What the 7-story development at 600 E Pike will look like — Plus, Malden project moves forward

The future of service in Pike/Pine

The future of service in Pike/Pine

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.

Screen Shot 2013-07-31 at 8.50.24 AM

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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.

600 E. Pike St.
Design Proposal

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
Screen Shot 2013-07-31 at 8.52.46 AMNot 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.

Screen Shot 2013-07-31 at 8.53.06 AMAnd 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.

The board also required that, for the project to be allowed to align its townhouse structure like a rowhouse along E Mercer, the development needs to incorporate more open space in its design.Screen Shot 2013-07-31 at 8.52.28 AM

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.

607 Malden Ave E
Design Proposal (15.7 MB)

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
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19 thoughts on “What the 7-story development at 600 E Pike will look like — Plus, Malden project moves forward

  1. Does anyone else find it odd that the artist chose to use several BMW’s in the renderings given it’s a former Mercedes dealership?! :P

    Is this to imply that only those who can afford BMW’s can afford to live in this development?

    I’m a neighbor of the Malden Mercer proposed development and fully support the project. No love lost on the 2 homes and am thankful the mansion will be kept.

    • The spacing relative to the other buildings on the Malden project still looks pretty close–but it’s definitely an improvement over the EDG. And overall, we could have gotten something much worse on this site.

    • I do agree on the spacing aspect. I feel the 3 tucked inside are overkill. It would be nice to have some breathing space with a tree or two.

    • Whatever software they’re using probably doesn’t have Mercedes to select from. I’ve always found BWs and Audis cooler and Mercedes more fuddy-duddy.

    • You are reading too much into it. It was a former home to Seattle BMW. There is also a Tesla in one of the renderings. So, no I don’t find it odd, neither should you. They are probably pre-rendered into whatever software they are utilizing, besides they look much better to investors than a Saturn.

  2. I’ve never liked the look of that dealership, so almost anything is an improvement, but still, the 600 E Pike development looks massively anonymous. At least they’re not tearing down a 100-year-old house and local businesses for it.

  3. I live two blocks from this site on Malden, in a house across from a similar townhouse structure. I find that the townhouses add to the character of the neighborhood, rather than subtract from it. Also, the large windows combined with the higher density put more eyes on the street and make the neighborhood feel safer. The design of this new development looks attractive and fits the scale of the rest of the neighborhood. I fully support it.

  4. RE: the 600 E Pike development. I’m surprised that they are including 300 parking spaces for 250-300 units. Whereas I think ALL new buildings should be required to have SOME parking (including apodments, dammit!), this seems excessive, and of course will indirectly increase the rents there. I’m guessing they aim to rent some parking to people who live nearby, or to the general public.

    The design for the Malden property looks quite nice, and I am very glad that the beautiful old home (on the north) will be preserved.

  5. Ugly. Just ugly. Seattle developers are some of the least creative in the country. So happy I’m getting the hell off the Hill. Total yuppie dbag haven now as well.

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