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Originally published December 11, 2008 at 2:10 PM | Page modified December 11, 2008 at 3:09 PM

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More businesses reject Chopp's viaduct option

On the day the state is scheduled to narrow down the options for replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct, another group of developers is voicing concerns about the plan put forth by House Speaker Frank Chopp.

Seattle Times staff reporter

On the day the state is scheduled to narrow down the options for replacing the Alaskan Way Viaduct, another group of developers is voicing concerns about the plan put forth by House Speaker Frank Chopp.

"The replacement option is fraught with complexity from a development standpoint, making it unattractive to private investment," said Ada Healey, president of real-estate development for Vulcan Inc. "There are too many risks and too many unanswered questions for the proposal to merit further consideration."

Among the eight proposals for replacing the viaduct is Chopp's "Integrated Elevated" option, or Option E. It would be a mile-long building on the waterfront, just as high and twice as wide as the existing viaduct, with two levels of retail and office space. A four-lane road with wide shoulders (although Chopp says the wide shoulders constitute two additional lanes) would run above the retail space. A park would be built on top of the structure.

Earlier this week, the Downtown Seattle Association, and a list of other developers, also panned Chopp's plan, calling it "fundamentally flawed."

"The flow of people between the Pike Place Market, the waterfront and Pioneer Square helps to create the vibrancy of downtown," said John Goodman, chairman of Goodman Real Estate. "The imposing nature of this box will severely inhibit this travel and leave our waterfront vacant and cut off from the heart of the city."

Not all of Seattle's industry officials oppose Chopp's plan.

Eugene Wasserman, president of the North Seattle Industrial Association said his group supports the plan.

"There is more to the Seattle business community than the downtown development community," Wasserman said. "The North Seattle Industrial Association is enthusiastically supporting the Waterfront Parkway proposal."

Susan Gilmore: 206-464-2054 or sgilmore@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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