The developer Avalon Bay is under contract to buy the L-shaped parcels stretching between Pike and Pine that have been home to the Phil Smart Mercedes dealership since 1959. An Avalon representative from the publicly traded company’s Bellevue office made the announcement during a tour of the property with the Pike Pine Urban Neighborhood Council last week to discuss the development of a new mixed-use building at the site and the opportunities for preserving portions of the old auto row dealership.
“We hold these buildings for a very long time,” Brian Fritz, vice president of development for Avalon Bay Communities, told the group.
Fritz said Avalon isn’t yet ready to make its development plans fully public but that the mixed-use project will move along soon. No Department of Planning and Development filings yet appear for the address for construction or land use permits.
CHS reported in February on the sale of the family-run Phil Smart business and its impending move to SoDo. The masonry building it will leave behind includes several features that could be appealing for Avalon to incorporate in order to benefit from the Pike/Pine Conservation District’s preservation incentives. Just up the Hill, the mixed-use development replacing the former BMW dealership is also putting those incentives to work to build to seven stories.
Fritz told the group the project will be designed by Ankrom Moisan Architects — but to expect something different than the controversy that has erupted around the design review process for Ankrom Moisan’s 1020 E Union project. Fritz said he hopes for construction to begin on the Mercedes property by 2014. But first, yes, Ankrom Moisan must run the public design review gauntlet, again.