Seattle Site Selected for 2011 Urban Land Institute Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition

Neighborhood Surrounding Mount Baker Station Is Focus of Revitalization Proposals

For more information, contact Robert Krueger at 202/624-7051;

WASHINGTON (January 19, 2011) – The North Rainier neighborhood in southeast Seattle has been selected as the site for the ninth annual Urban Land Institute (ULI) Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition. The ideas competition, open to graduate-level students, will provide multidisciplinary teams the opportunity to propose a long-term vision for redeveloping an economically and culturally diverse region of Greater Seattle.

Now underway, the 2011 competition challenges teams to create a practical and workable scheme for the best use of approximately 33.5 acres around the Sound Transit system’s Mount Baker station. The competition is based on a hypothetical proposal in which a local family with significant landholdings in the immediate vicinity of the Mount Baker station seeks to devise a long-term development proposal that will leverage the potential of neighborhood and give an identity to the area surrounding the station. In order to meet the owners’ demands, student teams will act as a master developer by proposing a master land use plan for the development site as well as supplying financial projections needed to support the master development plan.

The Hines competition strives to encourage cooperation and teamwork—necessary talents in the planning, design and development of sustainable communities—among future land use professionals and allied professions, such as architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning, historic preservation, engineering, real estate development, finance, psychology and law. It is open to graduate students who are pursuing real estate-related studies at a North American university, including programs in real estate development, urban planning, urban design, architecture and landscape architecture.

A $50,000 prize will be awarded to the winning team; and each of the remaining three finalist teams will receive $10,000. This year, applications were submitted from 167 teams representing 65 universities in the United States and Canada, with 835 students participating in total.

While based on a hypothetical situation, the 2011 Hines competition addresses Seattle’s traffic congestion and sprawling network of auto-oriented neighborhoods and infrastructure. The Mount Baker station, at the intersection of Rainier Avenue and Martin Luther King Jr. Way, is surrounded by property that is currently being used for large parking lots, two heavily-traveled thoroughfares, and single-family detached residential properties.

The competition is focusing on the Mount Baker Station area because it is a key station that will likely define how Seattle will approach the opportunity to create more sustainable and transit-rich neighborhoods in the coming years. The assumption made by the competition is that the property owners realize how this station might be a “game changer” in how the city embraces new transit-oriented development. Therefore, the challenge posed to the students is to devise a scheme that not only transforms and brands the neighborhood with an identity, but also serves as a benchmark for future development in the Greater Seattle region.

The Hines competition has been funded in perpetuity through a $3 million endowment from Gerald D. Hines, chairman of the Hines real estate organization and a laureate of the ULI J.C. Nichols Prize for Visionaries in Urban Development. A legend in the land use industry, he is widely known as a leader who pioneered the use of high-quality planning and architecture as a marketable feature of development in office, residential and mixed-use projects. “Real estate development is a very exciting, imaginative field. It involves many disciplines and interaction with so many parts of our world—finance, politics, science, psychology—it affects the lives of so many people,” Hines said. “Through this competition, we are raising awareness among the students of the key role high-quality urban design plays in creating sustainable living environments.”

The teams will be expected to submit proposals that illustrate innovative approaches to five general elements: 1) planning context and analysis, 2) master land use plan, 3) urban design, 4) site specific illustrations of new development, and 5) development schedule and finances. Participants have received project briefing materials, including a comprehensive problem statement; background information on the site; market information; relevant existing design proposals; and other details, along with a list of materials required for team presentations. The competition is designed as an exercise; there is no intention that the students’ plans will be implemented as part of any revitalization of the site.

Four finalist teams and several honorable mentions will be named in late February. In the final phase of the competition, the student finalist teams will have the opportunity to expand their original schemes and respond in more detail. During this time, a member of each team will be brought to Seattle to tour the site and revise their presentations. On March 31, 2011, finalist team members will present their schemes to the competition jury members during a public forum in Seattle. The event will culminate with the announcement of the winning team.

The competition jury consist of renowned experts in urban planning, design and development: Jury Chairman James A. Ratner, chairman and CEO, Forest City Commercial Group, Cleveland, Ohio; Martha Barkman, senior project manager, Harbor Properties, Seattle, Wash.; Dana Behar, president and CEO, HAL Real Estate Investments; Seattle, Wash.; Mimi Burns, principal, Dekker/Perich/Sabatini, Albuquerque, N.M.; Tom Cody, founder and managing partner, Project^, Portland, Ore.; Brian Cullen, founder and chair, Keane Enterprises, Inc., Washington, D.C.; Boris Dramov, principal, ROMA, San Francisco, Calif.; Richard Heapes, co-founder and partner, Street-Works, White Plains, N.Y.; Jim Heid, founder, UrbanGreen, San Francisco, Calif.; Jeffrey D. Kune, managing director, BeaconRock Group, LLC, West Palm Beach, Fla.; Michael Lander, founder and president, Lander Group, Minneapolis, Minn.; and Peter S. Stone, senior vice president, ING Clarion Partners, Seattle, Wash.

For more information on the ULI Gerald D. Hines Student Urban Design Competition, visit:

About the Urban Land Institute
The Urban Land Institute (  is a global nonprofit education and research institute supported by its members. Its mission is to provide leadership in the responsible use of land and in creating and sustaining thriving communities worldwide. Established in 1936, the Institute has nearly 30,000 members representing all aspects of land use and development disciplines.