Design review: Microhousing on Boylston, apartment tower on First Hill

Wednesday night’s East Design Review Board session includes the big and the small. On First Hill, the board will ponder the early massing plans for a 28-story apartment tower set to replace one of the apparently plentiful surface parking lots around Saint James. Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, a development firm known for its microhousing projects will present its plans for a Boylston Ave E development.

Design review: 420 Boylston Ave E

Developers Johnson & Carr and architects at SHW bring forward a plan for a seven-story building with 58 small efficiency dwelling units to replace a possibly historic but already lined up for demolition early 1900s Boylston Ave E house that has been used as an office building in modern times. The Tucker House stands at 420 Boylston Ave E.

Public comment letters so far include concern from neighbors and an adjacent condo building about the lack of parking in the project and a protest from Historic Seattle about the project’s lack of a full environmental — and historic — review.

Wednesday night, the board will concern itself with massing and the proposed design’s interaction with its surrounding neighborhood near Republican and Boylston.

“The project seeks zoning incentives based on Built Green Certification and inclusion of Affordable Housing,” developers note. And, yes, all existing structures are planned to be demolished.

815 9th Ave
They do things bigger on First Hill. The 9th Ave component of Wednesday night’s review session concerns itself with a new housing tower to add to First Hill’s race for the sky. The project would replace a Saint James Cathedral parking lot.

Real estate concern 815 Investments is the developer with a design from MG2:

Located in Seattle’s First Hill Neighborhood, the proposed 29-story residential high-rise is situated mid-block on 9th Avenue, between Columbia and Marion. The project has two existing residential buildings on either side along 9th Avenue and a new 30-story residential development across the alley. The building measures 300-feet in height and approximately 151,000 sf of gross floor area. It will provide about 270 residential units. The residential entry lobby is on 9th Avenue, and the residents will have access to private amenitiy space, roof deck and approximately 100 structured parking spaces located below grade, and accessed from the alley.

Design review: 815 9th Ave


SUBSCRIBE TO CHS:  APPRECIATE OUR BREAKING NEWS? SUBSCRIBE HERE TODAY. Subscribers like you help pay for the writers and photographers who provide CHS's daily coverage and help us to swing into action on BREAKING NEWS. Join TODAY to become a subscriber at $1/$5/$10 a month to help CHS provide community news with NO PAYWALL. You can also sign up for a one-time annual payment. Why support CHS? More here.

Subscribe and support CHS Contributors -- $1/$5/$10 per month

15 thoughts on “Design review: Microhousing on Boylston, apartment tower on First Hill

  1. Oh, great, another beautiful older home to be demolished, to be replaced by an ugly, sterile apodment, and no parking. Why the hell is the city allowing this?

    Is it too late to get the Tucker House landmarked?

    • Bob, parking is important to you but it is less and less important to many people. We don’t need to force parking spaces upon people who do not need or want them.

      My building has parking spaces for rent and no takers. Times are changing and thankfully, people are less dependent on having a car.

      • Bob
        I wrote a few months back a piece about the Galbraith House demolition. I wrote the nomination for it in 2004 and it WAS an official landmark. Nonetheless it is gone now. A beautiful building for sure. I am one of many people who have left the hill due to the wanton destruction of the neighborhood I loved and lived in for 30 years. Perhaps if the 10,000 Airbnb units were returned to the long term rental pool there would be less of a housing “crisis?”

      • Timmy, it is not important to me personally because I’m fortunate to have a driveway for my car, but it is important to alot of people. The Tucker House is in an area where parking is already extremely tight. Some of the residents of the proposed apodment will have cars and park on the street (or at least try to), making life more difficult for everyone else who live nearby.

        Rapacious developers are delighted with the “no parking option,” because it greatly increases their profits.

        Let’s face it, we’re never going to agree on this issue (smiles!).

      • How much are they charging for those parking spaces? My building is renting a space for $150 a month. A lot of people park on the street as $150 is too much in addition to very high rent.

    • Not all of us are millionaires that can afford to live or own one of these single family homes…density is what allows people to stay in this city.

  2. As someone who’s lived in this area for a shorter time than many, I can safely say that parking is essential to anyone who travels outside a 1.5 mile-radius of the neighborhood. When I moved here and did not have a spot, I’d spend 25-35 minutes a night looking for a spot around Summit, only to find most empty spots covered in the shattered glass from someone’s previous carjacking. Parking in this neighborhood is hell, and anyone suggesting a complex with nearly 60 units isn’t going to contribute to that is a sociopath.

    • More parking = invitation to cars = more traffic. Less parking = less cars = little impact on traffic. Why move/live in the core of the city if you want free parking so badly?

      • It’s not that simple, Maria. The main reason our traffic is so much worse is that so many people are moving to our area…..some of them have cars, and need a place to park. Not everyone can afford a private, monthly parking space…so they must try to find a place to park on the street.

    • Thank you for emphasizing what I have been saying for some time. The City’s policy of not requiring parking is just making life more difficult/stressful for those who, for various reasons, own a car. But the “urbanists” here and elsewhere don’t seem to give a damn.

      • Nope. I’ve lived in Seattle all my life and on Capitol Hill for 42 years. But I do prefer a city which treats all people fairly, and that includes those who own a car.

      • Thank you, Maria. Bob has enjoyed ($150/mo x 12 mo/yr x 42 yr) = $75,600 worth of free parking on city-owned land, yet he seems ungrateful for the city’s gift to him.

        Don’t be sad it’s over, Bob. Be glad it happened.

      • Your comment just shows that you know nothing about me. I own a little home on Capitol Hill and have a driveway, so never park on the street. Nice try, though.