Boom Queen anne’s Future Cosmopolis?
Last night was the long-awaited public meeting on Queen Anne Hill where architects unveiled their new plan for the transformation of the Metropolitan Market on Queen Anne Ave. into a block-long QFC and housing development titled “Queen Anne Place.β
The tension in the room was more than palpable it was audible. An estimated 150 people of all ages filled the seats in the oven-like Bethany Church and when a community council member announced that QFC donated bottled water for the meeting, many audience members actually heckled, “BOO!β The Cox family, which owns and is developing the property, was brave enough to show up and a property manager made sure to mention after the family’s brief introduction, “The Coxes are not `property developers,’ they inherited the property.β
There’s nothing like an architect’s 30-minute description of massing studies to bore an audience into a submissive lull, however. After seeing the new plans for the project, many people took the time to thank the building owners for working with the public instead of just building an ugly but sellable monstrosity. This is the second time the “inheritors-not-developers” have come before the Queen Anne public and audience and community council members alike commented that the new plan looked much better than the one presented in January.
In response to vociferously expressed community concerns about the removal of apartments and a pedestrian-friendly environment, the architects reconfigured the four-story building from retail only with second-story parking to having only retail on the first floor and 55 housing units on the other three floors.
As Scott Smith, of Queen Anne Neighbors for Responsible Growth, said, “We presented six points specifically, this plan addresses two, borderline three, of them.β QANRG is upset with the basic plan of the development: replacing the local Metro Market with a QFC.
The main issues community members take with design of the project all stem from its size. This QFC is going to be 43,200 square feet and most of the comments made at the meeting regarded the Queen Anne Ave faΓ§ade of the building break it up! But not disjointed! and the traffic/noise/pollution created by the QFC delivery trucks.
In response to this, the architects reduced the size of the QFC and made room for three small retail units on the ground floor. The 360 ft. long side of the building facing Queen Anne Ave is going to be broken up with modulation and entrances into the upper story apartments. Architect Lee Page said the building would look like it was owned by three different owners, though still allow for continuity. Here’s a picture of the second-story apartments that gives you the jist of the modulation:
To see more pictures of the proposed project, or to marvel at the bitter fighting between Slog commenters, check out last week’s post.
Next up: the design gets reviewed by the city. As Monday’s meeting proved, every single step of the way on this project is going to be arduous.