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As Hill development slows, BelRoy Court project one step closer to construction

Update: The contract rezone has not actually been granted yet. DPD has recommended the rezone but a final decision will not be made until after the public hearing on November 30th (see below).

I think it can be unanimously agreed that Capitol Hill’s development market boom times are definitively over. Instead of six-story apartment complexes, development activity on the Hill has been reduced to public parks and Starbucks renovations. While this new development environment is not likely to change for a long time, there are still a few projects on the boards, slowly working their way through the permitting process. Last week, one of those projects, the BelRoy Court, was successfully granted received a DPD recommendation for a requested contract rezone, a key part of the development proposal.


Rendering courtesy of Point32

The rezone changes the site from L-3, or a maximum of three stories, to MR, or mid-rise, which allows up to six stories as well as ground floor commercial space. However, as the name implies, the rezone requires a contractual agreement by the developer to only build what the current proposal calls for.

In this case, the developer, Point32, has proposed to rehabilitate the historic Bel Roy Apartments while adding 58 residential units in two new structures. Most of the new development will remain at three stories, the height of the current Bel Roy, with only a small portion on the Northeast side of the property reaching up to six stories. During the design review process, architects said that the rezone was necessary in order to build a “network of gardens” within the property, a main design feature of the project.

“It is great that the city recognized the attributes of our proposal,” Chris Rogers, CEO of Point32, said of the rezone decision. Even though this was one of the last hurdles for the project, Rogers said that construction likely won’t begin before next summer.

We last reported on the project in May, when the Design Review Board asked the project team to redesign the Northeast corner of the site where a 980 square-foot commercial space was proposed. According to the meeting report, the board was satisfied with the changes, officially completing the Design Review process for the project.

At the beginning of October, with the support of Point32, the Bel Roy Apartments received official designation as a historic city landmark. Designed by prominent Seattle architects Lionel Pries and William Bain, the 1931 structure has been praised for its unique Art Deco style. Interestingly, Bain’s granddaughter, Lesley Bain of Weinstein A|U is the lead architect for Point32’s current BelRoy project.

A public hearing on the rezone decision recommendation will be held on November 30th at 9:00 AM at the Municipal building. Full details here.

Rendering Courtesy of Point32


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6 thoughts on “As Hill development slows, BelRoy Court project one step closer to construction

  1. This really is the best thing for Bellevue Ave, I mean sure there’s an overgrown lot surrounded by chain link fencing just four blocks away, and don’t forget the lovely abandoned burned out building on the corner of Pine. Tearing down houses that have probably been here longer than most people around here have? Houses with charm and actual neighborhood feel where families already live? just feels right.

  2. There’s nothing wrong with this proposal. Have you SEEN the quality of the houses that will be removed? They may be historic, but they havent’ been maintained in eons. I’ll be sad to see the nice yards go, but if it means they’re also cleaning up the LOWER end of the property down where Melrose aka bike path parallels the freeway then it’ll make for a lot nicer space.

  3. Molly – you do realize that where buildings are built has everything to do with who owns the property and not what you perceive to be “best” for the community. Have a problem with the overgrown lot or the burned out building? Communicate that to the owners of those respective lots–don’t blame this developer for the problems of another.

    As far as the tearing down of the “houses with charm and actual neighborhood feel where families already live…”, really? So, renovating the units in the BelRoy (i.e. replacing the single pane windows, new heating system, new appliances, etc) and building 50+ units of new housing on the space occupied by 5 dilapidated houses that by virtue of their age alone are deemed valuable is bad? Again, really?

  4. So! I have been living near these homes for going on four years. Love my location, land lord, and beloved home. My concern, pollution & dust. Noise pollution for potentially 2 years. Those whom are excited, wondering, do you live in this area? Those who do live in this area, do you think you can wait it out? Forget sleeping in on my days off. Mine are on weekdays. ..
    We have a pool here next door to this property but def. in the summers it may not be so peaceful out there, along with residual dust.
    I am for sprucing the community up but I am concerned about raised rent, excessive noise, & blocked street on bellevue.
    Any information you might have or thoughts?
    Thank you

    Concerned community citizen