Capitol Hill ‘wildflower’ lot destined for seven-story apartment building

(Image: Jon Polka for CHS)

(Image: Jon Polka for CHS)

A long-empty Harvard Ave E lot just behind Broadway’s mammoth Joule development is slated for a seven-story, workforce apartment project.

The project at 515 Harvard Ave E is planned as a seven-story, 75-unit building with underground parking for 24 vehicles. By providing a percentage of the units at affordable levels, the building will qualify for the extra floor of height above the six-story limit in the zone. It will be developed by Maria Barrientos who also built Capitol Hill’s Chloe and who lately has been involved in developing the properties of Capitol Hill real estate investor  Ron Amundson.

The Harvard Ave E land is owned by Greg Stein who acquired the parcels for $1.85 million in 2001.

(Image: CHS)

(Image: CHS)

In 2010, CHS noted the impressive field of wildflowers — and weeds — that had cropped up and covered the lot.

The project will have its first design review in May.

Before that, there’s a chock-full schedule of design reviews for new Capitol Hill projects. We’ll have more on the next round — including a six-story mixed-use project slated for the corner of 12th and E Pike — soon.

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29 thoughts on “Capitol Hill ‘wildflower’ lot destined for seven-story apartment building

  1. This is very good news. The wildflowers are nice, but that property has needed development for a very long time. And it is exactly the best kind of new apartment building for Capitol Hill…reasonably-sized units, a certain degree of affordability (details later, I guess), and some parking with a unit/space ratio of 3:1.

    This is SO much better for our neighborhood than microhousing/apodments!

  2. Yes, much better alternative to aPodments. Looking forward to hearing more details and seeing designs. Hopefully the upper floors have setbacks or the building is recessed a bit from the street. Its nice to see some sky, have as much daylight as possible given the situation.

    I’m excited to see all the change occurring on the hill. Hopefully we can keep the growth as responsible as possible.

  3. Being one of the last responsible dog walkers on Capitol Hill, who actually picks up his dog’s poop each time, I can say it’s a good thing this lot is being developed. Over the past couple years I’ve tried taking my dog to this vacant lot for a nice little stroll, only to find each step to be a huge navagational challenge due to the mounds of dog poop left everywhere by bad dog owners. At least a pretty building with nice landscaping will now occupy the place. Pick up your dog poop people.

      • It was unfenced for a couple years before the construction crew started moving in and fenced it off.

    • Not to mention the land mines that were being left on the sidewalk up and down that block. Things have really cleaned up since that lot stopped being a dog anus magnet.

  4. There goes my view of downtown from my apartment just north of the site. And since it will be three stories taller I would be able to see the sun either. :(

  5. Wait a minute — 75 units with 24 parking spaces? Oh, swell. That’s almost as good as the planned project in what was the former disabled housing that now boasts a sign claiming there will be 45 affordable housing units constructed on that single-family zoned lot with 3 (yes, count ’em — 3) parking spots for the complex. I KNOW that it is unpopular to have a vehicle on the Hill now but come on, folks, you know as well as I do that people (regardless of their financial wherewithal) will still have cars, like it or not. This is simply unrealistic and poor planning, in my opinion.

    • Well, at least the building will have SOME parking…these days that is about all we can expect, unfortunately. If you really are incensed about this problem, then please get involved in opposing the apodments, which have NO parking at all.

  6. I always thought this would’ve been the perfect location for a park. Perhaps instead of the Broadway Hills location, but in any case, would have been nice to hold some open space on the West side of Broadway. And too bad for the rooftop at the Joule…a 7 story building is sure to block their view a bit.

    That said, it was inevitable that this lot would be developed. The surprise is how long it has taken to actually happen. Let’s hope they can build something a little more attractive than what has gone up on Broadway recently.

    • I think the new developments on Broadway are quite attractive, actually. Good use of color and materials. Sure, things can always be better, but they can also be worse.

      There is talk of a promenade along Melrose so (while maybe noisy) there will be a decent park West of Broadway.

      • There are at least 3 parks West of Broadway.. but given how densely this area is populated, another one would not have hurt. Besides, Tashkent Park is a bad example as it is quite overgrown and has a history of unsavory activities. I’m simply saying that this lot would have been a prime opportunity.

  7. The concept of apt. “townhouses” with separate entrances,like the back side of JOULE, should be steadfastly avoided. JOULE has had to add the ugliest “cages” to the back entrances, all because a homeless person wanted to sleep on the urban stoop entrance. Clearly the design went to the cheapest bid. The apts. now have rust colored caged gates.

  8. “Affordable housing”…there’s that fly-in-the-ointment label again. Affordable to what income? The service industry workers? The Amazons? Who? Anxious to hear the answer.

  9. I hate the fact that they can beat the height resctriction by saying we are making 34% or what ever the % is so that they can build over the standard 6 floors on cap hill. It’s a loop hole! I own a condo on the hill and I din’t pay a half million dollars for someone to use a loop hole to take away my view. Stick to the 6 floors, and stop building those apodments, and stick to the classics, which the hill is loosing with all of these cheap builsings going up.

    • You will still have a view SEA76- t will just be of something different- a smll price to pay for affordable housing…oh wait that is not your concern. Views are not entitlements and nothing is permanent in a dynamic urban environment. If everyone thought like you, nothing new would ever be built. Views are overrated.

      • It’s not just about the view. It’s about these companies using loop holes to overcrowd an area that really doesn’t need any more density. It’s also about cheap construction to decline our property values as well and the parking situation. I am not even going to go there. I don’t have a car so it’s not my concern. Views can be replaced but property values cannot. I admit we do need low income housing but cramming it in a small space is not the answer. Let it be a park.

      • Its NOT a loophole. Its INTENTIONAL incentive zoning. This is EXACTLY the outcome intended by the zoning code in order to incentivize developers to include affordable units in their projects.

        Just because you’ve got an “I’ve got my mine, eff you” attitude, doesn’t make it a loophole. And its not the job of our zoning code to make you even more affluent than you already are.

    • Right on, caphilldenizen!

      Sea76: please do not equate this new development on Harvard Ave E with the apodments….they are NOT the same thing. This new building will be on a good-size lot and hopefully will include some surrounding green space/landscaping, as well as some parking…neither of which is true for apodments.

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