A proposal for a five-story, 70 or so unit mixed used building to replace the Hilltop Service Station along Capitol Hill’s 15th Ave E is moving forward. The project passed its first round of design review in June with unanimous support from the review board.
“We are now awaiting the EDG letter from the city which will have quite a bit of feedback from both the board and the community to consider,” Michael Oaksmith of Capitol Hill-based developer Hunters Capital said. “Valuable feedback that we will give close attention to during our preparations for a DRB meeting later this year.”
Despite the board’s support for the early proposal’s plans for the five-story, 68-unit, market-rate apartment building with a generous 5,000 square feet of 15th Ave E fronting retail space, and underground parking for around 24 vehicles accessed via Mercer, some neighbors continue to oppose the development.
HELP CHS COVER THE COVID-19 CRISIS -- SUBSCRIBE TODAY: Support local journalism dedicated to your neighborhood. SUBSCRIBE HERE. Join to become a subscriber at $1/$5/$10 a month to help CHS provide community news with NO PAYWALL. You can also sign up for a one-time annual payment.
“A five story building will further negatively impact residential neighbors affecting privacy, as well as congestion,” one neighbor told the board.
“People from Seattle and Old timers – now in our time-, people who took care of our Green and Clean Seattle and who used to enjoy and respect the air, the blue sky covering us Deserve to maintain some of our City,” the letter writer concludes. “Seattle is another city, unrecognizable, and full of wall and concrete, like many others nowadays. Just one more dirty city.”
While the zoning issues aren’t likely to be taken up by the design board, SDOT apparently agrees regarding the sidewalks and has told the board it does have concerns about the proposal’s sidewalk and planting strip widths.
In January, CHS broke the news that 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,” a Hunters representative said at the time. No preliminary site plans have been filed for the QFC block.
When the property was acquired, zoning allowed 40-foot buildings on that stretch of the 15th Ave E corridor. The passage of the Mandatory Housing Affordability rezones boosted the corner to a 55-foot height limit. Hunters Capital says the developer hasn’t yet made a decision on whether it will incorporate affordable units in its project or pay the required in-lieu fees.
Meanwhile, work is wrapping up on another 15th Ave E-area construction project that faced more than its fair share of neighborhood pushback. Contractors are wrapping up work on portions of the exterior of the $54 million renovation and addition at Volunteer Park’s Seattle Asian Art Museum. The overhauled facility is planned to reopen in October 2019.
Look at this monstrosity pic.twitter.com/kA2NhHxoKZ
— jseattle (@jseattle) June 28, 2019