E John ‘small & efficient’ apartment project goes before review board

Screen Shot 2014-01-15 at 11.45.21 AMWednesday night’s design review won’t be quite as exciting as first billed — the developers behind the major preservation and office building project at 10th and Pine suddenly canceled their turn in front of the review board earlier this week.

But even as the community debates the very zoning that frames its planned existence, a four-story apartment project with 47 “small & efficient residential units” and no parking is moving forward on E John. It appears to be a project acceptable both under the currently allowed “Lowrise 3” framework and under the proposed restrictions to bring down the height in LR3 areas where developers have sometimes found opportunities to stretch buildings to five stories.

Wednesday night, the review board will consider its final sign off on the project at 1113 E John just a little less than a year after giving the project its first look in January 2013.8446994646_c6447f7b48_o

The Caron-designed East John Court project is slated to replace two twin 1903-built houses that have served as Seattle Hill House bed and breakfast.

Review Meeting:January 15, 8:00 pm
Seattle University
901 12th Ave
Student Center Multi Purpose Room #210
Review Phase:Recommendation past reviews
Project Number:3014162 permit status | notice
Planner:Tami Garrett

Screen Shot 2014-01-15 at 11.50.01 AM

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15 thoughts on “E John ‘small & efficient’ apartment project goes before review board

  1. It’s a nice looking building but I’m sad to see those 2 homes go away. Being next to the light rail station and on an arterial, this is the perfect spot for a 6’ish story building. Too bad they’re stopping where they are.

    Nice to see these going before a design review, unlike other “small and efficient” residential units that are popping up and are much taller.

    • It’s a LR-3 zone, so “6’ish” stories would not be allowed…thank goodness. Four stories is more in line with the buildings that are already there.

      • Understood that this is LR3. However we have a 6 floor building going in at 13th and Mercer.

        12th and John is much better suited for a taller building. We need revised codes along these arterials where taller buildings are needed to support growth and don’t impact smaller residences.

      • Timmy, what you want has already happened along Broadway, and will continue to happen. It doesn’t have to occur along every arterial, such as E John and 15th Ave E.

        The building at 13th & Mercer is an apodment, and it is 6 floors because developers are exploiting the weak land use/height regulations to build that high. Hopefully this will change soon if the DPD follows through on the proposed changes, as discussed in the recent community meeting at Lowell.

  2. Wow, that is ugly. I know developers have a goal of the lowest possible cost and using low quality materials, but I am always surprised that they can’t design and construct an attractive building.

  3. Once again, NO Parking!Where the eff do they think we are going to park. I live in a building built in 1909 and several houses in the neighborhood that were built at the same time do not have garages. The city allows for another potential 50 cars on one block but do not provide adequate parking? What a joke!
    Developers need to put in some parking this is ridiculous.

    • Thank you, Andrew, I completely agree. It is incredibly selfish for a developer to not provide some parking, because he/she is making additional money on the backs of others who live in the area and need a place to park their car. And the city is enabling these developers by not making some parking mandatory. This must change!

    • Parking is incredibly expensive to supply, it either cuts the number of units you can fit on a lot or requires underground structures. An underground parking space can cost up to $60,000 to build. That is a cost that everyone renting in the building must pay regardless if they own a car or not (the market rate space is lower than the cost to build it). Sightline estimated that up to a third of rent can be spent on parking subsidy for other renters.

      We can not complain about housing affordability and low quality building materials out one side of our mouths while also complaining about lack of parking out the other. Providing parking amenities at loss makes the other two constraints worse.

      Obviously the developer thinks the demand for parking would be to low to provide it. Why should they be forced to waste space they will receive no rent for? Even if they did charge rent on the spaces, many renters would just park on the free street parking anyways.

      If street parking is in high demand we will simply have to start charging for its use to provide empty spots.

      • There should be some parking provided for every apartment complex. At least 10 stalls for guests, zip cars (or some other similar type of rental car) and emergency vehicles.

        Developers are greedy and the city is very short-sighted in the fact that while people may not drive on a daily basis, Seattleites are active in the outdoors and sports and need a car to go places. Compared to what developers make on a project and the cost of rent, providing some parking should be mandatory. Teeny apartments with no parking is not a long-term solution to keeping Seattle a thriving, vibrant city. People will never go out of their neighborhoods.

  4. I’m with Andrew on this. No parking for 47 apartments?!?!?! WTF? Where in the hell do they expect anyone to park? Even if only 1/2 the tenants have cars that’s still 23 more cars in the area that will be fighting for spaces.

    Something seriously needs to be done about this. The #1 complaint of friends that come to visit me at my place is that there is never any parking.

    • Why should people in Capitol Hill’s much loved classic apartment buildings expect to be able to park on the street while new apartment dwellers have to have on site parking? You have no more right to public space than any other person, no matter how old their building is. People (including you) want to live in Capitol Hill, for cheap, with access to the city, and in well design buildings. We can provide these things with transit, walking, cycling and cheap apartment buildings. Cheap apartment buildings do not exist with minimum parking requirements.

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