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Another Capitol Hill apartment project springs (back) to life at 19th and Madison

Last week, we marveled about a mixed-use apartment development springing to life after its plans had been on ice since 2009 because of the down economy. Now we learn of an even cooler — as in dormant — project that went through the approval process way back in 2007 that is now in this winter of 2011 putting forth the buds of promise that are trucks, backhoes and chain-link fencing. The 1818 E. Madison project had gone so cold, we didn’t even notice a heartbeat until we started getting e-mail like this one from neighbor Sean:

I’ve noticed that a contractor has mobilized at 1818 E. Madison in recent days (where the old dairy was) and an increase in permit activity.  Here is what I have found:,E,MADISON,ST,

There is a contractor’s trailer on site next to the polish hall so it looks like this is a go.  Any info you could find would be greatly appreciated.

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We’re still digging into the why and how of it but we can tell you the who — the bustle of activity suddenly re-shaping the long-empty lot at 19th and Madison is preparation for the same project planned in 2007 by Rolluda Architects for developer R&A Investments, the firm that has owned the lot since purchasing it for $3.1 million back in 2000. The 2007-approved plans call for construction of a 6-story mixed-use apartment building with underground parking. We’re still working to track down some of the details of the old plan but one revision on file with the city calls for one of the underground levels of parking to be eliminated from the plan — score one for the pro-transit crowd.

Metro-assisted picture from neighbor David of 19th/Madison

Permits for the construction were applied for in November 2005, first issued in February 2007 and set to expire in September of this year. The project is valued at more than $18 million according to city filings. We’re checking with DPD about how long permits can stand before being used and rules about extensions. We also are reaching out to the architects and developers to try to learn more about the project and the decision to go forward after such a long hiatus.

Many remember the lot for the old Frattelli’s Dairy facility that stood there — along with its fantastic cow mural. That building was demolished in spring 2007.

The start of full demolition of the dairy building’s foundation and preparation of the lot puts yet another parcel along Madison into construction mode.

Image: King County

With demolition of the old CC’s space to make way for the new Cascadia Center, demolition work at 13th and Madison for the 1222 E. Madison six-story apartment project that will abut Trace Lofts, and the design process underway for another six-story project that will eventually house an Aegis assisted living facility near 22nd Ave E and Madison and the slumbering plans for Jim Mueller’s mixed-use project in the lot that used to house Chocolate City, East Madison between 23rd and 12th Avenues is approaching an amazing growth spurt that could further transform the area into a multi-story corridor with all the progress, loss and change that comes with increasing density in Seattle.

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6 thoughts on “Another Capitol Hill apartment project springs (back) to life at 19th and Madison

  1. Thanks for this reporting!
    It would be nice if the architects or developers provided some info since it’s been dormant so long. A little neighborhood engagement would be much appreciated.
    Is there going to be ground floor retail? This is my – and many other peoples’ – busstop to work so our lives will be affected.

  2. I walk past this space to and from work every day and I’m just glad they finally removed the blackberry bushes that were taking over the sidewalk. I used to dream of doing a stealth pruning in the middle of the night…

  3. …not a dairy. The mural was fantastic. They were a big presence at events such as Bumbershoot. Local boys made good, became a flash in the pan!

  4. Great ice cream – loved their Capuccino Chip. And I’m pretty sure they sponsored the 4th of July fireworks on Lake Union early on.