Value Village development could become next Capitol Hill ‘marketplace’

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Capitol Hill, the land of Seattle’s new ‘marketplaces,’ could be getting another indoor retail experience in the heart of Pike/Pine.

Thanks to its landmarks designation, current development designs for the former Value Village building on 11th Ave call for maintaining the expansive open floor plan in the building’s street level space. Developers from Legacy Commercial are exploring the possibility of transforming that 12,000-square-foot area into the type of food and retail destination most recently popularized by Chophouse Row just up the street.

“That is one of the options that has been discussed, but there is no decision on what type of tenants will occupy the space,” said Phillip Bozarth-Dreher, an architect on the project with Ankrom Moisan.

It has been over a year since plans to redevelop the The Stranger and Value Village buildings were stalled due to the 11th and E Pine buildings winning landmark status. Since then developers have ditched plans to build over The Stranger’s White Motor Company building and have focused on a 5-story office and retail project next-door at the 1918-built Kelly Springfield Motor Truck Company building.

All projects involving landmarks protected buildings are required to have their designs approved by the city’s Architectural Review Committee. After making little progress in repeated meetings with the committee, architects on the Kelly Springfield project said they are finding some common ground with the board by preserving the building’s iconic retail space.

“Most of the public experiences the first floor and that’s what we need to save,” said Ankrom principal Mack Selberg.

On Monday, architects presented their latest designs for the Kelly Springfield building on site to the Pike/Pine Urban Neighborhood Council. The presentation was given inside V2, a temporary arts space that opened inside the former thrift shop.

The Kelly Springfield project would create 65,000 square feet of office space in two buildings on 11th Ave between Pike and Pine. Three stories of new offices over Kelly Springfield would be connected on the south side to a narrow five story office building that would fill-in the block’s current sunken parking lot. The project would include 31 parking spots in an underground garage.

Architects also showed off their plans for a newly reconfigured streetscape along 11th Ave that would replace a handful of parking space with landscaped “bulbs.”

Angled spaces could be filled in with parklets later, to allow retail spaces to spill out onto the streetscape. The design team believes that the combination of the angled parking and the opportunity to create customizable parklets for future retail lends itself to the artistic and unique character of the Pike/Pine corridor.

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 6.45.32 PMIn order to comply with Seattle zoning code requirements, designs call for a small loading zone on 11th Ave as part of the new structure. PPUNC chair John Feit cautioned the architects that the East Design Review Board may take issue with having a loading area and parking entrance on the 11th Ave “green street.” Concerns over a proposed garage entrance one block north at the Hugo House development nearly caused a significant redesign of the project.

The 11th Ave development team will be taking its plans before the East Design Review Board on June 8th.

The office-over-marketplace concept would not be a first on Capitol Hill. Liz Dunn’s preservation-minded Chophouse Row opened last June on 11th Ave between Pike and Union complete with high-tech office tenants above. Prior to that, Jerry Everard redeveloped the Central Agency building at 10th and Seneca — both projects chock full of food and drink options and a few small niches of retail. Meanwhile plans for a retail bazaar are in place for the the future Broadway development to surround the recently opened Capitol Hill Station.

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14 thoughts on “Value Village development could become next Capitol Hill ‘marketplace’

  1. This historic landmark property in the heart of the Pike Pine Conservation Overlay should be repurposed not redeveloped. The old-growth timber trusses on the second floor are priceless and an integral part of the structure. The entire structure was landmarked (site, four walls AND roof) not just the facade. Allowing a landmark property to be gutted like this, even if the trusses were not explicitly called out in the landmark designation, is inconsistent with the Department of Interior Standards, which guide the repurposing of historic buildings and are referenced in Seattle Municipal Code. The City and owner should pursue options to repurpose the entire building and make it pencil out such as transfer of development rights and/or a height variance to allow a taller building in the existing parking lot. There is also a tremendous opportunity to build on the existing V2 arts coalition and pull in additional resources to restore the building and make portions of it a permanent arts space. The auto row era structures, because of the trusses, have large open spaces without columns that are perfect as performance spaces and irreplaceable. We can add density (housing, office space, etc.) to meet the demands of a growing city without erasing the core and cultural heart of the neighborhoods. We just need to be more creative and smarter about it.

  2. I also thought that landmark status applied to the whole building, not just the facade. What’s the point of going through that process at all if developers can just plop an entire new building inside and above the exterior walls?

    • Thanks Amy. The link didn’t work for me. Can you double-check and post it again? Also, it would be much appreciated if you could post the address/time for the meeting where this project will be discussed.

    • I would also urge people to send comments to Sarah.sodt@seattle.gov regarding this project. She is the staff lead for the Landmark Preservation Board. If landmark status doesn’t result in the preservation and repurposing of an historic building, than what is the point of the process? I would love to see the arts community that organized the temporary arts collective come together with a proposal to bring in funding to make this a viable permanent art and performance space.

    • It was the adjacent White Motor Company building, home to the Rhino Room and The Stranger, that was completely landmarked. That included the Old Growth Timber Trusses supporting the roof. This plan excludes touching that building in any way.

      My understanding on the Value Village building was that only the façade was landmarked.

    • Food for Thought – The Kelly-Springfield Motor Building structure was landmarked, not just the facade. This includes the four walls, roof and “the site”. The trusses are an integral component of the roof structure. The site includes the space above the building. Preserving just the facade is inconsistent with the Department of Interior guidelines. Please take a look at the landmark designation and guidelines.

  3. Nothing personal against the business owners in Chop Row but I hate Chop Row. As a loooong time Capitol Hill resident, I never shop there. I like to shop but there is nothing for me at Chop Row. Please open a market that most of us will want to shop at and not just some place that looks pretty. I’d love a plant store in the neighborhood (the place in Chop Row is ridiculously over-priced). Or a few options for clothing and/or homewares . . . something like the old City Peoples on 15th would be great.