Our Experience at Work

Real Estate, Land Use and Environmental Legal Counsel Creates a New Zone for Yesler Terrace

The redevelopment of the 40-acre Yesler Terrace site in Seattle posed unique challenges requiring thoughtful and creative solutions from HCMP land use, environmental, and real estate attorneys.

The aging housing stock at Yesler Terrace was nearing the end of its useful life. The challenge was how to replace that housing, build even more affordable housing in a context of shrinking federal resources, and advance best practices for creating a new mixed use, mixed income neighborhood in the heart of a developed city. Seattle had not experienced this type of redevelopment on such a large scale for many decades.Representing the Seattle Housing Authority (SHA), and working closely with City of Seattle officials, HCMP helped create an entirely new zone for Yesler Terrace, called Master Planned Community, with unique flexibility, development standards, and design review procedures. Environmental review was accomplished through a Planned Action approach in State and Local law – the first time the City ever used that comprehensive approach which facilitates and expedites implementation of future development projects.

HCMP oversaw the subdivision of the site, the street vacation process, and documentation of infrastructure requirements in order to position the site for future development by SHA and private developers. In follow up work, HCMP has represented SHA in real estate transactions with private developers who have bought parcels or entire blocks within the new Yesler Terrace. HCMP has also assisted in obtaining entitlements for build out of several new residential buildings at Yesler Terrace.