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Nov. 26, 2012

South Lake Union Set for Rezoning Overhaul

By Alex Girda, Associate Editor

South Lake Union is growing at a frantic pace. Some developers are pitching office high-rises in hopes of scoring one of the big names that are constantly circling the neighborhood’s available office space, while others are proposing the next young-professional-oriented multifamily building. However, growth must be sustainable, and there are some skeptics that believe that the boom should be controlled and harnessed in a way that would prevent a possible new market breakdown. Vulcan Realty is not among those skeptics.

The company is proposing three high-rises close to the shore of Salt Lake Union. The Paul Allen-controlled entity claims that view corridors would be enhanced by the building of the 24-story-tall buildings, although there are people who oppose the project, claiming it would damage the aesthetic of the neighborhood, should the signature views of the lake be obstructed. The city is currently in talks to get a rezoning plan for South Lake Union that would allow the construction of 40-story towers in the area. However, Vulcan was hoping to be able to develop three 240-foot-tall towers near the shores of Lake Union in exchange for land and its contribution to important public benefit works.

Essentially, should its proposal be approved by the city council, Vulcan will hand over 37,600 square feet to the project called Real Investment in Social Equity that would get the area between Mercer and Republican streets affordable housing units, childcare services and a community kitchen. The 1.5 acres of land the city is hoping to amass for the initiative include 17,000 square feet of already owned land and another 12,000 square feet currently under private ownership. According to Vulcan Realty, the land the city would be getting is valued at around $10 million.

Rendering courtesy of djc.com