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15th… 13th… 11th… Plans move forward for three multi-story projects in four E Pine blocks

Plans for 1222 E Pine (Image: Roger Newell)

East Pine, you look so much taller! There have been some important, um, developments for multi-story developments this week on E Pine that will open the door to coming-soon construction on four consecutive blocks of the street at 15th Ave — 13th Ave  — and 11th. For one project in the news this week, it took years of process and a City Council re-zone. For another, it took years of process. And $3.7 million.

First, up top at 15th Ave, Seattle Times reports that the Braeburn condo building’s twin project the Cameo Apartments found its buyer:

HAL Real Estate of Seattle has sold the site of its long-delayed Cameo Apartments project on Capitol Hill to Continental Properties of Bellevue for $3.7 million, according to county records.


The Cameo (Image: HAL Real Estate)

We reported back in February that the plans for the project had been dusted off and that HAL Real Estate was looking for an investor to buy the property and develop the 6-story, mixed use building. The project passed through the city’s design review process and now Continental Properties will carry it forward with construction planned to start this month at the site currently home to a parking lot on the block of E Pine between 14th and 15th Ave. Continental says the project should be completed by spring 2013. The company is also behind the development of this 3-story apartment building planned for the edge of the Harvard-Belmont area at 1145 10th Ave E. 

1222 E Pine
The Cameo wasn’t the only 6-story project on upper E Pine to make progress this week. After getting permission from the a Seattle City Council-approved re-zone in June 2010, the city’s Hearing Examiner this week upheld the decision and DPD issued the land use permit this week for a 65-foot tall mixed-use building at the northwest corner of 13th and E Pine:

Council Land Use Action to rezone 15,400 sq. ft. of property from NC3P-40′ to NC3P-65′ (Contract Rezone) located between East Pine St. to the south, 13th Ave. to the east, 1210 East Pine St. to the west and 1615 13th Ave. to the north. Project includes a Land Use Application to allow a six-story building containing 6,798 square feet of general retail sales and services (office use) at ground level with 75 residential units above, and below-grade parking for 70 vehicles. Project also includes 7,803 cubic yards of grading and demolition of the existing structures. Council File number 309451. All grading and demolition to be done under separates construction permits, per plans.


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Meanwhile, don’t forget about the 6-story project just off Pine on 14th Ave currently going through the design review process. The Bella Vita apartments will incorporate the retail stretch now known as “the Porchlight building.” Design reviews for that project and the 12th Ave Arts development were held Wednesday night. Capitol Hill Housing’s 12th Ave Arts will have to come back for a second session in the early guidance phase — if you stuck around for the late design review board session and know if Bella Vita is also coming back for a second meeting, let us know.

For now, the Roger Newell designed 1222 E Pine project still needs its construction and demolition permits before any work can begin. The site is currently home to a parking lot and a quirky “rug outlet” store. Newell did not respond to our inquiries regarding the plans for the start of construction on the project.

Sunset Electric still rising
Jeff Reibman, senior associate for architect Weber Thompson, did respond, however. With this activity along E Pine, we were curious to know more about what was happening with another project on the street — this one at the corner of 11th Ave. Reibman says the plan for construction to already be underway on the Sunset Electric mixed-use building may have been scrapped but that the project is still happening. “The project is still active and is in the final phases of the building permit process,” Reibman tells us.

The ambitious project will incorporate a facade of the old Sunset Electric factory where the 11th and Pine poster wall stands today. The Sunset Electric project will include 95 residential units above the restored auto row building with two-floor tall commercial spaces at ground level. The name refers to a manufacturing company that called the 1916 building home for a time. It is also known as the Spray King building and was once home to Winton Motor Co., according to neighborhood activist Dennis Saxman. The project is participating in the city’s Priority Green Pilot Program. We published this series of artist renderings of the project here.

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12 thoughts on “15th… 13th… 11th… Plans move forward for three multi-story projects in four E Pine blocks” -- All CHS Comments are held for moderation before publishing

  1. Funny creatures. Did we learn nothing from Belltown? Too much dense is not always a good thing. I wish they would slow this down a bit and let the hood settle.

  2. You know, I always thought Pike street was hogging all the excitement in the neighborhood. With some built out parking lots and a light rail station, the 2020’s could finally bring Pine to the spotlight…and hopefully that awesome medieval tavern-like building at the corner of 14th will actually get used again. Can anyone fill me in on some history of that property?

  3. 3 of the 5 projects discussed in this article are replacing parking lots. The other 2 are preserving the existing façades. With the light rail station opening in 2016, Pike/Pine will only get better as a vibrant urban neighborhood.

  4. upd – I agree with you in part; namely that we shouldn’t look to replicate Belltown. But I think the focus of your criticism — on the dreaded “d” word — is misguided. Density is not a bad thing IF it is done well AND involves improvements/accommodations to/in the surrounding neighborhood.

    Belltown is dense, but it’s not the density so much as the lack of foresight/will to accommodate the elements that a neighborhood needs to be vibrant. Think schools, grocery stores, residential services, diverse housing…

    So yes, don’t replicate Belltown. But at the same time don’t shun new development based on a bad example. Instead, get involved to make sure that example doesn’t become the model.

  5. I’m not going to defend preserving parking lots, especially in a walkable hood with some of the best transit access in the region. Pike/Pine has been densifying for the last 20 years. That the owners of these properties are willing to build signifies a meaningful vote of confidence in the neighborhood’s direction.

  6. i hope you realize the buildings will include more parking spaces, a many-fold increase, than the existing parking lots.

    Have you failed to notice the increased traffic around upper pike-pine directly stemming from the new supply of underground parking spaces in all the new buildings? You really think all the additional traffic is making the hood more walkable? Go look at Trader Joe’s buildings for imho best example of this phenomenon.

    All the parking increases the proforma rent for the new units – probably 15% to 25%. You understand that?

    The system is collapsing anyway, so this is a mute point. IMHO these are zomby projects. Bank of America is about to collapse, and so is the Eurozone. These projects are f-ed.

  7. Density is not bad.

    Ugly buildings that don’t fit the neighborhood with huge overpriced retail ARE bad.

    Added housing is great for the neighborhood but do we need more big, bland restaurants and bars? They’re the only ones who can afford the commercial space.

    It’s great to have retail food and variety in a hood, but when an area is ONLY retail food/booze then you get more outside visitors and outside traffic…which also means you get traffic and parking problems.

    It would be lovely if the city would start requiring developers in urban neighborhoods to provide some affordable space for smaller, indie establishments thus encouraging more retail and locally, neighborhood owned businesses.

    And, six stories is fine for a narrower lot, but for a big block long project, it’s too massive and out of scale. Also, many of the ugly buildings being designed look too suburban for an urban ‘hood. This is Capitol Hill in Seattle, not a development in Kirkland or Redmond. Scale and style are important.

  8. Even the cars and people selected for the 1222 rendering make it feel more like downtown Bellevue than Capitol Hill. Identical treatment of both a south and east facade is so last century. Disappointment all around on that one.
    The Cameo? Don’t even know where to begin…

  9. I find the comments hilarious.

    “Identical treatment of both a south and east facade is so last century”. Are you serious?

    “It is ALREADY a vibrant, urban neighborhood. Adding humans will not make it any more of either of those.” You are right, it will make CH a bit more mainstream than it ALREADY is.

  10. I knew that there had to be an interesting story hidden behind all those posters, those boarded up windows, that sense of decay and mothballed neglect.
    Don’t know much about Sunset Electric but the Winton Motor Car Company now that is another story. One of the first luxury automobiles, designed and built in Cleveland before that city fell into the category of, “that mistake on the lake”. I knew the building had that aura of auto dealership about it and I have been in the area long enough to remember when the slightly forlorn site of the Packard dealership, just east of this one, was reborn as the home of an advertising agency and now built up as a condo.
    I’ve walked over to look at the site, with the doors open; all those massive, probably old growth timbers which made up the floor and trusses of that building–probably worth a very pretty penny once they go through a planing mill. Thank God that architectural salvage
    is so widely practiced; that interior wooden portion of the structure probably has a new life as a cherished detail of some other new building.