Mt. Zion Baptist Church making plans to join wave of East Madison development

The resurgence in six-story, mixed-use development construction around Capitol Hill also has a planning wave. One of those rather large, early ripples is starting at Madison and 19th’s Mt. Zion Baptist Church. CHS has learned that the spiritual organization — and holder of a significant amount of area property — has begun work on a new master plan for the “Mount Zion Campus” along 19th Ave.

Plans for the re-development Mt. Zion are moving along, and developers tell us they plan to hold a public meeting in April. Plans for the new campus at Madison and 19th Ave are “not quite ready for public consumption,” said Sam Cameron from Rolluda Architects, which is working with the Church on its plans.


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A project model from a 2001 study (pictured on this post) shows plans for two new buildings in addition to the two currently on the grounds as well as the construction of structured parking. Cameron was formerly with Streeter & Associates, a partner with DKA on the 2001 project. The new Master Plan for the Mt. Zion site will be generally similar to the 2001 plans, but with some changes, Cameron said.

“We’re looking at more community oriented spaces as well as some commercially oriented spaces along East Madison Street and still trying to consolidate parking in a parking structure,” said Cameron in an email. “We would like to have a community meeting to solicit ideas about our plans and get feedback prior to moving further.” The meeting has not yet been scheduled.

According to Mt. Zion’s Web site, the church was formed in 1894 and moved to 19th and Madison in 1918 when the congregation purchased an eight-room house at the location.

Zion’s new neighbor: the 1818 East Madison project

Fast forward to 2011, and Madison is again stretching to the sky. 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 East Madison six-story apartment project that will abut Trace Lofts, demolition planned soon for the 1111 East Union project 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 in the midst of 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.

Seattle University is making plans to be part of this growth. And now, Mt. Zion, too, is gearing up to be part of the changes.

Meanwhile, across the street from Mt. Zion, the 1818 East Madison project seems like it’s on the construction — and marketing — fast track. The project’s giant construction crane was recently adorned with a large cow. Thanks to Miller Park neighborhood activist Andrew Taylor for the tip and the picture. It appears that marketing for the project’s “131 exciting urban lofts” will be a nod to the property’s past as a Fratelli’s ice cream factory.

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4 thoughts on “Mt. Zion Baptist Church making plans to join wave of East Madison development

  1. I live down the street from Mt Zion and I’ve thought they were planning an expansion … from the plan pictured here they must own the block they are sitting on, between 19th & 20th and Madison & Pine. There is at least one house that has been vacant for over 10 years wh/ has someone living on the porch, another that has had a blue tarp on the roof for a very long time, and 3 other somewhat shabby homes on the block. I for one can’t wait for the neighborhood meeting ,,,, as for as I’m concerned they have been crap neighbors and the idea of giving the entire block over to them seems ridiculous.

  2. I think any development will be a good thing; nothing is worse for the safety and appearance of a neighborhood than a vacant, shabby building. Kudos to Mt. Zion for having the faith to develop their property in such a crap economy. This is how we will get out of the economic hole we are in. That and getting the richest 5% of Americans to finally pay their share.

  3. Looking through the various projects slated for E. Madison, I am pleased by what I see posted for Jim Mueller’s proposed buildings at 23rd and Madison. It looks like much more interesting and thoughtful architecture that what we’re seeing around Capitol Hill. Clean simple buildings with interesting facades. The 1818 E. Madison project seems a little overwrought to me.

  4. An enormous percentage of taxes are payed by a minority of Americans:
    The Top 1% of taxpayers pay 29% of all taxes.
    The Top 5% of taxpayers pay 50% of all taxes.

    Alan, you are wrong. Get a clue