250-unit Pike/Pine redevelopment project finally gets OK on design

It’s a “go” for another massive Pike/Pine apartment project that will combine 250 units and 12,000 square feet of commercial space with a preservation effort to recreate the look and feel of the auto row-era buildings currently standing on E Union between 10th and 11th.

Wednesday night’s design review session — the fourth for the project  in a process designed to require two — ended with a final blessing for the project. But there is one more community-friendly requirement being asked of developer Alliance Realty Partners before they begin construction of the Broadstone Capitol Hill project — lose the hardiboard. At least at lower levels near the street, the board asked Alliance Wednesday to make plans to use the more expensive, more durable ceraclad finish on their project’s nether regions.

The project won support of the Pike Pine Urban Neighborhood Council though concerns remain about the level of quality for some finishing elements like the siding and planned balconies as the developer must balance the extra costs of preservation with the project’s total budget. Mike Meckling, an owner of Neumos and other property in the Pike/Pine core, also spoke at Wednesday night’s session to express his continued concern that the building be built to provide residents with strong noise abatement features for as-quiet-as-possible existence within earshot of the busy nightlife district. Though it was outside of the design review’s purview, Meckling also made the wise suggestion that the building’s developer be clear in its marketing of the 250 apartment units that the building is, indeed, part of a noisy, active neighborhood. We’re looking forward to seeing those ads.

We reached out to representatives for Alliance to find out about plans for the start of construction on another significant project in the area but have not yet heard back.

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10 thoughts on “250-unit Pike/Pine redevelopment project finally gets OK on design

  1. Interesting plea from Mike Meckling of Neumos…..kind of a pre-emptive strike to try and prevent complaints down the road. But I kind of doubt the marketing people will talk much about a noise problem…they will be in the business of renting space and being positive about their building.

    Aren’t clubs like Neumos required to be good neighbors and keep noise down to a legal level (or less)? Aren’t there things the club owners can do to minimize how much noise escapes to surrounding areas?

  2. I’m a business owner near Neumos and can tell you that they are as good of a neighbor as one could want from a club- reasonable crowd control, very little issues with fights or violence despite the numbers (the downfall of most clubs,) and a noise level that, to me, is actually below what one would expect from being a medium-size performance venue. We actually have more noise issues with a workout studio located in the neighborhood (have you ever heard Zumba music blaring at 150dB? It’s obnoxious!)

    Calhoun, you have to remember that Neumos has been (in some form or another) an active club on that corner for over 15 years. However, as many bar and club owners have witnessed in other parts of the city, there is a history in this city of developers building brand new developments in busy, vibrant neighborhoods but doing so on the cheap, with no consideration to the existing street noise when choosing windows or insulating materials. Tenants move in, excited to live in such an active, great place, and then promptly start calling the cops to complain about the very activity that drew them to the neighborhood in the first place. Club owners like Neumos are the ones that take the blame, despite 1) having been there for years and 2) no issues prior to the new development.

    I applaud Mike for having the foresight to raise the issue at the design review meeting. While it might be a more expensive build-out, the developers need to be accountable for designing buildings that are appropriate to the neighborhood, as a responsibility as much to their future tenants as to their neighboring business owners.

  3. I agree with Mike and RF put it very well and god knows these businesses are effected by the construction. I am a Property Manager for one of the new buildings on Capitol Hill and I have been in the industry for 5 plus years. I also have lived on Capitol Hill for 10 plus years and have an appreciation for the neighborhood and its pre existing establishments and charming old world buildings. I see the ins and outs from the multiple angles from owners to renters to management and members of the community. It is the responsibility of the new building to make every good faith effort they have to make there building comfortable for there residents. While marketing your building you don’t have to say ” It’s HELLA NOISY! ” But you could do without saying no there’s no noise. You also can build extra insulation and high efficiency windows which help with heating but also block a significant amount of noise. Maybe even try cross marketing with these businesses so you can contribute to the neighborhood as well. If you live in a commercial zone there is a level of tolerance required but its also called using your brain. We have to tell people in this country that their hot coffee is hot and that it will burn them. Pull it together people. Capitol Hill is being bombarded with buildings that are ruining old buildings. Bringing in corporate businesses into there retail spaces that shut down our existing ones and pushing people who have lived here forever away because they cant afford it. There were laws to protect this neighborhood from this and now that we need those laws they are being torn down. I am not saying don’t build a new building. I am saying no to the campaign to completely renovate the entire neighborhood so people can build all of these buildings to line their pockets while the apartment industry is hot. When the housing industry is back up these will all be converted to condos and sold. No one who wants to live here will be able to rent. Before this happens there will be an over saturation of product and businesses will suffer. I say NO to a- POD- Ments I’m not a rat in a cage or a college student. Oh and stop the talk about the affordable housing you are providing with some of the units. I’m sorry but $1400.00 is not affordable to the average person on capitol hill just because you could have rented it for more not to mention utilities and parking. I like the industry but sometimes you have to take a step back and call a spade a spade.

  4. Thank you, RF, for your insights about Neumos. I certainly agree that it is the responsibility of the developers in areas like Pike/Pine to include features in their buildings to mitigate noise…..but there is the reality that such features are expensive and will result in increased rent for the tenants.

    But the other part of the equation is for club owners to also spend some money to decrease the amount of noise that they generate. Has Neumos actually done this? Are there city codes which actually require things like sound insulation and thick windows? If not, I think there should be.

  5. Take a vibrant, lively neighborhood that everyone wants to go to and start to destroy it in the name of density. Way to go Seattle! Lets get rid of the things that make Cap Hill a destination and turn it into condo land. We mustn’t expect that the people who move into a well-known nightlife district take that into account – might cut into the developers’ profits don’t you know…

  6. Uh… this is replacing a half block that is essentially empty. How is it a bad thing to replace dead industrial blocks with newer construction and extend the neighborhood?

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