Work begins on Broadway’s Hollywood Lofts

IMG_0142With a name that harkens back to Capitol Hill’s glorious yesteryears of the early 2000s, a new preservation and development project is beginning work in the middle of the action on Broadway. Expect things to get even busier on the block between John and Denny.

The Hollywood Lofts project will create a six-story loft-style apartment project that will incorporate the brick store and office building that has stood at the site since 1929. Designed by Hewitt, the project will include 24 lofts, a restored facade and 3,600 square feet of restored commercial space and underground parking for 11 vehicles. It will stand directly across from the under-construction Capitol Hill Station and neighbor Dick’s Drive-In. Its loft-style units are being designed as larger than average Capitol Hill living spaces — and will be priced accordingly.

The video chain departed in the dark of night in 2009 (Image: CHS)

The video chain departed in the dark of night in 2009 (Image: CHS)

“Everybody else is building for the totally tiny units. We wanted to go after a different demographic,” said Capitol Hill developer Maria Barrientos, a consultant on the project.

Longtime Capitol Hill real estate investor Ron Amundson is developing the project as his second foray into unlocking his many neighborhood holdings. His first project stands behind the legendary burger joint and is currently under construction to create a seven-story, 38-unit building.

Though the Hollywood Lofts project will incorporate portions of the old 1929 masonry building, the project is located outside of the Pike/Pine Conservation district and therefore is not eligible for added preservation incentives.

What the Lofts will look like

What the Lofts will look like

Amundson’s likely next development also won’t have an opportunity to preserve. He holds the land currently home to Rancho Bravo and is planning a “gateway”-caliber development for the connective block between Cal Anderson Park and the heard of E Pike. (Don’t worry — Rancho Bravo has plans of its own.)

Meanwhile, even without preservation incentives, expect history to be a big part of Hollywood Lofts including  a European-style central court” and “heavy old timbers from the building” being “re-incorporated.” And there’s also the name — and homage, it seems, to the last full-time tenant in the building’s street level retail history, Hollywood Video.

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13 thoughts on “Work begins on Broadway’s Hollywood Lofts

  1. “Don’t worry — Rancho Bravo has plans of its own.” — referring to Freddy’s.

    Haven’t been to Freddy’s yet, do they serve Mexican food in addition to burgers?
    If not, then there’s a lot to worry about!

    • Nope. Just burger-ettes, fries, and I think shakes if I remember correctly. But they’re really good and they’re cheap, too. Beats the crap out of those nasty little Dickburgers.

  2. I worked in that building for years when NW AIDS Foundation occupied the top two floors. Great, rickety old building. But the smell of Dick burgers could be really overwhelming. I would never live next door to that.

  3. The new portion of that building (as seen in the render) is completely out of whack with the old portion. Who designs this stuff? It looks like they dropped a grey cardboard box with window cut outs on top of a cool old brick building and said let’s make lofts. Neat. And I agree with above poster, who is going to pay that kind of money to smell Dick’s burgers cooking all day and night? You can smell Dick’s from a block away. Same reason I’d never live next to Annapurna (even though it’s great food) the smell from over 1/2 block away is enough to drive me crazy. I feel like the smell, between walking past Annapurna and Dick’s, just saturates my clothes and I can’t get it out.

  4. At some point what’s the relevance of keeping a facade when there is no effort to integrate the design? Yelp reviews of The Heights building next to this already complain of the smell. But that’s part of semi urban living. This is capitalism. And I’m sure everyone who moves in will be well off smiling non malcontents. I just don’t care anymore. Capitol Hill is unrecognizable. Good riddance. Money wins.

  5. I know it’s another fugly design that doesn’t match the facade being preserved, but I like that the new portion is set back from the original facade. Part of what makes these new high rises so depressing is the aggressive front that commandeers every inch of space (and then on top of that, the ground floor eating/drinking establishments often add outdoor seating, which eats up sidewalk real estate). This is more relaxed and keeps the fug under control.

    It’s all relative…

    And I’m guessing the developers are banking on that Dick’s getting redeveloped sooner than later.

  6. Like it shows above in the 2009 picture, I love how the Hollywood video sign only had “Wood” illuminated for the longest time and no one ever fixed it. Oddly appropriate next to Dick’s Burgers.

  7. Normally I would advocate for historic preservation and, at a minimum, keeping the façade of an attractive old building; however, in this case Max and Puzzled are both right on the mark. What is the point with this horrible design? I don’t understand the very poor taste of this developer.

  8. I think developers should take this approach with all of the remaining older buildings on Broadway. That way, at least we’ll have the shell of the Broadway we knew and loved separating us from the cheap architectural monotony of the New Capitol Hill.

  9. For the record, the last full-time tenant of the building was Headsprout…we were in the top two floors long after Hollywood left in the night.