Here’s another sign of thaw on Capitol hill after an icy economic storm slowed real estate development around the globe in recent years. Joining the work beginning soon in the People’s Parking Lot and the demolition underway at the site of the future home of East Madison’s Cascadia Center, demolition is beginning at the old Precision Tune building as work starts to construct a mixed-use project that’s been frozen in time since its design was approved in September. 2009.
The 1222 East Madison project will create a a six-story building with 6,100 square feet of retail, 106 apartment units above, and parking for 50 vehicles. The design has sat on hold since approval in September 2009 when developers simplified complicated corner elements, removed a planned corner entrance and agreed to change their plans regarding some of the residential units. Perhaps the biggest compromise: developer Wallace Properties and Baylis Architects agreeing to drop an orange color grid design from the building’s surface. CHS also wrote these prophetic words back in 2009 when covering that approval:
Now to keep an eye on actual demolition and construction process. As we’ve seen recently, design approval doesn’t necessarily mean these projects get built as economic fits mean challenges for financing and making these plans reality.
More than a year later, the demolition paper work is in and the fences are up at 13th and Madison.
The project is slated for the lot where Precision Tune now sits. It is located immediately east of the Trace Lofts and just south of the Elysian Brewery. On the north side, it abuts a parking lot that could itself be developed in the future.
In 2009, Wallace Properties told CHS of a business plan that focused on what it called “workforce” housing that would be affordable to those making the county’s median income or less. At the time, they expected rents in the neighborhood of $1,200/month. We’ll have to check back in with the developer to see how plans have changed.
In December, we noted an analysis that showed a huge jump in active construction projects to build apartment developments around the Puget Sound as measurements of demand continue to rise. That study found that Capitol Hill had the lowest vacancy rate for existing apartments in the Seattle area at 3.61%.
Not surprisingly, other Hill developments that were in progress years ago are suddenly back in motion. We’ll have more shortly on next week’s design meeting set to rekindle the project that will replace B&O Espresso’s current home.