This week, look south for important meetings that will shape the physical space around us. Mad Flats, an E Madison microhousing project, is ready for its final step in design review and the community process to shape the “Major Institution Master Plan” for Swedish Cherry Hill begins. Details below.
Replacing an old E Madison Victorian with a planned 55 “efficiency dwelling units,” the Mad Flats project at 1523 E Madison sailed through its early design guidance review session last summer without a single public comment.
The project from developer Johnson Carr and architects Janette also went unimpeded by the Landmarks Preservation Board as the body could find no good reason to protect the more than 100-year-old E Madison Victorian built by Capt. William Renton that will be demolished to make way for the development.
Wednesday, the East Design Review Board will take what will likely be its final spin through the project’s plans for the five-story building with 55 apartments, two live-work units… and no parking. It will, however, have a tidy little 800 square feet of retail:
The urban junction of Madison and 16th is anchored by commercial space. The corner of the building is pulled back at the pedestrian level to allow for additional sidewalk space that is sheltered by the structure above. Operable glazing in the commercial space allow activities to spill out onto the corner.
|Review Meeting:||June 11, 6:30 pm|
|824 12th Ave|
|Admissions & Alumni Building|
|Review Phase:||Recommendation past reviews|
|Project Number:||3014989 permit status | notice|
Last summer, the developers described their mission around creating “workforce” housing. “This proposal is addressing a need for affordable housing within the city’s urban neighborhoods,” they wrote. “Labeled ‘workforce housing’ by many, the objective is to provide an opportunity for those with limited income or with needs for a safe, simple, efficient living environment, to find residence within our urban centers.” That’s well and good. But it’s a little disingenuous. In a project like 12th Ave Arts, affordable apartments are available only to tenants earning 60% of the area median income. Affordability at Mad Flats seems likely to be based on the size of its small, “efficient” units. The review board won’t be able to say much about that — but it will be able to rule on whether the design fits together and fits the corner at 16th and Madison.
Swedish Master Plan
Major Institution Master Plans are an irony of urban planning. The process sets the direction and guidelines for huge chunks of city land, far into the future. But the planning process plays out long before most people can grasp that they might want to give a damn.
For those of you around the Swedish Hospital campus on Cherry Hill, you might want to look to the future. Here’s what a CHS Community Post on the master plan by area resident and Bill Zosel has to say about an important meeting Thursday night and the process that follows:
On Thursday, June 12, beginning at 6 PM the public will be given an opportunity to present oral and written comments on the proposed “Major Institution Master Plan” (MIMP) and Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the Swedish Medical Center campus in the Central Area. (The campus is between 15th and 19th Avenues, and E. Jefferson and E. Cherry Streets.) Thursday’s hearing will be held at the Auditorium of the Swedish Medical Center, 500 17th Avenue.
This hearing is one of the most important opportunities for the public to weigh in on and help shape the Master Plan. At the end of the process the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) will make a recommendation and the Seattle City Council will make a decision. Public comments, such as those received at the hearing, will be an important part of the record used to make that decision.
The proposed plan by the Sabey Corporation and Providence Health and Services through its subsidiary Swedish Medical Center, the two owners of the campus can be reviewed on DPD’s Web site: http://web1.seattle.gov/dpd/Luib/Notice.aspx?BID=920&NID=17372
Zosel points out that the proposal would allow development of buildings as tall as 240 feet — more than twice the current height limit. He also raises concern about the amount of traffic increased development of the campus could bring.
“This Thursday is your chance to learn more and to express yourself,” Zosel write. “If you cannot attend the public hearing, written comments will be accepted until 5 PM on July 6. Comments should be sent to prc@Seattle.gov.”
In 2012, Zosel worked with others in the Squire Park community to bring an appeal against portions of the Seattle University MIMP. Following the appeal, the City Council approved most of Seattle U’s plans for growth, opening the door for the school to add 2 million square feet of classrooms, facilities and parking to the neighborhood east of the current campus.