Design review: Country Doctor’s 19th Ave E expansion

screen-shot-2017-02-21-at-5-15-25-pmA crucial Capitol Hill project for one of the city’s only providers of nonprofit, low-income health care will take what should be its final step in the Seattle design review process Wednesday night.

The Country Doctor Community Clinic’s plan will create a new four-story building on the site of its 19th Ave E offices:

The new facility will provide medical services including a new dental clinic, and expanded services for WIC (Women, Infants and Children), Maternity, HIV and Chronic Pain. The project will also provide expanded administrative office and meeting space for the entire Country Doctor Community Health Centers network. The current 2,350 square feet of medical services and administrative offices provided on-site will be expanded to 9,000 square feet on the 1st and 2nd floors.

Meanwhile, the project’s top two floors will house eight workforce apartments in a mix of studio and one-bedroom units. Country Doctor had hoped to to develop the housing as affordable apartments but that the project was too small to attract a development partner.

The new $6.5 million facility is being funded by a capital campaign, $1 million in federal grants, and a $1.2 million grant from the city to support the clinic’s new dental services.

Design review: 510 19th Ave E

Executive director Linda McVeigh told CHS last fall the construction will also add more private rooms, sorely lacking in the current space. “A lot of services we provide are best provided in a one on one environment,” she said.

Designed by 15th Ave E’s Environmental Works, the final proposal for the project includes a plan for materials including “architectural face brick running board” and “anodized aluminum sheet metal” as well as red “painted fiber cement lap siding” on the project’s backside to help the transition to the residential alley, an adjacent medical office, and single family homes.

McVeigh said last fall that construction was hoped to begin by summer 2017 and the target completion date is July 2018.

screen-shot-2017-02-21-at-5-21-39-pm701 16th Ave
Meanwhile, the second project on Wednesday night’s design review docket is just starting the process — but it, too, has health care connections.

Sabey, the developer working with Swedish Cherry Hill on its expansion plans, is developing a 16th Ave project that will replace a medical office building and a 1930-built single family-style home with a new development featuring a 47-unit apartment building and a second structure home to three townhouses. Underground parking for 41 vehicles is planned. The architects at Meng Strazzara are responsible for the design.

Design review: 701 16th Ave

Neighbors, inspired by the Cherry Hill Community Council, have already put on a clinic, of sorts, for the right way to respond to new housing being developed in your neighborhood. The city has received a batch of letters from neighbors, each thanking officials for the opportunity to comment, each welcoming new housing, and each laying out a few issues and requests including concerns about how the design impacts an already busy alley and worries about how the developers are calculating the project’s height given the grade of Cherry Hill. There’s a smatter of “needs more parking,” to be sure. But even the few bits of editorializing are, well, fair:

If what Sabey wants to do is develop luxury apartments simply to wring maximum profit from that development, then I feel that I must speak against the development. Sabey has already made, and continues to make substantial profits for itself and its investors in our neighborhood. It is time for Sabey to give back to the community, and the city must take the responsibility of working for working class citizens and their neighborhoods seriously.

The developer meanwhile, says Option 3 is the one, as it provides:

• Prominent courtyard entry on 16th Ave. • Parking and back of house service off the alley, away from E Cherry St. and 16th Ave. • Careful orientation of the required lowrise zone setbacks create ample landscaping opportunities along the sidewalk and minimize shading on adjacent sites. • Breaking the building mass to apartments and townhomes reduces the bulky massing of the building and provides sensitive transition to lower density zone. • No blank walls.

Given the proposal and the community response to date, it seems likely to be an equally reasonable session Wednesday night.

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6 thoughts on “Design review: Country Doctor’s 19th Ave E expansion

  1. It’s interesting that the Country Doctor folks wanted to build some affordable housing there, but they couldn’t attract a developer to partner with…..yet another example of the reality that the only thing that matters to most developers is $$$ and not making a contribution towards the greater good.

    What is “workforce” housing, anyway? Somewhat less than “market rate” rents?

    • Guessing it might be housing for their employees, which they might be able to do at a lower rate or at a pretax payment–which could help employees quite a bit.

    • Nice to see that developers are singularly held to a standard defined by others rather than normative business. Wonder if those who feel this way Bob walk the talk and take redistribute their wealth voluntarily whenever they can.

      Lastly, if one lives in a house or apartment, it is 95% or so likely that they are housed based upon the initiative, effort and risk of a developer who built where they live. I call that a tremendous social good. The other 5% or so are people who built their own places at some point in history, which is the exception around here.

      Glad to see Country Doctor getting the space they need. They are a wonderful asset on so many levels and I personally have written them a check for the greater good.

    • Due to its West-facing lobby, it does get hot for those waiting with their backs to the sun. The shades are appreciated.

      Those shades are also appreciated by those who are wanting some privacy while they are being examined.

      Its difficult to have a “store front” when its also a doctors office. Sometimes we don’t always get windows to peer into and we need to be okay with that.

      The Country Doctor has fantastic staff. I am forever grateful for their care.

  2. As the former owner of the building, I am extremely happy to see the dream come true in the new building plans for a dental clinic plus expanded space for all of the components of the Country Doctor Community Health.

    Linda MacVeigh and the board and I have long worked toward this goal. Along with Linda and the board, we were able to make it possible to facilitate the ownership of the building to Country Doctor.. A win-win. That came about because Linda, the board and I had the same goal and worked together in harmony for several years to bring this about .

    Linda McVeigh deserves recognition and kudos for her perseverance and skill
    in this effort as well as many others through the years.

    I hope that the entire neighborhood can recognize the value this organization is to Seattle and those who can not afford good treatment else where. Let’s all embrace their new facility as a step in the right direction on behalf of our fellow Satellites who need and deserve good care.


    Jack Anderson