Through a declaration that one of the properties was a biohazard, a forced demolition and foreclosure, and four years of stalled development a Capitol Hill developer has been able to hold onto his land and now has aims on building a six-story apartment building across three lots at Belmont and Republican despite opposition from some residents in the area who say the project is designed to “maximize the developer’s profit” at the cost of “what’s good for the neighborhood” and has received too little public scrutiny.
The Stream Belmont project at 500 Belmont Ave E will come before the Capitol Hill Design Review Board Wednesday night already in the recommendation phase due to earlier design reviews of the project years ago:
Project: 500 Belmont Ave E map
Review Meeting: September 7, 6:30 pm
SU Alumni Relations and Admissions Building 824 12th Ave Meeting Room
Review Phase: Recommendation
Revisions to the previously reviewed design from the original 2007 project are detailed in this memo from architects Nicholson Kovalchik:
The new plan calls for a 6-story multi-family structure with 65 units, and underground parking for 39 vehicles. “The original project was a concrete structure that was not designed to the fullest zoning capacity, and was seemingly economically infeasible,” the design packet’s “major change rationale” section reads. “The proposed project is a wood structure that has increased the overall building capacity, while keeping within the permitted zoning and building code allowances.”
Resident Michael Keigley is asking for neighbors to speak out against the project at Wednesday’s meeting and sent CHS his objections to the updated project:
The changes requested essentially are to maximize the developer’s profit with little, if any attention to what’s good for the neighborhood. The proposed project has changed from condos to an apartment complex, increased the number of units from 40 to 65 (making them tiny units), decreased parking from 65 to 39 stalls (.6 parking stalls/unit), increased the building mass on every side (including zero-lot lines and reduced green space), and changed the red brick exterior façade to metal paneling, among other changes…
It’s also interesting to note that this almost made it through DPD without a public meeting or review by the Design Review Board (because it is a revision of a MUP). In addition, DPD has only notified the neighborhood of the proposal and public meeting by posting 4 signs on the 500-600 Ave E Block of Belmont and has curiously not sent notices to taxpayers as would happen with a new Land Use permit.
The recent history of this block of Belmont Ave E has not been the happiest. Last June, CHS reported that the fire-damaged home on the corner lot had become so contaminated by squatters that SPD refused to enter. The city sued to force the demolition of the house. Owner Kyle Clark managed to retain ownership of the lots despite a foreclosure process earlier this year.
NK Architects is also active elsewhere on the Hill right now as the designer and developer behind the project at Federal and Republican.