The City of Seattle announced yesterday that it has selected James Corner Field Operations from a shortlist of four design firms to lead the redesign of Seattle’s Central Waterfront.
As we blogged in August, the City of Seattle short-listed four finalist teams to compete the redesign parts of the 20 acres of waterfront public property that will be unearthed after the removal of the SR-99 Alaskan Way Viaduct and its replacement with the Deep-Bored Tunnel.
“This is not a proposal for development,” said new Seattle City Planning Director Marshall Foster last Thursday. But this public project has significant potential for impacts on the property owners in the vicinity of Seattle’s central waterfront.
September 15, 2010, each of the shortlisted firms presented their general approach to the redesign project at a well-attended public meeting at Benaroya Hall.
Each design team expressed a vision that involved connecting the waterfront to the rest of the city in a way that is free of barriers and pedestrian friendly. The sufficiency of the existing street grid to accommodate this will be driven by the final design. The big question is whether these “connections” can be accomplished without taking property away from private owners by eminent domain; or, to the same effect, imposing burdensome land use regulations.
For up-to-date information on the progress and planning for the central waterfront redesign find Seattle Central Waterfront on Facebook or go to the webpage for the Department of Planning and Development.