With a road ahead of years of soil clean-up and Seattle’s long and winding public design process — plus a few stops along the way at Jim’s Hilltop Service Station which is hoped to keep operating through the process — the future of the corner of 15th Ave E and E Mercer is coming into view.
An early site plan for the property from developer Hunters Capital and the architects at Studio Meng Strazzara details a project planned to rise five stories and feature 75 units over 5,000 square feet of commercial space and 27 underground parking stalls.
The Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce first reported the city filing Tuesday.
Current zoning allows 40-foot buildings in this stretch of the 15th Ave E corridor. The proposed Mandatory Housing Affordability rezones would boost the corner to a 55-foot height limit.
While the development plans and even the height should be no surprise, the project does represent the start of plans for what will eventually be a wave of growth along 15th Ave and change the neighborhood’s community is doing its best to shape and prepare for.
Earlier this month, CHS broke the news that Capitol Hill-based developer Hunters Capital had won the rush to acquire the property with plans to add to its major holdings in the neighborhood. In spring of 2017, CHS reported on Hunters Capital’s $11.25 million acquisition of the block of 15th Ave E retail including the neighborhood’s QFC and large parking lot. “While redevelopment of this building is possible, current leases in place make it unlikely to happen in the near future. However, we do hope to create a more engaging street front for our tenants and neighbors,” a company representative said at the time. No preliminary site plans have been filed for the QFC block.
While many of Hunters Capital’s projects are rehabilitation and adaptive reuse efforts, the Broadway-based firm has also been behind some of Capitol Hill’s new construction — but even that work still involved preservation. Hunters Capital and Studio Meng Strazzara teamed up on the developer’s most recent from the ground up development as it utilized Pike/Pine’s preservation incentives to create the eight-story Dunn Automotive building on E Pike, built above the bones of the old CK Graphics building. Dunn Automotive features market-rate apartments described as “89 larger-than-average units (a mix of studios, one bedrooms, and two bedroom apartments).”
At Hilltop, of course, there won’t be anything to preserve. Soil decontamination efforts are underway and the service station continues to operate — no longer pumping gas — under new owner Jim Peters who stepped up to take over the service station last year after longtime owner Mike Burke decided to step aside.
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