E Denny Way twin for 92-year-old Roxborough, Capitol Hill cohousing project on design review slate

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A rendering of the future Capitol Hill Urban Cohousing project on 12th Ave

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Rendering of the proposal for E Denny Way — the building to the north (right) would join the 1922-built Roxborough

In addition to the strange coincidence that the street addresses for both projects include the number 1720, there is more that binds the planned developments that will come before the East Design Review Board Wednesday night. The two new buildings on the slate will add much needed housing to their neighborhoods without replacing any existing stock. It’s a win-win!

1720 E Denny Way
Well, kind of. Developer Hamilton Urban Partners arrived upon the scene at 1720 E Denny Way when it purchased the property home to the 92-year-old Roxborough Apartments in 2012 for $3.5 million. It immediately set about improving the building — and raising rents.

Review Meeting: March 19, 8:00 pm
Seattle University
901 12th Ave
Student Center Multi Purpose Room #130
Review Phase: EDG–Early Design Guidance
Project Number: 3015044 permit status | notice
Planner: Lindsay King
The Roxborough (Image: King County Records)

The Roxborough (Image: King County Records)

Now the developer plans to put the empty portions of the Roxborough lot to work as a home for a new apartment building to neighbor its old one.

This application proposes the development of a 4 story, 20-unit, 12,000 SF apartment building in the vacant northern portion of an existing parcel. No commercial area and no new parking is proposed. Requested departures include:
-A rear-yard setback of less than 15’-0” (Options B + C).
-Less than 10’-0” structure separation on the same lot (Options B + C).
-Less than the total required amenity area (Option C).

The proposal is designed by David Neiman Architects.

The good news is the project will add 20 new apartments to the area near 18th and Denny. The bad news, for some, is it will do so at rents like this.

Screen Shot 2014-03-18 at 3.11.18 PM1720 12th Ave
Rents won’t be high in the other new infill project that will come before the review board Wednesday. That’s because there won’t be any renters. Instead, residents of the Capitol Hill Urban Cohousing project will be part owners in the more community-minded development we’ve seen on the Hill yet.

CHS checked in on the unique, residential owner-backed project in February:

Communal homes have existed for decades on Capitol Hill and beyond but few if any have actually managed to be truly co-owned, co-managed, and co-constructed. Capitol Hill architects Mike Mariano and Grace Kim are months away from making the dream a reality. The couple, who run architectural firm Schemata Workshop, are behind Capitol Hill Urban Cohousing on 12th Avenue, slated to break ground in April.

“We’re going to live here for the rest of our lives,” Mariano said. “We want this building to last forever.”

CHS features Schemata architect John Feit’s writing in an ongoing series on urban design.

Screen Shot 2014-03-18 at 3.11.39 PMEach resident in the planned building is an equal member of an LLC that owns the entire project. As of February, the cohouse had eight of nine families secured, representing 15 adults and seven kids.

The proposed, mid-block project is described as “a five-story, mixed-use apartment building with 9 dwelling units over a street level commercial space.” As with the Denny project, the 12th Ave development will not included parking spaces in the plan.

Review Meeting: March 19, 6:30 pm
Seattle University
901 12th Ave
Student Center Multi Purpose Room #130
Review Phase: Recommendation past reviews
Project Number: 3013374 permit status | notice
Planner: Shelley Bolser

After passing through its first session of design review way back in June 2012, the cohousing project could be up for its final approval Wednesday night clearing the way for a spring start of construction and making room for a new type of home ownership on Capitol Hill.

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