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230 Broadway project about to dig in on Capitol Hill’s main drag

The next great redevelopment project in the heart of Capitol Hill is finally about to get underway as the last retail tenants make way way for the 230 Broadway project. Hungry breakfast goers stopping by Broadway’s Noah’s Bagels will find the shop closed as of Monday.

SRM Development’s Andy Loos tells us the project is about to get its building permit and should have permits to demolish the buildings along Broadway from Thomas to mid-block where the construction lot will abut the building that houses the Highline, Subway sandwich shop and the Castle sex store. Demolition is expected to begin by the end of the month.

Cafe Septieme shut down months ago. Africa Mama, the never-say-die shop that moved into empty spaces in the soon-to-be demolished Broadway storefront, has gone into limbo again. Bank of America and Noah’s will return to the block when the project completed some time in 2013. In the meantime, B of A operates in its new temporary home near Poppy on north Broadway while Noah’s Capitol Hill will be on hiatus.

Loos says after the few weeks it takes to rip down and remove the old home that used to be the Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce, the Bank of America building — not a landmark, by the way, and the old Noah’s and Septieme structures, construction of the 7-story mixed-use project should begin immediately. “We’re off to the races,” Loos said.

Loos said projects getting going after a long period of down economy are finding abundant contractors looking for work helping to ease the process forward.

With construction also underway on the Capitol Hill light rail station and University Link tunnels, the central stretch of Broadway is undergoing more transformation — an environment that is likely to further stress some area merchants. Sound Transit has set up a business mitigation effort with the chamber of commerce that has provided classes, training and marketing opportunities like YourCapitolHill.com, a CHS partner.

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grace
grace
10 years ago

I HATE THIS SOULESS PROJECT

Cory Johnson
Cory Johnson
10 years ago

Just because the “230 Broadway Ave E project” doesn’t have as good a ring to it doesn’t mean they should be lying about their address.

The real “230 Broadway” is down by Harborview.

douglas
douglas
10 years ago

This rendering makes the building look…dull.

Under the Clouds
Under the Clouds
10 years ago

It’s as predictable as rain in Seattle: a multi-story building goes up on the Hill, replacing a beloved parking lot or non-descript single story building, and everyone bemoans how things are changing for worse. “Soul-less” or whatever. 20 years from now, no one’s gonna give a damn.

I’m happy projects like this a replacing under-utilized blocks on a busy street like Broadway. If we’re not going to build density near a Link light rail station, then where?

Swift Albero
Swift Albero
10 years ago

The people who will rent/purchase those apartments/condos will complain about the music that blasts onto the sidewalk from Panache. Say goodbye to the 5 second dance party that happens while walking on the other side of the street.

calhoun
calhoun
10 years ago

I agree with you completely. I’m hoping this development will be similar in quality to the Brix building, but no matter what it will be a vast improvement over what’s there, and will provide housing density that is completely absent there now. The only thing I’ll miss is the very cute cottage at the SW corner of 10th and Thomas.

To me, the rendering looks good…especially the apparent use of brick and wood trim. I’m glad this project is finally going to start…it will be an excellent addition to my immediate neighborhood.

calhoun
calhoun
10 years ago

So, what’s there now (mostly parking lot and the incredibly ugly BOA building) has “soul?”

SeattleBrad
SeattleBrad
10 years ago

Don’t forget the streetcar.

X.G.
X.G.
10 years ago

Well, my dear neighbor, that’s why we have to install OUR types of people to rep us at City Hall. If dullards like Sally Clark and goofballs like Tim Burgess won’t create laws that protect us from suburban whiners who move to the big city only to be surprised that it’s a sometimes noisey place, we need to oust them. Then we need to elect friends and like-mindeds who’ll

A. protect nightlife and the noise that comes with it
B. REQUIRE triple-pane windows on all buildings constructed in high-activity areas
C. Create Rent and Housing zones in creative areas and areas that attract those who don’t earn a bundle. Such zones should restrict what landlords and greedy developers can charge for their often shoddily built and/or overpriced dwellings. PHONE soft-talker Mayor Mike McGinn ( 206 501 4275info@mcginnformayor.com) and tell him to get off his arse and get it all rolling -or we’ll boot him out of office as fast as we sent him into it.

Fearing change instead of partaking in controlling what that change might look like isn’t the solution. A shitty parking lot and butt-ugly BofA building are not good uses of the ‘Way. Housing near rail and retail/services is. Now, let’s make sure the developers and our elected so-called reps, represent OUR interests. As it is, our city councilors make a nice paycheck to mostly be misinformed hacks, cowards and rubber stampers.

Jose
Jose
10 years ago

Incorrect.
230 Broadway E (E stands for EAST) is right where they say it is.

so there is 230 Broadway E. and 230 Broadway. get your facts straight.

Veleta Witcraft
Veleta Witcraft
10 years ago

Broadway is getting one of those too-tight face lifts. Don’t get me wrong, I love modern buildings; ones with quirky uses of materials or unique sidewalk experiences. But this “new” building sure looks like the other two gargantuan buildings (old QFC and Safeway lots). I thought 6 floors was the limit- actually I know it’s a height limit but it’s often been described as going form a four floor limit to a six floor limit – so are they floors with low head room or what? I haven’t seen the drawings.
I know we’ll never have density through handsome old brownstones like they do in Brooklyn, or anything near the NY American Folk Art Museum’s use of materials but a bit more individuality would be nice. The funky unique shops that gave Broadway it’s personality are being lost in these concrete shells. I won’t miss the BOA building but I enjoyed Noah’s and Septieme and the pastiche added interest. The older buildings grew more organically rather than being plopped down in one go which often makes a more interesting block but we could try, please, to keep some of the quirkiness that defines Broadway even while increasing the density. I find faces with years of crow’s feet and living etched on them interesting but if those are to be lost to the scalpel let’s at least add some purple hair!

Plus, neighbors should take advantage of the outdoor dining on the east sidewalks this summer. Once the developers get a foothold on the west side, it will be a dark canyon. Why not a stepped back height limit to keep some sun shining on Broadway?

And in a different but similar vein, it has been pointed out to me that the building going up at the old B&O property will block the water view down to about 20% of what you can see now from Broadway. Goodbye Space Needle, goodbye mountains. The “view corridor” rules seem to have been overlooked until the last minute and are now being ignored.
You used to be able to see Lake Union as you moved along Westlake; now it’s hidden behind condos so only a few get the lovely view. This is happening all over the City. If you want to comment on Broadway losing it’s views you can chime in with others who sent this to the Mayor:

Dear Mayor McGinn,

We are writing to inform you of an upcoming Department of Planning and Development Master Use Permit Decision that will allow a new mixed-use development (apartments over commercial and parking) to block most of a SEPA-protected public view of the Olympic Mountains, Puget Sound and the downtown skyline along the designated East Olive Way Scenic Route. (Project information is at the end of this email.)

The Seattle Municipal Code (25.05.675 P., Public View Protection) states:
· “Seattle has a magnificent natural setting of greenery, mountains, and water; visual amenities and opportunities are an integral part of the City’s environmental quality.”
· “It is the City’s policy to protect public views of significant natural and human-made features:…the Olympic… Mountains, the downtown skyline, and major bodies of water including Puget Sound…from public places consisting of the specified viewpoints, parks, scenic routes and view corridors, identified in Attachment 1.” (Olive Way is shown in Attachment 1 as a designated “protected view right-of-way”.) (Non-relevant text has been omitted here.)
· “The decisionmaker may condition or deny a proposal to eliminate or reduce its adverse impacts on designated public views…”
· “Mitigation measures may include, but are not limited to: requiring a change in the height of the development; requiring a change in the bulk of the development; requiring a redesign of the profile of the development; requiring on-site view corridors or requiring enhancements to off-site view corridors; relocating the project on the site…”

The proposed development is shown in the attached “Before & After Views” images. These images were prepared by the developer’s architect and submitted to DPD as part of a required analysis of impacts to the existing scenic view. The hand-written notes in red are from our public comments submitted to DPD. The current proposed build-out to be approved by DPD is shown in the lower left corner, noted “View reduced to 30% of current view.” (The build-out to be approved would chamfer the southwest corner of the building, instead of removing 5 feet along East Olive Way as noted, but the resulting amount of view blocked/preserved is the same. The chamfer is the proposed mitigation that DPD intends to approve.)

We feel that DPD’s decision to allow this proposed project to block 70% of the existing public view is:
· An inappropriate and highly unfortunate loss of a legislated community asset
· The privatization of a public amenity protected through legislation
· Very shortsighted, sacrificing the long-term benefit to the city’s residents, visitors and tourists for the short-term benefit of the developer and a handful of apartment dwellers fortunate enough to live in one of the west facing apartments.
· Most importantly, not complying with the legislated intent of this SEPA regulation: to preserve the public view that is “an integral part of the City’s environmental quality” (per SEPA 25.05.675 P.)

Consider how many people now use this heavily-trafficked public right-of-way and how many more will use this right-of-way once the new Light Rail station is completed at Broadway and East Olive Way/East John Street, and how wonderful it would be for all who will enter/exit the new light rail station to see the magnificent view of Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound instead of an apartment building that is blocking nearly all of this spectacular western view.

We strongly encourage you to take the time to visit this location on a clear day and walk west on E. Olive Way from Broadway near the current light rail construction site at Broadway and E. John to experience first hand what the loss of this beautiful legislated, protected view would mean to the neighborhood, the Capitol Hill community and the entire city when the development is built as proposed and as DPD currently intends to approve. There are only 2 designated, protected scenic routes looking west from Capitol Hill. This building, if built as proposed, would eliminate virtually half of those views.

We are also attaching two zoomed-in photos of the view, taken by us, which better show the mountains. In ‘Current View 1’ the new building would block all of the view on the right side of the photo, and extend approximately as far left as the short sign in the pedestrian island (next to the red parked car) in the middle of the street.

Thank you for your consideration on this issue and please feel free to contact us if you have any questions. We would also appreciate knowing if you intend to take any action on this matter.

This is an incredible, magnificent view, especially when the mountains are visible and we want to be sure you know about this upcoming DPD decision to allow a legally protected public View Corridor to be blocked by a new building.

Respectfully,
Michael Bush and Sally Knodell
206-334-9900

Project Address: 1650 East Olive Way
DPD Project Number: 3002133
DPD Land Use Planner: Bruce Rips (615-1392; Bruce.Rips.gov)

The attached photos don’t seem to have come along with this. I got them so am not sure why they didn’t attach here. But you can go have a look yourselves. Just imagine the whole right side of the street being covered until you have a tiny peek-a-boo view of Lake Union on the left.