Sunday, October 19, 2008

Urban Village Nearing Completion

Photo & Text Copyright 2008 Seattle Daily Photo. All rights reserved, including reproduction or republishing.

I hadn't been out to the Northgate area much in the past couple years, so when I was in the neighborhood recently and saw this mammoth, gargantuan, behemoth hive of construction going on I had to wonder what it was. Well, it's name is Thornton Place (click for layout). The tall building in the right foreground of this photo will be 143 residences for seniors. You can just see the third floor and roofs of the gray buildings housing 121 condominiums. They are in two semicircular rows The outer one will face a small greenbelt and man-made creek using diverted water from a formerly culverted portion of the Thornton Creek watershed. The other two six story buildings you see are at either end of the two horseshoes of condos and the adverts say they will contain 266 apartments. There will be a common plaza area between, and the tallest building at the back (yellow visible on the left) will be a 14 screen IMAX cinema and 50,000 square feet of new retail space. The development comprises 6 acres, and it is thought will house about 600 people and be "green" certified LEED Silver. It is across the street from the newly expanded Northgate Mall and adjacent to the Northgate Transit Center (yesterday's photo). It is also within view and sound of I-5 and mere yards from its north and south freeway on-ramps. I will be curious to see how this urban village experiment pans out for its residents, and how it shapes the existing neighborhood. A few things occurred to me, but may have already been thought through by the developers and the surrounding community that aren't readily apparent. Except for the small greenbelt and creek, there do not appear to be any spaces where children might play, and for people of any age, the exterior quarters appear to be quite close. Two car households might find parking their second vehicle nearby a challenge. And, if you ever wanted to open a grocery store or quickie mart, this might be an opportune moment to look for space in the Northgate area, as there is currently only one large food market within a several mile radius. Come next year, about 600 new folks are gonna need to stock their new fridges ;^).


USelaine said...

Looks like a great place to install a community garden for some of that food! 8^)

Kim said...

Ah Elaine, I hadn't thought about that. There is a P-Patch community garden one neighborhood over in Pinehurst, but getting an available plot in those can take awhile, I understand. I wonder if any of these urban villagers will get into square-foot (inch?) or container gardening on their patios/decks. Well, they could probably sponsor their own new seasonal farmer's market location right on their own community plaza.:-)

Dan Howitt said...

Cool black and white photo!
Dan Howitt

Laurie said...

This is a great shot!