Boom Silence, Disappointment, and Improvement
posted by May 21 at 16:12 PMon
The design review boards will consider these proposals tonight.
Where’s the Outrage, Madrona?
When a developer announced plans for a three-story, mixed-use brick building on the site of a parking lot on 34th Avenue, neighbors in Madrona lost their shit. Fifty complaint letters were filed with the city, according to an article in the Madrona Community Council newsletter, which then printed names and email addresses for the city and architect to complain about the project. And the lead story in the newsletter had this to say about losing the parking lot:
Many of us in Madrona fear that this development will negatively impact the open spaces and vintage character of Madrona and set a precedent for future structures on 34th Avenue.
So—shit the bed—when the announcement came that an adorable vintage gas station pictured on the front page of the community council’s web site (a bonafide neighborhood landmark) would be demolished for a new building, the newsletter was sure to come out guns a blazin’. Right? Wrong. The newsletter this month is neutral, and folks from the neighborhood group haven’t returned my call or they declined to comment on the new building.
The building will contain seven units; six of them are live-work units. “There were a few [concerns] about parking because at the first meeting there was no parking,” says Susan Jones of ateliarjones, the architecture firm designing the project. “Now there are five spaces,” she says. But did Jones or the property owner, Tom Flood, receive any complaints from neighbors about losing the neighborhood’s vintage character when it lost a nice old building?
“We didn’t,” says Jones “I can’t totally explain it.”
A design recommendation meeting is tonight at 8p.m. in room 102 of the Seattle Vocational Institute, 2120 South Jackson Street.
Remember when the city bent over backwards to rezone land in South Lake Union to allow taller buildings for Amazon? Now we’re seeing the designs of those buildings. The current proposal, for phase four being developed by Vulcan, will stand 12 stories tall and contain 16,403 square feet of retail space. I’ve said it before, the buildings are fine: They relate well to the street, they reinforce some of the warehouse themes of the SLU neighborhood, and they provide open space. But considering we’re making special accommodations for one of the city’s economic powerhouses, it would be nice if Amazon made a special contribution to the city. The campus—which occupies nearly six blocks and will define the area—should be awesome. Instead, designs, rather than looking like a landmark, look like a hospital wing.
“They are asking for all the development candy and not much is going into public benefits,” says Lloyd Douglas, president of the Cascade Neighborhood Association and member of the SLUFAN board. “I don’t know if [only] Class A luxury office buildings are a public benefit,” he says. A design recommendation meeting is at 8:00 p.m. in room 1 of the Queen Anne Community Center, 1901 1st Avenue West.
Beside the Brownout
This is what’s on Bellevue Avenue now.
It looks like it could be flattened in a gale. Here’s a drawing for the proposed building that will replace it, including part of the design for the proposal next door.
Roger Newell Architects
The new building would stand six stories, contain 23 residential units, and about 1,300 square feet of retail at the sidewalk. The design-guidance meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. in room 102 of the Seattle Vocational Institute, 2120 South Jackson Street. It’ll be fun.