After years of shifting plans to meet the demands of city boards and community groups, architects behind the preservation development of the former Value Village building are honing in on the final vision for their office project.
On Monday, architects from Ankrom Moison presented their latest designs for the Kelly Springfield building to the Pike/Pine Urban Neighborhood Council, including how designs have been tweaked to address concerns from their last East Design Review Board meeting this summer.
Many of the DRB’s recommendations were implemented by the project’s architects and received a positive response from PPUNC members (more on that below), but a few had both PPUNC and the development team baffled. A proposed mural on an upper story, window-less facade was struck down by the DRB. Early plans also called for two separate vehicle entrances — one for the residential garage and one for loading zones — in order to break up the garage door elements on 11th Ave. The board did not see it that way and had architects combine the entrances by utilizing a 30-foot long garage door.
One of the biggest changes has come in the streetscape plan. Architects initially planned to keep 11th Ave’s angle parking while creating small green spaces in-between a few of the parking spots. While the DRB liked the idea, City of Seattle planners strongly suggested architects build-in parallel parking, which they did.
The project from developer Legacy Commercial will 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 32 parking spots in an underground garage.
Thanks to its landmarks designation, it is likely that the expansive open floor plan in the building’s street level space will be maintained. However, the creosote-soaked floors will be removed. CHS previously reported on developers exploring the possibility of transforming the 12,000-square-foot former Value Village space into a of food and retail “marketplace.” The area is currently being used as a temporary arts space called V2.
On Monday, Ankrom Moisan architect Phillip Bozarth-Dreher broke down some of the DRB recommendations and how architects responded in their current designs.
- DRB: Make the office lobby entry more prominent
Ankrom: Added a canopy and widened entry to “appear distinct from the landmark.”
- DRB: Consider moving the office entry near the garage.
Ankrom: “This is not feasible, because of the location of the core and ramping requirements,” said the architects in a written reply to the DRB.
- DRB: Provide more vegetation along the curb and building.
Ankrom: A more robust landscaping plan was added.
- DRB: Maintain angled street parking.
Ankrom: At the insistence of City of Seattle planners, the angle parking was removed.
- DRB: Minimize the size of the garage door.
Ankrom: Replaced two garage doors with one larger door.
Members of the public also raised concerns of privacy for tenants in the Value Village building and those adjacent to it. Architects said the plans had already addressed this issue, in part by offsetting windows compared to nearby buildings.
The designs presented Monday include a new horizontal expression on the facade, which Bozarth-Dreher said helped make the structure look refreshingly “so obviously not a residential building.”
Developers are seeking three code departures for the project.
1. Additional Height above a Character Structure: The project proposes nonresidential use in the 10′ height bonus area. The project preserves more of the historic landmark on the site than required in the Pike Pine overlay and thus qualifies for the departure.
2. Sight Triangles: The project proposes mirrors and strobes in lieu of sight triangles at the parking/loading entry, in order to reduce the total width of auto oriented uses on the streetscape.
3. Loading Berth Width and Clearance: The project proposes reduced vertical clearance in two loading berths.
In September, architects asked the city to put the project on a “phased” track, which would allow construction plans to be submitted in multiple pieces. The project will be built all at once, but permitting will happen in three steps: demolition/excavation, concrete structural work, and everything else.
Architects expect to have their final design review board meeting by December. Construction is expected to started in April and wrap up by fall 2018.
Plans to redevelop the The Stranger and Value Village buildings were stalled due to the 11th and E Pine buildings winning landmark status in 2015. Since then developers have ditched plans to build over The Stranger’s White Motor Company building.