The Bullitt Center was designed with the health of Puget Sound in mind, including efforts to educate people about site sustainability and non-point source pollution.
Non-point source pollution is caused when runoff flows over hard-packed surfaces, such as traditional concrete or compacted soil, into local waterways and eventually ends up in Puget Sound. This surface runoff picks up oil, grease, pesticides, chemicals and other toxic materials used in Seattle. These toxics flow into Puget Sound and are collectively known as non-point source pollution.
To help protect Puget Sound, rainwater will be retained on site and “grey water” from sinks in the building will be filtered through a green roof. In addition, extensive use of pervious pavement that allows water to infiltrate into the soil below will further reduce the impact of runoff on Puget Sound.
On Madison Street, a planting strip will help improve the character of the street and sidewalk for pedestrians. Where possible, landscaping will act as a demonstration of the possibilities for green stormwater infrastructure and natural drainage systems.
Understory plantings within the sidewalk zones will not compete with the mature sycamore canopy that stretches over 15th Avenue. Low to medium height sidewalk plantings will establish a physical separation between the pedestrian and vehicle zones, without restricting views to and from these zones. These features are consistent with new development along Madison and will improve the pedestrian experience along this major thoroughfare.
The project site was chosen for its high visibility and accessibility, and because it offered an important commercial development opportunity in a neighborhood that is largely residential and striving for economic development. In fact the Central Area Action Plan identified specific development goals for the Madison-Miller neighborhood that include: improved walkability; economic development that takes advantage of the strategic positioning of Madison Street as a neighborhood zone connector; sensitive infill development; and the creation of interesting urban spaces.
The site’s proximity to McGilvra Place Park and the project’s ability to become a neighborhood resource has led to early discussions with the City of Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation, Seattle Parks Foundation and neighbors on how to create a vibrant public space adjacent to the Center and improve the pedestrian crossing of Madison Street to serve nearby retail businesses, schools and churches.
Recently, the Seattle Parks Levy Opportunity Fund Oversight Committee selected McGilvra Place Park to receive funding for design and re-development. Seattle Parks Foundation has agreed to serve as a fiscal sponsor and a local advisory group comprised of neighbor and other local stakeholders has begun meeting to discuss the project.