• New plan for Seattle's booming Uptown neighborhood

    By: Essex Porter


    The city announced a new plan to manage growth in the Uptown neighborhood on Seattle's Queen Anne Hill, and it includes hundreds more low-income housing units.

    The new plan will shape growth in a neighborhood already that is already booming with new construction.

    New housing towers will have to either include or contribute money to build affordable housing for 600 low-income people.

    In exchange, developers will get to build higher buildings.

    “So the mandatory housing affordability program will help insure that there will be room for all of our community members,” said Janet Pope of the Compass Housing Alliance.

    Part of the housing will be built on the city owned lot where Mayor Ed Murray and civic activists announced the plans this afternoon.

    But Murray is not running for re-election and warns some of those seeking to replace him about changing the carefully negotiated housing plan called HALA.

    “The danger is that we had folks from the low-income housing community and folks from the development community reach an agreement and part of that agreement was to get the development community to drop lawsuits. So we had to compromise to get 3three times as much affordable housing as Seattle has ever built,” he said.

    Already a hub for the arts, Uptown will now be designated as an Arts and Culture district.

    And the city is also negotiating plans to renovate Key Arena to bring back the basketball Sonics and add Major League Hockey.

    But can Uptown fit it all in?

    Deborah Frausto of the Uptown Alliance responded, “More housing, more people, major league sports, can Uptown fit it all in? We have to, we're going to do it, we have to just do it well. There will be trade-offs certainly along the way. And we need to figure out where those go."





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