The East Design Review Board convenes Wednesday night to take a first look at a six-story project slated to replace a rejected Capitol Hill landmark and what the developers hope will be a final look at the long-planned apartment building on the site of a different sort of Capitol Hill landmark — the old E Madison Taco Time.
A brand new buyer and a marketing brand for the new project accompany the plan for a six-story apartment development at 1420 E Madison across from the super-green Bullitt Center in the now-empty lot where Taco Time once stood. Last April, we speculated whether the sale of the property by the family behind the Taco Time chain would open up a new life for the project that had so far experienced a rather critical trip through the design review process after the old fast food restaurant was razed back in 2009.
Wednesday, after paying $3.6 million for the property and the permits, The Metropolitan Companies and Johnson Architecture will bring their updated vision for the project in front of the board for the second and final “recommendation” phase of the design review process.
|Review Meeting:||January 14, 8:00 pm|
|1000 E. James|
|Student Center Multi-Purpose Room|
|Review Phase:||Recommendation past reviews|
|Project Number:||3013776 permit status | notice|
Planned to include 70 units over 3,000 square feet of commercial space and 3,000 more of live/work square footage, the project is also set to include 70 underground parking stalls. Responding to past criticism that the designs for the project lacked a clear vision, the latest design “treats the building as a unified architectural expression, reflecting the vertically-accented design approach of the Bullitt Center and the Pearl Apartments,” the proposal’s report reads.
As part of Wednesday’s presentation, Metropolitan and Johnson representatives will also discuss the project’s proposed finishing materials. Those of you who walk around Capitol Hill’s latest wave of new development will probably see some familiar siding in the mix.
323 Bellevue Ave E
Last summer, CHS wrote about the rejection of the two-story, six-unit Bellevue Ave Sterling Apartments as a potentially landmark-protected property. Just one look at the street front of the 1956-built complex would tell you the nomination was a longshot. Wednesday, a plan to demolish the apartments to make way for a six-story mini-tower with only 25 units above 1,500 square-feet of commercial space, and a 16-vehicle underground parking garage will come before the review board for its first pass in the process.
Developer and longtime owner Dan Chua and Cardinal Architecture PC say the project is designed “to provide the neighborhood with high-quality apartments in a range of types (studio, 1 BR and 2 BR) to attract long-term residential tenants while meeting the goals of long-term ownership by the initial developer.”
With apartment buildings and projects changing hands in the liquid market that accompanies boom times for landlords, the buy and hold nature of the new 323 Bellevue Ave E project sounds remarkably sturdy in comparison:
In keeping with the initial developer’s plan of long-term ownership, materials such as brick, metal panels and concrete will be selected for visual interest as well as long-term weatherability and maintenance. Using brick at the pedestrian level will make a material connection with older apartment buildings in the neighborhood and provide continuity along the streetscape. The connection between the ground-floor commercial space and the pedestrian realm will be further enhanced by large windows and pedestrian- scaled canopies as well as landscape improvements including new street trees and planting strips.
Sounds approvable to us.