The city’s design process for two new seven-story apartment projects on Capitol Hill moves forward this week as thedevelopment and a “workforce” apartment complex at go through recommendation sessions with the Capitol Hill Design Review Board. For both projects, Wednesday night could be the final session of review and public comment before the board makes its recommendations for the final building designs as Capitol Hill continues to build toward the sky.
The 550 Broadway project certainly won’t overshadow its neighbors Seattle University’s Campion Hall and Swedish First Hill hospital. The project will replace the old building at Broadway and James that has been home to restaurants and a handful of apartment units with a seven-story mixed-use building. The structure will be built in the shadow of Campion Hall on the western edge of SU’s campus. Plans call for 5,500 square feet of retail, two live/work units, 189 apartments and parking for 108 vehicles within the structure. Developer is Stratford Properties with design by Ankrom Moisan Associated Architects. The updated design packet for the recommendation meeting is below.
Project: 524 Broadway map
You can review notes from one of the two previous design sessions here. CHS comments from the summer sessions were mostly focused on the wisdom of zoning that allows developers to build to seven stories.
Still up in the air for the board this week as items like materials and landscaping are discussed is the building’s massing and whether a large central courtyard should face Broadway or the SU housing building as the developer’s prefer.
418 Bellevue Ave E
Perhaps less of a “natural” seven-story fit is the 418 Bellevue Ave E development, a project slogging its way through the twists and turns of process and economy since January 2006. Developer Langer Properties plans to build a 75-foot “workforce” affordable housing building at 418 Bellevue Ave E with 45 units (reduced from 67) and underground parking for 16 vehicles. Design is by Runberg Architecture Group.
Project: 418 Bellevue Ave E map
Plans by earlier developers to build a townhouse project at the site were scuttled a few years back but not before an old apartment building had been razed to make way. The space, its old concrete foundation still jutting from the earth, has sat empty for years. But neighbors haven’t been exactly thrilled with the prospect of the new seven-story tower. Here’s a sample of public comment from 418’s return to the design review process this summer:
CHS comments about the project were focused on exceptions to zoning laws being requested by the developer in exchange for developing the property as “workforce” housing — and, yes, size:
you’ve got to be kidding in asserting that desnity virtue trumps all. You see, PEOPLE have to LIVE in and on either side of this blocky lug of a proposed building. Take it from uber-succesful urban development in Vancouver, BC: you have to leave space for light, air and greenery around each new structure to keep people sane, especially in our light-limited Pac NW. Anything else is plain moronic. This project should absolutely not be approved with these absurdly inadequate setbacks.
The design board won’t be knocking off any stories come Wednesday nights meeting but we’ll see what kind of standards they hold the final design elements to given the concerns about the building’s place in the neighborhood and the tradeoffs being made to create affordable housing.