Mayor Murray Announces new cultural district in Uptown

Uptown becomes City’s newest Arts & Cultural District

 

SEATTLE (July 12, 2017) — Mayor Murray announced the Uptown Arts and Cultural District as the third neighborhood to be named a designated Arts & Cultural District. Uptown is one of Seattle’s most important cultural destinations with over 30 arts, cultural and educational organizations on the 74-acre Seattle Center campus and surrounding neighborhood cultural institutions, restaurants and retail. The Arts District designation recognizes the culturally rich neighborhood and seeks to enhance its character.

“Arts and cultural institutions define Uptown, from The Vera Project, and Seattle Opera, to On the Boards and Uptown Cinema, it is one of our City’s premier destinations,” says Mayor Murray. “This designation honors Uptown’s vibrancy, and seeks to keep the art and artists who make this neighborhood at the forefront of our work.”

“We are thrilled to be recognized as an official Arts & Cultural District,” says Cyrus Despres, co-chair and president of the Uptown Arts & Culture Coalition. “Uptown is experiencing the same growing pains as the rest of Seattle, and we are committed to enhancing our cultural experiences and evolving our identity as a welcoming home for the arts in Seattle.”

The Uptown Arts and Cultural District advocates for Uptown and is dedicated to the neighborhood’s continuing evolution as a vibrant and inclusive cultural center. The group has committed itself to:

  • integration across the geography of Uptown from Seattle Center to the Heart of Uptown and beyond;
  • a commitment to racial and social equity;
  • activation of cross-cultural and interdisciplinary collaboration;
  • development and measurement of our creative economy.

The arts district designation includes access to the Creative Placemaking Toolkit, a suite of tools designed to preserve, strengthen, and expand arts and cultural spaces. The district will have access to $50,000 to be used towards the toolkit’s programs and resources for right-of-way identifiers, wayfinding, busking and plein air painting, art historic markers, pop-up activations, and parklets. The toolkit was designed to support artists, art-spaces, and neighborhoods in maintaining and investing in their cultural assets.

Uptown
Since the 1962 World’s Fair, Uptown has been a hub of Seattle arts and culture, drawing audiences and performers locally, national and internationally. Uptown offers the largest concentration of diverse arts and cultural organizations that range from independent artists, to internationally renowned classical arts, to innovative theater and visual arts, to ethnic festivals from around the world, to major music concerts. Uptown is a stage to celebrate the international diversity that is represented throughout Puget Sound. People come to the neighborhood to share the richness of music, dance, art and food found around the world.

 

Arts & Cultural Districts
The creation of Arts & Cultural District program stems from the recommendations of the Cultural Overlay District Advisory Committee’s June 2009 report, which was accepted and endorsed by Seattle City Council with Resolution 31155 in August 2009. City Council found that a district plan benefits the city because arts and cultural activities serve as a major economic engine for Seattle, and provide an invaluable quality of life that other activities cannot duplicate. The program launched in November of 2014 with the adoption of City Council Resolution 31555 and the creation of the Capitol Hill Arts District.

Mayor Murray Announces new cultural district in Uptown

Uptown becomes City’s newest Arts & Cultural District

 

SEATTLE (July 12, 2017) — Mayor Murray announced the Uptown Arts and Cultural District as the third neighborhood to be named a designated Arts & Cultural District. Uptown is one of Seattle’s most important cultural destinations with over 30 arts, cultural and educational organizations on the 74-acre Seattle Center campus and surrounding neighborhood cultural institutions, restaurants and retail. The Arts District designation recognizes the culturally rich neighborhood and seeks to enhance its character.

“Arts and cultural institutions define Uptown, from The Vera Project, and Seattle Opera, to On the Boards and Uptown Cinema, it is one of our City’s premier destinations,” says Mayor Murray. “This designation honors Uptown’s vibrancy, and seeks to keep the art and artists who make this neighborhood at the forefront of our work.”

“We are thrilled to be recognized as an official Arts & Cultural District,” says Cyrus Despres, co-chair and president of the Uptown Arts & Culture Coalition. “Uptown is experiencing the same growing pains as the rest of Seattle, and we are committed to enhancing our cultural experiences and evolving our identity as a welcoming home for the arts in Seattle.”

The Uptown Arts and Cultural District advocates for Uptown and is dedicated to the neighborhood’s continuing evolution as a vibrant and inclusive cultural center. The group has committed itself to:

  • integration across the geography of Uptown from Seattle Center to the Heart of Uptown and beyond;
  • a commitment to racial and social equity;
  • activation of cross-cultural and interdisciplinary collaboration;
  • development and measurement of our creative economy.

The arts district designation includes access to the Creative Placemaking Toolkit, a suite of tools designed to preserve, strengthen, and expand arts and cultural spaces. The district will have access to $50,000 to be used towards the toolkit’s programs and resources for right-of-way identifiers, wayfinding, busking and plein air painting, art historic markers, pop-up activations, and parklets. The toolkit was designed to support artists, art-spaces, and neighborhoods in maintaining and investing in their cultural assets.

Uptown
Since the 1962 World’s Fair, Uptown has been a hub of Seattle arts and culture, drawing audiences and performers locally, national and internationally. Uptown offers the largest concentration of diverse arts and cultural organizations that range from independent artists, to internationally renowned classical arts, to innovative theater and visual arts, to ethnic festivals from around the world, to major music concerts. Uptown is a stage to celebrate the international diversity that is represented throughout Puget Sound. People come to the neighborhood to share the richness of music, dance, art and food found around the world.

 

Arts & Cultural Districts
The creation of Arts & Cultural District program stems from the recommendations of the Cultural Overlay District Advisory Committee’s June 2009 report, which was accepted and endorsed by Seattle City Council with Resolution 31155 in August 2009. City Council found that a district plan benefits the city because arts and cultural activities serve as a major economic engine for Seattle, and provide an invaluable quality of life that other activities cannot duplicate. The program launched in November of 2014 with the adoption of City Council Resolution 31555 and the creation of the Capitol Hill Arts District.

Uptown Rezone Draft Environmental Impact Statement

You are invited to an open house and public hearing to discuss potential environmental impacts of rezoning, and how it will shape your neighborhood’s future.

Meeting Details
Thursday, August 4
Seattle Center Armory, Lofts 3 & 4
5:00-6:00 p.m. – Open House
6:00-8:00 p.m. – Public Hearing

The Seattle Office of Planning and Community Development and Seattle Center are hosting an open house and public hearing on the Uptown Rezone Draft Environmental Impact Study (DEIS).

The DEIS process studies all of the potential impacts of zoning (including height change in the neighborhood). This information will be used to develop a rezone recommendation that we will seek input on this fall. At this meeting you’ll have the opportunity to:

  • Ask our consultants questions and offer your thoughts about the analysis provided in the DEIS
  • Talk with representatives from various City departments and agencies about projects and initiatives in the Uptown area

 

View the DEIS, our Uptown Urban Design Framework, and the Uptown/Seattle Center Parking study online: http://bit.ly/opcd-uptown.

For more information, contact:
Jim Holmes
(206) 684-8372
jim.holmes@seattle.gov

Construction of Denny Substation to Start in March

An artist’s rendering of the future Denny Substation.

Construction on Seattle City Light’s Denny Substation is scheduled to begin in March, led by The Walsh Group, which has been hired as the general contractor.

“The Denny Substation is a critical project for providing reliable service to our growing community now and for many years to come,” Interim Customer Service and Energy Delivery Officer Mike Haynes said. “We’re pleased to have The Walsh Group as our general contractor. Walsh has a clear focus on safety and brings experience from a wide variety of large construction projects across the country and the local connection of a regional office in Tukwila.”

When finished, the Denny Substation at Denny Way and Stewart Street will be the utility’s largest. This is the first substation City Light has built in 30 years.

Power Engineers will serve as the project manager and is overseeing electrical design. The team also includes NBBJ, architect; and KPFF Consulting Engineers, structural and civil engineer. Valley Electric, W.A. Chester and Transcon are key subcontractors.

Substation work will coincide with the underground distribution network being built to ensure more reliable power delivery to customers and a transmission line that will carry power to the substation.

The Denny Substation will distribute electrical power to north downtown, provide back-up power to other substations and support the regional transmission grid. The project will be complete in Q1/Q2 2018 with transmission line and electrical components added later.

The Denny Substation is one of the major initiatives in Seattle City Light’s Strategic Plan. The project includes: a major new electrical substation near Denny Way and Stewart Street, a transmission line from the new station south to an existing substation in the SODO neighborhood, and a network distribution system extending north of Denny Way.

The Denny Substation will ensure high reliability and sufficient electrical infrastructure to meet customer needs as growth continues throughout the South Lake Union, Cascade, Denny Triangle, Uptown, and Belltown and First Hill areas. More information on the project can be found at: www.seattle.gov/light/dennysub.

Seattle City Light is the 10th largest public electric utility in the United States. It has some of the lowest cost customer rates of any urban utility, providing reliable, renewable and environmentally responsible power to about 750,000 Seattle area residents. City Light has been greenhouse gas neutral since 2005, the first electric utility in the nation to achieve that distinction.

You’re Invited to an Uptown Planning Open House

Please join City staff and members of the Uptown community on the evening of October 8 for an open house about several important initiatives in the Uptown Urban Center.  At the open house, DPD will share information and request feedback on:

  • A Draft Urban Design Framework (UDF) for the Uptown Urban Center.
  • Scoping for an upcoming Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) to study possible rezones.
  • A parking study for the entire Uptown Urban Center.

 

Join us: 

Thursday, October 8
5:30 – 8:00 p.m.
Seattle Center, McCaw Hall
Allen Foundation for the Arts Room
Please enter off Mercer Street

The Urban Design Framework (UDF)

Community stakeholders, DPD, and the Seattle Center have been working together to develop UDF (framework plan) for the neighborhood.  The UDF communicates a vision for the physical development of the neighborhood as it grows, addresses emerging issues and opportunities, and presents possible implementation steps including:

  • Establishing an Arts and Culture District.
  • Increasing the diversity of housing opportunities, housing types and affordability.
  • Supporting development of a multi-modal transportation system that includes high capacity transit, bike, and pedestrian facilities.
  • Addressing a complex parking situation.
  • Using zoning to integrate important neighborhood amenities such as open space, affordable housing, and cultural spaces.
  • Advocating for a school and community center.

In addition to discussing the Urban Design Framework, this meeting is the kickoff to two implementation actions recommended in the Urban Design Framework:  an EIS and a parking study.

Environmental Impact Statement (EIS)

DPD is preparing an EIS to evaluate increases in building height in the neighborhood.  The UDF recommended increases in height in some locations to improve the urban form of the neighborhood and incentivize public benefits through zoning. Our October 8 meeting will serve as the scoping meeting for the rezone EIS. However, written comments may also be submitted through November 8.

Strategic Parking Study

The October 8 event is also the kickoff for the Seattle Center and Uptown Strategic Parking study. The study will address how to adequately provide parking for Seattle Center while still allowing potential redevelopment of parking structures and lots in the neighborhood.

For additional information:

Jim Holmes, Senior Planner
(206) 684-8372
jim.holmes@seattle.gov