Thornton Place - Seattle, Washington, USA
The Challenge For years, the character of the Northgate neighborhood in North Seattle has been largely defined by an outdated shopping mall, low density retail, and a mixture of single family and low-grade multifamily buildings. In 2001, however, Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels made the revitalization of the Northgate neighborhood one of his top priorities. At the heart of this revitalization effort was the south parking lot of the Northgate Mall, which included an 8-acre lot of empty asphalt and a Metro Park-N-Ride. While several developers had attempted to initiate projects on the land, a combination of factors resulted in the land remaining undeveloped for decades.
The Strategy In 2003, working with the city of Seattle, Northgate Mall, King County Metro, and local stakeholder groups, an agreement was brokered whereby 5.9 acres were purchased to develop a transit-oriented, mixed-use project. Having targeted urban infill as a niche opportunity a year earlier, Stellar Holdings took advantage of the opportunity to become the primary investor in the project.
The Results Completed in 2009, Thornton Place plays a pivotal role in the revitalization of Northgate into a more pedestrian-friendly neighborhood with public art and outdoor gathering spots. Specifically, it brings to the market:
- 387 affordable and market rate, LEED Silver-certified apartments
- A 14-screen Regal cinema including IMAX
- A 20k square foot flagship UW Medicine Neighborhood Clinic
- 30,000 square feet of retail
- The 2.9-acre senior housing development, Aljoya
With several means of efficient transportation just at Thornton Place's doorstep, residents and tenants can easily connect with major employment hubs north of Seattle, downtown, or the Eastside. With a 13-minute commute to downtown on the future light rail, 15 bus routes with over 1,000 buses that pass through the Northgate transit station daily and over 200 zip car locations throughout the city of Seattle, residents at Thornton Place spend more time enjoying life than sitting in their cars.
As part of Stellar’s continued commitment to sustainability, Thornton Place was awarded the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED Silver Certification for the Neighborhood Development Program. As part of the program, the Thornton Creek Water Quality Channel was re-created where Thornton Creek once ran. The water from the creek, buried underneath the asphalt of Northgate Mall's south parking lot for the last 50 years was restructured to flow through the greenbelt as a manmade stream. It naturally filters watershed drainage as it passes through vegetation in the streambed ultimately reducing pollution in Thornton Creek. This has resulted in multiple species of fauna, birds, and animals returning to the area previously occupied by asphalt and water run off. The goal of a combination of investment and sustainability continues - what was first a cranberry bog for early Northwest settlers with a creek running through it has now been brought back to life as the vibrant new community known as Thornton Place.