take full advantage of the site's development potential.

"This work is occurring in parallel with property acquisition and working with SPD on the layout of station space," said Chris Potter, Seattle Finance and Administrative Services.

Some community members don't think it's a good idea.

"From a security point of view that doesn't make sense," said Ruedi Riesler of the North Precinct Advisory Council.

NPAC represents about 40 community groups in Seattle.

"It just doesn’t make sense.  It's just the two things don't mix," said Riesler.

He thinks the addition of housing at the site will dilute police functionality at the new facility. He said that because a police facility has higher standards of security, if lower security requirements are incorporated on the same site, security will be compromised.

"Building a station that works well for police operations is our top priority.  Any proposed co-location at the new police station site will be thoroughly evaluated and the design of any buildings or structures on the property will not hinder SPD response times in any way," said Potter.

No other police precinct in Seattle is used for housing.

On Capitol Hill, the East Precinct building is connected to another building that houses shops and offices.

Johan Liedgren works in an office building connected to the East Precinct Station

"I don’t think it's a political thing. I think it's a practical thing they need to be somewhere where it makes sense. and I don’t see an issue of being close to other businesses or residential spaces at all," said Liedgren.

The city expects the consultant's report to be finished by June.

The new North Precinct Station is expected to be built by 2018.