Boom Towering Building; Empowering Building
posted by March 25 at 15:00 PMon
Two proposed developments are up for design recommendations tonight. The meetings are open to the public.
Filling in Fifth Avenue
For the first time in decades, the College Club didn’t hold its Easter brunch in the brown 1960s building on 5th and Madison. Both the club building (at the end of the block) and the adjacent offices are slated for demolition.
This is Schnitzer Northwest’s vision for the site.
NBBJ Architects; here’s a different view, from the other side (pop-up).
This rendering – the result of design guidance from the city and revisions by the architects – is neither awesome nor offensive. At 40-stories, the tower would almost disappear into the downtown skyline of taller buildings (zoning there allows buildings to reach from 450’ to unlimited height). The slight variations in the roofline, gentle curves, and palate of gray crosshatching are typical of the current development wave.
No question, however, this proposal makes a better use of the space than the squat buildings there now. The rooftop deck (pop-up) begs for a Manhattan and a cigar, and the ground floor relates well to the street.
But why not something bolder, unique? According to a Department of Planning and Development report on a presentation last year, the developer and architect said the design would, “Not over manipulate the façade design and tower shape but have a ‘simplicity and Clarity’ that will confuse the surrounding architectural context.” What does that mean?
The architects, developers, and their PR firm have declined to comment. So, if you want to find out more, head to the second design-recommendation meeting tonight and ask questions. It’s at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall—600 4th Ave, room L280. More about the proposal and after-hours access to City Hall here.
A proposed development at the corner of 2nd Avenue and Bell Street could bring the watchful eyes of up to 90 full-time residents to a historically sketchy intersection. The Archdiocesan Housing Authority – with city, county, state, and federal assistance – is backing a proposed development to provide low-income housing for women.
But since the Archdiocesan Housing Authority funds it, I wondered, would residents be required to partake in mass or consume the body of Christ to qualify? What if they’re allergic to wafers?
“There’s absolutely no requirement related to faith, worship, or anything like that,” says Brian Lloyd of Beacon Development Group, the contracted devlopment firm. “Part of the church’s mission is to create affordable housing and services.” According to its Web site, the AHA currently provides 1880 housing units at 42 properties. Sweet Jesus.
Environmental Works; also, here’s the perspective from Bell Street (pop-up)
The lower floors would provide “congregate housing” (like a shelter, except the residents can stay all day) for up to 40 women, and the upper floors would provide 50 single-occupancy housing units (like studios with half-kitchens). “The idea is to transition women from the streets to permanent housing,” says Lloyd. “There will be case management on site to help women take the next step, which is the upper level of the project.” The ground-floor facing 2nd Avenue would contain 2500 square feet of retail.
The site is currently home to the Recovery Café, which provides shelter at night. “One big difference is this entire building will be a 24/7 facility,” says Lloyd.
At tonight’s meeting, architects and developers will respond to previous design guidance. It’s at 7:00 p.m. in City Hall.