Virtual Open House is your chance to weigh in on the future of the Junction parking lots Oct. 21
A Virtual Open House on Thursday, October 21 6:30 PM on Zoom will give the public a chance to learn about and offer thoughts and opinions on the future of the four West Seattle Junction parking lots.
The lots, owned by the West Seattle Trusteed Partners (WSTP) (a consortium of local land and business owners) were first established for the purpose of providing free parking for the West Seattle Junction Merchants. A covenant with the City of Seattle, established in the early 1950's that the land would serve this purpose. The junction Business Improvement Area operating as the West Seattle Junction Association paid for the lease on the land which covered the taxes. Member businesses paid a fee based on a formula including square footage. As land values increased, so did the taxes and in the last three years as the King County Assessor raised taxes the cost became too high for local businesses to continue to pay. The long time free lots became paid.
With land values high, and with the potential for Sound Transit to need land for either light rail station or for park and ride in the future, coupled with the Seattle housing crisis offers emerged. First from Community Roots Housing (CRH) (formerly called Capitol Hill Housing) through an agreement with the city to buy the land and convert it to a combination of affordable housing, retail and coop units. Other offers not yet revealed have been hinted at in the minutes of the WSTP. Those are likely not the same mixture as the offer from CRH since they would come from commercial developers.
The wrench in the works is that the WSJA holds a lease on the land with 17 years remaining. They've indicated a willingness to release it for the purposes of Community Roots Housing. But the commercial developers might have to wait quite a bit longer.
There are also tax implications for WSTP shareholders and issues for CRH in the deal. If the shares are sold the taxes are much higher than if the corporation itself were sold. But CRH is prohibited from buying a corporation.
During the meeting the public will be able to see initial architectural drawings from Ankrom Moisan (the same firm that designed the new Husky Deli building). Hear from Community Roots Housing, a local leader in affordable housing and learn about the vision to build and sustain small businesses via the Small Business Incubator program from the director of the Junction, Lora Radford.
Topic: Open House
Time: Oct 21, 2021 06:30 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Meeting ID: 824 6786 0906
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Meeting ID: 824 6786 0906
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