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Convention Center addition is a bittersweet deal for Seattle

The Washington State Convention Center addition is going to bring new dollars to Seattle, but also put pressure on resources downtown. (WSDOT)

The new Washington State Convention Center addition could create something Seattle hasn’t seen in a long time — affordable housing.

Related: Tacoma is just fine riding Seattle’s coattails

Beyond the high cost, the project might also require a contribution to affordable housing within a mile from where the additional facility will be built. A 644-square-foot, one bedroom apartment next door to the proposed construction zone would go for $1,900 a month.

The request is coming from the Community Coalition, a group of nine nonprofits and neighborhood associations. Alex Hudson, executive director of the First Hill Improvement Association, said they are urging the City of Seattle to consider the people who will live and work in the neighborhood, as well as the tourism dollars.

Convention center addition

With a price tag of $1.4 billion, the convention center expansion is one of the single most expensive in the history of Seattle. But it’s expected to bring in new dollars, as well as the creation of an expected 3,900 jobs.

While a potential boost for the local economy, the project will tax resources in the downtown core.

The massive additional facility will sit across from the Paramount Theater in Seattle, eliminating the existing Metro Transit center, which is bordered by Olive and Howell, and Ninth and Boren Avenues.

However, the project, which could also include an I-5 lid park, will connect pedestrians from downtown to Capitol Hill.

The project proposal includes a feasibility study for an extension of Freeway Park to cover the I-5 corridor in Seattle.

Construction is slated to begin in 2018 with a completion date of 2020.

Correction: MyNorthwest has neglected to cite background information from the Urbanist. We regret the error and apologize to the Urbanist. Below is the background information.

The concern is that if you demolish the transit center, the tunnel buses will be pushed onto surface streets well before light rail will be extended to help alleviate the pain.

The WSCC has offered $5 million for affordable housing as part of a required public benefits package in addition to the $5 million required by this sale proposal, but that total of $10 million is less than 20% of what Capitol Hill Housing deemed reasonable to offset the WSCC’s impact.

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