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Pivot: Gardened terraces out, mixed-use and offices in at the base of Capitol Hill

The future gaze from downtown highrises will reveal Pivot, gateway to Capitol Hill

There aren’t many of the elements left that won so much attention for the project when CHS first reported on it in the summer of 2016. The rooftop restaurant? Poof. The garden-like terraces rising above I-5? Gone with the wind. But after a long and circuitous route through the Seattle process, the appropriately named Pivot project set to rise at the base of Capitol Hill at Pine and Melrose has changed enough to make it to Wednesday night’s possible last design review.

Design review: 1208 Pine St

The review board will see a much more streamlined design focused for an eight-story, 70-unit apartment and office mixed-use building that is also planned for street-level retail. Neighborhood guidelines prefer those 5,200 square feet of restaurant or shop space to be on the ground floor — not the rooftop. Some 14,000 square feet will be dedicated to office space while 16 spaces are planned in the underground parking garage.

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The project is designed by Tiscareno Associates for Seattle developer James Wong of Vibrant Cities. Back in 2016, the project was being developed by Wong’s SolTerra before the firm split up last year.

Pivot will replace the surface parking lot on the northern side of Pine above I-5 — and, yes, the big billboard will also be demolished.

The design review board has asked the project’s architects to create a stronger corner presence for the project and “articulate the building to better reflect the auto-row character of simple massing, large windows, and articulated ground floor commercial,” the developer says. Pivot’s new design also has tried to “create a more cohesive design between the base and upper stories,” while presenting the structure at the base of Capitol Hill as a “gateway” feature for the neighborhood.

310 11th Ave E
This one is Mandatory Housing Affordability upzone-friendly!

Part of Wednesday’s design review double header, this infill project is planned to demolish two single family-style homes on 11th Ave near Harrison and replace them with a seven-story, 48-unit apartment building designed in the vision of the changes in zoning coming to many corners of the city and Capitol Hill.

Real estate investors Christian Brodin and Richard Aaronson acquired the 11th Ave E properties for $2.3 million in October. Their project, intended to “create an economical and lasting development that derives inspiration from the character of Capitol Hill while also looking forward to the future growth of Seattle,” is designed by Hybrid. And, don’t worry neighbors, they’re planning to include space to park 20 vehicles underground.

“This development will increase the density of the neighborhood and look ahead to the proposed HALA zoning changes that will respond to the housing need in the area,” the developers write:

To fit into the neighborhood — and its future heights — the architects are putting forward a design they call “stack n’ shift” that they say will create fewer, larger units and require one less floor than other possible designs for the space.

Design review: 310 11th Ave E


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14 thoughts on “Pivot: Gardened terraces out, mixed-use and offices in at the base of Capitol Hill

  1. I’m confused by the 1208 Pine location. What happens to the building currently housing a restaurant and Seattle Counseling Service? Is that still there but behind the building, so not shown in the photo? Or is it all being razed and they have to find new locations? Seattle Counseling Service for example is an important nonprofit and unsure what they could afford in the neighborhood otherwise.

    • The Pivot will be built on the land currently home to the billboard and the parking lot. The other building home to SCS and La Cocina Oaxaquena remains.

  2. The 11th ave project….always sad to see a beautifully cared for home rollover to a developer, always one with a vision. Open your eyes. The new building is too damn big. The tear-down is the house across from the kids playground at cal anderson. Crime of the soul.

    • Youre right, my bad. Different house. Still think that many stories is huge and oppressive. As you can guess, I’m still steamed about the house across from the playground being sold to entity who will raze it for development. The carpenter who lived there restored it over many years. And rollover meaning sell.

    • Everyone who offers a differing opinion isn’t automatically as big an asshole as Trump. Can we tone down the hyperbole, just a notch or two?

    • This 11th Ave E development is yet another example of rapacious developers destroying perfectly-ok single family bungalows to make a ton of money. They apparently have run out of vacant lots and derelict properties to develop, so they’re going after properties with homes that have many years of life left in them. Shame!

      On the plus side, this is the only “infill” type apartment development that I can think of that will have some underground parking. If a developer can provide this and still make a hefty profit, why aren’t other developers also including parking in their buildings? The answer is probably that they can make even MORE money by not doing this. They could care less about their impact on the surrounding neighborhood.

  3. The design review board enthusiastically supported the terraced design with a rooftop restaurant. The change in design team and pivot away from that innovative original concept was driven by the developer and was not a result of Seattle process.

    • Good, they won’t be blasting natural gas burners to heat the outdoors. A 7th floor rooftop restaurant was a bad idea.

      “Seattle doesn’t have a ton of rooftop hangout spots” … yeah, maybe there’s a reason for that.

    • One thing I’ve seen mentioned several times online or by people who actually have rooftop decks on their houses– while the idea sounds great and conjures up evening cocktail hours, or dinner on the top deck– it turns out it’s often cool and windy up there. And people don’t often feel like schlepping their dinner upstairs or bundling up for cocktails up top. So they don’t really end up using their rooftop decks as much as they thought they would. I would think closer to the Sound, it might be breezier, too.

  4. Awesome, build it and build it fast, that parking lot and area is one of the most disgusting litter piles in the whole neighborhood.