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Seattle Housing enters next phase of Yesler Terrace redevelopment

Architect selected for phase three efforts; project recognized for smart growth strategies

SEATTLE – Sept. 8, 2010 – Seattle Housing Authority enters the next stage of Yesler Terrace redevelopment with the appointment of Seattle-based architecture firm GGLO. GGLO was selected from 14 firms across the country that submitted proposals for the project’s third phase including programming, entitlements, design and master planning efforts. This key milestone comes on the heels of a recent recognition by the Quality Growth Alliance of Yesler Terrace’s smart, sustainable preliminary redevelopment strategies, setting a solid foundation for GGLO’s work.

“GGLO demonstrates a firm understanding of the four guiding principles established in the initial phases of the project: social equity, economic opportunity, sustainability and one-for-one replacement housing,” said Anne Fiske Zuniga, senior development program manager, Yesler Terrace. “Their proposal echoes the same thoughtfulness and passion for community-building that has earned them a stellar reputation for other large-scale housing projects throughout the region.”

For the past two years, Seattle Housing has worked closely with Seattle-based design firm CollinsWoerman to complete the initial phases of the project, involving site planning and preparation for the Environmental Impact Study (EIS), the draft of which will be released in late October. Led by GGLO, phase three involves securing entitlements from the city of Seattle, developing a master plan, creating design guidelines and developing phasing plans for implementation. GGLO will also be involved in phase four efforts, including overseeing construction of the master plan. In all, GGLO’s efforts, in collaboration with a team of experts including “green” development planners Jonathan Rose Companies LLC, will help transform the aging Yesler Terrace into a vibrant, culturally diverse, mixed-use community with high-quality housing surrounded by parks, shops, offices and amenities.

“The Yesler Terrace redevelopment is an incredible opportunity first and foremost for the families it serves, but also for the surrounding neighborhoods and the entire city of Seattle,” said GGLO Principal Alan Grainger. “We will work closely with Seattle Housing and its constituencies to preserve and enhance the existing neighborhood’s spirit, while strengthening the future fabric of the community.”

In addition to master-planning, the Yesler Terrace team will seek to address the social and environmental needs of residents and the surrounding neighborhoods. And the project’s already heading in the right direction: it recently received recognition by the Quality Growth Alliance for its pre-entitlement, conceptual design strategies. The project, along with three others, was noted for its potential to contribute to the area’s sustainable economic, environmental and quality-of-life objectives. As part of the recognition, QGA jurors will provide public testimony for Yesler Terrace as it proceeds through its approvals processes.