Boom Vision of the QFC’s Future
The city-block size QFC has sat abandoned on Broadway for years and is reviled by all. Last night at a public design review meeting, Bob Burkheimer and Driscoll Architects unveiled the still malleable plans for the mixed use development in the works for the site.
The “preferred option” looks like this: (the white arrow points north, so Broadway is on the bottom side of this diagram)
with apartments (not condos!) along Harvard, retail on Broadway and entrances to underground parking garages in the middle of Mercer and Republican. They’re planning space for 400 cars, open to commercial folk during the day and exclusive to residential at night. Those white bars in the diagram? Entrances to the apartments and their private courtyard. The main lobby to access the apartments is on Harvard, but they’re planning a secondary entrance on Broadway. What those entrances, or the building itself, will look like (glass? colors? a nautical motif?) is still undecided.
What they do know is that it’ll be 65 feet tall, which is 25 feet more than usually allowed. Here’s how that’ll look in relation to the surrounding neighborhood:
Given the tumultuous history of this development, I thought the meeting would be kinda hostile. No dice. Totally tame, with the public who showed up offering constructive criticism and expressing enthusisasm about FINALLY having the bum-magnet developed.
Most of the criticism revolved around the retail space and the courtyard. During deliberation, a member of the board said they should consider having public access to the courtyard during the day, thought the architect cited issues of safety in keeping it gated. As for the shops, the architect planned on 4-5 shops that could choose to build their own facades, awnings and public face. Several people in the crowd suggested more like 10-12 shops, so the stretch could resemble the Republican to Harrison block (“the best block on Broadway!”). Another person suggested a stronger architectual hand in designing the retail space, to curb the “rampant individualism” of places like U-Village.
oh, and will the apartments have any affordable housing? Silly you.. not on Capitol Hill! They’ll be sold at market rate, though a mix of studios, 1 and 2 bedroom apartments is planned.