The Seattle Design Review process is not a rubber stamp. Just ask the developers behind the project we lovingly refer to as the Taco Time building. Last week, the East Design Review Board — with a push from neighborhood development watchdog the Pike Pine Urban Neighborhood Council — sent the plans for the six-story, 70-unit apartment complex back to the drawing board where architects will have to scramble for a third early design guidance session.
[mappress mapid="50"]While projects typically get stuffed through in one pass, the third early session isn’t entirely unprecedented. The much more complicated preservation and development project slated to take up the block at 10th and Union with 250 apartment units also suffered the indignity of having to go through the preliminary review three times. It ultimately required five review sessions before getting the go ahead — a record in the current era, by our count.
The Taco Time project, in relation, is a pretty straightforward affair but the board — and PPUNC — hasn’t been happy with the designs that have come back for this stretch of E Madison across from the glistening, just-landed Bullitt Center.
“… we feel the project is trapped somewhere between a bold, contemporary statement such as that made by the Bullitt Center or the nearby Jewish Family Center, and that of the more traditional building,” a letter to the design board (embedded below) reads.
The family behind the Taco Time chain that owns the land where the fast food restaurant used to be and is now planned for development isn’t wasting any time getting back in front of the review board. Their third attempt is slated for late May. We’ll have more on the project prior to that review.
PPUNC chair John Feit is a frequent contributor to CHS on the topic of neighborhood architecture.