Sound Transit Roosevelt Station Transit Oriented Development

Seattle, WA / 2016

In partnership with the City of Seattle and the Roosevelt Neighborhood Association, Sound Transit engaged Seva staff members to identify opportunities for transit-oriented development on future surplus land next to the Roosevelt light rail station. Key considerations included how to best incorporate affordable and market rate housing, preferred ground-floor uses, and surrounding street improvement for this three-quarter block development parcel adjacent to an urban neighborhood transit facility.

Seva staff members provided meeting design, facilitation, and community outreach services to engage neighbors, service providers, agency planners, and housing developers around architectural and urban design considerations for future development of a large urban parcel. We produced a series of three hands-on charrettes, identifying and recruiting key participants to develop programming and evaluation criteria, project principles, and a prioritized set of ground-floor and streetscape design concepts. Working alongside design professionals, Seva staff facilitated the activities of participants in working small groups. For each event, we prepared annotated agendas, presentations, workshop activities, and recording templates to ensure each group produced focused, meaningful, and organized recommendations.

We also designed and hosted two open houses, generating additional ideas and considerations while confirming widespread support for the preferred uses, project benefits, and transportation improvements in the surrounding neighborhood. For each of these events, we prepared exhibits showing how the station would integrate into the neighborhood fabric. These helped participants identify streets most desirable for pedestrian access, those for dedicated bicycle routes and others for service and automobile access. To ensure accountability and follow-through, we thoroughly documented the process and resulting community preferences. These provided the basis for development of project principles included in a Request for Proposals for ultimate site development.

This critical phase in the project won the Forterra Smart Growth award from FutureWise, who cited the highly collaborative engagement process as a model for generating support for increasing density with low-income housing and supportive services in a residential neighborhood.


Opened in 2022, Cedar Crossing provides 254 affordable housing units at Roosevelt Station’s north entrance, including 91 two-and three-bedroom units for families. These affordable units are among 1,626 new housing units added to the Roosevelt urban village since early 2016, creating a total of 3,346 homes within an easy walk of light rail.

The ground floor of Cedar Crossing includes several retail spaces, a bilingual childcare center run by El Centro de la Raza, and an all-ages playground for residents.

The development includes a green roof with solar panels and meets Washington State Evergreen Sustainable Development Standards. Cedar Crossing has fewer than 75 parking stalls and provides storage for at least one bicycle per unit. 

The Roosevelt Neighborhood Association credits the project’s success to the stakeholder process that helped shape the vision for the heart of the neighborhood.


Photos: Sound Transit

“...a model for other neighborhoods that will soon be touched by transit access… driving an inclusive process for planning around the new Roosevelt Station that encourages affordable housing, sustainable design, and a focus on community principles.”
FutureWise Livable Communities Award
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