For anybody wondering if Murray Franklyn’s development plan for 14th and John includes preserving the lot’s 1904-built home, we have a short answer for you: nope. But that wasn’t the Capitol Hill Design Review Board’s biggest problem with the project as it passed it forward to the recommendation stage Wednesday night at a sparsely attended public review meeting.
The design packet that wasn’t available earlier in the week has now been posted and is embedded below. It shows the basic scheme for the development at this point featuring four stories, 46 apartment units, room for parking for 24 vehicles and, the bone of contention Wednesday night, 1,500 square feet of live/work units to meet the area’s zoning requirements for commercial space.
The live/work spaces will present the building’s E John face and the board was concerned that live/work lofts being designed as mostly live and not enough work won’t “activate” the street. The issue is a bit of a trend, by the way. A second project being reviewed Wednesday night — the project that will replace the office building above Pillars Park — also substitutes a live/work scheme instead of retail or restaurant appropriate space along its Minor Ave front.
Back at 14th and John, the public comment centered the size of the Weatherford Apartments project and the old house. “It would be great if you didn’t tear it down,” one speaker said. “These kinds of houses don’t exist anymore.”
Representatives for the developer at the meeting said they plan to start a city landmark process for the 1904 structure soon. As we’ve reported in the past, the landmark designation process can be used as much as to establish that a building is *not* a landmark as to establish that it *is” and even structures that the city board deems worthy still can be developed and altered.