Station area planning is a city program that aims to better incorporate light rail into neighboring areas once Sound Transit’s East Link light rail extension is operational.
The Spring District/120th Station (formerly 120th Avenue Northeast Station) will be in the Spring District, a master-planned development of dense, mixed-uses, predominantly office space. The area will also include new residential uses and parks and open spaces, including restoration of the West Tributary of Kelsey Creek. The light rail station will be in a retained cut between 120th and 124th avenues, just north of a new Northeast 15th Street.
Station area planning for the Spring District/120th station was achieved through the BelRed Subarea Plan process. The City undertook a major planning effort to update the vision and plan for the future of BelRed Corridor. Guided by a citizens steering committee and with extensive public involvement, the BelRed Subarea Plan was approved in 2009.
The BelRed Corridor Plan provides for the transformation of a 900-acre urban infill site into mixed use, transit-oriented development, while restoring ecological functions, and creating thousands of new jobs and housing units. Higher density, compact development will be the focus of new neighborhoods, organized around transit station and connected by a high capacity transit line that spans the corridor.
The City is conducting a "BelRed Look Back" process by reviewing what has happened in BelRed since adoption of the subarea plan and code regulations to identify implementation strategies that are working well and those that may need adjustment to more effectively achieve the city's vision for BelRed.
As for station area planning, the following were considered:
- Primarily light industrial uses.
- Large flat expanses of concrete and asphalt.
- Auto-dependent, designed for larger trucks and buses.
- Spring District development will include 900 residential units, over 3 million square feet of office space at build out, and will also include retail and open space.
- Additional mixed-use development potential on adjacent properties
- Mixed residential, retail and office in transit-oriented development
- Buildings up to 150 feet tall
- Walking routes to station on 120th and 124th avenues and future Northeast 15th Street.
- New Northeast 15th Street between 120th and 124th avenues will provide an important connection.
- Plaza and open space adjacent and south of station will also be a pedestrian corridor.
- Multi-use path and bike lanes on 120th and 124th avenues connecting with routes to downtown, trail north of station and east in Northeast 15th/16th Street corridor.
- Station integrated into Spring District development (future urban village, i.e. urban character, pedestrian-oriented, mixed use).
- Design and layout that is easy, inviting and safe for pedestrians to access.