Liz Dunn, the Capitol Hill-based developer behind the next big preservation+construction project in the core of the Pike/Pine neighborhood says work on 11th Ave just off E Pike should begin any day now.
Representatives for Dunn and Hobbes have been meeting with residents and neighboring businesses as final preparations are made to begin the project to develop a new building incorporating the former home of Chophouse Studios on 11th Ave and connect with her 12th Ave Piston Ring and Agnes Lofts creations.
Designed by an all-star architectural cast including Sundberg, Kennedy and Ly-Au Young and Seattle food and drink experience design firm Graham Baba, Dunn’s new project is apartment-free and will incorporate much of the 1920s-era Chophouse building in exchange for increased height for the project thanks to the Pike/Pine Conservation Overlay District’s incentives. Dunn plans to build on the experience gained operating the Agnes Underground space and build the new project as office and coworking space connected through to the 12th Ave buildings to create a new retail and restaurant corridor bisecting the block. Inside, there will be some of the feel of Dunn helped achieve helping to develop Melrose Market’s local showcase. We wrote about Dunn’s mission to help balance the nightlife-rich neighborhood with more daytime use by creating a place to work in the middle of the Pike/Pine playground here.
The final product will stand five stories, incorporate the historic facade and some of the structure of the Chophouse building while creating 5,000 square feet of street retail, another 2,700 square feet of internal “mezzanine” retail, 21,000 square feet of office space and three residential penthouse-type units. The project will add 12 underground parking spots to the block. In all, it will soar to 75 feet as the new building rises just off the main E Pike drag. For more on the design of the development, see What Liz Dunn’s 11th Ave office+’mews’ project will look like.
Dunn originally envisioned her development as a mixed-use project but put the plan aside in 2009 when the economic downturn helped shut down the effort that would have demolished the Chophouse building and erected a 60-unit apartment building in its place.
Her new vision will come as the realities of another preservation and development project just across the street have set in. This summer, CHS reported that the massive Alliance Realty apartment project stretching along E Union between 10th and 11th had turned more demolition and reconstruction than preservation as inspections revealed unsafe masonry in one of the marked-for-preservation buildings. The developers told CHS they planned to still utilize the preservation incentives by rebuilding the old Davis Hoffman building brick by brick.
“The relationships between the new and portions of the existing structure that were agreed to through the design review process will not change,” a Department of Planning and Development tells CHS about the situation. The DPD spokesperson said the reconstruction effort is extensive —
Even though these are not designated landmarks, the applicant has voluntarily chosen to adhere to national standards for historic preservation in the reconstruction of the facades. An extensive survey was completed along with over 100 photographs of the facades so they can reconstruct in-kind features such as the varied brick orientations, sill locations, window openings, etc. The contractor has successfully saved about 80 percent of the brick, which has been taken offsite to be stripped of the lead paint. They will bring the same brick back, put it on the new structure and paint it.
The developers behind another giant Pike/Pine project with plans to utilize the preservation incentives likely hopes not to incur similar unforeseen costs. Demolition permits have yet to be issued but plywood has been put up along Pine at Melrose where work is slated to begin soon on an eight-story mixed-use building and preservation project now that the final retail tenants have moved out. No word, yet, on the condition of the bricks but the plywood appeared after people began camping out in each of the frontage’s old-style retail bays along E Pine. You can see details of the final designs for Melrose and Pine here.
Back at Dunn’s mews project, the developer has told neighbors and tenants that the project construction schedule will be as friendly as possible with a minimum of weekend work. Given its placement in the busy corridor, efforts will be made “to minimize impacts to the street and sidewalk but will have periods of unavoidable disruption of walkways, parking areas and drive lane,” the developers wrote in a message on the project.
“We’re thrilled to be starting work on this project as we believe it will be a great addition to the neighborhood,” the email reads. “We respect that there will be hassles that come as a result of this construction period and thank you for being patient with us. Hopefully this will feel like a bit of short-term nuisance for a good long-term gain for the neighborhood.”