Capitol Hill has seen eight-story apartment buildings spring up before but a planned development kitty corner to Broadway Hill Park will need a little extra push to rise on the edges of the dense Broadway corridor where the blocks remain a mix of larger old apartment buildings, duplexes, and single family homes.
Thursday, developers from Sealevel Properties will hold a community outreach meeting at the Century Ballroom to talk with neighbors about their plans for the eight-story apartment building with 150 or so units, and three parking spots planned to rise at the corner of Federal and Republican:
Grouparchictect will be handling the design on the project. Sealevel is also the developer behind the Union Street Apartments, a seven-story, mixed-use apartment building designed to “echo” Pike/Pine’s auto row era under construction across from Optimism Brewing.
Thursday’s meeting is not the start of formal design review for the project. That remains unscheduled but the project outreach is part of the city’s new procedures hoped to give neighbors and the community an opportunity to shape projects earlier in the development process. The new outreach meetings come at a time when overall development across the Hill has slowed down. Attendance at the sessions, which are organized by the developer, not the city, has typically been on the light side of things. Thursday’s session was promoted by utility pole flyers in the area of the planned development.
Sealevel’s plans call for the new “workforce” housing project to be 155 units in a mix of microhousing and full apartments. The corner falls within an area upzoned from seven to eight story heights as part of Seattle’s Mandatory Housing Affordability laws. Affordable housing requirements apply to developments in this zone meaning Sealevel will either have to set aside a percentage of the units as affordable housing, or pay into a fund that the city will use to build some.
Adding to the appeal of the area — and, likely, the challenges for the developer — the planned building will rise across the intersection from Broadway Hill Park. The rare new city park on Capitol Hill opened at the corner in 2016. Seattle Parks acquired the land at the northeast corner for Federal and Republican in 2010 for $2 million after a townhome project slated for the property fell through.
The northeast corner properties and the old houses on them are in the process of being purchased by the developer. They include two 1904-built single-story houses, and a 1908 house currently used as a duplex.
Meanwhile, the planned eight-story addition to the neighborhood won’t be the only large mixed-use building near the park. The three-story Wakefield Manor has stood on the southeast corner of Federal and Republican since 1958. The neighbors in its 18 units can look forward to an even denser neighborhood when the new development is completed, likely in 2021 at the earliest.
UPDATE: A representative for the developer tells CHS the plan is for more “voluntary outreach outside of the required outreach” in December and January. “Per city code, there’s no planned onsite parking,” the spokesperson adds. “We plan to exceed the code on bicycle ‘parking’ requirements.”
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