Tuesday evening, as a LUOA delegation was briefing a local group of neighbors about the rezoning and EIS process, a resident in attendance described what she would like to see at the lakes edge. It was a vibrant destination of retail shops, restaurants, galleries and the like. The environment she likened it to was something along the lines of University Village.
As you might imagine it was quickly dubbed Lake Union Village and the “LUV” became quite a hit. This was just before presenting LUOA’s suggestion for quarter block development (seen above) as a possibility of how the Lake Union waterfront could be developed.
The vibrancy that could be created in this quartered block environment really brought a lot of excitement to the meeting. That vibrancy is exactly what South Lake Union needs to bring it to life! Amazon has moved in and we look forward to other great companies joining them in the future as unofficial growth targets in the Draft EIS could call for a dramatic increase in employment in SLU. But the same unofficial growth targets in the Draft EIS (see page 2-8 and 2-9) call for an even greater percentage increase in residential population throughout the neighborhood so it can’t all be office parks. Development for diversified, residential housing will be coming into the mix and that calls for even more vibrancy and a defined neighborhood center.
Without a solid vision and proper planning, South Lake Union could miss its opportunity to define its core – the heart of the neighborhood. With the Center for Wooden Boats, the recently completed
Lake Union Park, and MOHAI on the way in to occupy the armory building, what better place is there than the waterfront?!LUOA has maintained that the blocks surrounding the lake are a special place and we believe they deserve special treatment. An extraordinary development plan in this area will add extraordinary value to the rest of the neighborhood and could clinch the draw to this up and coming area.
Remember: The mere act of building housing units in a neighborhood does not make that neighborhood a great place to live. If the vibrancy is brought to South Lake Union, the growth will not only come, but it will keep coming and stay for good!