The “long-term holders” who purchased the building home to Capitol Hill’s post office in 2012 are lining up plans to build a five-story apartment building on the Broadway site.
Mark Craig, of
Bartell’s real estate investment subsidiary Henbart which bought the property in 2012 for $3 million, confirmed the start of the public development process for the corner building home to the U.S. Post Office Broadway branch.
“We’re real excited about the location and the proximity to transit,” Craig said. UPDATE: Henbart is owned by the Bartell’s family but is not a subsidiary of the drugstore chain. Sorry for the mistake.
Across the street, while plans are firm for what will be underground at the light rail station when it starts service around two years from now, the process to develop thousands of square feet of housing, commercial, and community space above ground has just moved into a critical stage with the final roster of developers preparing proposals for the properties — and doing some jockeying on pricing. The $1.8 billion light rail extension connecting downtown to the University of Washington under Capitol Hill is expected to open for service by early 2016. The transit oriented development around the station on Broadway could add as many as 400 apartments to the site. More than a third will be built as affordable housing. Thousands of square feet of retail and a semi-public plaza that could be home to a farmers market and more are also part of the plans.
The planned 101 Broadway E development where the post office building stands now will include 45 units, ground level retail and limited, 4-stall surface parking. There will be no underground parking for residents living across the street from one of the soon-to-be busiest public transportation hubs in the region.
It’s too early to say how things will play out with the post office, Craig said. Over recent years, the USPS has slimmed down its 23rd/Union location and moved some elements like PO boxes to Broadway while consolidating more and more operations and resources like truck parking at its South Seattle facility. Given the influx of new commercial space coming to this stretch of Broadway around Capitol Hill Station, it seems the postal service should have plenty of options.
Craig said it’s also too early to say when he expect the new development to be completed. The design review process will likely play out over the next year. The subsequent financing, demolition and construction processes after that can vary anywhere from 16 months to two or three years likely putting the new building on a track just slightly ahead of the “transit oriented development.”
The first steps in development for the property mark a small re-start after a bit of a paperwork lull on the Hill for new projects in core areas even as smaller projects proliferate off the neighborhood’s main arteries. Last week, CHS reported that developers had decided to wait on a development slated for the 10th/Pine Rancho Bravo parcel, a project expected to eventually be a Pike/Pine “gateway” building connecting the nightlife and entertainment district and Cal Anderson Park.
Meanwhile, the new corner development will join a block of new buildings surrounding Dick’s Drive-in including the Lexicon Harvard Ave “boutiquement” project — now pre-leasing — and the Hollywood Lofts project under construction in the former Hollywood Video building.