What the 17-story apartment tower set to replace the First Hill McDonald’s will look like

(Image: Holland Partners)

(Image: Holland Partners)

In the most urbanist of all universes, the projects up for discussion at Wednesday night’s meeting of the East Design Review Board would switch places, the 17-story apartment tower planned to rise above the corner currently home to the First Hill McDonald’s would take up residence on 10th Ave E behind the coming-soon Capitol Hill Station, the four-story apartment building planned to neighbor the most mass of mass transit booted over to First Hill… well, actually, in the most urbanist of all universes, nobody would bother building a four-story apartment building.

Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 4.10.48 PM1001 Minor Ave
Early Design Guidance application proposing a 17-story building containing 199 residential units and 5000 sq.ft. commerical space. Parking for 160 vehicles to be provided below grade. / View Design Proposal  (16 MB)    

Review Meeting
April 22, 2015 6:30 pm

Seattle University

824 12th Ave
Admissions & Alumni Community Building
Review Phase: EDG–Early Design Guidance  
Project Number: 3019363  View Permit Status  |  View Land Use Notice
Planner: BreAnne McConkie

Late last year, CHS broke the news that the First Hill McDonald’s at Minor and Madison was being lined up by developer Holland Partners for a 17-story, mixed-use apartment tower at the site. Wednesday night, the review board will weigh the proposal for the first phase of the development process for the project.

The developers call the proposed project “a valuable addition to the diversity in the First Hill Area.”

Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 4.11.50 PM

Along with three levels of underground parking, the Ankrom Moisan-designed project’s early design guidance plans call for “urban infill development” that “promotes job and housing balance, providing 24-hour environments where people can work/live/play near their homes” and creates “a high-quality pedestrian experience.”

While we can’t vouch for the diversity argument, we can tell you Holland built the Coppins Well tower across the street — we were there for the groundbreaking in 2011.

But let’s get to the important part — surely Holland Partners is planning for a return of a new, more modern Madison-friendly McDonald’s when the building’s construction is completed in five years or so, no? Probably no. The to-be-demolished fast food joint isn’t mentioned by name a single time in the design review packet.

Screen Shot 2015-04-21 at 4.27.22 PM120 10th Ave E
Early design guidance application to allow an 4-story structure containing 48 residential units. no proposed parking. Existing structures to be demolished. / View Design Proposal  (28 MB)    

Review Meeting
April 22, 2015 8:00 pm

Seattle University

824 12th Ave
Admissions & Alumni Community Building
Review Phase: EDG–Early Design Guidance  
Project Number: 3018712  View Permit Status  |  View Land Use Notice
Planner: BreAnne McConkie

While the planned “transit oriented development” moving forward around Capitol Hill Station with Portland-based developer Gerdling Edlen will soar to 85 feet along Broadway, the backside of the light rail station is limited to much more modest zoning. It’s likely in good hands with prolific Capitol Hill developer and real estate investor Eagle Rock Ventures.

Eagle Rock’s Scott Shapiro just completed development of a mixed-use microhousing development on 12th Ave — stop by for a beer. On 10th Ave E, Shapiro is planning a four-story building packed with 48 “efficiency studios” — and, as it should be in a new development on the edge of a $1.8 billion mass transit project, there will be no parking.

The preferred design for the project from architects S+H Works includes “recessed double-height space” with “multiple decks” to “give occupants a variety of common spaces,” and massing that “steps down” toward the neighboring single-family style homes and small apartment buildings in the area.

Meanwhile, if you’re wondering what light rail station proximity is doing for land values in the area, ask the Frank Coluccio Construction-Jay Dee Contractors joint venture that went in together to purchase the building to be demolished for the new development. In October 2009, the Sound Transit contractors purchased the old 1969-built duplex for $1.185 million. After using the building as office space for five years, the partners sold the property to Shapiro last fall for $1.9 million — a tidy 64.5% profit.

 

 

 

 

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21 thoughts on “What the 17-story apartment tower set to replace the First Hill McDonald’s will look like

  1. RE: 1001 Minor Ave (the old McDonald’s site). I disagree with your “urbanist” idea that this 17-story building should switch places with the proposed building at 120-10th Ave E. There are several tall buildings in that First Hill area, so the new one will be in scale to what is already there. And the new building on 10th (at 4 stories) will be reasonably in scale with what is already there, and with the new buildings over the light rail station.

    RE: 120-10th Ave E. I agree that parking should not be a priority in a building so close to the light rail station, but I do think there should be SOME parking. It is naive to think that none of the 48 residents of that building will have cars, and parking is already extremely tight in that area.

    But then, we’ve had this discussion before, haven’t we? Only about a thousand times….

    • If there’s anywhere on Capitol Hill where it would make sense to rethink the apparently unalterable “scale” of the neighborhood, it would be right around the light rail station. As under 8-stories housing becomes more expensive, are we all going to have to move to the highrises of First Hill and then walk over to CH to get on the train?

      • People like Bob will tell you it makes more sense to build 48 units near the station that 96 or 128, because otherwise it will mess with the feng-shui of the neighborhood. But please, add parking.

      • Once we have resolved our housing crisis by providing downtown workers with adequate amounts of affordable housing that is either walking distance or a short transit trip to work we can start worrying about “feng shui.”

        In the meantime, we need to be more utilitarian about how we develop and a four story building is a serious waste of infrastructure investment, especially given the extent of the housing crisis and the impact it is having on the middle class.

  2. Pingback: What 16-story Broadway Whole Foods building and 17-story apartment tower set to replace McDonald’s will *really* look like | CHS Capitol Hill Seattle