Land pfofits in 3 ez steps:

1) Buy sum land

2) git up-zone

3) sell it for hi-er ez profit

see also: American Life, Nitze Stagen
So lets see, we get slums replaced with some nice new buildings, density around a rail station, and more housing. Nah, fuck that. Lets see if we can convince people 20 miles from their jobs to bike or take a two hour bus ride. If we just guilt them enough they'll be bound to do it!

Sorry but if we actually want to get people away from driving then we need density near transit hubs and in places in close proximity to downtown.

God I hate neighborhood groups and their whiny NIMBYism.
Highest and Best Use should be compulorily Kantian - i.e. the highest and best use assuming everyone else did exactly the same thing. That wouldn't be 160' buildings there. This city needs to find a way to achieve density while preserving diversity, and this perverse notion of highest and best use taken totally out of context isn't going to get us there.
I love this case, because the NIMBYs have to fight the cognitive dissonance of, "no boarded up crumbling homes occupying an entire tragic block" versus "no new, residential buildings and probably retail!"

yet they'll still fight change

What do you guys think?
Must admit...I think it would be SO COOOOOL to own that many lots/land. Just look at that! All objections aside, I'm jealous.
I thought all of Seattle agreed not to talk about this until old man Sisley kicked the bucket?

Ha, Sisley is the winner no matter what. They can't condemn his property unless the Ballard Bear lives in it, they can't force him to sell, they can't sue and he's within his rights to request a certain height.

The neighborhood association is even further down the food chain.

Sisley the loser for the win.
Nice new buildings would be great. I just don't want him to build 16 stories of utter crap so he can densely populate the area with the kind of people he rented those houses to. For you people who don't live in the area, check out the history of the guy and his contribution to the neighborhood before you go accusing the people who live nearby of NIMBYism. His places were slums before they got closed down; it's what he's all about.
I live 4 blocks from there. I think most of the neighborhood agrees that increased density is a good thing. The neighborhood association fought for, not against, the light rail station and has been very proactive in working with developers in the past. The neighborhood association is actively working on a sustainability plan, and was listed as the most walkable neighborhood in Seattle outside of downtown/belltown.

Opposing the development proposed by Sisley and his partners is not simple NIMBYism. 160 feet is frankly ridiculous in that location. It would leave Roosevelt High School in shadow most of the day and completely overwhelm the surrounding neighborhood. This is also complicated by Sisley's history of neglect and abuse of the neighborhood. A 160 foot tall building would be bad enough - one that is an eyesore, poorly maintained, and allowed to fester would be even worse.

I suspect most of the neighborhood would be happy to accept reasonable development - similar to the Dwell condominiums just one block up 65th. This location would be ideal for increased mixed use density, not hulking tenements.
Betty Macdonald's depression-era home, the one she lived in during the time of "Anybody can do Anything" is one of those houses that is south of 65th on 15th.
Whoever builds these things will be committing financial suicide. There is no market for housing like that. And, there won't be for a while.
The NIMBYs are only complaining about the height. There's no specific plan yet. If he designs towering slums, they can be rejected through the design review process. There are no views near these lots; they're right next to a freeway bridge. These buildings would be perfect for the neighborhood (assuming good ground level retail).

Ugh, why doesn't Jim O'Halloran move to Maple Valley?!
160' on the north side of 65th west of 15th would be fine with me. but there's no way in hell his upzone will be granted. who the fuck told him there'd be a market for this product, anyway?
@2: Enough with the knee-jerk criticism. Just because someone doesn't want some out-of-scale towers plopped into a neighborhood doesn't make them advocates of vast sprawl and global warming. They may just want development done right.
There's going to be a huge market for this. They won't be finished for 10 years probably, and it will be right next to one of three light rail stations in north (read: white) Seattle residential neighborhoods. Fast, reliable mass transit to downtown, Broadway, the Ave, Northgate, Microsoft, Sea-Tac... if the prices are reasonable, there will be waiting lists to fill up these properties. There's already some good dense retail on NE 65th and Roosevelt.
160 feet or 16 stories or whatever may not necessarily be hugely more dense compared to something. The Rollin's project on Denny is just 11 stories but has far more units on the same lot size as the 33-story Escala Project on Lenora.

It's all about massing, etc.
That's where the fruit stand is.

Just down the street are a bunch of vacant, larger-scale residential projects that either are sitting near-vacant or couldn't find financing -- sometimes, leading to a mid-construction stall or pullout. Seattle Times reported today:…

I severely doubt that any project of this scope could find takers in this economic environment. Knock those things down and build a park, I say.
NIMBYs always deny being NIMBYs.

That's what makes a NIMBY a NIMBY!

It's laughable, because by definition, it is always like that. hahahahahaha
@12 Slums aren't designed. Places become slums when slumlords like Sisley are running them. If this was a different landlord, i.e. someone who doesn't have an established reputation for everything he touches turning to shit, I might be less sympathetic to the neighbors. But considering who it is, I don't think they're wrong to fight this. Those houses in the picture above probably looked great when they were first built, you know what I mean?
SLOG who post about how needed and beautiful this housing will be must look at this post:
Sisley's intentionally letting these properties go to shit so he can get his plans passed. Don't know if he'll get away with it or not, but it seems like the city could levy fines against him on the basis of nuisance properties:…

...that is, if Nickels cared. Maybe someone should go sit in front of these houses with an open container and a pipe.
@14 I thought we were supposed to making sacrifices. Oh right its only other people that have to accept a change in lifestyle. This is the perfect area for such things. You have retail corridor, light rail access, and a high demand for housing in the area.

I love how people argue that we all have to give up our cars, large houses, ect and make dramatic changes in how we live, but god forbid you have some large buildings near you that might cast a shadow for a couple hours a day.
The chorus of "Sisley slum-lorded these places!" are really far off of the mark.

When you plan on having properties ready for development, you discontinue renting them. You vacate. You prepare for demolition. They're ready to go now, whether they are 16 story towers or 6.

We see this every day with lots that are closed. How this translates into being a slumlord is a stretch. But your feet-dragging in bullshit is still bogged down though, so I guess you're accomplishing...something?
@22 Right because who doesn't want to read another boring ass blog about how they don't like all these crazy colors people use these days.

Blah blah blah.
NIMBYs move to Duvall. Go!
Just wait until the motherfucker dies. Then someone who's not a crackpot will buy the land and develop it. The Stranger did a story on this project a while back. The 160' upzone isn't even half with what's wrong with the plan.
All your base are belong to density.

At least they won't build 4 story then 6 story then 8 story then 12 story before getting to a reasonable height ...
They are no where NEAR a freeway bridge, that's ridiculous! They're a block away from the 4 story Roosevelt High School! There's nothing above about 5 stories anywhere near them.

And they didn't become slums after they were vacated, they were active drug houses for ages. He had an Aryan nation guy as a property manager.

Please, read up on Sisley - we're not just against development at all.……

When's that Roosevelt light rail station scheduled to open? Is it 2042?
Your desperation is really unbecoming, 30
@31 -- Last I heard it was somewhere around 2016.

I live down in Greenlake on the other side of I-5 (which is probably what people are referring to the as "freeway bridge") and these houses are a complete eyesore. I would hate to see our local fruit stand go away, and 16 stories seems a little excessive, but something needs to be done.
@32, it's my neighborhood, asshole. My kid and I have to live with whatever Sisley gets away with.
Just wait for him to die.

And yes, this NIMBYism is well-founded. As a developer, Sisely is a coot. Anything he designs will be a big box using every possible bit of space to cram tiny apartments in. Sisely is a slumlord. He'd buy up a 1000 sq ft 2 or 3 bedroom house and carve out 8 bedrooms, some with nothing more than plywood between them. Then rent out all eight as "rooms to share". Sometimes this meant 12 people living in a house meant for a small family. He has no scruples, renting to drug dealers and whores in the same house where a desperate single mother thought she found respite. He assigns the least ethical, malicious, or even violent tenant be the caretaker.

The reason these houses are vacant today is not because he is awaiting to tear them down, but because the city finally enforced it's rental housing laws. He won't fix the situation, so they rot.

Fuck him. Let him die. See also: Sam Israel.
@33: Doubt it. 2016 is when the Husky Stadium station is scheduled to open. As far as I know the Brooklyn, Roosevelt and Northgate stations are barely off the cocktail napkin. That's why I'm thinking 2042.
@30 - that's where they're building the Roosevelt Light Rail station - building 16 story residential apartment buildings right next to a station makes perfect sense.

And, yes, it does mean when the Roosevelt Roughriders go for a long pass during a football game it might hit someone at the station.
Gotta say all the NIMBY talk is crap. The hood fought hard for years to get the rail station put there instead of by the freeway, knowing full well that upzones would follow. Just not crazy upzones.
Sisley is a notorious slime ball. And he's old. I say wait him out. He'll be dead soon. The statistical likelihood of him living more than another 5 years isn't very good. There is at least some chance that his heirs won't be complete slime.

All the city needs to do is stall and let nature take it's course.
Hey Patti, screw you and your neighborhood junta. The neighborhood association BS that has to be dealt with in order to get anything done in this city would be comical if it didn't waste so much time and money. It looks to me like the 65th/15th intersection is less than 1/2 a mile from I-5, so I am not sure what that argument is about.

How about we buy the land and make it the permanent tent city? We could probably collapse them all to one spot, and there is alredy electriciy and other utilities present -- it would be great! How bout it? Are you still going to claim you aren't a bunch of NIMBY's?? That's what I figured.
I'd rather have a tent city. Generally the surrounding communities and churches are involved with tent cities, and they do good things for people who are struggling. If you actually read the comments, you'd see that the neighborhood is FOR density, FOR the light rail station, FOR development - but against someone like Sisley strip-mining the neighborhood for profit.
I've got an idea Good Grief, how's about you go and fuck yourself?


Don't trust fucking slum lords...they're cockroaches. This guy turned a perfectly decent couple of blocks of vintage-looking homes into a shit hole. You think he wouldn't do the same to a 16 story pigeon coop?
I suspect some of the troll posts here calling NIMBYism are from the developers affiliated with Sisley. I'm at the neighborhood meeting with the Roosevelt Development Group tonight- will post details if any are given.
Thanks Stone - that just occurred to me, too, right after I did a facepalm about letting myself get mad at an anonymous tool in the internet. I'll be interested to hear what you find out tonight.
Patti dear, part of fighting things like this is throwing up obstacles. Like historical designations and landmark status. Did I mention that noted northwest author Betty MacDonald used to live in one of the houses? Do you know who she was? She has a surprisingly large following....…
Notes from neighborhood mtg tonight:

Start of city comment period- designed to establish the scope of environmental impact statement (EIS), not to evaluate rezone application or development plan (yet). Public meeting 6/9 6pm @ Calvary Christian to discuss scoping.

Study area will include neighboring blocks closer to station on 12th as well.

EIS will include all properties controlled by RDA group or owned by Sisley, not just the 160ft block. The heights used in the EIS are not necessarily the heights that will be in an eventual rezone application. Multiple alternatives will be included in EIS with a range of heights and zoning designation. The neighborhood association plan was not included as one of these alternatives by the developer, but appears to have been added by the city.

Variables in EIS covers physical, not estheric criteria. Criteria include: Height, shadow, bulk and scale, traffic, parking, density.

The next step following scoping will be a draft EIS.

Property must be rental, not condos, as land is leased from Sisley.
Plan for storefronts on 1st floor, possibly on 15th and 66th due to foot traffic to future rail station.

Northgate EIS draft went to 120ft, may go up to 160ft in rezone. Highest currently built is 85. Northgate is an urban center, as opposed to urban village (Roosevelt's designation).
Another thought from the neighborhood meeting with the developers - I can't imagine that the developers actually intend to build a 16 story apartment building in that locations. I suspect the proposal is for that high a building for two reasons:

1) The developers were asked about their agreement with Sisley. They stated that they could not reveal anything about that agreement due to contractual obligations. Knowing Sisley's history, I wouldn't be surprised if part of the 99 year leasing agreement states that the developers are required to seek the maximum possible utilization of the land, or else lose the lease. If they ask for a 160ft rezone, they would meet their obligation to Sisley.

2) There is no way that a 16 story building could ever be financially viable in Roosevelt - the market in that area simply wouldn't support it (even with a future light rail station and assuming economic recovery). Even Northgate isn't going so high. I have to think that the developers are using the 160ft request as a straw horse. That way, when they work on a contractual rezone with the city they can get an 85 foot rezone, rather than the 60ft or 40ft rezone they might get if they started with a lower proposed height.
Timing of the closure of R & R Hardware (also his) a coincidence?
The accusations of NIMBYism are right on, dudes. But a funny thing happens when you own property. You mow the lawn and plant flowers. You paint the front door. You buy a property because you like the house and the neighborhood. OR, you like it go to hell like Sisley.
You even like the neighborhood where walk to the bus or to dinner. Pretty soon your kids are walking to school, and if you see signs of deterioration in the neighborhood: crime, graffiti, etc, you talk with the neighbors and try to set things right, OR you let it go because you live in another neighborhood, like Sisley.
When something like light rail comes along you promote it and you work with the community to promote sensible development and growth in and around the transit station and the neighborhood core, or you come up with a plan to let your properties look so bad the outside public opinion will demand that they say make that slummy neighborhood clean it up in any way possible.
If you own, any where, NIMBYism is an important part of better neighborhoods all across the country. If you are a short term renter, you have now stake in how towns and cities grow and thrive, or how they call in to ruin.
So let fly with your quips, you anonymous posters. Your posts are very clever and entertaining. For my part, I’ll continue to be proactive in the future of my neighborhood and proud of doing so.
We should upzone the entire city to 400 feet or so, and mercilessly mock Seattle homeowners who think they have a right to a say in their neighbors' property. Oh and road tolls would be another great way to fuck with them.
Luke: no we shouldn't.

It wouldn't hurt, however, to upzone say about 5% of the 75% of the land that is single family zoning.

Hey I'd love to have a single family home with 5 minute walking access to a train station four subway stops from downtown, 13 minutes, woo hoo!!!

Where those train stations are PAID FOR BY SOMEONE ELSE.

You are acting rationally in your self interest. Own it and stop with the sob stories about a changing neighborhood. All you have to do is move to a similar Craftsman house 20 blocks away. But what we did was spend $4 billion on a train line. We can't move it somewhere else. Why should you capture the benefit of that?
Sisley bought the houses with the expectation that the transit system would build a station at NE 65th and 15th NE. When the "experts" , the merchants , and the people who actually live here agreed that a station further west made sense. The once livable housing was strung with non-code wiring , rotting steps , shared shoddy rooms and a small bathroom for 10 or more people charged $700/month rents . Building inspectors were kept out . Instant slum .
The way you treated people and property in the past is relevant . Seattle has had more than 30 years of this kind of abuse in this area. The area doesn't need another 99 years of the same.
Please look at some of the new construction in areas that have had zoning "upgrades". A small fire in one unit would destroy housing for 20 units. We have no design system. George
PC "Why should you capture the benefit of that?"

I'm not sure who you are asking this question. But here's an answer. The people of the Roosevelt community spent years on an open plan for when the transit route was determined. They asked for transit and agreed to upzone. When the 12th Ave location was selected they spent 2 1/2 years more working on a plan. We the people that live here have a plan to supply the necessary density in places where we the people want it.
We don't need someone from California, or Spokane or West Seattle dictating where are density should be. Had you been a part of that plan, you would understand it. If you own property in a neighborhood, you should understand that.

The landowner has ruined many Craftsman homes by neglect. This inane plan will ruin many more. That is why planning exists.
R and R Hardware is owned by Hugh Sisley's Brother, Drake Sisley. Drake also co-owns some of Hugh's properties. Hugh used to live in the neighborhood, yet did not maintain any of the rentals he owned, whether they were next door to him, or across the street. He slowly corroded the Roosevelt neighborhood with his slum units until Homeowners next door were forced to sell their severely depreciated brick beauties. Seattle Fire/Police Dept. has logged over 100 calls at his dilapidated spectacles over the years. (Drug OD's, Murders, fires, rapes, gunshots, etc) He got away with breaking city housing codes by making tenants sign a form that they were joining a "club" therefore making them ineligible for protection under the Landlord/tenant laws of Seattle and eliminating his liability. Everyone of his houses have or will eventually implode onto themselves due to the extreme lack of neglect he has shown. Just like a hoarder, there is a sickness to the way Mr. Sisley thinks.

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