A Capitol Hill project dinged for what the developers said was “not being modern enough” is back in the design review process and ready for public comment.
The 523 Hilltop project from Capitol Hill-based developer Hunters Capital — and inspired by the neighborhood’s auto row-era preservation projects — is settling into the final phase of design review under the city’s “administrative” system put in place to keep projects moving during the COVID-19 crisis.
Eventually, the development will create a five-story, nearly 70-unit apartment building with underground parking for 21 vehicles on the land at the corner of 15th and Mercer home to the former Hilltop Service Station.
You can provide comment via email through Wednesday, June 3rd. Reference project #3033940 and email PRC@seattle.gov. The city’s guide to “effective” review comments is here. “To make your comments more effective, reference the applicable criteria, policies or guidelines relevant to each specific type of application,” it reads.
You can view the full proposal here (PDF).
In early March, CHS reported on a decision from the East Design Review Board to kick the project back for, Hunters Capital said, a “more modern and contemporary design” —
First, while this building typology is indicative of the Pike/Pine Auto Row neighborhood, the proposal is not located within the Pike/Pine Auto Row neighborhood or its immediate vicinity. Rather it is proposed on the 15th Avenue E commercial corridor which has its own unique character. Second, the Board was concerned that the architectural concept took design cues from the historic buildings in the neighborhood too literally, mimicking historic architecture rather than complementing it.
The new design from architect Studio Meng Strazzara presents a “modernized architectural concept fitting traditional high quality materials like brick and wood with the new architectural forms, lines and proportions.” The result is elements like “the arch above residential entry” that has been been “revised to a recessed squared opening.” The new design also “uses historic materials in a more contemporary approach, rather than mimicking the historic architecture of other buildings in the nearby neighborhood,” the design proposal reads.
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