Westlake Hub

The central portal to Greater Downtown

The vision

  • Westlake Hub is an easy to navigate transportation hub and public plaza
  • The geographic heart of greater downtown and Seattle’s retail core, with flexible public spaces and places for cultural events
  • It’s a place for people, with quality places to wait, meet, refresh, and play
  • Designed to prioritize pedestrian movement and connections to transit
  • A dynamic space that meets the needs of visitors, workers and people who live downtown

How we'd get there

Expand “The Wedge” at McGraw Square to increase public space and connect to Westlake Park

Examples:

  • Coordinate with property owners to encompass the entire block
  • Transform Sixth Avenue into a people and transit street

Shape buildings and policies to encourage more activity at hubs around the clock

Examples:

  • Redesign all ground floor frontages by converting blank walls to windows or shopping displays
  • Make it easy for restaurants/food trucks to spill out into the park to serve both residents and tourists

Create a comprehensive transportation arrival, transfer and departure experience for all modes

Examples:

  • Help people make the best decision for their needs (bike, bus, transit, walk)
  • Wayfinding between transit options and destinations using color coding and images, universal symbols and signage

Make hubs culturally significant places to experience local art

Example:

  • Wayfinding, signage, murals and design honors local culture and history

Make Westlake hub a community hub where people can have a whole experience

Examples:

  • Add more local art, culture, area landmarks so Westlake hub is a place people enjoy hanging out in while waiting to transfer
  • Integrate programmable space, like a mini-Seattle Center for concerts and events

Make Westlake hub welcoming to an international community

Example:

  • Add multilingual wayfinding and welcoming signage

How we strive for equity

  • Make Westlake hub easily navigable for non-English speakers and people with disabilities
  • Include free flexible public spaces and places that allow for social, civic, and cultural events

icons of two people holding hands with text bubbles above their heads

What we've heard

  • This should be a place where we can hang out without buying anything
  • Public restrooms would mean we could spend more time downtown
  • It’s hard to figure out how to make transit connections

Great examples from Seattle and beyond

 Photo of a public plaza in a downtown core with an overhang and pedestrians walking along a central walkway in the sun toward a street and larger building in the background. There is a corner of a lawn in the lower right hand corner of the photo.

Auckland’s Britomart Transport Centre is the city’s central transit station and features a public plaza, retail, art and landscaping above the underground rail lines.
Photo credit: Gerard

 Image of a gathering of several dozen people in a downtown area plaza with a park and office buildings in the background. Between the group and the trees is a brigh red street car on its route.

Portland State University's Urban Plaza is a public gathering space with streetcar and light rail service at the south end of downtown.
Photo credit: Igal Koshevoy