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Making more with less, more or less, BelRoy Apartments project nears completion

Between the old and new BelRoy (Images: CHS)

Lovers or architecture, design — and Lionel Pries — will gather Friday night for a party inside one of Capitol Hill developments where construction workers are still busy shaping the latest wave of neighborhood apartment buildings.

Hosting the ARCADE magazine issue 30.4 launch party will be the soon-to-be-completed addition to the historic Pries-designed BelRoy Apartments at, yes, the corner of Bellevue and Roy. From ARCADE’s Global More=Global Less issue:

“Less is the future. Less water. Less food. Less resources. Less consumption. Less of everything. Less equals a mandate for massive change now—the shift in values, in use, in stewardship and in the way we inhabit the world. This can be terrifying, but is change, and less, something to be feared? I don’t think so. …Change that integrates richness as a part of living with less can succeed.”

Making more out of less is a pat way to describe the project that developer Point32 has wrapped around the 1931 Modernist-style apartment building.

The restored BelRoy Apartments are joined by the addition of two new buildings that replaced five single family homes to the north and east. The change has doubled the capacity of the BelRoy to more than 100 units in the project. A snug 1,000 square feet of commercial space at the far north end faces Bellevue Ave in the shadow of a tall cedar tree that the project was able to work around and preserve. A “network of gardens” will wind its way around the new campus.

Rogers in his old stomping grounds (Image: CHS)

Thanks to  a re-zone approved by the City Council in late 2010, one of the new BelRoy buildings will be six-stories tall. Along with its three-story partner, the new construction is another element of change on this end of Bellevue Ave. The neighborhood said goodbye, you might remember, to the old houses the project required demolished with this art exhibit in 2011.

Following Friday night’s party, Point32 has a busy few months ahead of it. The BelRoy leasing will open back up this fall with a planned January opening, CEO Chris Rogers tells us. Meanwhile, the “living building” Bullitt Center at 15th and Madison remains on pace for completion late this year.

With high demand on Capitol Hill and an amazing set of buildings as the product, Rogers said he doesn’t expect there will be many difficulties in filling the old nor the new BelRoy spaces.

“It was leased out for 80 years before this,” Rogers reminds.

One of those tenants, Rogers said, was him. Back at one point in the ’80s, you could find Rogers in unit B31.


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11 years ago

… the Bel-Roy was owned by a wonderful older woman named Jill Riehl. I knew her and her daughter Pat when I lived in the neighborhood. Long since lost contact with the Riehls. Is the building still in their family?

11 years ago

The ownership paper trail runs a little long — This investment firm appears to be the end of the trail — WYCKOFF INVESTMENTS LLC. Don’t know if the family has an interest.

11 years ago

The Riehl’s have not owned the Belroy for a long time. When I moved into the Belroy in 1996 it was not owned by the Riehl’s. The Belroy was sold again in 2008? to the Wycoff family. The Riehl’s still owned the 5 houses next to the Belroy until they finally agreed to sell them to the Wycoff’s so they could redevelop the Belroy and the land where the houses were.

11 years ago

This is beyond depressing. When this project was first proposed, the developers said they’d make sure to design it such that it would fit in architecturally with the historic original building.

I ask the developers this question: So how exactly does it fit in? It has no artistic touches, no unique qualities…in fact one could easily argue it’s the exact OPPOSITE of the Belroy. Two plain (VERY plain), ugly dark brown brick boxes (underneath those orange covers), one tall, the other long. A friend who walked by it recently was appalled…said it looked like a new bank was opening.

Arcade says: “”Less is the future. Less water. Less food. Less resources. Less consumption. Less of everything.”

If the ‘new’ Belroy is any indication, I guess that includes “less taste”.

11 years ago

This development was a horrible idea. I live about a block away and the “feel” of that block has really changed now. It used to have a nice, friendly neighborhood feel but now it’s like I’ve been transported to Belltown or something. And this is coming from someone who is pro-development!

Really really bad design and nowhere near the character of the location it was built on.

11 years ago

Amen Kelly.
I am a long-time resident in the Bellevue/Summit neighborhood and this is just depressing. I realize that we all have to embrace change and be open to new buildings/condos coming into our beloved neighborhood but this new addition to the BelRoy just does not fit in. It looks like a stale, sterile office building. I can’t help but think that pretty close to no efforts were made to add some flair and charm to the new addition. It stands out like a sore thumb. Such a shame.

This leaves all to wonder: What will these new buildings look like in 80 years?