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Final design unveiled for seven eight-story Melrose and Pine building

Screen shot 2013-05-14 at 12.37.23 PMThe final proposed design for the massive eight-story, 200+ unit mixed-use development set to incorporate two old auto-row era buildings and tower over a block of E Pine at Melrose has been unveiled a little more than one year after CHS first reported on the neighborhood-changing project.Screen shot 2013-05-14 at 12.36.37 PM

The Melrose and Pine development goes in front of the East Design Board Wednesday night for what will likely be its final step before demolition, preservation and construction work begins following summer. It will utilize incentives as part of the Pike/Pine Conservation Overlay District that provide developers with the right to build an extra floor of apartments in exchange for preservation of the facades and basic dimensions of “character” structures.

CHS reported recently on work underway to create a similar incentive district based on cultural and arts space.

The planned structures will include 205 units of housing, 16,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space and underground parking for 180 vehicles — the better to drive and park with for a visit to Melrose Market across the street.

Screen shot 2013-05-14 at 12.34.23 PM Screen shot 2013-05-14 at 12.34.51 PM Screen shot 2013-05-14 at 12.35.08 PM Screen shot 2013-05-14 at 12.35.36 PMThe Melrose and Pine review comes as any of the Madison Development Group’s concerns were dismissed in April about possible landmark protections for the Pinevue Apartments building and the Melrose Building where Bauhaus is located. A handful of apartment residents as well as businesses including Le FrockEdie’sScout ApparelVutiqueWall of Sound and Spine & Crown Books currently call the Pinevue home. We reported on the plans for Edie’s to make a two-block move soon, here. Bauhaus has opened in Ballard and plans to return to the corner when the construction is completed in the next two years. You might recall that B&O Espresso made similar plans but decided it will not return to Capitol Hill.

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Property records indicate that a partnership involving the longtime owners in the Lucurell family continue to hold the millions in dollars in land where the project will be built. Two existing apartment buildings will be demolished.

The Hewitt-designed project made its pass through the first phase of design review last summer without issue. This week, it will need sign-off from the board regarding elements like the materials chosen for the project and landscaping as well as final blessings on requested departures from the zoning in the neighborhood. The most significant discussion appears likely to come down to a requested departure related to how far the new construction will need to be setback from the facades of the character structures below. The developers want less — the code calls for more.

Beyond that, for all of the concerns about the amount of change the project is bringing and will bring to the area, nobody was able to conjure an argument from the design guidelines as they currently stand to slow down the change at Melrose and Pine.

Project: 301 E Pine St  map
Review Meeting: May 15, 8:00 PM
Seattle University
901 12th Ave  map
Admissions & Alumni Community Room
Review Phase: Recommendation past reviews
Project Number: 3013342 permit status | notice
Planner: Shelley Bolser

Screen shot 2013-05-14 at 1.27.56 PM515 Harvard Ave E
Another Hewitt-designed project is also on the slate for the design review board Wednesday night. You might recall our recent post about the rumblings of things to come in the former “wildflower” lot behind the Joule building. Those things will include “a 7-story structure containing 75 residential units” and  “parking for 24 vehicles to be provided below grade.”

Project: 515 Harvard Ave E  map
Review Meeting: May 15, 6:30 PM
Seattle University
901 12th Ave  map
Admissions & Alumni Community Room
Review Phase: EDG–Early Design Guidance
Project Number: 3013291 permit status | notice
Planner: Garry Papers


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34 thoughts on “Final design unveiled for seven eight-story Melrose and Pine building

  1. Not feeling this at all! LAME!

    It is cold and looks like a cold office building in Silicon Avenue.

    It does not feel like attempted to create a design that fosters community, real socializing, or hanging around. The storefront spaces look cold and hard like a shopping mall. People will simply walk past this like they do all office type buildings or condos built on the office building model.


    • Carlos,

      Do you have visual examples of what you think would be a reasonable alternative to modern designs like these, that would be renewable, economical and energy efficient?

    • “The storefront spaces look cold and hard like a shopping mall.” That’s funny because these are the same storefront spaces that the neighborhood was in an uproar to protect when the project was first announced.

  2. People who are complaining about the design, please tell us about an 8-story mixed-use building somewhere in the world that you actually like. Not every building can be the Taj Mahal…

    • And why should they be? There’d be no demand for the Taj Mahal. Tech workers will live in this crap.

  3. I actually do like how this design iteration looks. It does not clash with the existing auto-row buildings while not looking boring. They are not only retaining the existing facades but actually replacing the cornice on the Timken building. Of course some people (NIMBYs)will never be happy with this project. The only, albeit serious concern is keeping ALL small businesses on Pine without blowing up rent upon reopening.

  4. It’s true that the building looks cold and corporate, but what will really determine whether it will turn the neighborhood into the same thing will be the size of the storefronts. We know how many units of housing will be here, but not how many retail units.

    What makes the block vibrant now is the small storefronts housing Eddie’s, Wall of Sound, etc. What I really fear is another Cha Cha block, where we’ll get a huge gym or another low-foot-traffic, corporate tenant.

    • Agreed. It is all about the store fronts – type and density. Having just a bank and a gym would be a worst case scenario. Best case is that Bauhaus comes back along with the other displaced or similar small businesses. However, since the redevelopment of the property will raise the rent for renovated commercial space, many small businesses will not be able to afford to come back. What we will likely see are a few small to medium sized chains such as Molly Moon’s or Jamba Juice and that sort.

  5. This is right next to my apartment and I am not looking forward to the noise, blocked off sidewalks and other hassles! I will be filing complaints with the city if they start hammering before the legal start time not gonna put up with that crap at all.

    • I agree Kelly. The pics from street level seem warmer than the other presentations. I wonder if the other drawings feel colder not only because of the POV, but also because the artwork echoes Mid-(20th) Century Modern graphic art. Those of us who lived through 1968 would like to avoid repeating it, thanks.

  6. No one gives a flying F around here. The historical preservation society ignores all my calls and emails, my neighbours think it’s par for the course yadda yadda. Everyone works in a cubicle (“we’re allowed beer at lunch!”) at a necroph.. I mean tech job and has an electroshock obedience probe deep up their ass. Sayonora Seattle, it’s been.. mediocre

  7. This looks awful, so much worse than I expected. It’s just cold, corporate, and cheap. It’s really tragic that one of the most vibrant corners of Capitol Hill will be demolished for more South Lake Union–looking soulless crap.

  8. I don’t understand why we can’t just have a couple of Victorian houses with white picket fences. Who’s running this place anyway?

  9. I think it’s almost impossible to design a modern building to be “warm and cozy” in the way that older, brick buildings are. At least the old facades are being preserved and reasonably well-integrated into the new building.

    I hope that a lot of effort will go into the landscaping…some beautiful greenery can go a long ways towards softening and new building.

  10. I think it looks great! I’m excited about all of the development in this neighborhood, and in Seattle in general. It won’t be this way forever!

  11. I think they did a decent job on this compared to the other condominiums in the neighborhood. I’m more concerned with the type of people moving into the hood. I’m worried these places will get filled with the crowds of people who come in for the weekend night-life, where most neighbors know there is soooo much more and better things about this neighborhood. I think they should give deals to the existing capitol hillers who are proud of living in this hood and tired of rent increases. It would be a great building if it was filled with a great community of people but I bet the price range will only attract the wrong people.

  12. 1. Too boxy / borg collective like.
    2. Makes no statement of place; could be in any city that would allow it.
    3. Shows an inherent fear of originality.
    4. Is made to look like more than it’s worth.
    5. No, I don’t have a better design, but a lot of other people do.
    6. None of these comments matter.
    7. Have a nice day.

  13. OK, cookie-cutter box-like cardboard structure comments aside — couldn’t the building developers and designers simply incorporate a single point of personality or artwork? I mean, look at the old building that presently houses the Utrecht Art Supplies (soon to move and become Blick, I believe). It has that great mosaic (that is currently in need of repair, I know) atop and in front of the building. Couldn’t there be SOMETHING unusual or artworthy or unique in these now-repetitive, tedious buildings that are seemingly being turned out by the dozen? This would also put some of our local artists to work.

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  15. So Glad Panera will be able to afford the ‘mixed use’ rents once this is completed. Hopefully we can get another chain in there too for the dinner/Bridge and Tunnel crowd to support as well. Brava!

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  18. Bye-bye cute little studio apt :[. It seems everything around here is getting uprooted and replaced with these mega condo/apts that rent out 400 sq ft studios for 1400+/mo. You can’t walk 2 blocks without hearing the banging of construction anymore. At that price, might as well move to SF or NYC when they kick us out. What’s happened to the hill? Ugh.

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  21. This is BULLSHIT!!!! What’s happened to the Hill?Everything is under construction.
    I hate this shit project!!! it looks really awful. You are destroying the neighborhood!!!

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