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Seven-story development set to rise on 12th Ave Car Tender block faces design review

The multimillion dollar driver behind the exit of longtime auto garage Car Tender from Capitol Hill will kick into gear this week as the development set to replace it brings its new, larger vision to the city’s design review process.

The seven-story development set for review Thursday is set for 1710 12th Ave E, on property formerly home to the Car Tender auto repair shop, Bergman’s Lock and Key and the former home of the Scratch Deli. The auto shop which became a center of private security activity during the Capitol Hill occupied protest, is relocating to Shoreline. The project set to replace it had started the design review process in November 2019, well before any of this summer’s events.

In its place, Hill residents will get a few hundred new neighbors. In plans from the Runberg Architecture Group, developer Mack Real Estate Group proposes a 170,000 square foot building with 145 apartments, including a mix of studio, and 1- and 2-bedroom units. It would include a total of 3,500 square feet of commercial use broken up into three spaces, one at the corner of 12th and Olive, and the other two along 12th.  There will also be 90 parking stalls. Amenities include a fitness center, co-working space, and a rooftop deck.


1710 12th Ave — Design Review Early Design Guidance for a 7-story 145-unit apartment building with retail. Parking for 90 vehicles proposed. Existing buildings to be demolished.

View Design Proposal  (25 MB)    

Review Meeting
November 12, 2020 5:00 PM

Meeting: https://bit.ly/mtg3035745

Listen Line: 206-207-1700 Passcode: 146 820 7572
Comment Sign Up: https://bit.ly/comments3035745
Review Phase
EDG–Early Design Guidance  See All Reviews
Project Number

Planner
Joseph Hurley — Visit seattle.gov for information on providing feedback for design review virtual meetings

Some semi-public amenities outside are planned to include a bike rack, some benches and landscaping along both streets. The commercial space in the corner will also have an outside seating area along Olive, with an eye toward it being a restaurant or café. Vehicle access will be via the alley which connects to Olive.

The base of the building would be black or dark gray brick, extending up about three floors. Above that would be a “gasket” – sort of a large belt around the building – which the developer proposes to make from cement fiber which will look like wood. Some upper floors would be corrugated metal in two tones of grey, done in an interlocking fashion in order to break up the mass of the top of the building. The balance of the upper floors would be a lighter colored, smooth cement fiber.

In early design guidance, the project had been criticized for its size and design not being reflective of its neighbors. The project may have some similarities to the 12th Ave. Arts building to the south, but that building is anomalous in the area, according to early guidance.

The developer noted that height limits in the area have been increased, presumably so they could be used. They also made some adjustments to the look of the building in an effort to better tie it to the existing area.

520 E Thomas
Thursday’s agenda also includes an upcoming project slated for the corner of East Thomas Street and Belmont Avenue East, formally 301 Belmont Ave. E. This property, being developed by Belmont, LLC, would also be a 7-story building (with no half floors), according to plans dated July 2020. The lot is currently occupied by a four-unit apartment building.

The new building would include 34 residential units, a mixture of efficiency and one-bedrooms, a rooftop deck and no parking spaces. Initial plans calling for three parking spaces have been scrapped – the proposal now calls for no on-site parking. No commercial space would be included.


520 E Thomas St — Land Use application to allow a 7-story, 34-unit apartment building. Parking for 3 vehicles proposed. Existing building to be demolished.

View Design Proposal  (24 MB)    

Review Meeting
November 12, 2020 7:00 pm

Meeting: https://bit.ly/MTG3032784

Listen Line: 206-207-1700 Passcode: 146 653 6971
Comment Sign Up: https://bit.ly/Comment3032784
Review Phase
REC–Recommendation
Project Number

Planner
Sean Conrad Visit seattle.gov for information on providing feedback for design review virtual meetings

The building would have brick on the ground level with wood veneer in the entryway. The upper floors will be clad in a mixture of ceramic and cement fiber. This building would have a staggered checkerboard pattern of panels and windows going up the sides.

A specimen tree on the property, a horse chestnut with a nearly three-foot diameter, would be preserved. Otherwise, the plans call for new planting strips, with new trees, along the sidewalks.

This project also made some minor changes based on early design guidance, such as changes to make the entrance more inviting, and adjustment to where the new building’s residents will place their trash.


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Victor Steinbrueck Sr
Victor Steinbrueck Sr
5 months ago

Streetscape along 12th AVE is being ruined. These cheep, ugly, out of scale new buildings reflect our collective values as a city. I’ll let you reflect about what those values are. How gray buildings came to be viewed as appropriate in Seattle I’ll never understand. It’s like these “designers” never spent a winter in Western WA. How depressing. Bring back warm tone brick and light.

Brad
Brad
5 months ago

I would say housing people is what it says our collective values are, not what colours are buildings are.

Glenn
Glenn
5 months ago

Well, the first three stories of the larger project are brick, which is considerably more expensive than the cement fibre set to be installed on the higher floors. I would like to see all brick buildings too, but that is really expensive, and not all projects can make that happen. Maybe the city could start offering financial incentives for projects adhering to a set pallet of higher quality materials?

Frank
Frank
5 months ago
Reply to  Glenn

How does brick do with Earthquakes? I’d rather see passivhaus with wood.

Jesse
Jesse
5 months ago
Reply to  Glenn

Don’t worry, nobody uses real structural brick anymore, just a 1-layer panel they snap onto the concrete pillars and insulation panels. It poses no earthquake risk.

Anonymous Architect
Anonymous Architect
5 months ago

Funny, looks like an appropriately scaled building for a city to me

Frank
Frank
5 months ago

I know right? The type of building you expect 2 blocks away from a subway station, buses, stores and other businesses.

Frank
Frank
5 months ago

Blocking new housing in the sake of “character” when there are thousands sleeping on the streets says a lot about who we are and what we value

dave
dave
5 months ago

Cool. Glad the Car Tender property is finally getting developed with much-needed housing.

Dustin
Dustin
5 months ago
Reply to  dave

Is it much needed, though? If you’ve gone apartment hunting around here lately, you’d see it’s a renter’s market. Lots of deals and empty units!

michael mariano
michael mariano
5 months ago
Reply to  Dustin

Does everyone in the city have housing that they can afford, yet?

dave
dave
5 months ago
Reply to  Dustin

Yes it is much needed.

caphiller
caphiller
5 months ago

Great news on all of this. We need more density in capitol hill (and all of seattle) to accommodate our population growth and to make the city more walkable.

JR
JR
5 months ago

All of the buildings look the same and casement windows suck.

Anonymous Architect
Anonymous Architect
5 months ago
Reply to  JR

What is your preferred window operation?

Joe
Joe
5 months ago

I’m also not a huge fan of the design, but overall I’m happy to see development of that property moving forward.

Patrick
Patrick
5 months ago

Excited to add more homes to the neighborhood! Hopefully the Seattle Process doesn’t slow it down too much.