Filling in Pike and Pine | 6-story apartment and retail building planned for 14th Ave

Last week, CHS described a new wave of development coming to seemingly fill in the next layer of Capitol Hill density. Then, we found our example on 19th Ave E. This week, CHS has discovered plans for a 6-story development on 14th Ave between Pike and Pine that will continue to expand the waves of redevelopment onto streets other than PIke, Pine, Broadway and Madison.


Like last week’s example, it’s very early in the process on 14th Ave so take it all with a grain of salt but CHS has learned that Madrona Real Estate Investors has begun planning on a mixed-use development that will partially preserve the storefronts that Blue Sky CleanersMezaSPUN Collective and Porchlight Coffee call home and demolish the building housing the much loved 60 Minute Photo neighboring Cascina Spinasse’s building at 14th and Pine. A single family home behind Porchlight will also make way for the development.

According to the early filings, the plan calls for construction of a mixed-use building with “5 1/2″ floors of apartments and parking at street level and underground.

Johnson Architects will design the project. The firm was also behind the award-winning overhaul of the Broadway Market.  CORRECTION: Broadway Market was designed by Johnston Architects. Johnson’s more recent area projects include Trace Lofts and the Packard Building.


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With the facade preservation planned in the 14th Ave project, the development may be in line to benefit from the ongoing evolution of the Pike/Pine preservation district’s incentive programs.

Madrona acquired the property including the 1925 converted store fronts in 2008 for $1.5 million according to King County records. The building had served as a printing shop in the past.

As for the potentially displaced businesses, you can likely relax for the near term. Long time readers are probably painfully aware of just how long it can take for these projects to actually dig in. The big difference lately, however, has been that they do, eventually start to dig.

20 thoughts on “Filling in Pike and Pine | 6-story apartment and retail building planned for 14th Ave

  1. Always glad to see more density planned and the disappearance of surface level parking but, but, but, no!!!! don’t take away that awesome 60 minute photo building! It would be a tall order to incorporate both facades here as mighty incongruous, design wise, they really are but…. please?

  2. I suppose it won’t stop until there’s never any easy street parking anywhere left on CapHill. My choice will end up being $20 in taxis every time I go out for a drink, or long walks through the Central District on the way home. Or option (C), just stay home. I guess I know where this is heading.

  3. wow, the building that houses SPUN, Porchlight, Meza and the cleaners was just renovated – less than 2 years ago, right? what a shame – that was a nice renovation and brought good small businesses into the neighborhood. I suspect SPUN will be able to find another space but I don’t know if Porchlight will make it, coffee shops are so location-specific.

  4. This project has been in the works for a couple of years now. Madrona talked about it to P/PUNC back before the market crash. The market and the high demand for rental housing on Capitol Hill has improved enough to finally move forward on it. The planning and review process will take some time.

    Madrona had been advocating to P/PUNC and Council Member Tom Rasmussen
    against proposed building mass limitations. Initially, Madrona described plans for a much larger building.

  5. No, you’re right, it probably won’t eliminate any street parking. But 5 floors of rental apartments will inevitably bring cars from their visitors, from the ground-floor retail, and even a few renters who either don’t buy the parking or have more than one car. You can be sure there will be no guest parking either. All that will compete for the street parking (like the Chloe bldg down the street, with Skillet downstairs). It’s going to get worse, but I guess that’s just the way it is.

  6. I can’t speak too highly of the “overhaul” of Broadway Market especially moving QFC into the Broadway Market. It’s the lamest QFC I’ve ever been in. Whoever heard of a supermarket where you have to get into an elevator to shop for groceries? Even when QFC was not in the Broadway Market management didn’t care much for the tenants who were there.

  7. Just learned via this article that Madrona wants to demolish my house to make room for bourgeois apartments. All this development is destroying the character of Capitol Hill!

  8. I am the founder and managing member of Madrona Real Estate Services, LLC the developer of 1515 14th Avenue Apartment; La Bella Vita. We are in the very preliminary stages of the public review and discussion process regarding this proposed development. We are looking forward to presenting this project in late October or early November with the Early Design Guidence public process.

    Our company has officed on Capitol Hill for over seven years we bought and re-habed the Starlight Video and Exotic Tan tenanted building located at 1318 East Pike into what is now Old School Frozen Custard, Rock Paper Scissors as well as our offices. We are active in the PPUNC and look forward to being good neighboors in the future.

    We plan on preserving the facade of the Porchlight Coffee Building and intend to keep all of the existing tenants and move them back into the new building once the retail is finished.

    Look forward to answering any questions neighbors might have as well as seeing you at the Early Design Guidence meeting in late October or early November!

  9. The Porchlight building would remain exactly as it looks today with the steel awning storefront glass and brick. The structure inside would be redone to today’s seismic and building code standards.

    A new six story structure would be built approximately 25 feet behind the east elevation of the Porchlight Building so as to preserve the look and feel of the old building. On the north side of the Porchlight Building new retail with cool 20 foot high ceilings would be built at the street level to compliment the existing Porchlight Building as well as serve as the driveway and entry to approximately 24 retail parking stalls (on grade leve) with access to underground parking for the residential dwelling units.

    Hope this helps.

  10. I agree – I’m not a fan of the current incarnation of B’way Market. I went there so much more often when it was the open market with the multiple small vendors and shops and you could walk through from end to end. Filling it up mostly with that QFC killed the feel of it all.

  11. JimS, I’m wondering why taking the bus wasn’t listed among your options? I live around on Cap Hill specifically because it makes going pretty much everywhere I want to go by bus very easy, the CD included. Plus, I can do crossword puzzles while en route! I recomend giving it a try, if you haven’t.