Design board looks at giant Pike/Pine project plus a smaller Hill project it got tough on

The “new” look for 14th and Republican

Maybe those concerned about the largest development ever in Pike/Pine can learn something from the community members who spoke up about one of the smallest recent developments on the Hill. Wednesday night, both projects go in front of the East Design Review Board. For the 1020 E Union project, Wednesday will be its first exposure to the Seattle public design process. Meanwhile, the four-story 1406 E Republican project had a rough go of it in its first attempt to pass by the board — it’s been pulled back for a second Early Design Guidance session to address concerns raised by community members and the design board that the development’s plan didn’t do enough to fit into the neighborhood it is envisioned to be part of:

Along with the Board’s desire to see a scheme that better recognizes the neighborhood context, the massing of the proposal should begin to step back in height near the site’s edges where there are adjacent properties. Other techniques to reduce the building scale should also be considered.

1406 E Republican
The full notes from the February 1st session discussing 1406 E Republican are here (PDF). The 36-unit residential project from new development firm Revolve and architect schack A+D didn’t get a warm reception.

Project: 1406 E Republican St  map
Review Meeting:8:00 pm
 Seattle University Casey Commons map
 901 12th Ave
 5th Floor 500E
Review Phase:EDG–Early Design Guidance past reviews
Project Number:3012837 permit status | notice
Planner:Bruce Rips

Here are some of the notes from the public comment portion of the first design guidance session on the project that will replace a single family home on the corner of 14th and Republican:

Height, Bulk and Scale

• Buildings to the east will be in shade due to the proposal. (mentioned several times)

• The proposal is out of scale with the neighborhood.

• The structure is too monolithic.

• The size and scale of the project is too large. Reduce the building height to three floors.

Neighborhood Character & Context

• Photos presented by the applicant do not accurately reflect the neighborhood. The speaker displayed his own photographic study.

• The building’s character ignores its context.

• The structure will dominate and change the neighborhood character.

• The height of the walls and the central courtyard close off the neighborhood around it.

• The whole building is unfriendly to the neighbors who have lived here many years.

• It is inaccurate to state that this proposal is in character with the neighborhood.

• Bring the design of the building into harmony with other buildings in the neighborhood.

• The neighborhood has witnessed a significant increase in children and families

It didn’t help that the board also had to ask for a solar study and needed to remind the developer of the need for adhering to two Capitol Hill design guidelines:

1) create substantial courtyard style open space that is visually accessible to the public view and

2) set back upper floors to provide solar access to the sidewalk and/or neighboring properties. New concept schemes will need to address these issues.

Did Revolve get it right this time? You can see their revised proposal document here (PDF).

1020 E Union

Massing model for the 1020 E Union project

We told you about the other project slated to come before the design review board last week — Largest development yet planned for backside of Pike/Pine

Project: 1020 E Union St  map

Review Meeting:6:30pm
 Seattle University Casey Commons map
 901 12th Ave
 5th Floor 500E
Review Phase:EDG–Early Design Guidance
Project Number:3013040 permit status | notice
Planner:Lisa Rutzick


In the meantime, we know at least one major community group — PPUNC, Pike Pine Urban Neighborhood Council — met to discuss the project and its presence at Wednesday night’s review.

Check ou the CHS comments for a preview of what the public might have to say Wednesday about the Alliance Realty Partners. CHS plans to be there for coverage. What are you planning to say? You can check out the design proposal document and our report here.

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22 thoughts on “Design board looks at giant Pike/Pine project plus a smaller Hill project it got tough on

  1. Their new proposal is merely stating why all the criticism they were given was wrong and how awesome they are and how we should all love their plan. Well as a pro-density, modernist, Seattle Architect who lives w/in 3 blocks, I say this design is still awkward, unwelcoming and a bad fit. I’m all for a large building on this site but not this one. C’mon Seattle architects, we can do better than this!
    (yes, I’m a WA licensed architect who has lived worked in Seattle for 14 years)

  2. Even with their analysis they seemed to have missed all of the single family homes in the area. The size and height of their proposal and the alternatives are out of scale and character for this part of Capitol Hill.

  3. Every building on that street was built to last. This joint will be lucky to survive 30 years. Sadly that is true of almost all of the new construction we see around the neighborhood. Oh sure the granite and stainless is nice I suppose but a lot of these places are nothing but future slums. I have no doubt that this will go thru as our “leaders” are in bed with any developer willing to cough up some cash. To call this steaming pile architecture is a stretch to say the least. Pathetic! If I was one of the many houses on that street paying up to $40,000 per year in property taxes I would be pissed. Good luck neighbors!

  4. “Every building on that street was built to last” – oh come one. I want the best possible building for this site too, but fibbing about the makeup of the neighbourhood around there doesnt help & is just as bad as the developer’s tactics. It might be more stately up near the park, but further south it’s a real mashup of styles, ages and building quality. Some great. Some not-so-great. It’s fine to want excellence but, lets be realistic about the site or we REALLY look like NIMBYs.

  5. No part of our beloved Mayor’s new plan for the neighborhood means increased heights and of course no parking is required now in a neighborhood that was tough to park in 30 years ago. And then the plan to allow 2500 square foot businesses anywhere and everywhere in an L3 or L2 zone. Just be glad there isn’t going to be a tofu factory and needle exchange on the main floor (we hope)
    This current regime BTW could care less about historic houses or the charm that they give our neighborhood. Big meeting on the 29th where our City leaders will be installing self check out stands at DPD for the developers to streamline the process. Of course if you want to add a deck or remodel something you will be harrased to death at the DPD as usual.

  6. 14th headed north of this project is a wonderful collection of large turn of the century houses. This would be a great corner to make a statement. How about another “gift to the street” just as those houses are. I am actually a huge fan of PB Elemental. They could make this corner pop!

  7. Inmate 4207: just as a lesson on rhetoric, I should share that my reaction to your comments above was “hear, hear!” especially since my house is now in the shade of a development that snuck under design review, replacing a previously approved design with a giant wall o’ siding.

    …until you decided to go and complain about parking and tofu factories. This carless vegetarian is happy to see parking constrained, thankyouverymuch, and I like tofu so all those factories the mayor has been tearing down our heritage architecture to build are fine by me.

    I don’t expect you to share my worldview, but if your intention was to make some point about this building, you might have considered focusing on that. Rather, when this monster gets built, instead of “what’s that giant box doing there?” I’m likely to think “oh, that’s the tofu factory that pissed off that wacky commenter.”

  8. Everything was fine until you self-proclaimed you had a world view.

    Comments (whacky or not) make sense and I will hopefully forget the comments from the person with the disgusting tofu habit.

  9. I think there are many concerns with the 10th & Union project.
    The first is the proposed construction of a huge wall facing Pike and the assumption that the the buildings on the other half of the block will one day be demolished to make way for a structure with equal massing. Imagine a blank wall towering multiple stories above the block which is currently home to The Winston (Wild Rose, Super Genius), Bimbos, Vita and Quinn’s. Yes, businesses will come and go, but hopefully at least a few of the existing buildings will remain.

    The second is the apparent disregard for the Madison Park Greetings Building. Christalla-style facadism proposed for the new building will destroy the historic character and charm of that building. A more appropriate solution, if feasible, would be to preserve the existing structure and add stories above that are set back from the edge. In-fill and multistory additions, incorporating any significant historic buildings would be a better solution for this block, imo.

  10. I’m not an architect, but it seems to me that the initial “massing” drawings (of any proposed building) are kind of misleading to a lay person. I guess they are intended simply to show the dimensions of a proposed building, but in doing so they make all buildings look like stark prisons. The subsequent, “reality” drawings (or whatever they are called), such as the color image in this post, give a much better idea of what a building will actually look like.

    I agree that parking requirements have been excessive in the past (often 2 spaces per unit), but I’m concerned about the trend now to not include ANY parking….this creates problems for neighborhoods like this one, where parking is already very tight. It seems to me that at least some parking should be included in the new design proposals, at least in a dense area such as Capitol Hill. It’s all well and good to encourage people to use transit, but the pendulum has swung too far towards not requiring any parking at all in new buildings.

  11. I think the parking concerns are realistic. How many units are planned for this new building? Looks like about 32 from the drawing. I don’t own a car and would love to see improvements to and more people using public transit. But let’s be REALISTIC…people need to travel outside of their neighborhoods on a regular basis. Whether it’s a weekend trip out of town, visiting friends and family, etc. Cars can be useful and a large structure like this should have perhaps 1 spot per unit, or one spot for 80% of the units. If all spots are not used by the tenants, I’m sure others nearby would be happy to rent them. Parking is a nightmare in this area and constraining it doesn’t reduce to need to have a car on occasion.

  12. It was interesting at the meeting tonight that the developer planted a guy in the audience to say positive things about the mass of the structure. It was so obvious with him hanging out with the developer in the lobby talking to loudly.

  13. The old lady (with the Burberry coat) from the developer is laughing at the boards comments about the inner courtyard. She seems to think noise in the courtyard would not be an issue for the residents.

    She seems to have issues with all of the boards non-positive feedback.

    It was also weird how she was attempting to discretely record with her phone community feedback.