Work begins on first of three new buildings for University Village

Excerpt of map included in the Northeast Design Review Board report from October 20, 2008 (click to download the 205 KB PDF)

University Village revealed in a blog post dated January 18 that the construction happening now at the southern end of the shopping center will be a “700-stall parking garage that will be open for Holiday 2012.”

But this is only the first of three new structures planned for the upscale shopping center in the coming years.

According to notes from the October 20, 2008 Northeast Design Review Board meeting (205 KB PDF), the current construction (which will include restaurant and retail space once completed) will eventually be joined by two others further to the north.

The following (brief) descriptions of all three new buildings are taken from the 44-page design proposal (23.3 MB PDF) presented by to the Northeast Design Review Board on October 20, 2008.

Building 1: Parking, restaurant and retail (South parking garage)

Along with 713 parking spaces (replacing the 369 spaces from the current lot and adding 344 more), this new six-story building will include 24,626 sq. ft. of restaurant and 81,880 sq. ft. of retail space. The top floor of the garage section will be rooftop parking.

While Building 1 is a single unit, it will have the appearance of three different buildings, much like other structures in University Village today.

Excerpt of the University Village design proposal map showing the new south parking garage (on page 2 of the master document; click the image to download the 23.3 MB PDF)

The permit to demolish the old Key Bank building (4501 27th Ave NE; since moved to the old Blockbuster Video building at 4715 25th Ave NE) was issued on Monday, January 23.

Frequent visitors-by-car to University Village may want to study up on the new vehicular circulation plan around the new garage before it opens — the southwest entrance to the shopping center will be affected the most.

Here are some views of the construction area taken yesterday, Thursday, January 27 (photos by Eric Wahl):


View looking southeast from the parking lot south of Blue C Sushi (future view of the garage entrance)

View from under the NE 45th St viaduct, looking west

View looking south from the east side of the south parking garage construction zone

Building 2: Plaza, retail, and restaurant (Village Center)

Two-story building with 11,461sq. ft. of retail space at ground level and 12,125 sq. ft. of restaurant space above (1,750 sq. ft. of which is outdoors). An open public plaza area on the west side of the structure has seating and a water feature.

Building 3: Retail and plaza (Gateway)

Another two-story building with retail on both floors (9,350 sq. ft. on the first floor and 16,133 sq. ft. on the second) with plaza areas on the south side (on first and second floors; again with seating and a water feature).

There are as of yet no timelines revealed for the construction of Buildings 2 and 3.

See the future of North Link Light Rail construction, today!

Two really fun parts of the latest North Link Light Rail construction open houses for the Roosevelt and Brooklyn Stations are now available for viewing online: Illustrations of the construction sites themselves.


These animations, and the presentations they were a part of, can be found on Sound Transit’s North Link Documents Library page.

Roosevelt Station Construction Open House on Thursday, November 3 (archived live blog)

UPDATE (after the meeting): My live blogged session has now been archived for your reading pleasure. I will upload more information from the presentation when it becomes available from Sound Transit.

Roosevelt Station Construction Open House (11/03/2011)
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Thursday November 3, 2011 6:06 Ravenna Blog
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[Any long pauses you can chalk up to “Baby Issues.”]

Thursday November 3, 2011 6:17 Ravenna Blog
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I would guesstimate about 60+ people here so far, taking in the open house portion. Large poster boards up around the perimeter, outlining the construction areas, affected parts of the neighborhood, etc. Pictures later.

Thursday November 3, 2011 6:22 Ravenna Blog
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Presentation starts at 6:30. Sound Transit generally makes the presentation slides available within a few days of the event.

Thursday November 3, 2011 6:30 Ravenna Blog
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Ooo! There are paper craft light rail trains!

Thursday November 3, 2011 6:31 Ravenna Blog
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North Link Deputy Project Director Ron Endlich is starting off the presentation portion now.

Thursday November 3, 2011 6:33 Ravenna Blog
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After Intro is Roosevelt Station Construction info, then Next Steps, Q&A, and back to Open House.

Thursday November 3, 2011 6:35 Ravenna Blog
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Overview of the whole system now. I’ll be sticking to the Roosevelt-specific info.

Thursday November 3, 2011 6:36 Ravenna Blog

Live blogging the Roosevelt Station Construction meeting. Follow along at [via Twitter]

Thursday November 3, 2011 6:41 RavennaBlog
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Excavation to start in early 2013. There will be a 24-hour construction hotline, manned by an actual person, for answering questions.

Thursday November 3, 2011 6:43 Ravenna Blog
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Mid-2012 will see the start of demolition, and the beginning of the onslaught of trucks into the neighborhood.

Thursday November 3, 2011 6:46 Ravenna Blog
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Excavation and tunneling from 2013-2017. Some parking lost on 66th and 67th, some sidewalks to be closed.

Thursday November 3, 2011 6:48 Ravenna Blog
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If you’d like a real world example of what the construction site will look like, head up to the Capitoll Hill Station site. Wall will be very similar.

Thursday November 3, 2011 6:50 Ravenna Blog
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There will be night work, and a variance will need to be granted. Another construction meeting to follow with more specifics.

Thursday November 3, 2011 6:52 Ravenna Blog
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Routes that the trucks will take to and from the construction site will depend on whether the trucks will be heading north or south from the site.

Thursday November 3, 2011 6:55 Ravenna Blog
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Parking, sidewalks and streets near the site will remain affected during station construction (post-tunnel boring).

Thursday November 3, 2011 6:58 Ravenna Blog
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Q&A time now. (There’s LOTS more to the presentation, but the presenter was speedy. I’ll be sure to hunt down the slides later for you.)

Thursday November 3, 2011 7:01 Ravenna Blog
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12th Ave NE will remain open during construction, but the parking lane on the west side will be taken for construction/truck traffic.

Thursday November 3, 2011 7:03 Ravenna Blog
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Good ? about repairs to roads affected by the toll of heavy truck use. Sound Transit will be the one to repair, should streets need it. Would work with SDOT.

Thursday November 3, 2011 7:05 Ravenna Blog

No meeting, however seemingly mundane of a topic, is ever boring in Roosevelt. [via Twitter]

Thursday November 3, 2011 7:05 brucenourish
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Yes, parking will be affected, but workers will be parking off-site. So, that will help. Some.

Thursday November 3, 2011 7:08 Ravenna Blog
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Parking at the station question. No, no additional parking for the station. Idea is to walk to the stations or use transit. Residential Parking Zones could be created/expanded.

Thursday November 3, 2011 7:11 Ravenna Blog

Petitioner wants ST to attempt to save some “sacred” trees that ST has already determined cannot be transplanted. [via Twitter]

Thursday November 3, 2011 7:11 brucenourish
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QFC sounds like they’ll be closing in January. Staff will be relocated to other stores, but the store itself will NOT be relocated.

Thursday November 3, 2011 7:21 Ravenna Blog
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The excavation and tunneling portion of construction s a 24/7 affair. 12 trucks per hour is the estimate. And as I understand it from an earlier meeting, that would be dump trucks with trailers (doubles).

Thursday November 3, 2011 7:24 Ravenna Blog
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Worry about property values dropping during construction. Thought is gain after completion would outweigh.

Thursday November 3, 2011 7:26 Ravenna Blog
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7 months to excavate the station. 20 months to tunnel (to the stadium, I believe).

Thursday November 3, 2011 7:27 Ravenna Blog
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About 100 people here, by the way.

Thursday November 3, 2011 7:30 Ravenna Blog
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40-50 feet a day is the speed of the boring machines. That’s where the 20 months comes from.

Thursday November 3, 2011 7:32 Ravenna Blog
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230 tunnel easements for North Link total.

Thursday November 3, 2011 7:32 Ravenna Blog
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Exact route of the North Link tunnels not yet known, but current mapped route is within a half a block of the final, says Ron.

Thursday November 3, 2011 7:34 Ravenna Blog
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Ooo, some rage against the machines that have no luggage racks. (The trains don’t have them.)

Thursday November 3, 2011 7:37 Ravenna Blog
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And now back to the open house portion. And, hey! Peaks is handing out free cone coupons!

Thursday November 3, 2011 7:40 Ravenna Blog

Significant chunk of 15th Ave NE to be closed on Saturday

The second phase of the 15th Avenue NE Reconstruction has begun, and that means the action is heading further north.

Tomorrow, Saturday, June 18, a significant portion of 15th Avenue NE will be closed. Traffic headed east-west will have one lane each way on NE 50th St, and north-south traffic will detour to University Way NE.

View 15th Avenue NE closure on Saturday, June 18 in a larger map

The SDOT Traffic Advisory:

A contractor working for the Seattle Department of Transportation will close 15th Avenue NE between NE 45th Street and NE Ravenna Boulevard on Saturday, June 18, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. for street improvements. General traffic and buses will be detoured to University Way NE. One lane in each direction will be maintained on NE 50th Street. The closure will allow the contractor to install new drainage facilities in this area.

Beginning next week, the contractor will begin removing and replacing the pavement on 15th Avenue NE between NE 50th Street and NE 55th Street. One lane for each direction of traffic will remain open.

This work is part of the second phase of the 15th Avenue NE Reconstruction Project, between NE 45th Street and NE 55th Street.

For more project information, please visit the project website at:

Ask Ravenna Blog: What’s in a bioswale?

Inspired by a reoccurring column that our neighborblog, Roosiehood, writes, I am introducing the “Ask Ravenna Blog” post.

The premise of these posts is this: You, dear neighbor, send me a question, and I’ll do my best to find the answer.

Today’s question comes from southern Ravenna resident, Pamela, via twitter. She lives quite close to the Seattle Department of Transportation’s construction zone at the Scramble (NE 55th St/Ravenna/22nd Ave NE) and was wondering…

…what’s going to go in in the “bioswales” and who’s going to maintain it.

I emailed Construction Communications Officer, Bob Derry, who forwarded Pamela’s query to Jessica Murphy, the manager of the 15th Avenue NE Reconstruction Project (which the Scramble project is a part of). Here’s what she had to say:

The bioretention facilities will be maintained by Seattle Public Utilities as they are a stormwater infrastructure. The plants being used are as follows:

Kelsey Dogwood (cornus stolonifera)
Wetland Sedge (carex obnupta)
Baltic Rush (Juncus balticus)
Daylilies (hemerocallis)
Catmint (nepeta mussilinii)
Geraniums (geranium macrorrhizum)
Sword ferns

There are also going to be some new trees – Hogan cedars, black maples and tupelos all maintained by SDOT Urban Forestry.

There you are, Pamela (and anyone else who was wondering about bioswale contents and maintenance).

Have a question? Ask Ravenna Blog! Email me at


Ask Ravenna Blog BONUS: The SDOT’s Urban Forestry program’s website has a lot of great information for residents, including street tree planting procedures, a tree pruning guide, traffic circle volunteer information, and much more.

Also, if you have any comments, concerns or accolades for the Scramble construction crew, Construction Communications Officer, Bob Derry, can pass them along for you. You can find his contact information near the bottom of the 15th Avenue NE Reconstruction Project website.

Dahl Playground swings are GONE, but shall return.

Yesterday afternoon, my friend and Roosevelt resident, Allan, alerted me to the following scene at the Dahl Field Playground (7700 25th Ave. NE):

Big fence!

No swings!

Even the merry-go-round and all the gravel is affected!

A twitter inquiry from me to @SeattleParks soon followed, and I heard back from Joelle Hammerstad with the Communications Office at Seattle Parks and Recreation that evening:

Seattle Parks and Recreation will begin swing set replacement at Dahl Playground on Oct 13.  The four-seat swing set will be replaced with six swings. Four are 10 feet high (same as current swings), and two are eight feet high.  The work is being done for safety and accessibility.  The project will be complete by November 9.  Signs have been posted informing users (who can read, and their parents for those who cannot!) of the work.

So there we go, Allan, and other concerned parents (and kids): The swings SHALL RETURN.

As for the removal of the pea gravel under both the (missing) swing set and the merry-go-round, my guess is that the ubiquitous wood chips will be their replacement.  There were also some signs of some drainage-related construction (or some terribly uninspired graffiti, but I assume the former):

Note the step down due to the missing gravel

Ravenna Blog would LOVE to post your updates to the playground construction*.  Just send us a note via email or in the comments below.


*Our Playground Beat Reporter will try to get there herself a few times during the construction, but usually she’s rather distracted watching Playground Beat Reporter Jr.