Wednesday night, the East Design Review Board will get its first look at the fleshed out vision for the project from longtime Seattle developer Denny Onslow set to overhaul — and keep — three businesses with deep Capitol Hill roots at Harvard and Pine as a seven-story apartment building soars above. Meanwhile, the board will also make time for what could be the final review of a 30-story apartment tower on First Hill just above I-5.
721 E Pine
Future tenants in the seven-story apartment building that will someday rise above Harvard and Pine will get premium finishes and a bit more living space than you might find in nearby new construction coming on the market soon. Commercial tenant Bill’s Off Broadway will also get some extra space and some important new equipment to work with.Developer Onslow tells CHS as his project prepares to take what could be its final bow in the design review process that he’s proud that all three of the existing businesses at the corner — Bill’s, cycle shop Red Label Moto and the geolocation-twisted 15th Ave Garage — are planned to be part of the project when it is completed following two years of construction. It’s not likely to be a big element of Wednesday night’s review but Onslow said one big change will be the addition of a full kitchen to an expanded Bill’s space as Red Label and its fancy motorbikes will slide a little farther to the south in the project to make way.
Meanwhile, Onslow said that his effort to keep the auto repair garage business in the plan has set an important precedent as the city reassess the Pike/Pine Conservation Overlay District preservation incentives. Onslow said that automobile garage uses are expected to become an accepted use under the incentives thanks to his project’s push for 15th Ave as an alternative way to present an active commercial front at street level.
Onslow’s project, which won’t be subject to any revisions to the overlay incentive program currently being fought out, will benefit from the original program which granted the project an extra floor of height in exchange for preserving the 93-year-old Bill’s restaurant structure. Though it qualifies for the preservation incentives, the structure was not deemed worthy of deeper landmarks protection in a July ruling.
Onslow, a longtime commercial developer who is putting the Capitol Hill project together on his own this go round, said the various review and landmarks processes have somewhat delayed the project, apparently to be known as Cue, if the renderings are to be believed.
“Between landmarks and that effort — and preserving the character structure — seemed like they weren’t really communicating,” he said of the various entities charged with protecting the City of Seattle’s character structure stock. The delay works out fine for the project, though, Onslow notes as his construction timeline will now mostly match up with the massive Pike Motorworks on the same block following that project’s financing-related delays earlier this year. If the board gives its final blessing to the Bill’s building Wednesday night, expect a late December start of construction at the site. The Pike Motorworks site should go into motion earlier in November.
The Hewitt-designed, 78 to 95 unit project at Harvard and Pine with plans for only one level of underground parking had its successful first spin through the design review board in October. Public comment was mostly supportive of the major design elements and the board said it was open to the plan for a smaller-than-required setback for the upper levels that “would relate to the nearby street wall and would also include a ‘porch’ above the second story to activate the street frontage.”
Wednesday, Onslow is excited to show the final plans for what he calls “a building that will stand on its own and endure.”
They build things big on First Hill. This Weber Thompson-designed tower from developers Alecta and The Justen Company is set to join the race to the sky with plans to reach 30 stories and make space for 287 units including studios and one and two bedroom apartments and underground parking for 230. The
240-foot 300-foot 345-foot tower will fill in an space adjacent two retirement towers. Like we said, big buildings.
Review Meeting: August 21, 8:00 PM Seattle University 901 12th Ave Admissions & Alumni Community Room Review Phase: Recommendation past reviews Project Number: 3013479 permit status | notice Planner: Bruce Rips