Boom Northern Exposure
posted by February 5 at 15:34 PMon
Tired of the flimsy faux-Craftsman townhouses going up all over town? Wish more of the mixed-use developments contained apartments instead of exorbitantly priced condos? Your pleas have been heard, at least, north of the ship canal, where some developers are counting on a thriving rental market for workers who can’t afford to buy property near city jobs, and buyers willing pay more for good design.
Here, for your viewing pleasure, are four interesting developments breaking ground this year. Click on the intersection link for a map of the surrounding streets.
For the briefest moment, as I read about the plans to replace a couple of the motels near the Aurora bridge, I was like, aww, I’m gonna miss those old things. And then I was, like, no, I won’t. Those were ratty pieces of shit. And by the time I went to take pictures, they were long gone.
Rentals by the hour are being replaced by rentals by the month, says Kent Angiers of Kauri Investments. He’s proposed a four-story building with 93 apartments, seven live-work units at ground level, and 103 underground parking spaces. Most are one- and two-bedroom apartments—sadly, no three-bedroom rentals, which the city needs more of.
It turns its back on Aurora.
It puts the lotion on its skin.
The building is by Clark Design Group, which also designed Trio (represented by this impenetrable Web site), under the eye of Brenda Barnes, who says they expect to get a building permit in the next couple months. Definitely an improvement on the nasty motels.
Robert Pinkley has the last name “Pinkley,” which makes him cooler than other developers. But the president of Telus Development also has admirable design ethics. He decided to replace this ugly, piece-of-shit car wash…
…with these 14 bitchin’ townhouses and live-work units.
Design by Caron Architecture.
“I’m really averse to building something that’s so homogenous,” says Pinkley. “You see so many of the developments with that pseudo-Craftsman look, with beige colors. That’s bad business as well as bad taste,” he says. (A-fucking-men, Pinkley.) “It’s prudent to build something imaginative and interesting,” he says.
The two- and three-bedroom townhouses will sell for between $400-500 thousand. Construction crews are expected to break ground in June.
It was a Safeway until QFC bought the building several years ago and demolished it. Currently there is this chasm.
With a deal in the works to buy the land from Kroger, Prescott Development has already planned a major, block-long development on the site. The firm has proposed a five-story building, with 160 apartments and 17,000 square feet of commercial space.
However, despite “a dozen or so comments about how neighbors would like to see grocery store there,” says Derr, who attended the development’s first design-guidance meeting last night, Prescott has not committed to a grocery store. He says 5000 square feet of the street-level retail will be designated for smaller shops and the remaining 12000 square feet is up in the air. Here’s Prescott’s preferred design proposal.
“Don’t get caught up on the colors,” Derr told me. I’ll try focus on the shape instead. It looks like attempts to break up the monolithic lines of the exterior have resulted in a mish-mash of ill-fitting geometric shapes, like a failed attempt to build something from both Legos and Duplos. Derr says that Baylis Architects is attempting to break up the monotony of the structure while designing a building that is “attractive on all four sides and relates to Wallingford’s and Fremont’s character.” I have hope.
Affordable housing for seniors after the jump.
Lake City Way is hopelessly depressing.
Retirement facilities are a well of despondence. Nevertheless, there is a glimmer of joy when the street provides a ton of affordable apartments for seniors. Steve Smith bought three big lots on Lake City Way and he’s building senior housing on each of them. One on 130th is already under construction, another near 140th is on the drawing boards, and a proposal for yet another on 137th was recently submitted.
Morgan Design Group’s John Parsaie submitted the proposal for a six-story building, featuring 160 affordable apartments for seniors and 5,500 sq. ft. of commercial use at street level. Parking for 165 vehicles will be located inside structure. Elder residents will enjoy nostalgic views of an adult entertainment parlor and a yellow school-bus lot. The rental units will be managed by the praiseworthy Senior Housing Assistance Group, AKA SHAG.
“The owners are optimistic the construction start around September of this year,” says Parsaie. “It will probably take between nine and ten months [to complete].”