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Real Estate

Brian Miller
Real Estate Editor
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August 24, 2023

On the Block: King County contemplates SoDo bus/jail combo

Back in March, King County announced its Civic Campus Initiative, an expanded and more ambitious rebranding of the prior downtown campus modernization plan. That had been hatched pre-pandemic, with the goal of creating more housing downtown. This spring, I wrote facetiously, Why not move the jail and courthouse to Mercer Island? Then use all that precious downtown real estate for housing.

King County Executive Dow Constantine apparently read my mind — except for Mercer Island now becoming SoDo. Constantine sat down to chat this week with The Seattle Times, after the latter impressively excavated a series of presentations seen at non-public meetings of a hitherto unreported advisory group. Dow's not committing to any of the scenarios below, and may well be retired from office before anything gets built. But he and the King County Council will launch a process that could radically reshape downtown — and SoDo, too.

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