Two Capitol Hill development projects take what could be their final steps in the public design process Wednesday night. Though one will soar seven stories and the other will climb but three, both are preservation-minded and are planned to incorporate existing buildings into future multifamily housing. Here’s a look at plans for transforming a Mercedes dealership on a rapidly changing stretch of E Pike’s old auto row and a 1906-built home in one of our least development-friendly neighborhoods into components of a taller, more densely-packed Capitol Hill.
600 E Pike
The developers behind the 600 E Pike project that will preserve portions of the Phil Smart Mercedes Benz dealership as part of a seven-story, 250 to 300-unit development with 20,000 square feet of retail and parking for 300 vehicles return to the East Design Review Board Wednesday night with a refined plan and a simpler concept for their massive undertaking. The recommendation step of the design process reveals the first images of what developers hope the building looks like when completed in the next year or two.
The new plan for developers Avalon Bay responded to board requests for a better solution on upper story setbacks to reduce the overall scale of the enormous project. Designed by firm Ankrom Moisan, the development has the blessing of the Pike Pine Urban Neighborhood Coalition community group.
Review Meeting: July 31, 8:00 PM Seattle Central Community College 1701 Broadway #4106 Review Phase: Recommendation past reviews Project Number: 3014172 permit status | notice Planner: Shelley Bolser
In September 2012, CHS reported Avalon was preparing to buy the land with plans for a mixed-use development incorporating elements of the auto row-era structures in return for the extra floor of height the Pike/Pine Conservation District makes available via development incentives. The project is set to join the equally massive Pike Motorworks development in completely redefining this area of Pike/Pine. After being put on hold, the Pike Motorworks project is back in motion again with plans for a November start of work on the BMW dealership property the project will partially preserve.
607 Malden Ave E
Not everybody is thrilled that this project to demolish two older homes and shift another to make room for a three-story townhouse structure at the corner of Malden Ave E and E Mercer continues to move forward. Grassroots efforts to stop it have apparently not been effective.
And the G Projects development made it through its first round of design review in February mostly unscathed — though not without the board making a few stern requests of the project.
Wednesday night, the developers will need to explain the project’s “streetscape compatibility” and “what in the neighborhood was driving the proposed design,” according to DPD documents.
Public comment in February — as recorded by the city — included:
- Concerned with the density of the proposed project. This site is in a transition zone.
- Concerned with the height, bulk and scale of the proposed project.
- Objected to the applicant using the existing apartment building to the south as an example as it is unique to the neighborhood.
- Stated that a recent study has shown people don’t use stoops anymore.
- Stated that the project is great but this is the wrong location for it.
- Concerned that the development will cause loss of views, light and air to the apartment building to the west.
- Would like to see the project have better pedestrian orientation and scale.
- Stated that they liked rowhouses but they are not appropriate in this neighborhood. Concerned that the proposed courtyard will be an unpleasant space to be in.
- Stated that the project needs to preserve sunshine on the sidewalks.
- Concerned the project will cast shade on the site to the north and is not thoughtful of neighboring properties.
- Concerned that the project is too close to its lot lines.
- Stated that the height of the proposed buildings is not being shown accurately.
It’s unlikely that the changes to be revealed Wednesday night will solve any of these concerns.
Review Meeting: July 31, 6:30 PM Seattle Central Community College 1701 Broadway #4106 Review Phase: Recommendation past reviews Project Number: 3014327 permit status | notice Planner: Beth Hartwick