This upcoming Wednesday there will be an Early Design Guidance Meeting for the mixed-use apartment complex proposed for Thomas and Broadway (details below). The site includes the properties that house Cafe Septieme, Noah’s Bagels, Pho 900, Bank of America, the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce, and the Broadway Farmer’s Market, among others and will have approximately 24,000 sqft of commercial space, 235 residential units, and about 250-275 parking spaces. The project is being developed by SRM Development and the Merrill Gardens Company, a family-owned, Seattle-based company behind the Merrill Gardens Retirement Communities throughout the United States (and most recently at U-Village).
The project is pretty standard in terms of new Capitol Hill development. Ground floor retail will front Broadway and wrap around Thomas St with upper floors consisting of mainly studios and one bedrooms, with a few 2 bedrooms interspersed. The building will drop from 65ft along Broadway to 40ft along 10th Ave and 7 Live/Work units will front the ground floor of 10th. Since it is early in the design process there are no official designs for the facade but the proposal does include a few sketches of possibilities. In talks, SRM Representative Andy Loos has repeatedly mentioned Brix as something similar in scope and design.
While all the existing buildings will be demolished, Loos said that current commercial tenants have been contacted and offered space when construction was complete. Bank of America has already agreed to return to the new building and are currently looking for a temporary location in the vicinity. No others have confirmed. Loos also said that the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce would “certainly be welcome” when construction was completed but the Chamber’s Jack Hilovsky said that they are looking for a new location for when their lease is up next Fall and don’t have plans to return at this time.
The most intriguing part of the proposal is a community space that would be available to tenants as well as community groups and organizations. While nothing has been confirmed (entrance location, square footage, included equipment, etc.) I am told that Merrill Gardens incorporated a similar space in their U-Village development.
The least intriguing part is the parking. Even though the site will be less than one block from the new light rail station, the First Hill Streetcar, and bus routes 8,9,43,49, and 60 and is zoned with no parking requirements, the developers are still proposing more than 250 parking spots. I asked Loos if there was any chance that the parking could be reduced. His reply:
We have discussed the parking spaces and will do further review to determine how many we will provide. We certainly don’t want to be under-parked since finding spaces on the street in Capitol Hill is virtually impossible today and if our residents were to have to find street parking in order to park their cars we’d be adding to an already significant parking problem. There could be a segment of the residents that have cars but choose to use public transportation anyway. They will still need a parking space even though they don’t use their car every day…we want to be able to accommodate them. We certainly don’t want to build parking spaces that
I guess you can’t win them all.
Project: 230 Broadway E map
Review Meeting: November 18, 6:30 pm SU Alumni Relations & Admissions Building 824 12th Ave map Meeting Room Review Phase: EDG–Early Design Guidance past reviews Project Number: 3009249 permit status | notice Planner: Lisa Rutzik