After two years of neighborhood in-fighting, city lobbying, and torturously long debate, today the Seattle City Council granted El Centro de la Raza's petition to build a 65-foot mixed use building on its Beacon Hill property—right next to the Beacon Hill light rail station. The development will include 115 units of affordable housing, a cultural performance center, and office and commercial space, according to the civil rights organization's executive director, Estella Ortega.
"We've seen the [building] designs, they look very neat!" enthused council member Richard Conlin. All eight present council members (Rasmussen was absent) voted to approve the change today, prompting eruptive applause in the Council Chambers.
"This decision comes just in time for us in celebrating our 40th anniversary," Ortega explained. "We're meeting with architects next week."
Neighbors famously fought the change in 2010 by arguing that giving El Centro an extra 25 feet of building height (the former limit was 40 feet) would result in a "loss of breathable space" as well as "other aesthetic impacts."