Design review: Passive in Pike/Pine, towering on First Hill

Passive in Pike/Pine

Passive in Pike/Pine

Towering on First Hill

Towering on First Hill

You can get a quick handle on the latest building trends in your neighborhood in one evening of design review.Two projects fully emblematic of the respective waves of development moving across First Hill and Capitol Hill will come before the review board Wednesday night. On Capitol Hill at 1300 E Pike, six stories of what could be Seattle’s first Passive House-certified, net-zero energy, most-hyphenated ever, mixed-use development will be up for review. On First Hill, meanwhile, the story at 707 Terry is not one but a set of matchy matchy, artfully leaning, skybridge-connected 33-story towers just elegant enough to call the Frye Museum a neighbor.

Look. Plans for a mural.

Look. Plans for a mural.

1300 E Pike
On Capitol Hill, the buildings may only reach six or seven stories but they’re starting to get complicated. Destined to rise above the corner at 13th and Pike currently home to the former Fran’s Chocolates, this uber-green development cruised through its first review this spring. CHS reported then on the first of its kind “sustainable apartment building” that will include “a passive house design that reduces energy needs to as close to zero as possible.” Continue reading

Seattle City Council protects two very different Capitol Hill houses as landmarks — UPDATE

Two Capitol Hill houses that have stood for more than 100 years are set to be designated official City of Seattle landmarks Monday afternoon. The Seattle City Council will vote on the final designations following approval at the committee level last week and previous approvals by the Landmarks Preservation Board.

UPDATE: As expected, both ordinances were passed by the full city council Monday.

The structures share vastly different recent histories but both will now be afforded protections that should preserve the structures even as the city’s much needed multi-family development continues to flow around them. Continue reading

Eat Out 2016 for Country Doctor: 21 bars, restaurants, and cafes supporting nonprofit’s quest to build new Capitol Hill home

14040017_10153958119527545_4576690007042986366_nCountry Doctor Community Health Clinic is making progress towards raising the funding it needs for a new structure to replace its old office space on 19th Ave E. A capital campaign to raise the remaining money necessary for the project is underway. Thursday, you can boost the nonprofit provider of community health care by going out to eat.

“A portion of your breakfast, lunch and/or dinner bill will be donated to our organization to help our patients get the high quality, caring, culturally appropriate primary health care they need and deserve,” the promo reads.

The list of participants is below: Continue reading

Capitol Hill poised for a condo comeback amid rising prices

Amid all the residential development on Capitol Hill in recent years, practically none of it has been geared towards condos. That could be turning around.

The first condo building to be built on First Hill since 1982 is holding its grand opening this month. Soaring 24 stories high, Luma brings 168 high-end condos to the neighborhood. Meanwhile, just across I-5 from Capitol Hill at Howell and Minor, the massive 374 unit Nexus condo building is already 80% reserved and developers have not even broke ground. Luma Condominiums is a CHS advertiser.

Another sign condos may be making a comeback is a slight uptick in condo conversions. Conversions of rental apartments to condos practically came to a halt around Capitol Hill in 2008, but earlier this year a small building near Prospect and Broadway E converted five units to condos, according to city data. Continue reading

Details key for apartment project set to replace 15th Ave E parking lot

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Developers are ready to trade a 15th Ave E parking lot for a new 36-unit apartment building. Now, they hope to convince the review board they have the finishing touches necessary to do the job.

The Wren building will take its second and likely final pass in front of the East Design Review Board Wednesday night after getting kicked back in the process in July for a design proposal that lacked in the “materials and detailing” department on its 15th Ave E-facing façade. “The Board struggled with how the design relates to adjacent buildings and creates its own sense of place and identity,” the report (PDF) on the July session reads.

Wednesday night, developer Isola Homes and the architects from Caron Architecture will come to the table with a plan for cedar siding and aluminum that they hope convinces the board the four-story, 36-unit project with a planned 1,400 feet of commercial space is ready to move forward. Continue reading

Artists paste portraits of older, queer women across Capitol Hill for gentrification art project

At Seven Star Women’s Kung Fu and around Pike and Pine streets, women peer out of black and white photographs at passersby.

The nine older, queer women are the subjects of In This Place 206, an art project about the gentrification and loss of queer space on Capitol Hill.

“It’s really about taking up the space saying, ‘As you walk by this place, as you stand on this street corner, I stood here, I had a life here, I hung out here, I got my heart broken here,’” Nilda Brooklyn, one of the project artists told CHS. “It’s really just a reminder that there’s always somebody who came before us.” Continue reading

Harvard Exit office+restaurant transformation half done as developers search for tenants

(Images: Dovetail General Contractors)

Work to transform the Harvard Exit theater into a restaurant, bar, and office space is well underway, but developers are still on the hunt for businesses to occupy those spaces.

Developer Scott Shapiro of Eagle Rock Ventures tells CHS that renovations to the longtime E Roy movie theater are about half way complete. Construction is expected to finish in the first quarter of 2017, after which tenant improvements will start. Continue reading

12th and John ‘squatter houses’ finally demolished making way for microhousing project

IMG_8725A doomed trio of three old houses have been demolished at the corner of 12th and John to make way for a a four-story apartment building with 51 apartment units.

The houses were involved in two separate fires earlier this year likely caused by “improperly discarded smoking materials” as squatters had been using the old homes that stood boarded up awaiting their demolition to make way for the new microhousing development.

City inspectors met with the Hardy Development Company this spring to discuss ongoing issues at their properties, which are slated for the new 51-unit apartment building. Hardy promised to secure the houses and clean up the properties prior to the fires. Continue reading

Construction begins on The Danforth, home to Whole Foods and 265 ‘luxury apartments’ on First Hill

Danforth Rendering 2

Danforth Rendering 1The 16-story tower where Whole Foods plans to open by 2018 will be filled with “luxury apartments” and will be known as The Danforth, the project’s developers said Thursday in an announcement marking the start of construction at Broadway and Madison.

“We expect The Danforth to be a destination for residents and workers of not just First Hill and Capitol Hill but also surrounding neighborhoods including downtown Seattle, Madison Park, Madison Valley and the Central District,” Todd Seneker, portfolio manager for Columbia Pacific Advisors, said in the “alternative investment” firm’s announcement. Continue reading

Agreement on $17M+ land lease will put Capitol Hill Station development on track for fall 2019 opening — UPDATE

In spring 2018, developer Gerding Edlen will finally break ground on the 100,000-square-foot Capitol Hill Station commercial, housing, and community space project. To do it, the developer needs to sign a land lease for the Sound Transit-owned property.

On Thursday, the Sound Transit board will vote on three 99-year lease agreements to hand over control of Sites A, B-South, and C — the paved over, fenced off parcels along Broadway between E Denny Way and E John. If approved, it would put Gerding on track to finish the project in fall 2019.

UPDATE (3:20 PM): The Sound Transit board unanimously approved the lease agreements Thursday afternoon, paving they way for Gerding Edlen to dive into the design phase of the project. “Today is a really exciting day,” said Sarah Lovell, a member of Sound Transit’s “transit orientated development” staff.

In addition to some 400 apartments, the project will include a retail “bazaar” anchored by a grocery store. Portland-based New Seasons Market and Capitol Hill’s Central Co-op are currently vying to take over the space. The project is also slated to include a daycare, community space, and permanent home for the Broadway Farmers Market.

Board members said the project would be an example for all future TOD projects along the expanding light rail system. Sound Transit CEO Peter Rogoff praised his staff following the vote, saying many had lived and breathed the deal for the past six months. “It’s easily the most ambitious TOD action the agency has ever taken,” he said.

Continue reading

Too austere? Developers asked to liven up Seattle U’s 10-story 12th and Madison building

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Seattle University’s latest “major institution” design for a new building at 12th and Madison may actually be a little too institutional. That was the message from some members of the Seattle University Standing Advisory Committee during its meeting Monday night.

“It reminds me of a telecommunications building, to put it honestly,” said Capitol Hill architect John Feit, who sits on the committee tasked with reviewing the project’s designs and adherence to its master plan. Committee members primarily took issue with size and ratio of windows compared to the rest of the facade. Some cited the building’s proximity to Capitol Hill and the neighborhood arts districts as reasons for a more colorful palate. Continue reading

Town Hall hopes to become First Hill gateway as two 32-story towers set to join block

(Image: Michael Hanscom via Town Hall Seattle)

(Image: Michael Hanscom via Town Hall Seattle)

(Image: Town Hall Seattle)

(Image: Town Hall Seattle)

This August, the amazing old church that grew up to be First Hill’s Town Hall Seattle isn’t doing much but getting older as it reaches the 100th anniversary of its construction. Next August, the landmark building — and its block at 8th and Seneca — will begin a massive process of overhaul and change that will rebuild the old Town Hall and functionally rotate the structure’s presence to create what the nonprofit hopes is a new presence for the structure as a connector between downtown and a rapidly growing First Hill neighborhood. Along with the new orientation, more than 500 new neighbors are also coming to the block in a set of apartment towers planned to join the 100-year-old building.

Capital campaign director for Kevin Malgesini said that the corner of Town Hall closest to the I-5 lid Freeway Park is a focal point of the renovation project. “We’re looking at the way this corner links the two neighborhoods,” he said. “What it is is really visually connecting Freeway Park and First Hill, rather than First Hill turning its back on the city.”

Malgesini said the nondescript and closed-off nature of the building’s current west facade makes it unapproachable from downtown Seattle. “I think there are many people who see the building and don’t know what it is.” Continue reading