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Design review: First Central Station’s out-of-the-blue six-story block, Capitol Hill Lofts on Boylston

First Central Station's future central courtyard (Image: First Central Station)

First Central Station’s future central courtyard (Image: First Central Station)

Two projects emblematic of the current waves of development in the neighborhoods where each is planned come before the East Design Review Board Wednesday night: adjacent Yesler Terrace, a plan for not one but three six-story apartment buildings — on Capitol Hill just off E Denny Way, an eight-story apartment building replacing the old two-story building that has run its course after being home to Boylston Ave tenants for 95 years.Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 9.44.08 AM

1203 E Spruce St
Design Review Early Design Guidance application proposing three, 6-story buildings containing 400 residential units, 16,000 sq. ft. of commercial space at ground level and parking for 270 vehicles to be provided below grade. Existing structures to be demolished. Project includes contract rezone / View Design Proposal  (22 MB)    

Review Meeting: August 12, 2015 8:00 pm, Seattle University, 824 12th Ave, Admissions & Alumni Community Building
Review Phase: EDG–Early Design Guidance
Project Number: 3018576  View Permit Status  |  View Land Use Notice
Planner: Holly Godard

The developers behind First Central Station are planning to create a six-story block of mixed-use apartments out of the blue on the edge of the wave of redevelopment cresting over the Yesler Terrace neighborhood.

Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 9.48.07 AM Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 9.47.52 AM Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 9.48.53 AMLynwood, Washington-based Hardy Development and an all-star design team including b9 Architects, Weinstein A+U, and Build say the three-building project at 12th and Spruce will center around “a large, well-connected” central open space with “through-block” connections and some 12,000 square-feet of commercial space.

Hardy, which purchased some of the Central District/First Hill/Yesler property planned for the project from the Archdiocese of Seattle for $7.1 million last year, will require a rezone approved by City Hall to achieve the vision:

The proposed development seeks to rezone for those portions of the site designated Lowrise 3 (LR3) to Neighborhood Commercial 3 with a 65 foot height limit (NC3-65). This proposal better integrates city goals to focus growth in Seattle’s Urban Villages and Centers. The additional height limit also allows for the possibility of a large central courtyard at the center of the proposal.

Hardy says it expects to create underground parking for 220 vehicles at the site to be shared across the three buildings.

The developers are also planning two public parks to accompany the project:Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 9.49.30 AM

In addition to the Seattle Housing Authority-backed redevelopment of its Yesler Terrace properties, Spectrum Development is building three apartment projects in the area that will eventually be joined by First Central Station.
Screen Shot 2015-08-11 at 9.41.21 AM1820 Boylston Ave
Design Review Early Design Guidance proposal to allow an 8-story structure containing 63 residential units. Parking for 14 vehicles to be located below grade. Existing structure to be removed. / View Design Proposal      

Review Meeting: August 12, 2015 6:30pm, Seattle University, 824 12th Ave, Admissions & Alumni Community Building
Review Phase: EDG–Early Design Guidance
Project Number: 3020247  View Permit Status  |  View Land Use Notice
Planner: Magda Hogness

Two stories and 10 units just isn’t enough any longer. The first project on Wednesday night’s review docket includes a plan to tear down the 1920-built Carriage House Apartments and replace the old building with a 90+ foot building with room for 63 units.

Developed by the real estate investors behind Capitol Hill Lofts, LLC who bought the property for just over $1 million in 2005, the planned eight-story project — including a penthouse level — is designed by Nicholson Kovalchick Architects.

Room for flair in the design of the project is limited by “small, narrow lot with required setbacks on all sides,” “4-5 story buildings on all sides of site,” “lack of alley and narrow street frontage,” and “slopes and neighboring retaining walls,” the design proposal practically laments as the architects self-describe their work as “monolithic.”

What the project lacks in ornate architecture will, the developers hope, partly be mitigated by a mix of materials:

Proposed materials include wood, metal, fiber cement panel, concrete and glass in natural colors. The texture of the wood and concrete contrasts with the smooth finish of the glass and panel. Using subdued colors for the metal and fiber cement panel highlights the natural color of the wood.

The building will also sport townhome and loft units on the ground floors as well as parking for around 15 vehicles underground.

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6 Comments
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Christine H
Christine H
5 years ago

I have a comparable music plaza – it’s the space in front of my door. It’ll be interesting what it will cost to live there. Developers absolutely could not have poor people and immigrants having such amazing views.

Resident
Resident
5 years ago

Not sure how to reach out to the editors of this blog … Construction workers just knocked a telephone pole down at the corner of 15th Ave and E Yesler Way. There are live wires all over the place. It looks like they pulled down part of a street light as well. I’ll take pictures if I can. The workers are now mostly standing around making nervous jokes.

NM
NM
5 years ago
Reply to  Resident

Call Seattle City Light ASAP: http://www.seattle.gov/light/contactus/

Brad
Brad
5 years ago

Too bad about the old cute property on Boylston. Can’t they tear down one of the ugly ones on that street

chris
chris
5 years ago

I’d recommend having an editor check your post. This is pretty much unreadable.