A permit has been issued for the demolition of the old purple warehouse building at the corner of 10th and Union to make way for yet another Capitol Hill mixed-use apartment development. The building has recently been home to a collection of Hill businesses and a community organizations — each had a demolition clause in their lease and each, including the Cork House, received 90-day notices at the end of April to make plans to move out. According to a representative from Seawest Investment Associates, the developer that owns the building and will be leading the project, the plan is to start construction later this summer following the demolition.
“We have been developers on the Eastside for more than 20 years and we’re really looking forward to starting our new development in Capitol Hill,” the rep told us via email. The company also provided this latest rendering of the project that started its journey through the public Early Design Guidance process a whopping five and a half years ago. (By the way, for an interesting view of the recent past and a little insight into the blessings and the curses of the public design process, check out this report summarizing public comment on this project from 2005/2006 era Pike/Pine community members.
Plans call for a six-story building with 79 apartment units above 7,800 square feet of ground level retail. Parking for 75 vehicles will be provided below and at grade. Seawest tells us there aren’t any significant changes to the five+ year-old plan. “We don’t have any significant changes to speak of, other than that we will be keeping 20% of the residential units rent affordable, as part of a program that the city is offering to selected new multifamily projects,” the rep wrote. “We will have some green space on the rooftop as well.”
In the “damned if you do…” category, the Seattle Times recently reported on City of Seattle efforts to stem the tide of developers looking to cash in on affordable housing programs in “vogue” neighborhoods like Capitol Hill. Whatever changes come will likely be too late to impact the 10th and Union project.
Also too late to impact the project will be the possible formation of a “transfer of development potential” program for the Pike/Pine neighborhood — though most would argue that the 36,000 square-foot, 1904 warehouse isn’t worthy of preservation effort. While it isn’t your classic “character structure,” the warehouse does have its industrial charm. And its roster of recent tenants including Cork House, which opened last summer, the Museum of the Mysteries, which left last fall, Black Label Spirits, which sadly is gone from the space before it started, and the Capoeira and Brazilian dance infused Union Cultural Center (Facebook), was the kind of quirky milieu you can only find in Pike/Pine’s more dilapidated nooks and crannies. None of the entities — except for, perhaps, Cork House which has shifted its marketing to a “Cork for a Cause” online play — will likely to be able to pay the rent in the new development.
Seawest acquired the land in 2005 for $2.7 million, according to King County Records. DPD records indicate the planned construction is budgeted at nearly $12 million.
We received this rant/tip from neighbor g about the changes:
From what I heard (at last Sunday’s tasting at Cork House), the building they are in, as well as the dance place on the corner, and possible other tenants, is being torn down and condos are going in. What’s new right? Cork House says they have until the end of July to vacate. Not sure where they are headed. However, the worst part is that yet another set of stupid condos are going in! Just what Capitol Hill needs: more condos! This neighborhood used to be really fucking cool. Then this condo boom started to happen and for christsakes! I’m pissed at all of it. I know I can’t do shit. But it’s like an ex-girlfriend that broke up with me. I long for those days that made me happy. Even though I knew it wouldn’t last, and even though looking back on it, I’m probably just thinking of the good times and not the bad, I still long for that distant memory that was Capitol Hill. You probably know all this, but for me it just makes me mad! No more weird and hip places. Soon it will be just like from 1st street, from Union to Pike! Sign will read: “Available retail space below,” while condos look down above… Hope it doesn’t suck too much! best, g
Well, not condos, g but…
The start of activity at 10th and Union won’t just represent the awakening of yet another dormant Capitol Hill development project. Across the street and up the block, the demolition permit is also in motion for the 1111 E Union project that will fill the land currently home to the Undre Arms apartments, Cobra Lounge and Thai Curry Simple with retail and apartments. By the end of summer, you will find two big empty lots on E Union and, if the banks are still eager to get behind the Capitol Hill apartment market, 6-story buildings will rise a year or so later. Where the “weird and hip” will end up is, as usual, much more uncertain.