SLU building heights will be capped at 16 stories

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by LINDA BRILL / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on April 22, 2013 at 6:17 PM

Updated Monday, Apr 22 at 7:25 PM

After all the build-up on South Lake Union, will you be able to see the Space Needle?

After Monday's crucial council vote, we have a better idea of what the final building heights will be in the neighborhood.

Ending years of rezone study and debate, Seattle City Council has decided on how tall buildings will be and how much developers will have to pay to build that high.

The three controversial Mercer Street towers, right across the street from the lake, will be capped at 16 stories.

That's eight stories lower than Mayor Mike McGinn and development company Vulcan had originally proposed.

For years, opponents fought new heights, concerned about Space Needle views and shadows.

Now, most opponents support the 16-story limit.

"160 foot, 16 stories isn't insignificant, but it's part of progress and if they're done well, it will be  good for the neighborhood." says John Pehrson, with SLU Opportunity Alliance.

The City Council decided on a price per foot.  In return for going taller, developers have to give something back in the form of money for low income housing.

"So minimum wage workers and low income families can also live in that neighborhood." according to Stina Janssen of the Tenants Union of Washington.

Developers will pay a fee of $21.68 for every residential square foot built above the existing limits.

It will be slightly more for office development.

 

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