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Net-zero energy project will connect to an uprooted house behind Broadway Hill Park

Screen Shot 2016-08-08 at 4.32.59 PMWe have seen old houses relocated to make space for a new apartment building, but linking the two structures to create a single property may be a first on Capitol Hill. Retrofitting the house and designing the new apartment building to meet some of the strictest environmental standards in the U.S. is definitely a first.

The unique plans for 11th and Republican Passive House Apartments faces another round of design review Wednesday night. The outcome of the meeting also carries a special significance for the neighborhood as the building will serve as the new backdrop to the recently opened Broadway Hill Park.

(Image: CHS)

(Image: CHS)

505 11th Ave E

Land Use Application to allow a 20 unit residential development within two structures; one new 4-story, 12 unit apartment building and the relocation and addition of five units to existing 3 unit residential building resulting in an eight unit structure. Parking for 15 vehicles will be located on the site. Existing garage to be demolished.

View Design Proposal  (14 MB)    

Review Meeting: August 10, 2016 6:30pm, Seattle University, 824 12th Ave, Admissions & Alumni Comm Bldg- Stuart T Rolfe Room
Review Phase: REC–Recommendation  See All Reviews
Project Number: 3012300  View Permit Status  |  View Land Use Notice
Planner: Tami Garrett

In their plans for the project, NK Architects say the development is an answer to Capitol Hill’s most pressing questions surrounding sustainable housing, as the project “preserves an historic home on site, retrofits it to the ambitious Passive House standard, and melds it with a new four-story Passive House structure.”

To do it, developers from nic|chick — the same owners behind NK Architects — will relocate an existing converted single-family house to the southeast corner of the lot, add five units to the structure, and construct a new four-story apartment building on the property. In all the project would include 20 units, mostly studios and one bedrooms.

An outdoor residential courtyard is planned to occupy the space between the two buildings and parking for 15 vehicles will be located on site.

On the west-facing side of the project, private patios will overlook the Broadway Hill Park sloping below. A wall separating the property from the park will mostly mirror the park’s existing retaining wall. Architects say the design will “activate ‘eyes on the park’ to maintain security for the park.”

Design review board members will also be considering setback departure requests for the project that are needed to fit both buildings on to the site. An existing car garage is slated to be demolished.

Using passive ventilation to reduce energy consumption and solar panels to meet the building’s powers needs, architects are aiming to create an net-zero energy project that will meet Passive House standards. Developers will be retrofitting the existing house, built in the early 1900s, to meet the standards as well.

When it finally moves forward, the project will join a growing set of projects in the neighborhood with green ambitions. What is planned to be Seattle’s first Passive House-certified mixed-use project is moving forward at 13th and Pike. A planned seven-story environmentally-friendly project at Melrose at Pine will feature a green roof, solar panels, a rainwater cistern, a rooftop restaurant, and “marketplace” and will be built to LEED Platinum standards. Meanwhile, our latest check in with Capitol Hill’s Bullitt Center, the world’s first “living” office building, revealed a full tenant roster.

The project has been on neighbors' minds since 2011 (Image: CHS)

The project has been on neighbors’ minds since 2011 (Image: CHS)

The 10th and Republican project may represent a new first but it’s not exactly new. The plans have been in motion since 2011. CHS wrote about the challenges posed to the project as one of the first to be developed under new zoning heights in the area. The review board ultimately gave the early design for the project its blessing. The property was acquired that year by the developer for $652,000 from the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. Five years later, the development is ready to move through the final step in the design review process.

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14 thoughts on “Net-zero energy project will connect to an uprooted house behind Broadway Hill Park

  1. This appears to be a brilliant project! Preservation of a beautiful old home, energy efficiency, and some responsible parking (for a change). Win….win….win!

  2. “We have seen old houses relocated to make space for a new apartment building, but linking the two structures to create a single property may be a first on Capitol Hill.”

    The Pantages apartments on Harvard and Denny is one recent example.

  3. I’m a huge fan of that existing house, so I’ve been sad about its demise (or so I thought). This is a great-looking project involving preservation and environmental stewardship. Huzzah!

    • Preservation? Look at the drawing. None of the interesting detail of the house is being preserved. It’s being turned into a generic box.

    • The house now is in very bad condition, so obviously alot of work will need to be done to preserve it. Kudos to the developer and architects who are willing to spend alot of money to accomplish this, instead of the usual (demolishing it).

  4. It looks like the little balcony, bay windows and porches on the South side will be shaved off. I love those elements! Sad to see them removed but it seems they won’t fit in with the bridging of the old and new I guess.

    Perhaps I should be thankful that the bulk of the existing structure will remain and not be torn down. I do love it when they retain the old while working in the new. As noted above, Pantages is a great example.

    • I’ve been told that the house remained in the possession of one family since the time it was built in the early 1900s. When the last remaining family member died several years ago, it was left to the religious organization, which then sold it to the developer.

  5. Wonderful project. Let’s see more of this in seattle’s future- preservation of our historical homes and at the same time increasing density by building on the open space of large lots.

  6. How f-ing ugly. It’ll just be overwhelming to the park and hide the old building from view. Getting rid of all the best details on the old house. More lazy design to make us feel like they are preserving character, but just watering it down with dated “modern” design from 10 years ago.

    • So, would you prefer that the house be demolished? I assume there are technical reasons why some of the features can’t be preserved. At least most of the house will remain.