230 Broadway, the massive building planned for the corner of Thomas and Broadway, has sparked some serious discussion here on CHS. With a building footprint of 61,000 square feet, it is set to dramatically change the streetscape along Broadway, replacing seven buildings as well as the current home of the Broadway Farmer’s Market.
Meanwhile, repercussions from the development have rippled to north Broadway as Bank of America’s temporary home and plans for nearby development in that area have increased tensions between SRM Development and community members.
Back at 230 Broadway, as we noted about a month ago, the Capitol Hill Design Review Board was not satisfied with the proposal, sending it back for a few more studies and revisions. Eager to get through the design review process, Runberg Architects will be back in front of the board on Wednesday, June 16th (details below), making the case for a new and improved version of the building. The developer, SRM, hopes to begin construction of the project by early 2011.
A report on May’s recommendation meeting spells out some of the concerns the board had about the project proposal and points to what we can expect from the new design:
- Interestingly, much of the Board’s concerns were with the north and south building facades, the smaller, and arguably less prominent, of the building faces. The board suggested that the north facade, which transitions from commercial to office, be more consistent with the rest of the design, and that the landscaping respond to the unique street grid shift at this spot, which creates a visual corridor to the building from 10th Ave. The south facade had little architectural detail because, as the architects argued, it would likely be hidden from view in future adjacent redevelopment. Still, the board recommended at least a “toned-down” version of the other facades. They also asked that an 8-foot tall solid wall on the south side be replaced by something less “imposing”, such as a metal fence.
- Perhaps responding to some of the community concerns about the loss of diversity along Broadway, the Board recommended a scheme for more unique storefronts within the building, suggesting that tenants be allowed to choose from a variety of “storefront systems, signage, and other commercial expression”. Yet, they did want to see some regularity and recommended that the retail canopies remain consistent.
- The board was a little concerned with the usability of the walk-up patios along 10th Ave, which extend just 5 feet out from the building, and recommend further examination on this element.
- The project team had proposed salvaging the First Bank facade and incorporating it into the residential courtyard of the building. The board recommended that they use it in the public facade along Broadway, a suggestion that came up multiple times from community members at the meeting.
- Finally, the board felt that the gates and balconies were too generic and recommended the designs be “inspired by the diversity and creative character of the Broadway community.”
As always during the design review process, there will be an opportunity for community comments and feedback during the meeting Wednesday night. It will be interesting to hear if there are any new concerns from the community that will further shape this project or if the review process is finally ready to draw to a close.
Review Meeting: June 16, 0:00 Seattle University 824 12th Ave map Meeting Room Review Phase: Recommendation past reviews Project Number: 3009249 permit status | notice Planner: Lisa Rutzick