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What Broadway Whole Foods building and apartment tower set to replace McDonald’s will *really* look like

Future: Whole Foods

Future: Whole Foods

The past: McDonald's

The past: McDonald’s

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 9.08.24 PMThe future along Madison is tall and shiny — with some stone to balance it out. Two towering (relative to Capitol Hill standards) and mostly gleaming First Hill apartment projects will take updated designs to review next week. Here is a look at what could be the final design proposals for the 265-unit development slated to rise above a new Whole Foods at Broadway and Madison and the 207-unit project planned to rise above where First Hill’s McDonald’s stands today.

The Whole Foods building
It’s been exactly one year since CHS broke the news that Whole Foods was coming to Broadway with a targeted late 2017 to early 2018 opening planned as part of a massive new development replacing the 1928-built, three-story masonry medical building currently at the site. Next Wednesday night, developers Columbia Pacific Advisors and the project’s architects Tiscareno Associates will show their latest proposal for the project with hopes to convince the board they have done enough to break up the mass of the tower and to address concerns about the pedestrian experience at Madison and Broadway.

In March, the project’s early design guidance review produced a roster of work items but, ultimately, approval to move onto the next stage. The review board said they would be looking for a building with more “glazing” and “fenestration” to break up the structure’s mass, a better pedestrian experience along Madison, something to break up the blank walls along Spring St., “a strong corner gateway presence”… and no metal, which the architects apparently indicated was going to be part of the material plan for the building’s exterior.

In addition to the 265 apartments, the Whole Foods project includes a two-level, 40,000+ square-foot street-level “urban grocery” from the Texas-based chain of markets “specializing” in organic food.

The project’s developers come back to the board carrying a design for a building with “light and dark glass spandrels added to emphasize residential bay modulation” and “titanium colored accent bands to emphasize chamfer”… wait. Weren’t you guys even listening!!?? Oh. There will be a “varied color stone added to help break up facade and to provide tie to historical First Hill Neighborhood?” Build it!

The masonry building being demolished to make way for the project was reviewed by the city and determined to be unlikely to meet the “standards of designation” as a landmark “due in large part to loss of historic materials and integrity.”

Developers will also come to the review with two different color schemes — one they’ll make their case for, one the city planners apparently are pushing the project toward.

Yup. We can't see it, either

Which one is different than the other?

1001 Broadway: Land Use Application to allow a 16 story, structure containing 265 residential units and 45,858 sq. ft. of retail space located throughout the structure. Parking for 358 vehicles will be located below grade. Existing 2 story structure to be removed. / View Design Proposal  (96 MB)    

Review Meeting: November 18, 2015 6:30 pm, Seattle University, 901 12th Ave, Student Center 210 Multi-Purpose Room
Review Phase: REC–Recommendation  See All Reviews
Project Number: 3019050  View Permit Status  |  View Land Use Notice
Planner: Lindsay King
Future: Whole Foods

Future: Whole Foods

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 9.07.28 PMMeanwhile, the developers are continuing to plan the building with a five-level underground parking garage with 358 spaces that will be accessed off of Harvard. When Whole Foods announced it was coming to the area, the company cited the coming First Hill Streetcar line and proximity to First Hill’s hospitals and nearby Seattle University as important factors in choosing the Broadway and Madison location.

For pedestrians, the developers are going to give a plaza a try. The “2,600 square feet plaza with built-in and informal seating opportunities and gathering areas will allow for circulation, landscaping, and merchandising area for the grocery store” at Madison and Harvard.Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 9.09.30 PM

The McDonald’s building
So, why does the Whole Foods building get to go by the name of its future while the poor “First Hill McDonald’s building” gets nailed to its fast food past. For one, we don’t know, exactly, what comes next for the building’s commercial component. For two, we’ll miss the McDonald’s if, for nothing else, the parade of humanity that visited the restaurant

But as for the what comes next, the developers and designers behind the planned 17-story, mixed-use building at Minor and Madison will return to the design review board following the Whole Foods session next Wednesday night to show off what they hope will be the final design for the project.

Late in 2014, CHS broke the news that the First Hill McDonald’s at Minor and Madison was being lined up by developer Holland Partners for a 17-story, mixed-use apartment tower at the site. Holland built the Coppins Well tower across the street — we were there for the groundbreaking in 2011.

This April, the Ankrom Moisan-designed project took its first pass through review. The board told the project’s planners… well, here, you tell us what this means:

The Board showed general support for the dynamic nature of the façade composition
of Option Two and directed the applicant to explore how to create a more dynamic
expression similar to what was shown in the precedent imagery while maintaining
the residential character and not creating an overly busy façade.

Alrighty then, here’s hoping Ankrom-Moison sorted it out.

Here’s what the crowd who showed up for public comment had to say:

Screen Shot 2015-11-10 at 10.52.13 PM

Wednesday, the board will review a 17-story “residential building,” with more than 5,400 square feet of retail space, and three levels of below grade parking with spots for 160 lucky vehicles. “Project is intended to be a valuable addition to the diversity in the First Hill Area,” they continue to note. What’s it going to look like? Its sister across the street.

1001 Minor Ave: Land Use Application to allow a 17-story building containing 207 residential units and 5,450 sq. ft. of retail at street level. Parking for 160 vehicles to be provided below grade. Existing restaurant to be demolished. / View Design Proposal  (26 MB)    

Review Meeting: November 18, 2015 8:00 pm, Seattle University, 901 12th Ave, Student Center 210 Multi-Purpose Room
Review Phase: REC–Recommendation  See All Reviews
Project Number:3019363  View Permit Status  |  View Land Use Notice
Planner: BreAnne McConkie
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17 thoughts on “What Broadway Whole Foods building and apartment tower set to replace McDonald’s will *really* look like

  1. These two proposals should make the advocates for taller buildings very happy. I have to admit that First Hill is the logical neighborhood to go this route, as there are already several tall buildings in the neighborhood. But it’s quite unlikely the units in the new places will be “affordable.”

    In the first picture, the depiction of Madison St looking west is really strange and inaccurate….it looks like a new hill has been built in the middle of Elliott Bay!

    • Capitol Hill has many “taller’ish” buildings too. They just get lost due to the hills and they are scattered around so not as easily identify due to not being clustered.

      These examples are exactly what should have gone up along Pike/Pine to 15th and along Broadway. Its a shame Capitol Hill isn’t zoned the same as First Hill.

    • For the most part, First Hill is zoned for 320′ structures … though anything along Madison itself is restricted to 170′ or so

    • Yeah, why bother? Why not just charge even more for what’s already here? (except for those already living there– who get rent control, of course).

    • yep, let’s give the new residents with crazy high incomes no where to blow their money. Let’s let these people bid up the price on a rundown 1960’s apartment. Building new, non-luxury, apartments does actually help with affordability in the rental market.

      • AK is right. Building residential units on the McDonald’s site, where there were none to begin with, increases the supply overall and makes it more difficult for landlords in older buildings to hike the rent. We need more of this, not less.

    • Well, that’s true for the deli section at the Whole Foods, but most of their space is taken up by very high-quality, organic ingredients which those of us who cook would be thrilled to buy, if only it was more affordable. I only go there occasionally, because when I do I end up doing some impulse buying because all the meat/poultry/seafood/produce etc looks so damn enticing.

  2. What I want to know is what’s going to happen to the McDonald’s signage. The outer facade of the Madison/Minor location sports McDonald’s unique alternate logo from the 1990s, which I otherwise haven’t seen in the wild in more than 20 years. I am going to buy that thing. I need it.