Redwood has goodbye date as plans for new building — and possible future bar space — take shape

The future of the Redwood

This being Capitol Hill, it’s probably not hugely surprising that the public design review process for a seven-story microhousing project should be fully in synch with the fate of the dive bar it is set to replace. In an announcement coinciding with the project’s first review in January, CHS reported the news that the Redwood would be closing November 16, 2017. We can now report that, with the second and likely final design review meeting for the project coming up this week, the Redwood will NOT be closing on November 16.

It’s a Thursday, turns out. One final blowout on November 18th makes a lot more sense. UPDATE: Uh oh. Change of plans. The Redwood’s final night is Halloween.

“We plan to close our doors Saturday November 18th (thinking the weekend would be a good last chance to say goodbye),” Lisa Brooke tells CHS, “then we move all our stuff out and will bring it to Port Angeles, where we hope to open a bar/restaurant.”

The Redwood’s heart and soul will live on — it’ll just be on the Olympic Peninsula. Someday, a little Redwood could possibly rise again on Capitol Hill, however.

600 E Howell
The 76-unit Blueprint Howell development planned for the Redwood’s lot is designed by S+H Works to emphasize a “narrow and articulated” form that would focus the mass of the project along Howell and the west of the property while locating the street-level commercial space on the southwest corner of the lot. To make the preferred layout work, developers are asking for a series of zoning departures on the building’s setbacks — back in January, the design board was cool with the exceptions.

Design Review: 600 E Howell

There will be no parking spots for cars but the building should have space for about 56 bikes.

The project’s 1,200 feet of commercial space won’t be ready for years but it could eventually be home to a reborn Redwood or another project from the Brookes.

“The planners has given us first opt to move back in after the build out and we will consider that option heavily depending on costs etc.,” Lisa Brooke said.

The Blueprint developers paid $1.3 million last year for the property home to the Redwood and a quick mart, according to county records. Their project will utilize zoning incentives for meeting environmental efficiency requirements and the planned “workforce”-priced housing to rise to seven-stories.

The next stage of the review Wednesday night will focus on the look and feel of the project including materials and lighting. “The building maintains the simple, large massing moves seen in the neighborhood,” the architects write. “Horizontal and vertical datums are reinforced through rigorous window and panel alignment.” Materials include “masonry veneer” that will provide “durability and fine-gain texture to the at-grade experience”  along with “black metal paneling” at street level. “Light gray” fiber cement pane and white fiber cement infill panel will dominate the main facade.

At least it will be a nice little building. Meanwhile, Brooke said don’t weep for the Redwood. “As sad as it all is I must admit the developers and the landlord have been very fair and kind to us,” she said.

1208 E Olive St
It’s a double feature. Wednesday will also bring the possible final step in the design review process for the 73-unit mixed-use building planned to rise above 12th Ave at Olive where the Car Tender auto garage will eventually move on from. CHS first broke the news on the project in February as the project was headed for its first review. The project is being developed by real estate investor Haolin Zheng who bought the property for $7.6 million in 2016. Car Tender owners Russell Kimble and John McDermott bought the corner lot for just over $3 million in 2008. In an urbanist twist, the project planned to replace Car Tender will have but one parking spot — loading only.

Here is what the developer and architecture firm Miller Hull plant to build:

The proposed structure is a U-shaped building centered around a courtyard. The east bar is 5 stories with the ground floor partially subgrade while the western bar is 4 stories tall. The building is approximately 59,000 gross square feet and contains 3 live-work units and 73 residential units consisting of studios, 1 and 2 bedrooms above three live-work units of at approximately 1,600 GSF the northwest corner within the 1 story of street level pedestrian-oriented neighborhood commercial of approximately 4,000 GSF.

A strong turnout for public comment during the first review in February didn’t stop the project from moving forward to the recommendation phase but it did give the board and developers a push to better design the planned building’s relationship to its block and shared alley. The board praised the projects “bold” design and plans for a “fanned, stepped treatment” approach to its 12th Ave frontage.

This week, the project returns to finalize its design with the board and show off its plans for big windows, fiberglass screen features, steel mesh and concrete columns, as well as a “dark bronze aluminum storefront system” associated with the project’s generous 4,000 feet of commercial space. If there’s no room for the Redwood on the future E Howell, there will be plenty of room for it on 12th Ave.

Design Review: 1208 E Olive St

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13 thoughts on “Redwood has goodbye date as plans for new building — and possible future bar space — take shape

  1. I’m probably tilting at windmills, but I think the lack of parking in these new buildings is a serious mistake. The City seems to be going on the false assumption that few if any residents will have a car….some of them certainly will and will worsen an already-tight street parking situation. Developers, of course, love this City policy because they make more money by not providing parking, on the backs of everyone else who lives in the surrounding area. It’s very unfair!

    • It’s the trendy thing to do now, which will likely not be favorable at some point in the future.

      There was a development going in with something like 10 houses and no parking across street from me, and a neighbor wrote in stating that some parking should be provided for those houses, as 10+ cars in a neighborhood that’s already under parking pressure would only add to the difficulty. She was pretty surprised to get back a response that pretty much said “you live in an urban core, and they don’t have to provide parking. We’re the low level executive and can only enforce the zoning and the guidelines that we’re told to. If you want to change the way this works, appeal to your council and mayor for them to change the requirements.”

      So makes me wonder why there’s a comment period on developments at all, if they’re just gonna pass the buck.

  2. Imagine if there was a clause in the rental agreement for said building that informed a potential resident that they may spend an hour a day searching for parking, and may end up literally miles away from their home. Or be ticketed regularly for illegally parking out of sheer frustration. I’m being sarcastic (about the rental agreement clause), but it would be truth in advertising. There’s no way street parking can serve this neighborhood without relief from the buildings (with their car-owning humans) being wedged in 50-70 units at a time. I have friends who don’t visit Cap Hill, or at least don’t drive here, because they know it’s almost impossible to find parking. Prospective residents should know the reality about owning a car in this neighborhood. Oh, and there will soon be almost nowhere to buy gas on Cap HIll, btw. Just sayin’…

    • Short term parking for those who visit Capitol Hill is quite plentiful. They may have to pay for the privilege to park on the street or use a pay to park lot/garage – or may have to walk a couple blocks but the parking is here for visitors to use. They have have to look for it, be willing to pay for it or walk a couple blocks.

    • for the love of all that is holy stop calling it Cap Hill. No one who is from here actually calls it that. the no-parking in buildings is a classic urban planner move, designed to force people not to rely on cars. Make it so difficult they give up and use public transportation. that said, I do think that building should have some parking underground for a small percentage of tenants.

  3. Last time I looked, it was also possible for the owner to then Airbnb out the micro units – I guess atleast the visitors won’t have cars. But what a way to run a neighborhood..

    • You’d be surprised. While my experience is limited to only one AirBnB complex containing 3 units, parking for those AirBnB units is almost always full of rental cars.

  4. Here is what is happening as far as I can tell: People move with cars, park them, move them once or twice a week as they walk/bus/uber/bike around town.

    They’ve moved from someplace where they needed a car, and they still want to have the option of driving, but for now they are just storing the car on the street.

    Seattle/WA police used to really crack down on cars with out of state plates – but that’s stopped so people are keeping their plates longer while they live here – so I can tell when a new TX, AZ or FL plate arrives on the block.

    • If a car is parked on the street (in an unrestricted zone) for more than 72 hours, they are in violation of the law. If someone reports the vehicle (online or by phone), the parking control officers will come by….eventually…and issue a warning. If the car is still not moved, a ticket is issued….and as a last resort, towed, but that rarely happens. This is a good law and has the intent of stopping people from storing their vehicles on the street for weeks at a time.

    • To clarify – these people know about the three day rule, and move their cars once or twice a week. But mostly they aren’t used.

  5. No one forced them to build the building without parking. They must think they’ll be able to rent it regardless. Why should builders be forced to build something that they don’t think they need to? All it does is drive up construction costs.

    There’s plenty of buildings on the Hill that offer on-site parking that car-owning renters can choose to live in.

    And if you’re upset because you currently utilize free street parking and you’re worried that it’ll be harder to find a spot in this growing city of ours, perhaps you should consider one of the many paid lots or garages on the Hill that offer reserved monthly spaces.

  6. Why should they be “forced to build something that they don’t think they need to”? Simple answer….because they should take some responsibility for the good of the area where they are building! As it is, they are making additional profit by not including parking, and that is not fair to those residents who already live in that area and need to find a parking spot when they come home from work.