After some robust protest in recent comments on CHS development coverage, here’s your chance, dear reader, to have your say within the process at a series of upcoming Capitol Hill Design Review meetings. Two of these coming this week will help guide development just off central Broadway. The first is the earliest step in the process to guide the development of a seven-story mixed-use building at Broadway and James near Seattle University. The second re-starts the design process after a more-than-year-long pause to create a new apartment and retail building just off Broadway behind the Chase Bank at Thomas.
CHS first wrote about The Harvard Flats project in January 2010 as the mixed-use apartment project was going through its first Early Design Guidance session. Notes from that meeting are below.
Developer WRP Associates is proposing a seven-story building with around 2,100 square feet of commercial space at ground level and 70 apartment units above. The developer is planning parking for 65 vehicles to be provided in three levels below grade.
This stretch of Thomas is slated for some rapid change. Across the street from this WRP development is another WRP project planned also as a seven-story building. The 801 E Thomas project already has its construction permits which don’t expire until next May. The 801 building is slated to be mixed-use but without the retail — instead, it will be home to “administrative office” space and apartments.
As we wrote last January, a particularly interesting design opportunity near both projects beyond the typical concerns around look and feel is that both will be built adjacent to an unusually wide section of Harvard Ave. As CHS documented, the large right-of-way was created back in olden times when a streetcar that ran down Harvard from Roy St. It’s an area ripe for a unique solution to creating a useful space and calming traffic.
From the meeting notes from way back in January 2010, the Capitol Hill Design Board apparently agreed with us on the opportunity:
The subject site is located on a corner of an intersection where the street grid shifts, creating an unusually wide right of way (approximately 20’-6”) and excellent opportunity for enhancements to the public realm. The Board encouraged extending the Green Factor requirements into the right of way and working with SDOT to maximize the design potential. The Board also stressed the importance of connecting to the Broadway character of the neighborhood.
When the review picks up where it left off in 2010, the Board will want to hear more about the shifting street grid and these four issues:
- The Board would like to review details of the landscaping and open spaces (both private and communal) at the ground level, particularly around the street facing stoops.
- The Board would like to review three-dimensional renderings showing how the buildings, details and design relate to the sidewalk.
- Please submit a color and materials board. Please also provide colored renderings and/or graphics showing the proposed development from the pedestrian perspective, as well as from the parking lot to the west.
- Please also prepare conceptual address signage and lighting plans.
If you decide to attend and have something to say about the project, the board may add a few more for the developer to answer to. Like we said, here’s your chance. The presentation packet from January 2010 and the notes from that initial design meeting are below:
Date: Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Time: 08:00 p.m.
Location: Seattle University Alumni Relations and Admissions Building
824 12th Avenue
Meanwhile, the same night, the design review board process starts fresh on a new project along southern Broadway near Seattle University that is also destined to be a seven-story mixed-use building. We've also included the developer's packet for this early-stage meeting. The structure will be built in the shadow of Campion Hall on the western edge of SU's campus. Our biggest concern with the project? Please don't call it the "550 Broadway Avenue" project. It's not an avenue. It's Broadway. Beyond that, consider it a warm-up session for providing feedback. There's the 8 PM session to think about plus a few more design reviews coming up through summer.
Time: 06:30 p.m.
Location: Seattle University Alumni Relations and Admissions Building 824 12th Avenue Meeting Room