Named for the auto row-era company that called the 1925-built building at the address home and not Capitol Hill’s leading preservation-minded developer Liz Dunn, the new project is a showcase of what the City of Seattle’s Pike/Pine preservation incentives should create, Hunters Capital developer Michael Malone told CHS last year.
“In the case of the Dunn Motors site (the CK Graphics building) we will be taking advantage of the overlay bonus, abiding by the required setback, retail height, etc.” Malone wrote in a statement sent to CHS.
“Yet we would like to set the standard when it comes to building a mass out of/on top of a pre-1940s building. It is our intent that the additional mass over the building will be built of high grade finish materials, to a design that compliments and enhances the historic façade below it. Far too many times this additional mass carries none of the original design features into the upper levels. Inside and out, the finished product will celebrate the unique history of a wonderful 1920s auto row building.”
Thursday night, city officials met with the development-focused members of the Pike/Pine Urban Neighborhood Council about changes the group says will strengthen the city’s incentive program to better protect more of the neighborhood’s oldest structures. Meanwhile, CHS recently visited the newly opened Sunset Electric project at 11th and Pine, one of the first buildings completed under the incentive program.
Like Sunset, Dunn Automotive will feature only market-rate apartments “described as 89 larger-than-average units (a mix of studios, one bedrooms, and two bedroom apartments)” in the announcement from Hunters Capital. The building will also include “two retail and three commercial spaces, one along Summit.”
Preserving the original 1920’s façade, the design from architects Studio Meng Strazzara is intended to connect the neighborhood of today with its history — and what comes next.
“We ask our team to look at Capitol Hill with a different eye, to see not what’s here now but both what it might have looked like 100 years ago and what it can be in the future,” Malone said in a statement. “We try to protect that history and respect the past, while thinking, what can we do with this space to make it better for the neighborhood now and in years to come.”
Hunters Capital has been a leading force in preservation and adaptive reuse with its many holdings on Capitol Hill. In 2013, it made one of its biggest moves in the neighborhood as it scooped up two classic E Pike buildings — the Dunn building and the Greenus across the street at Pike and Summit. As it prepares for demolition and preservation to begin at the Dunn Automotive structure, Hunters Capital’s investment in the Greenus building continues as the buildout to bring the new Trove Korean BBQ, noodles, ice cream *and* beer restaurant project to E Pike continues. Hunters Capital has also been busy on E Pine with this multi-million restoration of the Colman Automotive building.
The Dunn Automotive project will join an ongoing wave of construction projects underway across Capitol Hill and a focused cluster on E Pike. Work also began this week on the eight-story preservation and development project at Melrose and Pine.
Here’s how Hunters Capital describes the building’s auto row history:
The Dunn Automotive Building was built in 1925 with architect J. Lister Homes and builder Western Construction Co. The original owner of the Dunn Automotive Building, formerly known as Holmes Building, was Henry Elliot Holmes. To Holmes, the development project was an investment; he saw the rise in the use of automobiles and the development of Seattle as an auto distribution center. He chose to build on a property in the heart of auto row on Capitol Hill. From 1974 – 2012, printing company C-K Graphics was the sole building occupant.
Speaking of flat circles, the new Dunn Automotive will include underground parking for 52 vehicles and around 30 bicycles.