Category Archives: Snoqualmie Pass Homes

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Mortgage, and the Economy – Seattle Market In Top 10 Million-Dollar Homes

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com

(Realtor.com Illustration)
With a shortage of available homes for sale and bidding wars driving up the price on whatever does hit the market, Seattle is part of an exclusive list of cities boasting a large increase in its share of million-dollar listings.
According to new data from Realtor.com, the share of homes listed for $1 million and over is steadily on the rise across the U.S., and it has increased from 3.2 percent to 4.3 percent from the first quarter of 2014 to the first quarter of 2017.
Seattle ranks eighth among 10 cities cited for the biggest percentage gain. The city saw its share of $1 million-plus homes in 2017 rise to 7.7 percent — up 2.4 percent from 2014. Realtor.com says Seattle’s “tech wealthy” and “global affluent” population is on the rise and good deals are being snatched in a hurry.
“Even once unimpressive neighborhoods like Ballard and Delridge have also seen dramatic shifts of late,” the website said. “Bungalows have been torn down to make room for new development. Newly constructed luxury condos and renovated century-old homes are proving extremely popular, thanks to their proximity to downtown and high-tech employers.”
Denver leads the list thanks to a booming tech scene of its own, coupled with great outdoor recreation, legal marijuana, an influx of Californians and more. Nearly one in 10 homes in the city’s metro area was listed for $1 million or more in the first quarter of this year.
Realtor.com ranked more than 900 metropolitan areas as part of its data research, focusing on growth, not just luxury. This ruled out places that were already super rich, such as Aspen, Colo. And for geographical diversity, the list was also limited to two metros in every state.






Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Mortgage, and the Economy – Seattle Market In Top 10 Million-Dollar Homes

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com

(Realtor.com Illustration)
With a shortage of available homes for sale and bidding wars driving up the price on whatever does hit the market, Seattle is part of an exclusive list of cities boasting a large increase in its share of million-dollar listings.
According to new data from Realtor.com, the share of homes listed for $1 million and over is steadily on the rise across the U.S., and it has increased from 3.2 percent to 4.3 percent from the first quarter of 2014 to the first quarter of 2017.
Seattle ranks eighth among 10 cities cited for the biggest percentage gain. The city saw its share of $1 million-plus homes in 2017 rise to 7.7 percent — up 2.4 percent from 2014. Realtor.com says Seattle’s “tech wealthy” and “global affluent” population is on the rise and good deals are being snatched in a hurry.
“Even once unimpressive neighborhoods like Ballard and Delridge have also seen dramatic shifts of late,” the website said. “Bungalows have been torn down to make room for new development. Newly constructed luxury condos and renovated century-old homes are proving extremely popular, thanks to their proximity to downtown and high-tech employers.”
Denver leads the list thanks to a booming tech scene of its own, coupled with great outdoor recreation, legal marijuana, an influx of Californians and more. Nearly one in 10 homes in the city’s metro area was listed for $1 million or more in the first quarter of this year.
Realtor.com ranked more than 900 metropolitan areas as part of its data research, focusing on growth, not just luxury. This ruled out places that were already super rich, such as Aspen, Colo. And for geographical diversity, the list was also limited to two metros in every state.






Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Mortgage, and the Economy – Floating Bridge and Light Rail

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com


Seattle is topping one of its famous floating bridges with light rail

The gridlock-relieving rapid transit project is a world's first.

MATT HICKMAN
May 22, 2017, 9:42 a.m.
Seattle's East Link light rail system traveling over the I-90 floating bridge
Seattle's trio of floating bridges are already a marvel of modern engineering. By 2023, one of these spans will be reconfigured to include a major rapid transit line. (Rendering: Sound Transit)
As if it weren’t enough for the state of Washington to claim bragging rights as the self-described “floating bridge capital of the world,” transportation officials are beginning preparations to top one of these iconic pontoon-supported spans with a light rail line.
When complete, this huge — in both ambition and innovation — mass transit project will carry Sound Transit's upcoming East Link Extension light rail line across Lake Washington, connecting Seattle to the cities of Bellevue and Redmond along with other well-heeled suburbs located on the lake's eastern shores.
A city wedged in between two large bodies of water, Seattle is home to three of the world’s five longest floating bridges. All of them span Lake Washington, a freshwater ribbon lake that, along with the Puget Sound to the west, gives Seattle its isthmian character.
The Evergreen Point Floating Bridge, which carries State Route 520 over Lake Washington, is the world’s longest at 7,710 feet. Located to the south are the Lacey V. Murrow Memorial Bridge (6,620 feet) and the Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge (5,811 feet) — the world’s second and fifth longest floating bridges, respectively. These two bridges are often referred to singularly as the I-90 Floating Bridge as they run directly parallel to each other, carrying traffic eastbound (the Lacey V. Murrow Memorial Bridge) and westbound (the Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge) along Interstate 90 from Seattle to Mercer Island. (Connecting the Olympic and Kitsap Peninsulas, the world’s third largest floating bridge, the Hood Canal Bridge, is located two hours northwest of Seattle. The world’s fourth largest floating bridge is about as far away from the Pacific Northwest as you can get … in Georgetown, Guyana.)
It’s the shortest (but also the widest) of Seattle's floating bridges — the Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge — that, by 2023, will be home to the world's first-ever floating light rail line. The rail line itself will replace the bridge’s two reversible HOV “express” lanes that carry traffic westbound, toward Seattle, in the morning and eastbound, away from the city, in the evening.
I-90 floating bridges, SeattleThe two I-90 floating bridges carry traffic from Seattle to the Eastside community of Mercer Island. The HOV lanes of Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge, pictured in the center, will soon give way to East Link light rail. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Float or bust

For state transportation officials, the decision to do away with Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge’s HOV lanes and replace them with train tracks was something of a no-brainer.
For one, building the $3.7 billion East Link to go around Lake Washington was never an option — from a mass transit prospective, circumventing the 22-mile-long lake instead of directly connecting Bellevue with Seattle just didn’t make sense. Carrying the rail line across Lake Washington on a fixed bridge was also a no-go given that the lake is simply too deep to erect columns that could support a conventional bridge. The glacier-carved lake's deepness —110 feet deep on average — is the reason why Lake Washington has floating bridges instead of fixed bridges to begin with. This is also why an underwater tunnel simply wouldn’t work.
While not entirely impossible, constructing a rail-only floating bridge across Lake Washington would have been tricky from an engineering standpoint and also prohibitively expensive.
Bellevue, WashingtonEast Link aims to make traveling between Seattle and the east-of-Lake Washington 'boomburg' of Bellevue — Washington's fourth largest city — less painful for commuters. (Photo: Tiffany Von Arnim/flickr)
“It’s cheaper to do the rail and road bridges together than to separate them,” John Marchione, Redmond mayor and longtime transit board member, recently explained to the Seattle Times.
Issues of lake deepness and cost aside, state transit officials also didn’t have much of a choice to not build the new rail line atop of the Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge.
As reported by the Times, in 1976 federal and local governmental leaders signed a pact that would require any third floating bridge built across Lake Washington in the future to include a form of high-capacity transit, be it high-speed bus or rail. That third floating bridge, the Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge, was completed 13 years later in 1989. (The original Evergreen State Floating Bridge was built in 1963 and replaced in 2016 while the Lacey V. Murrow Memorial Bridge dates back to 1940 although the original bridge sunk to the bottom of Lake Washington during a freak 1990 storm and was replaced in 1993.)
Although the remarkably wide span was built strong enough to accommodate rail in addition to several lanes of interstate traffic, concerns over load capacity forced the mass-transit aspect to the back burner. Now, after decades of bureaucratic hand wringing, one real estate developer-backed lawsuit and countless rounds of structural testing, that pact made over 40 years ago is finally being honored.
Westbound traffic, Homer M. Hadley Bridge, SeattleWestbound traffic on the Homer M. Hadley Bridge approaches the Mount Baker Tunnel, a National Register of Historic Places-listed Seattle landmark. The tunnel's HOV lanes will also give way to light rail. (Photo: SounderBruce/flickr)

Applying earthquake science to bobbing bridges

It goes without saying that plopping light rail atop the Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge involves a lot more than just squeezing existing HOV lanes into the freeway mainlines of both I-90 bridges. (Kicking off in June, this lane-shifting revamp process alone is a herculean effort with an estimated price tag of $283 million.)
As Sound Transit explains, engineers had to consider six ranges of motion that impact the floating bridge — up and down, back and forth and side to side — while demonstrating that it was absolutely safe to add a pair of 300-ton trains, each moving at up to 55 miles per hour, into the equation.
The Times details the greatest challenge in this no-margin-for-error undertaking:
The most difficult task is adapting the rails to the movements of the bridge. Train tracks will cross the hinges and sloping spans between the bridge’s fixed sections and the 1-mile floating deck, like someone walking down the gangway to a boat marina. Lake levels rise and fall two feet a year. Waves, wind and traffic create slight twisting. A full train is heavy enough to plunge the pontoons eight inches. So the railbed must both resist and absorb roll, pitch and yaw.

Failure is not an option. A derailed train could sink 200 feet to the lake bed. If track components break or wear out, transit service would be halted for maintenance, or subjected to slowdowns.
As John Sleavin, deputy executive director of technical oversight for Sound Transit, explains to local Fox affiliate KCPQ 13: “The bridge goes up and down, also when the wind blows the bridge will go slightly north or south, because it’s on anchor cables much like a boat will kind of move around. And, then as traffic loads, the bridge will also move a little left and right.”

Speaking to the Times, John Stanton, professor of civil engineering at the University of Washington, praises the engineering team's "brilliant solution" that places the railway atop a series of eight 43-foot-long “track bridges” positioned above the hinges where the fixed and floating sections of the bridge meet. Composed of steel plates and high-strength "pivoting" bearings, the technology is the same kind that allows buildings and fixed bridges to flex during earthquakes. With these specialized track bridges, which were relentlessly tested at the Transportation Technology Center in Pueblo, Colorado, trains can cross Lake Washington comfortably at full speed even while the floating bridge deck underneath sways a wee bit to and fro.
What’s more, ballast gravel will be removed from the bridge’s hulking, watertight concrete pontoons to ensure buoyancy and so that the addition of commuter trains don’t throw the bridge off balance.
Map on East Link Extension, Sound Transit, SeattleDue for completion in 2023, Sound Transit's East Link Extension adds 14 miles of light rail line to the traffic-clogged Seattle metro region. Additional extensions are planned or in the works. (Graphic: Sound Transit)
Adds the Times:
In a last-minute design addition, steel frames will be built within the pontoons, so that cables can be pulled through lengthwise. When force is applied at the bridge ends, that should tighten the concrete in the midsections of the pontoons. The goal is to prevent microcracks and assure the 100-year life span of the structure.
Before the trains begin carrying commuters, Sound Transit will run them sans passengers for three months to accurately record track movements. During high winds, train service will be reduced and, in rare cases, temporarily shuttered altogether.
“About once a year we may only allow one train per direction, and about once a decade we may have to cease operations on the bridge until the wind dies down,” Sleavin tells Q13.
Construction of East Link across Lake Washington is not expected to impact the Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge’s scenic bike/pedestrian lanes, which are part of the I-90 Mountains to Sound Greenway Trail.
Bike lane, I-90 Bridge, SeattleCompleted in 1989, the Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge is the widest (and fifth longest) floating bridge in the world. It accommodates mainline freeway traffic, reversible HOV lanes and a bike/pedestrian path. (Photo: SounderBruce/flickr)

A car-free alternative to a hellish commute

While there’s much more that can be discussed on the technical side (and Times transportation reporter Mike Lindblom does a fantastic job at this), it’s also worth focusing on the impact that connecting Seattle with the Eastside will have on commuters in this congestion-plagued metro area.
Once complete, the 14-mile East Link Extension will ferry commuters from downtown Seattle’s International District/Chinatown to Bellevue, an affluent Eastside satellite city, in just 15 minutes. A ride on East Link from the University of Washington, north of downtown Seattle, to Mercer Island is expected to take 20 minutes. Sound Transit anticipates 50,000 daily riders will hop on East Link for a quick, reliable and headache-free commute — that's a whole lot less cars on the road in a sprawling, historically car-dependent town that recently ranked 10th worst in the nation based on time spent sitting in traffic.
Trains departing from the line's western terminus at International District/Chinatown station — this downtown transit hub is an existing stop on the north-south Central Link line and will serve as a major transfer station — will run parallel with I-90 through the Mount Baker Tunnel, across the Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge and beneath Mercer Island’s Aubrey Davis Park, an innovative freeway lid park that covers a portion of the interstate as it passes through the largely residential island. Exiting Mercer Island, trains will then cross the East Channel Bridge, a short fixed bridge that spans Lake Washington’s tech millionaire mansion-lined East Channel. From there, East Link veers away from I-90 and heads north toward downtown Bellevue and the line’s eastern terminus at Overlake, an area just south of downtown Redmond.
Central Link rapid transit, SeattleSound Transit's East Link light rail line will connect with Central Link, a north-south line that currently runs 20.4 miles between the city of Seatac and the University of Washington via downtown Seattle. (Photo: Dennis Hamilton/flickr)
The first phase of Sound Transit's East Link Extension will include 11 stations, many with park and ride facilities. Eventually, it will expand even further northward to downtown Redmond.
The 4.3-mile Northgate Link Extension, which expands Central Link from the University of Washington to Seattle's northern patchwork of neighborhoods, is also under construction with an anticipated opening in 2021. In the final planning stages are two additional Central Link extensions, both slated to open in 2023 — the same year that East Link Extension and its game-changing Lake Washington crossing will be up and running. One sees Central Link climb north from north Seattle to the cities of Shoreline and Lynnwood while a southern extension will service commuters in the cities of Kent, Des Moines and Federal Way.
What's more, early this spring Sound Transit announced plans to power its growing light rail system with 100 percent wind energy starting in 2019. Albeit smaller, Sound Transit's wind-powered rail scheme is similar to one that the Dutch government announced in 2015.
“The commute’s getting worse for everybody, I’m seeing it on the 90 for sure,” Brady Wright, a resident of the Eastside city of Issaquah who commutes daily to downtown Seattle for work, tells Q13. “Not being with their families and not being able to do the things you want to do is a big issue, so if you can get an hour back, a half-hour back every day, that’s what people care about.”





Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Mortgage, and the Economy – Floating Bridge and Light Rail

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com


Seattle is topping one of its famous floating bridges with light rail

The gridlock-relieving rapid transit project is a world's first.

MATT HICKMAN
May 22, 2017, 9:42 a.m.
Seattle's East Link light rail system traveling over the I-90 floating bridge
Seattle's trio of floating bridges are already a marvel of modern engineering. By 2023, one of these spans will be reconfigured to include a major rapid transit line. (Rendering: Sound Transit)
As if it weren’t enough for the state of Washington to claim bragging rights as the self-described “floating bridge capital of the world,” transportation officials are beginning preparations to top one of these iconic pontoon-supported spans with a light rail line.
When complete, this huge — in both ambition and innovation — mass transit project will carry Sound Transit's upcoming East Link Extension light rail line across Lake Washington, connecting Seattle to the cities of Bellevue and Redmond along with other well-heeled suburbs located on the lake's eastern shores.
A city wedged in between two large bodies of water, Seattle is home to three of the world’s five longest floating bridges. All of them span Lake Washington, a freshwater ribbon lake that, along with the Puget Sound to the west, gives Seattle its isthmian character.
The Evergreen Point Floating Bridge, which carries State Route 520 over Lake Washington, is the world’s longest at 7,710 feet. Located to the south are the Lacey V. Murrow Memorial Bridge (6,620 feet) and the Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge (5,811 feet) — the world’s second and fifth longest floating bridges, respectively. These two bridges are often referred to singularly as the I-90 Floating Bridge as they run directly parallel to each other, carrying traffic eastbound (the Lacey V. Murrow Memorial Bridge) and westbound (the Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge) along Interstate 90 from Seattle to Mercer Island. (Connecting the Olympic and Kitsap Peninsulas, the world’s third largest floating bridge, the Hood Canal Bridge, is located two hours northwest of Seattle. The world’s fourth largest floating bridge is about as far away from the Pacific Northwest as you can get … in Georgetown, Guyana.)
It’s the shortest (but also the widest) of Seattle's floating bridges — the Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge — that, by 2023, will be home to the world's first-ever floating light rail line. The rail line itself will replace the bridge’s two reversible HOV “express” lanes that carry traffic westbound, toward Seattle, in the morning and eastbound, away from the city, in the evening.
I-90 floating bridges, SeattleThe two I-90 floating bridges carry traffic from Seattle to the Eastside community of Mercer Island. The HOV lanes of Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge, pictured in the center, will soon give way to East Link light rail. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Float or bust

For state transportation officials, the decision to do away with Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge’s HOV lanes and replace them with train tracks was something of a no-brainer.
For one, building the $3.7 billion East Link to go around Lake Washington was never an option — from a mass transit prospective, circumventing the 22-mile-long lake instead of directly connecting Bellevue with Seattle just didn’t make sense. Carrying the rail line across Lake Washington on a fixed bridge was also a no-go given that the lake is simply too deep to erect columns that could support a conventional bridge. The glacier-carved lake's deepness —110 feet deep on average — is the reason why Lake Washington has floating bridges instead of fixed bridges to begin with. This is also why an underwater tunnel simply wouldn’t work.
While not entirely impossible, constructing a rail-only floating bridge across Lake Washington would have been tricky from an engineering standpoint and also prohibitively expensive.
Bellevue, WashingtonEast Link aims to make traveling between Seattle and the east-of-Lake Washington 'boomburg' of Bellevue — Washington's fourth largest city — less painful for commuters. (Photo: Tiffany Von Arnim/flickr)
“It’s cheaper to do the rail and road bridges together than to separate them,” John Marchione, Redmond mayor and longtime transit board member, recently explained to the Seattle Times.
Issues of lake deepness and cost aside, state transit officials also didn’t have much of a choice to not build the new rail line atop of the Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge.
As reported by the Times, in 1976 federal and local governmental leaders signed a pact that would require any third floating bridge built across Lake Washington in the future to include a form of high-capacity transit, be it high-speed bus or rail. That third floating bridge, the Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge, was completed 13 years later in 1989. (The original Evergreen State Floating Bridge was built in 1963 and replaced in 2016 while the Lacey V. Murrow Memorial Bridge dates back to 1940 although the original bridge sunk to the bottom of Lake Washington during a freak 1990 storm and was replaced in 1993.)
Although the remarkably wide span was built strong enough to accommodate rail in addition to several lanes of interstate traffic, concerns over load capacity forced the mass-transit aspect to the back burner. Now, after decades of bureaucratic hand wringing, one real estate developer-backed lawsuit and countless rounds of structural testing, that pact made over 40 years ago is finally being honored.
Westbound traffic, Homer M. Hadley Bridge, SeattleWestbound traffic on the Homer M. Hadley Bridge approaches the Mount Baker Tunnel, a National Register of Historic Places-listed Seattle landmark. The tunnel's HOV lanes will also give way to light rail. (Photo: SounderBruce/flickr)

Applying earthquake science to bobbing bridges

It goes without saying that plopping light rail atop the Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge involves a lot more than just squeezing existing HOV lanes into the freeway mainlines of both I-90 bridges. (Kicking off in June, this lane-shifting revamp process alone is a herculean effort with an estimated price tag of $283 million.)
As Sound Transit explains, engineers had to consider six ranges of motion that impact the floating bridge — up and down, back and forth and side to side — while demonstrating that it was absolutely safe to add a pair of 300-ton trains, each moving at up to 55 miles per hour, into the equation.
The Times details the greatest challenge in this no-margin-for-error undertaking:
The most difficult task is adapting the rails to the movements of the bridge. Train tracks will cross the hinges and sloping spans between the bridge’s fixed sections and the 1-mile floating deck, like someone walking down the gangway to a boat marina. Lake levels rise and fall two feet a year. Waves, wind and traffic create slight twisting. A full train is heavy enough to plunge the pontoons eight inches. So the railbed must both resist and absorb roll, pitch and yaw.

Failure is not an option. A derailed train could sink 200 feet to the lake bed. If track components break or wear out, transit service would be halted for maintenance, or subjected to slowdowns.
As John Sleavin, deputy executive director of technical oversight for Sound Transit, explains to local Fox affiliate KCPQ 13: “The bridge goes up and down, also when the wind blows the bridge will go slightly north or south, because it’s on anchor cables much like a boat will kind of move around. And, then as traffic loads, the bridge will also move a little left and right.”

Speaking to the Times, John Stanton, professor of civil engineering at the University of Washington, praises the engineering team's "brilliant solution" that places the railway atop a series of eight 43-foot-long “track bridges” positioned above the hinges where the fixed and floating sections of the bridge meet. Composed of steel plates and high-strength "pivoting" bearings, the technology is the same kind that allows buildings and fixed bridges to flex during earthquakes. With these specialized track bridges, which were relentlessly tested at the Transportation Technology Center in Pueblo, Colorado, trains can cross Lake Washington comfortably at full speed even while the floating bridge deck underneath sways a wee bit to and fro.
What’s more, ballast gravel will be removed from the bridge’s hulking, watertight concrete pontoons to ensure buoyancy and so that the addition of commuter trains don’t throw the bridge off balance.
Map on East Link Extension, Sound Transit, SeattleDue for completion in 2023, Sound Transit's East Link Extension adds 14 miles of light rail line to the traffic-clogged Seattle metro region. Additional extensions are planned or in the works. (Graphic: Sound Transit)
Adds the Times:
In a last-minute design addition, steel frames will be built within the pontoons, so that cables can be pulled through lengthwise. When force is applied at the bridge ends, that should tighten the concrete in the midsections of the pontoons. The goal is to prevent microcracks and assure the 100-year life span of the structure.
Before the trains begin carrying commuters, Sound Transit will run them sans passengers for three months to accurately record track movements. During high winds, train service will be reduced and, in rare cases, temporarily shuttered altogether.
“About once a year we may only allow one train per direction, and about once a decade we may have to cease operations on the bridge until the wind dies down,” Sleavin tells Q13.
Construction of East Link across Lake Washington is not expected to impact the Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge’s scenic bike/pedestrian lanes, which are part of the I-90 Mountains to Sound Greenway Trail.
Bike lane, I-90 Bridge, SeattleCompleted in 1989, the Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge is the widest (and fifth longest) floating bridge in the world. It accommodates mainline freeway traffic, reversible HOV lanes and a bike/pedestrian path. (Photo: SounderBruce/flickr)

A car-free alternative to a hellish commute

While there’s much more that can be discussed on the technical side (and Times transportation reporter Mike Lindblom does a fantastic job at this), it’s also worth focusing on the impact that connecting Seattle with the Eastside will have on commuters in this congestion-plagued metro area.
Once complete, the 14-mile East Link Extension will ferry commuters from downtown Seattle’s International District/Chinatown to Bellevue, an affluent Eastside satellite city, in just 15 minutes. A ride on East Link from the University of Washington, north of downtown Seattle, to Mercer Island is expected to take 20 minutes. Sound Transit anticipates 50,000 daily riders will hop on East Link for a quick, reliable and headache-free commute — that's a whole lot less cars on the road in a sprawling, historically car-dependent town that recently ranked 10th worst in the nation based on time spent sitting in traffic.
Trains departing from the line's western terminus at International District/Chinatown station — this downtown transit hub is an existing stop on the north-south Central Link line and will serve as a major transfer station — will run parallel with I-90 through the Mount Baker Tunnel, across the Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge and beneath Mercer Island’s Aubrey Davis Park, an innovative freeway lid park that covers a portion of the interstate as it passes through the largely residential island. Exiting Mercer Island, trains will then cross the East Channel Bridge, a short fixed bridge that spans Lake Washington’s tech millionaire mansion-lined East Channel. From there, East Link veers away from I-90 and heads north toward downtown Bellevue and the line’s eastern terminus at Overlake, an area just south of downtown Redmond.
Central Link rapid transit, SeattleSound Transit's East Link light rail line will connect with Central Link, a north-south line that currently runs 20.4 miles between the city of Seatac and the University of Washington via downtown Seattle. (Photo: Dennis Hamilton/flickr)
The first phase of Sound Transit's East Link Extension will include 11 stations, many with park and ride facilities. Eventually, it will expand even further northward to downtown Redmond.
The 4.3-mile Northgate Link Extension, which expands Central Link from the University of Washington to Seattle's northern patchwork of neighborhoods, is also under construction with an anticipated opening in 2021. In the final planning stages are two additional Central Link extensions, both slated to open in 2023 — the same year that East Link Extension and its game-changing Lake Washington crossing will be up and running. One sees Central Link climb north from north Seattle to the cities of Shoreline and Lynnwood while a southern extension will service commuters in the cities of Kent, Des Moines and Federal Way.
What's more, early this spring Sound Transit announced plans to power its growing light rail system with 100 percent wind energy starting in 2019. Albeit smaller, Sound Transit's wind-powered rail scheme is similar to one that the Dutch government announced in 2015.
“The commute’s getting worse for everybody, I’m seeing it on the 90 for sure,” Brady Wright, a resident of the Eastside city of Issaquah who commutes daily to downtown Seattle for work, tells Q13. “Not being with their families and not being able to do the things you want to do is a big issue, so if you can get an hour back, a half-hour back every day, that’s what people care about.”





Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Mortgage, and the Economy – Floating Bridge and Light Rail

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com


Seattle is topping one of its famous floating bridges with light rail

The gridlock-relieving rapid transit project is a world's first.

MATT HICKMAN
May 22, 2017, 9:42 a.m.
Seattle's East Link light rail system traveling over the I-90 floating bridge
Seattle's trio of floating bridges are already a marvel of modern engineering. By 2023, one of these spans will be reconfigured to include a major rapid transit line. (Rendering: Sound Transit)
As if it weren’t enough for the state of Washington to claim bragging rights as the self-described “floating bridge capital of the world,” transportation officials are beginning preparations to top one of these iconic pontoon-supported spans with a light rail line.
When complete, this huge — in both ambition and innovation — mass transit project will carry Sound Transit's upcoming East Link Extension light rail line across Lake Washington, connecting Seattle to the cities of Bellevue and Redmond along with other well-heeled suburbs located on the lake's eastern shores.
A city wedged in between two large bodies of water, Seattle is home to three of the world’s five longest floating bridges. All of them span Lake Washington, a freshwater ribbon lake that, along with the Puget Sound to the west, gives Seattle its isthmian character.
The Evergreen Point Floating Bridge, which carries State Route 520 over Lake Washington, is the world’s longest at 7,710 feet. Located to the south are the Lacey V. Murrow Memorial Bridge (6,620 feet) and the Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge (5,811 feet) — the world’s second and fifth longest floating bridges, respectively. These two bridges are often referred to singularly as the I-90 Floating Bridge as they run directly parallel to each other, carrying traffic eastbound (the Lacey V. Murrow Memorial Bridge) and westbound (the Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge) along Interstate 90 from Seattle to Mercer Island. (Connecting the Olympic and Kitsap Peninsulas, the world’s third largest floating bridge, the Hood Canal Bridge, is located two hours northwest of Seattle. The world’s fourth largest floating bridge is about as far away from the Pacific Northwest as you can get … in Georgetown, Guyana.)
It’s the shortest (but also the widest) of Seattle's floating bridges — the Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge — that, by 2023, will be home to the world's first-ever floating light rail line. The rail line itself will replace the bridge’s two reversible HOV “express” lanes that carry traffic westbound, toward Seattle, in the morning and eastbound, away from the city, in the evening.
I-90 floating bridges, SeattleThe two I-90 floating bridges carry traffic from Seattle to the Eastside community of Mercer Island. The HOV lanes of Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge, pictured in the center, will soon give way to East Link light rail. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

Float or bust

For state transportation officials, the decision to do away with Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge’s HOV lanes and replace them with train tracks was something of a no-brainer.
For one, building the $3.7 billion East Link to go around Lake Washington was never an option — from a mass transit prospective, circumventing the 22-mile-long lake instead of directly connecting Bellevue with Seattle just didn’t make sense. Carrying the rail line across Lake Washington on a fixed bridge was also a no-go given that the lake is simply too deep to erect columns that could support a conventional bridge. The glacier-carved lake's deepness —110 feet deep on average — is the reason why Lake Washington has floating bridges instead of fixed bridges to begin with. This is also why an underwater tunnel simply wouldn’t work.
While not entirely impossible, constructing a rail-only floating bridge across Lake Washington would have been tricky from an engineering standpoint and also prohibitively expensive.
Bellevue, WashingtonEast Link aims to make traveling between Seattle and the east-of-Lake Washington 'boomburg' of Bellevue — Washington's fourth largest city — less painful for commuters. (Photo: Tiffany Von Arnim/flickr)
“It’s cheaper to do the rail and road bridges together than to separate them,” John Marchione, Redmond mayor and longtime transit board member, recently explained to the Seattle Times.
Issues of lake deepness and cost aside, state transit officials also didn’t have much of a choice to not build the new rail line atop of the Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge.
As reported by the Times, in 1976 federal and local governmental leaders signed a pact that would require any third floating bridge built across Lake Washington in the future to include a form of high-capacity transit, be it high-speed bus or rail. That third floating bridge, the Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge, was completed 13 years later in 1989. (The original Evergreen State Floating Bridge was built in 1963 and replaced in 2016 while the Lacey V. Murrow Memorial Bridge dates back to 1940 although the original bridge sunk to the bottom of Lake Washington during a freak 1990 storm and was replaced in 1993.)
Although the remarkably wide span was built strong enough to accommodate rail in addition to several lanes of interstate traffic, concerns over load capacity forced the mass-transit aspect to the back burner. Now, after decades of bureaucratic hand wringing, one real estate developer-backed lawsuit and countless rounds of structural testing, that pact made over 40 years ago is finally being honored.
Westbound traffic, Homer M. Hadley Bridge, SeattleWestbound traffic on the Homer M. Hadley Bridge approaches the Mount Baker Tunnel, a National Register of Historic Places-listed Seattle landmark. The tunnel's HOV lanes will also give way to light rail. (Photo: SounderBruce/flickr)

Applying earthquake science to bobbing bridges

It goes without saying that plopping light rail atop the Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge involves a lot more than just squeezing existing HOV lanes into the freeway mainlines of both I-90 bridges. (Kicking off in June, this lane-shifting revamp process alone is a herculean effort with an estimated price tag of $283 million.)
As Sound Transit explains, engineers had to consider six ranges of motion that impact the floating bridge — up and down, back and forth and side to side — while demonstrating that it was absolutely safe to add a pair of 300-ton trains, each moving at up to 55 miles per hour, into the equation.
The Times details the greatest challenge in this no-margin-for-error undertaking:
The most difficult task is adapting the rails to the movements of the bridge. Train tracks will cross the hinges and sloping spans between the bridge’s fixed sections and the 1-mile floating deck, like someone walking down the gangway to a boat marina. Lake levels rise and fall two feet a year. Waves, wind and traffic create slight twisting. A full train is heavy enough to plunge the pontoons eight inches. So the railbed must both resist and absorb roll, pitch and yaw.

Failure is not an option. A derailed train could sink 200 feet to the lake bed. If track components break or wear out, transit service would be halted for maintenance, or subjected to slowdowns.
As John Sleavin, deputy executive director of technical oversight for Sound Transit, explains to local Fox affiliate KCPQ 13: “The bridge goes up and down, also when the wind blows the bridge will go slightly north or south, because it’s on anchor cables much like a boat will kind of move around. And, then as traffic loads, the bridge will also move a little left and right.”

Speaking to the Times, John Stanton, professor of civil engineering at the University of Washington, praises the engineering team's "brilliant solution" that places the railway atop a series of eight 43-foot-long “track bridges” positioned above the hinges where the fixed and floating sections of the bridge meet. Composed of steel plates and high-strength "pivoting" bearings, the technology is the same kind that allows buildings and fixed bridges to flex during earthquakes. With these specialized track bridges, which were relentlessly tested at the Transportation Technology Center in Pueblo, Colorado, trains can cross Lake Washington comfortably at full speed even while the floating bridge deck underneath sways a wee bit to and fro.
What’s more, ballast gravel will be removed from the bridge’s hulking, watertight concrete pontoons to ensure buoyancy and so that the addition of commuter trains don’t throw the bridge off balance.
Map on East Link Extension, Sound Transit, SeattleDue for completion in 2023, Sound Transit's East Link Extension adds 14 miles of light rail line to the traffic-clogged Seattle metro region. Additional extensions are planned or in the works. (Graphic: Sound Transit)
Adds the Times:
In a last-minute design addition, steel frames will be built within the pontoons, so that cables can be pulled through lengthwise. When force is applied at the bridge ends, that should tighten the concrete in the midsections of the pontoons. The goal is to prevent microcracks and assure the 100-year life span of the structure.
Before the trains begin carrying commuters, Sound Transit will run them sans passengers for three months to accurately record track movements. During high winds, train service will be reduced and, in rare cases, temporarily shuttered altogether.
“About once a year we may only allow one train per direction, and about once a decade we may have to cease operations on the bridge until the wind dies down,” Sleavin tells Q13.
Construction of East Link across Lake Washington is not expected to impact the Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge’s scenic bike/pedestrian lanes, which are part of the I-90 Mountains to Sound Greenway Trail.
Bike lane, I-90 Bridge, SeattleCompleted in 1989, the Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge is the widest (and fifth longest) floating bridge in the world. It accommodates mainline freeway traffic, reversible HOV lanes and a bike/pedestrian path. (Photo: SounderBruce/flickr)

A car-free alternative to a hellish commute

While there’s much more that can be discussed on the technical side (and Times transportation reporter Mike Lindblom does a fantastic job at this), it’s also worth focusing on the impact that connecting Seattle with the Eastside will have on commuters in this congestion-plagued metro area.
Once complete, the 14-mile East Link Extension will ferry commuters from downtown Seattle’s International District/Chinatown to Bellevue, an affluent Eastside satellite city, in just 15 minutes. A ride on East Link from the University of Washington, north of downtown Seattle, to Mercer Island is expected to take 20 minutes. Sound Transit anticipates 50,000 daily riders will hop on East Link for a quick, reliable and headache-free commute — that's a whole lot less cars on the road in a sprawling, historically car-dependent town that recently ranked 10th worst in the nation based on time spent sitting in traffic.
Trains departing from the line's western terminus at International District/Chinatown station — this downtown transit hub is an existing stop on the north-south Central Link line and will serve as a major transfer station — will run parallel with I-90 through the Mount Baker Tunnel, across the Homer M. Hadley Memorial Bridge and beneath Mercer Island’s Aubrey Davis Park, an innovative freeway lid park that covers a portion of the interstate as it passes through the largely residential island. Exiting Mercer Island, trains will then cross the East Channel Bridge, a short fixed bridge that spans Lake Washington’s tech millionaire mansion-lined East Channel. From there, East Link veers away from I-90 and heads north toward downtown Bellevue and the line’s eastern terminus at Overlake, an area just south of downtown Redmond.
Central Link rapid transit, SeattleSound Transit's East Link light rail line will connect with Central Link, a north-south line that currently runs 20.4 miles between the city of Seatac and the University of Washington via downtown Seattle. (Photo: Dennis Hamilton/flickr)
The first phase of Sound Transit's East Link Extension will include 11 stations, many with park and ride facilities. Eventually, it will expand even further northward to downtown Redmond.
The 4.3-mile Northgate Link Extension, which expands Central Link from the University of Washington to Seattle's northern patchwork of neighborhoods, is also under construction with an anticipated opening in 2021. In the final planning stages are two additional Central Link extensions, both slated to open in 2023 — the same year that East Link Extension and its game-changing Lake Washington crossing will be up and running. One sees Central Link climb north from north Seattle to the cities of Shoreline and Lynnwood while a southern extension will service commuters in the cities of Kent, Des Moines and Federal Way.
What's more, early this spring Sound Transit announced plans to power its growing light rail system with 100 percent wind energy starting in 2019. Albeit smaller, Sound Transit's wind-powered rail scheme is similar to one that the Dutch government announced in 2015.
“The commute’s getting worse for everybody, I’m seeing it on the 90 for sure,” Brady Wright, a resident of the Eastside city of Issaquah who commutes daily to downtown Seattle for work, tells Q13. “Not being with their families and not being able to do the things you want to do is a big issue, so if you can get an hour back, a half-hour back every day, that’s what people care about.”





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Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Mortgage, and the Economy – Transit Hubs

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com





Photo
Commuters exiting the Assembly Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority subway station in Somerville, a suburb of Boston. The station was crucial to bringing Partners HealthCare to a new 825,000-square-foot office building at the Assembly Row complex.CreditKayana Szymczak for The New York Times
Rail stations, it turns out, are delivering much more than passengers to surrounding neighborhoods.
Young workers who prefer to walk or take the train — rather than drive — to eat, work and shop are pushing up property values and reshaping the way developers approach their plans.
Few places make this shift more evident than the Somerville suburb of Boston. A new Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority subway station was crucial to bringing Partners HealthCare to a new 825,000-square-foot office building at the Assembly Row complex last year, said Chris Weilminster, the president for the mixed-use division of the developer Federal Realty Investment Trust.
The station, which opened in 2014, has also driven Federal Realty’s broader development of Assembly Row, which broke ground in 2012. The trust has transformed a 45-acre industrial site — a barren expanse of broken concrete and scrub — into a neighborhood where housing, offices and restaurants rub shoulders along streets intended to be inviting to pedestrians. Public spaces throughout the development bump up against the Mystic River shoreline.
A second, $280 million phase will add commercial space and homes, including condominiums on top of a boutique hotel.
Photo
River Bar, a restaurant on Assembly Row in Somerville. CreditKayana Szymczak for The New York Times
“You can’t underestimate the importance that the investment in transit infrastructure has had,” Mr. Weilminster said. “Assembly Row would not be what it is today without the station. We wouldn’t have built it.”
Putting a commercial development near a rail station also reduces the need to build parking, which can be costly. And even millennials who do not use the train may not require a parking space; many are indifferent toward car ownership, particularly given the rise of taxi and car service technologies like Uber and Zipcar.
Such trends give transit-oriented developments an edge over traditional suburban office parks when companies are searching for space, real estate experts say.
The growing number of transit-oriented developments has spurred rail projects in markets of all sizes. Areas that have experienced development near new rail systems or station openings include Fulton Market in Chicago; downtown Kansas City, Mo.; Austin, Tex.; and the RiNo neighborhood of Denver, to name a few.
Continue reading the main story
Photo
Assembly Row, a 45-acre industrial site, has been transformed into a neighborhood of housing, offices and restaurants. CreditKayana Szymczak for The New York Times
“Clearly, any sort of big transit infrastructure program can act as a huge stimulus for the development of surrounding real estate,” said Scott Homa, a director of United States office research for Jones Lang LaSalle, a global property company. “It’s starting to emerge as a universal theme across the U.S.”
Office buildings with access to transit are outshining those without, fetching rents nearly 80 percent higher. That amounts to $45.57 a square foot versus $25.39 a square foot, according to a report released this year by Jones Lang LaSalle. Those same buildings have a vacancy rate 3.7 percentage points lower than offices without transit access.
“It’s definitely a factor when tenants are making their final choice,” said E. Nelson Mills, the chief executive of Columbia Property Trust, a New York-based landlord that owns about 7.8 million square feet of office space, primarily in New York, San Francisco and Washington.
A case in point is Columbia Property’s $3 million renovation of the 80 M Street building near the Navy Yard-Ballpark Metrorail station in Washington’s fast-growing Capitol Riverfront neighborhood. The upgrade follows about 84,000 square feet of new leases, including a 15-year, 68,673-square-foot deal with the shared and private office provider WeWork.
Photo
Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood. CreditKevin Miyazaki for The New York Times
The Washington Metropolitan Airports Authority is extending a 23-mile Metrorail line into Northern Virginia to connect downtown Washington to Dulles International Airport and beyond. The first part of a two-phase expansion included four station openings in 2014 in the Tysons Corner suburb, which has numerous office buildings. Since the end of 2012, the average office rental rate has climbed 10.5 percent there, compared with a decline of 4.5 percent in neighboring Merrifield, according to Jones Lang LaSalle.
Just to the east, in Herndon, Va., MRP Realty bought eight office buildings on 32 acres from Liberty Property Trust last year, for $97 million. The office park is near the future Innovation Center Metrorail station, projected to open in 2020. MRP Realty is renovating three buildings and it plans to tear down smaller, out-of-the way office properties to make way for townhouses, apartments and retail space.
“Office decision makers have Metrorail on their radar because it gives their employees an option to commute, which makes it easier to recruit,” said Matthew Robinson, a principal in MRP Realty’s Washington office. “But we have the ability to add mixed-use development at the site, and that was a key component.”
The industrial Fulton Market neighborhood in the West Loop of Chicago began developing a reputation as a vibrant residential, restaurant and bar scene about a decade ago. But investment in the area accelerated when the Chicago Transit Authority said it would open an elevated train station along an existing line in 2012.
Photo
The new headquarters for Weyerhaeuser, a timberlands company, in downtown Seattle.CreditStuart Isett for The New York Times
Developers swooped in to add offices in new and rehabilitated buildings. Google and Uber are among the companies that have moved into the neighborhood over the past several months, and McDonald’s announced last year that it would move its headquarters there from the suburb of Oak Brook.
“Fulton Market is clearly the shining star in Chicago right now,” said Todd M. Caruso, a senior managing director of the real estate company CBRE Group. “I’m sure we’ll be hearing of more major companies moving there in the coming months.”
Corporations in the Northwest are also gravitating to submarkets served by transit. In September, Weyerhaeuser, a timberlands company, traded its 425-acre campus in a Seattle suburb for a new building downtown that is three blocks from a transportation hub. Citing transit opportunities, the outdoor-gear retailer REI also announced that it would move into new headquarters in the growing, mixed-used Spring District of Bellevue, Wash., in 2020, just a few years before a Sound Transit light rail station opens there.
Bert Gregory, a partner with the architecture firm Mithun, which designed the new Weyerhaeuser headquarters and is working on apartments in the Spring District, recalled a conversation a few years ago in which a developer told him that rail stops had replaced intersecting freeways as “100 percent” sure-to-succeed locations.
Noting the developer’s prescience, Mr. Gregory said he had recently realized that all of his active projects were within two blocks of transit lines. One of those includes turning the site of The Oregonian’s former printing press buildings into housing, as part of a mixed-used project just outside downtown Portland.
“Transit is the nature of development interest and of developer focus today,” he said.
Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com


Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Mortgage, and the Economy – Transit Hubs

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com





Photo
Commuters exiting the Assembly Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority subway station in Somerville, a suburb of Boston. The station was crucial to bringing Partners HealthCare to a new 825,000-square-foot office building at the Assembly Row complex.CreditKayana Szymczak for The New York Times
Rail stations, it turns out, are delivering much more than passengers to surrounding neighborhoods.
Young workers who prefer to walk or take the train — rather than drive — to eat, work and shop are pushing up property values and reshaping the way developers approach their plans.
Few places make this shift more evident than the Somerville suburb of Boston. A new Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority subway station was crucial to bringing Partners HealthCare to a new 825,000-square-foot office building at the Assembly Row complex last year, said Chris Weilminster, the president for the mixed-use division of the developer Federal Realty Investment Trust.
The station, which opened in 2014, has also driven Federal Realty’s broader development of Assembly Row, which broke ground in 2012. The trust has transformed a 45-acre industrial site — a barren expanse of broken concrete and scrub — into a neighborhood where housing, offices and restaurants rub shoulders along streets intended to be inviting to pedestrians. Public spaces throughout the development bump up against the Mystic River shoreline.
A second, $280 million phase will add commercial space and homes, including condominiums on top of a boutique hotel.
Photo
River Bar, a restaurant on Assembly Row in Somerville. CreditKayana Szymczak for The New York Times
“You can’t underestimate the importance that the investment in transit infrastructure has had,” Mr. Weilminster said. “Assembly Row would not be what it is today without the station. We wouldn’t have built it.”
Putting a commercial development near a rail station also reduces the need to build parking, which can be costly. And even millennials who do not use the train may not require a parking space; many are indifferent toward car ownership, particularly given the rise of taxi and car service technologies like Uber and Zipcar.
Such trends give transit-oriented developments an edge over traditional suburban office parks when companies are searching for space, real estate experts say.
The growing number of transit-oriented developments has spurred rail projects in markets of all sizes. Areas that have experienced development near new rail systems or station openings include Fulton Market in Chicago; downtown Kansas City, Mo.; Austin, Tex.; and the RiNo neighborhood of Denver, to name a few.
Continue reading the main story
Photo
Assembly Row, a 45-acre industrial site, has been transformed into a neighborhood of housing, offices and restaurants. CreditKayana Szymczak for The New York Times
“Clearly, any sort of big transit infrastructure program can act as a huge stimulus for the development of surrounding real estate,” said Scott Homa, a director of United States office research for Jones Lang LaSalle, a global property company. “It’s starting to emerge as a universal theme across the U.S.”
Office buildings with access to transit are outshining those without, fetching rents nearly 80 percent higher. That amounts to $45.57 a square foot versus $25.39 a square foot, according to a report released this year by Jones Lang LaSalle. Those same buildings have a vacancy rate 3.7 percentage points lower than offices without transit access.
“It’s definitely a factor when tenants are making their final choice,” said E. Nelson Mills, the chief executive of Columbia Property Trust, a New York-based landlord that owns about 7.8 million square feet of office space, primarily in New York, San Francisco and Washington.
A case in point is Columbia Property’s $3 million renovation of the 80 M Street building near the Navy Yard-Ballpark Metrorail station in Washington’s fast-growing Capitol Riverfront neighborhood. The upgrade follows about 84,000 square feet of new leases, including a 15-year, 68,673-square-foot deal with the shared and private office provider WeWork.
Photo
Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood. CreditKevin Miyazaki for The New York Times
The Washington Metropolitan Airports Authority is extending a 23-mile Metrorail line into Northern Virginia to connect downtown Washington to Dulles International Airport and beyond. The first part of a two-phase expansion included four station openings in 2014 in the Tysons Corner suburb, which has numerous office buildings. Since the end of 2012, the average office rental rate has climbed 10.5 percent there, compared with a decline of 4.5 percent in neighboring Merrifield, according to Jones Lang LaSalle.
Just to the east, in Herndon, Va., MRP Realty bought eight office buildings on 32 acres from Liberty Property Trust last year, for $97 million. The office park is near the future Innovation Center Metrorail station, projected to open in 2020. MRP Realty is renovating three buildings and it plans to tear down smaller, out-of-the way office properties to make way for townhouses, apartments and retail space.
“Office decision makers have Metrorail on their radar because it gives their employees an option to commute, which makes it easier to recruit,” said Matthew Robinson, a principal in MRP Realty’s Washington office. “But we have the ability to add mixed-use development at the site, and that was a key component.”
The industrial Fulton Market neighborhood in the West Loop of Chicago began developing a reputation as a vibrant residential, restaurant and bar scene about a decade ago. But investment in the area accelerated when the Chicago Transit Authority said it would open an elevated train station along an existing line in 2012.
Photo
The new headquarters for Weyerhaeuser, a timberlands company, in downtown Seattle.CreditStuart Isett for The New York Times
Developers swooped in to add offices in new and rehabilitated buildings. Google and Uber are among the companies that have moved into the neighborhood over the past several months, and McDonald’s announced last year that it would move its headquarters there from the suburb of Oak Brook.
“Fulton Market is clearly the shining star in Chicago right now,” said Todd M. Caruso, a senior managing director of the real estate company CBRE Group. “I’m sure we’ll be hearing of more major companies moving there in the coming months.”
Corporations in the Northwest are also gravitating to submarkets served by transit. In September, Weyerhaeuser, a timberlands company, traded its 425-acre campus in a Seattle suburb for a new building downtown that is three blocks from a transportation hub. Citing transit opportunities, the outdoor-gear retailer REI also announced that it would move into new headquarters in the growing, mixed-used Spring District of Bellevue, Wash., in 2020, just a few years before a Sound Transit light rail station opens there.
Bert Gregory, a partner with the architecture firm Mithun, which designed the new Weyerhaeuser headquarters and is working on apartments in the Spring District, recalled a conversation a few years ago in which a developer told him that rail stops had replaced intersecting freeways as “100 percent” sure-to-succeed locations.
Noting the developer’s prescience, Mr. Gregory said he had recently realized that all of his active projects were within two blocks of transit lines. One of those includes turning the site of The Oregonian’s former printing press buildings into housing, as part of a mixed-used project just outside downtown Portland.
“Transit is the nature of development interest and of developer focus today,” he said.
Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com


Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Mortgage, and the Economy – 15 Renovation Apps

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15 renovation apps to know for your next project

Everybody needs a little help sometimes 


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Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Mortgage, and the Economy – 15 Renovation Apps

Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Snoqualmie Pass Properties, Snoqualmie Pass Homes, Snoqualmie Pass Lots, North Bend Real Estate, Snoqualmie Real Estate, Suncadia Real Estate, http://www.snoqualmiepassliving.com


15 renovation apps to know for your next project

Everybody needs a little help sometimes 


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Snoqualmie Pass Real Estate, Mortgage, and the Economy – Seattle # 3 In Highest Construction Costs

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THE FOUR U.S. CITIES WITH THE HIGHEST CONSTRUCTION COSTS

Average construction wages hit $100 per hour in New York City, according to a new study of global construction trends.




New York and San Francisco have taken over Zurich, Switerzland, as the most expensive cities in which to build, according to a new study that also shows the global effects of a shortage of construction labor.
Construction costs in New York are set to rise by 3.5 per cent over 2017, reflecting a major influx of real estate investment and surge in construction activity, according to the survey by professional services company Turner & Townsend. The International Construction Market Survey 2017 analyzes input costs – such as labor and materials – and charts the average construction cost for commercial and residential projects in 43 markets around the world.
Average costs in New York have hit $354 per square foot followed by San Francisco at $330 per square foot. Two other U.S. cities made the top ten: Seattle at $280 per square foot and Houston at $233 per square foot. In addition, construction price inflation in San Francisco and Seattle is forecast at 5 percent for the next twelve months – outstripping both a global average of 3.5 percent and national consumer price inflation.
In total, 58 percent of cities assessed by the study are identified as "warm, hot or overheating" – where the market is characterized by a high number of projects and intense competition for physical resources and labor that drives up prices.
Of the U.S. cities surveyed Seattle is categorized as overheating, while New York and San Francisco are considered hot. In the case of New York, Turner & Townsend points to major foreign real estate investment as contributing to the city’s boom in construction spending – which hit an all-time high of $42 billion in 2016.
North America has the highest labor costs of all the regions assessed within Turner & Townsend’s report –with average construction wages hitting $100 per hour in New York. This comes in the context of a global skills shortage for construction, with over half (24) of the 43 markets analyzed reporting labor shortages compared to 20 markets in 2016.
“In stark contrast to conditions in many other global regions, most U.S. cities are seeing a major construction boom – with investment in New York particularly hitting new highs and both San Francisco and Seattle set to see above country average inflation this year at 5 per cent price," says John Robbins, managing director USA, Turner & Townsend. “In common with the majority of developed economies, U.S. construction continues to suffer from an acute skills shortage which is driving up labor costs."
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