The planning for Yesler Terrace formally began in April 2006 when Seattle Housing Authority hired staff to manage the planning effort and begin recruiting members of a Citizen Review Comittee. The first meeting of the Citizen Review Committee, chaired by former Mayor Norman B. Rice, took place on October 25, 2006.
The Seattle Housing Board of Commissioners approved Guiding Principles, recommended by the Citizen Review Committee, on December 6, 2007. In recommending adoption of the Guiding Principles, CRC Chair Mayor Norman B. Rice said, “These principles point to a balance between serving the needs of current and future residents and acknowledging the opportunities of the redevelopment for the larger community.”
In 2008 and 2009, staff, consultants and members of the CRC worked on developing various site concepts and development scenarios for Yesler Terrace. This led to the Environmental Review Process, with a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) published in October 2010. After public hearings, comments, and further research, a final Environmental Impact Statement was published in April 2011.
Following years of planning and input by residents and other stakeholders, in September 2012, the Seattle City Council unanimously approved a package of legislation authorizing the redevelopment of Yesler Terrace. This approval endorses the Seattle Housing Authority Board of Commissioners’ adopted Redevelopment Plan for the neighborhood. Please visit the City of Seattle website for a record of the legislation passed.
The documents published below are a result of the planning processes from 2008 through 2012.
A glossary of urban planning and design terms was developed by consultants CollinsWoerman to assist members of the Citizen Review Committee and the public in understanding common planning terms.
- Amharic (PDF, 228 KB)
- Cambodian (PDF, 236 KB)
- Chinese (PDF, 296 KB)
- English (PDF, 204 KB)
- Korean (PDF, 216 KB)
- Oromo/Oromoo (PDF, 208 KB)
- Somali/Soomaali (PDF, 248 KB)
- Spanish/Español (PDF, 224 KB)
- Tigrigna (PDF, 248 KB)
- Vietnamese (PDF, 136 KB)
Community Workshops (July – October 2008)
The Yesler Terrace redevelopment team, including consultant CollinsWoerman, worked with the community to gather input from residents on conceptual site alternatives. A total of five workshops were held from late July through mid-October 2008. Information about the results of each meeting is available in ten languages, in PDF format (download Adobe Reader).
Workshop on Community Priorities (July 31, 2008)
- Amharic(PDF, 11.5 MB)
- Cambodian(PDF, 1.17 MB)
- Chinese(PDF, 1.28 MB)
- English (PDF, 932 KB)
- Korean(PDF, 1.24 MB)
- Oromo/Oromoo (PDF, 1.15 MB)
- Somali/Soomaali (PDF, 1.16 MB)
- Spanish/Español (PDF, 1.16 MB)
- Tigrigna(PDF, 1.19 MB)
- Vietnamese(PDF, 1.11 MB)
Workshop on Living in an Urban Environment (August 5, 2008)
- Amharic(PDF, 1.91 MB)
- Cambodian(PDF, 160 KB)
- Chinese(PDF, 324 KB)
- English (PDF, 600 KB)
- Korean(PDF, 276 KB)
- Oromo/Oromoo (PDF, 152 KB)
- Somali/Soomaali (PDF, 168 KB)
- Spanish/Español (PDF, 172 KB)
- Tigrigna(PDF, 180 KB)
- Vietnamese(PDF, 124 KB)
Workshop on Housing and Living at Yesler Terrace (August 14, 2008)
- Amharic(PDF, 3.17 MB)
- Cambodian(PDF, 1.41 MB)
- Chinese(PDF, 1.53 MB)
- English (PDF, 1.32 MB)
- Korean(PDF, 1.40 MB)
- Oromo/Oromoo (PDF, 1.29 MB)
- Somali/Soomaali (PDF, 1.29 MB)
- Spanish/Español (PDF, 1.39 MB)
- Tigrigna(PDF, 1.42 MB)
- Vietnamese(PDF, 680 KB)
Workshop on Job Opportunities at Yesler Terrace (October 1, 2008)
- Amharic(PDF, 1.10 MB)
- Cambodian(PDF, 752 KB)
- Chinese(PDF, 912 KB)
- English (PDF, 756 KB)
- Korean(PDF, 764 KB)
- Oromo/Oromoo (PDF, 724 KB)
- Somali/Soomaali (PDF, 948 KB)
- Spanish/Español (PDF, 956 KB)
- Tigrigna(PDF, 764 KB)
- Vietnamese(PDF, 680 KB)
Workshop on Making Yesler Terrace Healthy and Safe (October 15, 2008)
- Amharic(PDF, 2.76 MB)
- Cambodian(PDF, 1.12 MB)
- Chinese(PDF, 1.10 MB)
- English (PDF, 928 KB)
- Korean(PDF, 1.15 MB)
- Oromo/Oromoo (PDF, 892 KB)
- Somali/Soomaali (PDF, 888 KB)
- Spanish/Español (PDF, 1.06 MB)
- Tigrigna(PDF, 892 KB)
- Vietnamese(PDF, 844 KB)
Yesler Terrace Background Report (September 2008)
Planning consultant CollinsWoerman prepared the “Yesler Terrace Background Report” in September 2008. This background report highlighted existing conditions that could affect strategic redevelopment.
Research focused on five dimensions of the neighborhood: physical, environment, social, economic and regulatory system.
Report findings have helped to guide team efforts through a common understanding of what is there today and how it came to be. The background report has been the foundation for subsequent strategic analysis leading to selection of a preferred redevelopment alternative. A six-page Executive Summary of the report available is available in PDF format:
- Amharic(PDF, 10.0 MB)
- Cambodian(PDF, 1.68 MB)
- Chinese(PDF, 1.78 MB)
- English (PDF, 652 KB)
- Korean(PDF, 1.76 MB)
- Oromo/Oromoo (PDF, 1.53 MB)
- Somali/Soomaali (PDF, 1.53 MB)
- Spanish/Español (PDF, 1.58 MB)
- Tigrigna(PDF, 1.69 MB)
- Vietnamese(PDF, 1.62 MB)
- Complete 102-page Yesler Terrace Background Report (PDF, 6.73 MB)
Planning Concepts (November 2008)
As part of the Seattle Housing Authority’s effort to redevelop Yesler Terrace, the Citizen Review Committee (CRC) was formed to develop definitions and guiding principles which would help direct the community’s vision for the redevelopment of Yesler Terrace. Using the CRC’s work as a source, the Seattle Housing Authority and a consultant team created draft planning concepts intended to stand in support of the committee’s recommendations. The concepts have been reviewed and discussed by the CRC and the community. The Planning Concepts were then published in November 2007.
The planning concepts for Yesler Terrace redevelopment are available in nine languages in additoin to English, in PDF format (download Adobe Reader).
- Amharic(PDF, 2.59 MB)
- Cambodian(PDF, 2.65 MB)
- Chinese(PDF, 3.07 MB)
- Korean(PDF, 2.93 MB)
- Oromo/Oromoo (PDF, 2.53 MB)
- Somali/Soomaali (PDF, 2.52 MB)
- Spanish/Español (PDF, 2.52 MB)
- Tigrigna(PDF, 3.53 MB)
- Vietnamese(PDF, 2.56 MB)
Planning elements overview (January 2009)
This overview presented a more detailed redevelopment schedule and illustrated key redevelopment elements, as they related to the Guiding Principles and planning goals.
- Yesler Terrace planning elements overview (PDF, 3.85 MB)
Urban design case studies & elements (February 2009)
Four urban design case studies were assembled by consultants CollinsWoerman, along with a collection of urban design elements. They were developed to offer intriguing ideas and components that could be integrated into the redeveloped Yesler Terrace.
- Urban design case studies and elements (PDF, 10.4 MB)
Local neighborhood studies (February 2009)
An exploration of two existing urban neighborhoods in Seattle—Belltown and First Hill—and how they compare to Yesler Terrace.
- Neighborhood studies (PDF, 3.02 MB)
Financial model overview (February 2009)
A summary of the Yesler Terrace financial model, including assumptions for costs, revenues, land use, and planning was presented to the Citizen Review Committee by Seattle Housing Authority’s financial consultants.
- Financial model overview (PDF, 88 KB)
Exploration of ideas (March 2009)
As part of the CRC’s consideration of various approaches to Yesler Terrace Redevelopment, a document was developed to explore concept variables related to redevelopment: building height/massing and open space.
- Exploration of ideas (PDF, 5.52 MB)
Concept variables and planning concepts (April 2009)
As the CRC began to explore the implications of various ideas for the redevelopment, consultants devloped a series of planning concepts to give committee members more concrete ideas about possible choices. Variables explored in the various concepts included topography, connections/edges, circulation, office uses, and retail uses. Three distinct planning concepts are outlined in this document.
- Concept Variables and Planning Concepts (PDF, 16.2 MB)
Evaluation of concepts (May 2009)
The Citizen Review Committee engaged in a participatory process to evaluate the three concepts presented in April 2009. The evaluations and comments from this exercise are summarized here.and refined by the CRC.
- Concept Evaluations (PDF, 5.35 MB)
Evaluation document (May 2009)
CRC members and Yesler Terrace residents evaluated three redevelopment concepts using seven criteria outlined in this document. CRC member and resident comments related to the concepts were noted. General questions were answered as well.
- Evaluations of concepts (PDF, 944 KB)
Evaluations summary (May 2009)
The evaluation report reflects thoughts from the CRC about the individual concept variables as well as each of the three preliminary concepts. These thoughts and comments were considered along with input from other stakeholders and consultants (i.e. City of Seattle Department of Planning and Development, Transportation, Utilities, Seattle Design Commission, the development community, financial consultants, etc.) to inform and guide the Yesler Terrace redevelopment plans.
- CRC Evaluations Summary (PDF, 5.55 MB).
Environmental Review Process
Beginning in late 2009, the Housing Authority worked with the City of Seattle and consultants to study the impacts of the redevelopment of Yesler Terrace on the surrounding enviroment. A wide variety of issues were studied. The formal process concluded in 2011 with the publication of the Final Environmental Impact Statment.
2010 Sustainable District Study
In partnership with Seattle Public Utilities, Seattle Housing commissioned a study by national experts in mid-2010 to evaluate the sustainability potential of the Yesler Terrace redevelopment.
Initial study findings indicate that opportunities are worth pursuing in the area of district heating, use of renewable energy sources and water re-use for potentially significant decreases in water usage.
2010 Renovation Cost Analysis
This study was conducted to estimate the costs associated with the replacement and rehabilitation of Yesler Terrace. The report is referered to in the Final EIS.