Post navigation

Prev: (09/19/12) | Next: (09/19/12)

Design board looks at 14th/John apartments, 10th Ave E & 19th Ave E townhouse projects

With 30+ developments underway and under construction around Capitol Hill, Wednesday night brings a project at an earlier stage in front of the East Design Board as the four-story apartment building planned to replace the failed Seattle landmark Weatherford House at 14th and John takes its second bow in the review process. We also have details on two more projects still in the paper phase. Meanwhile, also on the Wednesday docket is a session with one of those 30 as the developers of the super green Bullitt Center make a “courtesy visit” to the board to talk photovoltaics as part of the city’s Living Building program. Details, below.


  • 133 14th Ave E: Earlier this summer, the Seattle Landmarks Board decided that the old antique shop at 14th and John’s mish-mash architecture and place in Seattle’s photography history wasn’t worthy of official landmark status. The move cleared the way for demolishing the 1904-built house and constructing a new apartment building from developer Murray Franklyn. But, first, the developer needs the project’s design signed-off on by the East Review Board. We wrote about the plans a four-story, 42-unit apartment building on the site with four live/work units at street level along John earlier this year. The development will include parking for 24 vehicles. 
Project: 133 14th Ave E  map
Review Meeting: September 19, 6:30
  Seattle University
  824 12th Ave   map
  Student Center Room 210
Review Phase: Recommendation past reviews
Project Number: 3012729 permit status | notice
Planner: Shelley Bolser

Wednesday night, the project comes back in front of the design review board with a more fully fleshed-out plan and details about finishes for the first of two planned meetings in this final recommendation phase. At the early design guidance session in December, Murray Franklyn found a board reluctant to grant the developer’s requested zoning departures regarding smaller lot setbacks and shallower and shorter commercial “live/work” lofts. This time around, the packet says architects have provided a “futureproof” plan for the lofts that will help make the units work for standard retail if the live/work thing doesn’t, well, work.

Dr Proposal 3012729 Agenda Id 3737


  • Bullitt Center: The super green project at 15th and Madison is slated to complete construction in mere months but Point 32, the developer behind the project, still has an appointment with the design review board Wednesday night:


Project: 1501 E Madison St.  map
Design Proposal available at review meeting
Review Meeting: September 19, 8:00
  Seattle University
  824 12th Ave   map
  Student Center Room 210
Review Phase: Recommendation past reviews
Project Number: 3011010 permit status | notice
Planner: Lisa Rutzick


Point32’s Chris Rogers calls the 8p session a “courtesy update” for the board. A DPD rep fleshed out what the session is all about for us:

At previous design review meetings, the Board expressed understandable consternation with the vertical array and its impacts on the public realm. The project team clearly stated throughout the design review process that as technology evolves, the photo voltaic (PV) arrays could get smaller, more effective and less visually intrusive, which is exactly what has occurred since the permit was approved. The meeting Wednesday night is a courtesy update to the Board and public, as the functional design element of most concern has been removed.

CHS wrote about the process to approve the building’s giant solar arrays earlier this year. Apparently those arrays will be less giant.

The DPD rep also said the session is an expected component of the city’s Living Building pilot incentive program that the Bullitt project is test driving:

This project was part of a pilot program and challenges heard by other developers experienced in or interested in developing deep green buildings is that the very high standards of building deep green means that the design and development are constantly evolving. There is a need to continue to work with the design and technical team throughout the construction process; this doesn’t match up with design review process cleanly.  DPD is continuing to dialogue about lessons lear
ned from this pilot program as we move forward.

That test drive, however, might be the first and last of its kind as Seattle looks at the possibility of loosening up its green building incentive program.


  • 1144 10th Ave E: There won’t be any meeting for it but the streamlined review for a townhouse project on 10th Ave E will also have the board’s attention this week. The design packet for the project is below. The project is to code, isn’t requesting any departures to zoning laws… and bugs neighbor Misha who sent us this about the change coming to her end of 10th Ave E:

the big old house at 1144 10th Ave East at the north end of broadway will be replaced with these 8 to a regular city lot cheaply built & identically ugly but waaaay over-priced townhomes  there are few houses left on 10th & its sad to see it go

The developer on the project is Steil & Steil — also behind the Malden 8 project, apparently — and the architect is Caron Architecture.

Across the street, construction on this three-story apartment building replacing a church parking lot is reportedly underway.

Dr Proposal 3013454 Agenda Id 3773


  • 416 19th Ave E: Another townhouse project recently has been going through the streamlined review process but this one had enough special departure requests that it had to be kicked up to the “administrative review” level of things. Brad Khouri’s project to build four townhouses and a single-family residence on a pipsqueak of a lot above the Miller Community Center looks like a pretty interesting infill development. Wednesday, by the way, is the final day for public comment on the land use application if you’re into that kind of thing. We’ve posted the design packet here. As is the case on 10th Ave E, an old single family home will need to be demolished to make way for the new project.

Subscribe and support CHS Contributors -- $1/$5/$10 per month

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
8 years ago

A design befitting a dense business area, which this is not. Zero setback from the sidewalk on John and 14th, where else does that happen in the neighborhood, other than directly on 15th.

8 years ago

Seems like the design on 14th and John is the same as… practically everything being built right now.

8 years ago

I’m guessing this is just the start, and there will be many more identical developments soon enough, so it won’t stick out. Unfortunately.

8 years ago

I agree. Once a black, un-inspired, status-quo design is approved, any near identical copy should automatically be approved. It’ll help save time and money, maybe even help draw attention and change to bad design sooner.

8 years ago

I meant “bland, un-inspired…”

8 years ago

This design does not even attempt to acknowledge the surrounding neighborhood. The lack of setback does not allow for the warmth of plantings. And the size and cold, inappropriate design are a real blow to our nearby diverse living spaces.

8 years ago

What good would the setback be for, exactly? The standard setback on Capitol Hill seems to be 2ft, at least near me. That’s worse than 0ft, because the plants they put in that setback do not constrain themselves to 2ft, and instead swallow up half the sidewalk…

More of the Same
8 years ago

In addition to overseeing the construction of cheap and horribly designed buildings that diminish the vibrancy of urban Capitol Hill, Murray Franklyn execs enjoy contributing to anti-gay initiatives. See, e.g., one of “Preserve Marriage Washington’s” biggest contributors to overturn our same-sex-marriage law:


CHS has done a great job in exposing the hypocritical practices of Capitol Hill landlord Frederick Scheetz for his similar take-our-bucks-and-then-stab-us-in-the-back business practices. It’s time to expose Murray Franklyn for the same.

8 years ago

What’s wrong with everyone? Those are great modernist designs! Most other buildings on the hill look like 60s motels from horror movies save for a few charming old brick buildings. This is a step in the right direction for the hill and I am sure in 10 years there will be little left of the 60s horror motels.

8 years ago

what’s wrong with seattle? it’s like everyone is addicted to ugly condos!


[…] CHS has received many messages alerting us that the end of the line has been reached for the former home of Weatherford Antiques as it is demolished to make way for this four-story apartment building. […]