Behold the Sunset Electric apartments and retail project. As we showed with this article on the stalled project at Bellevue and Pine, in the current economic climate, big development is a fragile creature. But after Wednesday night’s meeting of the Capitol Hill Design Review Board, there is now one less barrier to the Sunset Electric project breaking ground at 11th and Pine.
Wednesday night, the Design Review Board agreed on a ‘recommend’ for the project clearing the way for developers to finalize the exceptions they’ve requested to land use rules in the neighborhood. The project will be the first to benefit from the Pike/Pine Conservation Overlay as its developer will be allowed to build 10-feet above the 65-foot limit in exchange for preserving the facade of the 1926 auto-row building.
During the public comment period, Capitol Hill super developer Liz Dunn expressed concerns that the bulk and height of the building was too much for the neighborhood. Dunn said she didn’t know how to solve the problems she sees in the design but said she was not satisfied that the Design Review Board and the new conservation district had produced a plan that the public would be happy with.
“We don’t want another project that gives density a bad name rather than a good name,” Dunn said.
Meanwhile, it’s less likely problems in the economy will sink this project as its backers are expected to utilize the HUD 221d program, which guarantees mortgage loans on rental and cooperative housing projects. CHS discussed the project and updates to the building’s design here.
Here are some other views of what the developer Pryde + Johnson says the Sunset Electric building will look like.