The COVID-19 crisis and the resulting economic fallout could snuff Seattle’s latest development boom. Or the change might be more complicated and less predictable.
One of the more interesting projects in motion before the crisis is readying to return to the public development process with a plan that has grown in scale despite the uncertainty.
Developer Pryde Development and the architects at Clark Barnes have revised plans for a “mass timber” high-rise planned for First Hill to grow the design to 18 stories — adding six more floors to an already ambitious project.
“The project has elected to proceed with an 18 story, Type IV-A construction type,” the developers write in their updated proposal for the planned development that will replace a one-story 1949-built dental office on Seneca. “The structure will be mass timber, which requires a modular, gridded structural system,” they write. “The wood structure must be fully protected (covered) with gypsum wall board, therefore CLT wood veneer will be used as an interior expression of the wood material.”
The extra floors will bring more housing. The building is being planned with a mix of 68 small efficiency dwelling units and 67 market-rate apartment units). There is no parking proposed.
Comments on the revised land use proposal are being accepted through Monday (May 11th). You can email PRC@seattle.gov and reference project Number: 3034443-LU.
At 18 stories, the project could create Seattle’s tallest “mass timber” building. Thanks to changes in the state building code, mass timber cross-laminated wood buildings up to 18 stories can be built in Washington. Seattle is seen as an ideal market for the building type that is incredibly strong, requires less energy to produce, and has been hyped as potentially speeding up construction thanks to prefabrication.
The 1422 Seneca project started the design review process last year but will now face a restructured public process. During the ongoing restrictions from the COVID-19 outbreak, design review has been transitioned to an “administrative review” process with no in person meetings and community feedback provided by email to help keep projects moving during the crisis.
The review of the 1422 Seneca project’s new design proposals hasn’t yet been scheduled. The next review in the Capitol Hill area comes later this month when city staff will be considering a revised proposal — and community feedback — for a portion of the development set to surround the Knights of Columbus building. If you’re looking for a trend, the Harvard Ave project shares at least one commonality with the new proposal on Seneca — it, too, is coming back to the review process with a proposal for a taller building with more units.
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