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Design meeting to discuss Bellevue Ave E ‘workforce’ apartment project

In a space once planned for an eight-unit townhouse project, developers are moving forward on a seven-story, 75-foot “workhorse” “workforce” affordable housing building at 418 Bellevue Ave E with 67 units and underground parking for 16 vehicles. The Department of Planning and Development and building developers will discuss their plans at the project Early Design Guidance meeting at 6:30 p.m. May 4 at Seattle Vocational Institute at 21st and Jackson in the Central District.


Plans by previous developers to build the townhouse project were scuttled a few years back but not before a previous apartment building had been razed. Now the space is an empty lot with debris from the old concrete foundation still jutting from the earth. Here’s what developer Chris Langer Properties says they are hoping to achieve with the new project:

The applicant’s development objective is to provide the highest and best use for the site and to create a high-density,workforce/affordable housing development. The proposed project is a 7-story, 75 foot building with 59 units of housingand parking for 16 vehicles in a below grade parking garage. The project intends to take advantage of the height and FARbonus for providing affordable housing and meeting sustainable building standards.


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Developers will present three design options for the building, all of which call for some code departures. 

The preferred design from the design proposal document by Runberg Architecture Group:

The footprint of the preferred design has smaller setbacks from all property lines than code calls for, as shown here:

The full design proposal:

DRProposal3011923AgendaID3187

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Tom
Tom
9 years ago

it’s 2 stories taller than it SHOULD be and like as many as 4 taller than anything in the same block. Aside from having half the parking it should have it doesn’t fit the lot well.

Finish Tag
Finish Tag
9 years ago

http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/AppDocs/GroupMeetings/DRProposal3

This is an important meeting. They’re getting a LOT of free stuff for providing 80% AMI rents.

calhoun
calhoun
9 years ago

That’s an awfully large building to be shoe-horned into a fairly small lot. It’s going to be “quantity not quality”.

X.G.
X.G.
9 years ago

Great project if the rents are indeed “affordable” which I’ll bet they won’t be.

Either way, too-small setbacks suck. You leave residents with too little light to be happy. Don’t make residents stare out the window at bricks as though there’s barely a window there at all. This building needs to allow something in the way of light to come in. The design looks like it’ll be a goofy, massive block, if the original (terrible) desired footprint is adhered too.

It’ll take a visionary design to fill this plot. Don’t forget wide window sills where residents can put plants, grow herbs, etc. And how about a community garden on the roof where residents can grow some of their own food, btw?

X.G.
X.G.
9 years ago

Yup!

JoshMahar
JoshMahar
9 years ago

As with any other project that takes advantage of the affordable housing incentive and meets sustainability standards, the project is getting an FAR bonus which equates to 15 extra feet of height. (Per SMC 23.58A)

The departures are a request and, although the developers justification is affordable housing, the requests are in no way connected to the incentive program. They should be judged the same as any other departure requests.

umvue
umvue
9 years ago

and just let people sleep out under the trees the way they did in the golden days when everything was better?

Emma
Emma
9 years ago

I live in the south facing apartment in the three story building at 426 Bellevue. (Right next to the proposed building site) I am enormously glad I’m moving in June- even in the drawing the building looms over ours and blocks out all of the sunlight. 7 stories is way taller than most of the gracious, older apartments on the couple of surrounding blocks. I think this is a poor place to put such a building.

Jeffrey
Jeffrey
9 years ago

This render is a massing… not a design. You can start your name-calling after you attend the meeting and see the designs for yourself.

As far as the size of the building goes, high density should be applauded for this neighborhood. 7 stories is nothing remotely extreme, and taller residential buildings should be encouraged within such a dense neighborhood close to the CBD. If you are concerned about a 7 story building on a tiny lot overpowering the surrounding buildings, you need to either move away from the center of the city, or get out and do some research.

joshuadf
joshuadf
9 years ago

There’s a similar project at 975 John St in SLU:
http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/planning/design_review_program/pr

joshuadf
joshuadf
9 years ago

Obviously I wouldn’t enjoy the construction noise next door either, and I personally prefer the older buildings, but it’s a Midrise zone close to a future subway station. There’s also a 92′ building across the street and the design notes views and solar access are blocked by that.

X.G.
X.G.
9 years ago

Jeffrey,

In spirit I’m with you on the density, especially so close to Seattle’s new subway line that’ll be completed someday not soon enough ;-)

HOWEVER, you’ve got to be kidding in asserting that desnity virtue trumps all. You see, PEOPLE have to LIVE in and on either side of this blocky lug of a proposed building. Take it from uber-succesful urban development in Vancouver, BC: you have to leave space for light, air and greenery around each new structure to keep people sane, especially in our light-limited Pac NW. Anything else is plain moronic. This project should absolutely not be approved with these absurdly inadequate setbacks.

Instead: narrow needle-ish towers that are slender, if taller.

Randopop
Randopop
9 years ago

You did read that this is a “workforce” building? Meaning poor folk in customer service, although knowing the hill it will fill up with servers and bartenders that are probably taking home 200-300$ a night in tips.

No Way to Run an Airline
No Way to Run an Airline
9 years ago

“The project aims to use a modular, prefabricated construction system, in which the bulk of the project is built in a factory off site.” – Architects description of the construction.

That is the way to preserve the character of the neighborhood.