Update: The contract rezone has not actually been granted yet. DPD has recommended the rezone but a final decision will not be made until after the public hearing on November 30th (see below).
I think it can be unanimously agreed that Capitol Hill’s development market boom times are definitively over. Instead of six-story apartment complexes, development activity on the Hill has been reduced to public parks and Starbucks renovations. While this new development environment is not likely to change for a long time, there are still a few projects on the boards, slowly working their way through the permitting process. Last week, one of those projects, the BelRoy Court,
was successfully granted received a DPD recommendation for a requested contract rezone, a key part of the development proposal.
The rezone changes the site from L-3, or a maximum of three stories, to MR, or mid-rise, which allows up to six stories as well as ground floor commercial space. However, as the name implies, the rezone requires a contractual agreement by the developer to only build what the current proposal calls for.
In this case, the developer, Point32, has proposed to rehabilitate the historic Bel Roy Apartments while adding 58 residential units in two new structures. Most of the new development will remain at three stories, the height of the current Bel Roy, with only a small portion on the Northeast side of the property reaching up to six stories. During the design review process, architects said that the rezone was necessary in order to build a “network of gardens” within the property, a main design feature of the project.
“It is great that the city recognized the attributes of our proposal,” Chris Rogers, CEO of Point32, said of the rezone decision. Even though this was one of the last hurdles for the project, Rogers said that construction likely won’t begin before next summer.
We last reported on the project in May, when the Design Review Board asked the project team to redesign the Northeast corner of the site where a 980 square-foot commercial space was proposed. According to the meeting report, the board was satisfied with the changes, officially completing the Design Review process for the project.
At the beginning of October, with the support of Point32, the Bel Roy Apartments received official designation as a historic city landmark. Designed by prominent Seattle architects Lionel Pries and William Bain, the 1931 structure has been praised for its unique Art Deco style. Interestingly, Bain’s granddaughter, Lesley Bain of Weinstein A|U is the lead architect for Point32’s current BelRoy project.
A public hearing on the rezone
decision recommendation will be held on November 30th at 9:00 AM at the Municipal building. Full details here.