Two Capitol Hill projects coming before the East Design Review Board Wednesday night share some characteristics peculiar to the neighborhood. Both will replace early 1900s-era wood frame houses. Both will be perched on parts of the Hill’s sloping grades.
748 11th Ave E
This four-story, 36-unit apartment building is destined for the gentle sloping curve of E Aloha at 11th Ave E just down from Lowell Elementary where the old homes have stood for more than 100 years.
But neighbors are mostly concerned about the parking:
Hi, everyone. You may have recently gotten a notice in the mail about a proposed development next door. For those of you who didn’t get the notice, details can be found here:
In brief, a developer wants to tear down the two houses between us and Aloha and build a four story 36-unit apartment building. The city has scheduled a public meeting at Seattle U, 824 12th Ave., on Wednesday, August 27 for the developer to provide description of the proposed development, and for the public to provide input.
While I’m not categorically opposed to a development next door, I am very much concerned about the parking situation. According to the notice that the city sent out, “no parking [is] required” as part of the proposed development.
Bradley Khouri has found another corner of the Hill where he won’t be very popular — in the most recent gathering of the review board, his 12th Ave E microhousing project took the stage. At 11th and Aloha, Khouri’s b9 Architects are only the designers. Developer Robert Hardy bought the properties in March for $1.7 million.
|Review Meeting:||August 27, 6:30 pm|
|824 12th Ave|
|Admissions & Alumni Building|
|Review Phase:||EDG–Early Design Guidance|
|Project Number:||3017655 permit status | notice|
The b9 design calls for “an apartment building containing approximately 34 apartment units centered around a shared courtyard.” The developers say the proposed design will have a reduced sense of mass thanks to an exposed central courtyard concept:
The perceived mass of the proposal is greatly reduced with the introduction of a central courtyard. The special characteristics of this site, with an angled front lot line, also reduces the appearance of mass.
b9 also says the exterior of the building will help make it feel smaller. “The facade will be designed to maximize visual interest by including elements such as private decks, material changes, recesses and overhangs, and varied fenestration patterns,” the packet states.
On a less gentle grade, the second project in front of the board Wednesday plans to call 736 Bellevue Pl E home.
Designed by Nicholson Kovalchik and developed by real estate investor Preston Walls, the Bellview building will stand five stories tall and contain 40 units on the northwest slope of Capitol Hill. A set of 1904-built “six unit teardowns” await demolition on the lot. The project is planned to include 14 parking stalls. But savvy area bikers will recognize the cycle path passes directly by the property.
The developer lists six slope-centric goals for the project:
- Provide a visually attractive building from near and far.
- Provide desirable homes and common areas for residents that respond to site forces, such as views.
- Avoid construction in the Critical Slide Area.
- Develop the site to the highest and best use.
- Enhancing the existing neighborhood character
- Preserve views from uphill properties
It’s a steep proposition:
The site slopes from 242’ on the eastern edge to 195’ on the west. A large No Build zone is located on the southwest corner. The awkward site configuration coupled with the steep slope and minimal access limit the options for development.
The fun will start, the developer says, with the landscaping:
The project intends to make the most of the unusual topography and site constraints for interesting landscaping. Stabilizing and landscaping the steep hillside presents an opportunity for a semi-private, multi-level landscaped area. The flattest portion of the site is in the “No-Build” zone and will likely coincide with the second level of the building and is intended to provide a semi-public outdoor area.