This Thursday: Seattle Design Commission Debates The Convention Center Expansion

WSCC Addition Render, aerial view from Capitol Hill

The Washington State Convention Center (WSCC) will present an updated public benefits proposal to the Seattle Design Commission this Thursday, May 18th, 9:00 AM, at Seattle City Hall Room L2-80.

We are a coalition of nonprofits, community organizations, and advocacy groups serving neighborhoods adjacent to the proposed WSCC Addition. We collectively represent thousands of Seattleites dedicated to creating a more attractive, safe, livable and affordable city center.

The WSCC Addition will permanently reshape a large part of Seattle’s urban core. We believe the project’s size, central location, public ownership, and extensive request for public right-of-way compels the WSCC to offer an accordingly large-scale public benefit package for our community. Based on the benefits associated with other recent large development projects in Downtown, we anticipate the WSCC must offer a public benefits package valued in the range of $60-75 million, independent of required fees and environmental mitigation.

Since we first announced the Community Package in February, the WSCC has failed to revise their proposal to be commensurate with the vacation petition. Their current offer remains well short of the expectations of the City and community members. City Council is ready to fight for an appropriate suite of benefits for public parks, safe streets, and affordable housing, but they first need the recommendation of the Design Commission.

The Community Package Benefits Map. Affordable housing within one mile, additional potential I-5 lid study areas, and the I-5 overpasses “kit of parts” are not shown.

RSVP on Facebook to let us know you’re coming! The session runs 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM, but if you can only stay a short time the presentation and public comment period will be early on. We will send a strong message by filling the room with supporters. We’ll be handing out buttons so you can identify yourself as part of the Community Package Coalition, and we ask that you stand with us as we deliver our message that this once-in-a-generation development opportunity should serve the greatest public good.

Can’t make it in person? Please send a message to the Design Commission supporting the Community Package via If you don’t have time to send a personalized message, you can also sign the Community Package petition.

If you believe in fighting for more parks, safer crossings for people walking and biking, and affordable homes for working families, then join us next Thursday to show your support.

Feature image credit to LMN Architects.

We hope you loved this article. If so, please consider subscribing or donating. The Urbanist is a 501(c)(4) nonprofit that depends on donations from readers like you.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Mike Carr

The Community Package Coalition is too Capitol Hill centric. Making demands upon the City and Developers for the benefit of 1 neighborhood is just getting old. It’s selfish and absurd. This looks like a play to squeeze more $’s to benefit a few. If people think the WSCC needs to fork over dollars to the City for impacts due to their new expansion, then spread the benefits to all neighborhoods in the city. City is much bigger than 1/2 mile radius around the WSCC. Time for this city to get real.


Really need a protected bike lane on Howell as well, that will connect to protected bike lanes on eastlake that run all the way to UW.