A staid 1960s mall and its surroundings have been transformed into a $1 billion, 94-acre urban destination—located on two major parcels separated by an arterial street—for one of the country’s fastest-growing metropolitan areas. At North Hills, a finely balanced mix of uses surrounds parks, plazas, and walkable streets. In all, visitors will find 988,500 square feet of lifestyle and convenience retail, dining, and entertainment; 1,056,000 square feet of office space; 920 residential units; and 366 hotel rooms. The careful arrangement of uses, both vertically and horizontally, allows boutiques and fine dining to coexist at North Hills with parking garages, office space, and large-format retailers. Local developer Kane Realty began the project in 1999 by repositioning a modest retail strip and then demolishing the mall and assembling adjacent parcels for redevelopment. In the years since, the project scope has steadily evolved to encompass a broad, long-term vision of a 24-hour, high-rise urban district.
Spearheaded by Capitol Hill Housing, 12th Avenue Arts is a mixed-use development that combines affordable housing with space for restaurants, offices, and performing arts. The building includes 88 residential units, two black-box theaters, 5,457 square feet of restaurant space, and 17,027 square feet of office space on 0.67 acre of land formerly used as a police vehicle parking lot.
The surrounding Capitol Hill neighborhood is known for its high density as well as its artistic, bohemian character, which 12th Avenue Arts supports by catering to small businesses and local performing arts organizations. The land was acquired at no cost from the Seattle Police Department, with a stipulation that the new development provide an underground parking garage for police vehicles. The decades-long development process involved extensive negotiations and community input, but it worked to Capitol Hill Housing’s benefit by creating a ready pool of tenants eager to put the new space to use.