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Monday, March 17, 2008

Mass Market Food and Architecture

posted by on March 17 at 14:25 PM

Tonight brings us design meetings for two north Seattle developments.

New Pinehurst Safeway

Dykeman Architects, designers of the Capitol Hill Safeway and the Redmond PCC, has submitted plans to demolish an old Safeway and replace it with a shiny new Safeway. Jonah has a great piece on the controversy around it over here. The proposal is for a 50,000 square feet, one-story commercial building with a parking lot for 200 vehicles. The developer is also asking the city to rezone a portion of the site. Here’s the old guy.


Here’s how the new babe would sit on the lot.


In the “pro” column of the preferred design, says the proposal: “The building is located adjacent to the sidewalk at 15th Ave NE at the SW corner of the site and provides the strongest opportunity to develop a pedestrian link to the apartments/condos to the south.” In the “con” column: “Building location does not reinforce the urban character of the ‘gateway’ corner at 15th Ave NE and NE 125th Street.” Hmm, more useful sidewalk or more charming gateway? If you’ve got an opinion, pour your Jameson into a flask and head to the design-guidance meeting tonight at 6:30 p.m. in room 209 of the University Height Community Center, 5031 University Way NE.

Mixed Use Development on Lake City Way

Driscoll Architects pumps out mixed-use developments faster than just about any other developer in Seattle. As a result, those developments, while providing urban density we appreciate, are usually very ordinary. Driscoll hasn’t provided digital renderings of the proposed building on NE 85th St and Lake City Way NE, but they will undoubtedly build on the themes of Driscoll’s other buildings.



The building would contain 145 apartments up top, 167 underground parking spots underground, and a coffee shop and other retail spaces on the ground floor, says Driscoll’s Brian Kim. Driscoll went before the design review board for an early guidance meeting in November 2005, and their reps will return to the board with a fleshed out proposal tonight at 8:00 p.m.—also in room 209 of the University Height Community Center, 5031 University Way NE.

RSS icon Comments


Didn't they just redo the interior of the 125th Safeway? I am at a loss to understand what the point of this redevelopment is.

Posted by Greg | March 17, 2008 2:30 PM

The Pinehurst Safeway is being redeveloped as a "green" and hopefully LEED certified store. The current store, built in the mid-1960s, is too small and very outdated. There is more information on the project at:

Posted by Pinehurst | March 17, 2008 2:45 PM

Well, it's almost twice as big, it looks like. Is that enough of a gain for such a huge cost? I dunno. As urban planning, it's a total joke; that "pedestrian facade" means nothing, and calling that a "plaza" is a true abortion of language. It still presents mostly surface parking to the important streets; and since the entry is on the parking lot side, the street side becomes the only thing more offensive to urban living than surface parking: a blank wall.

Posted by Fnarf | March 17, 2008 2:49 PM

ooo, I live on 85th and 23rd, and i could really use a coffee shop. please be an independent one (not holding my breath) still anything will be nicer than an empty parking lot for a vinyl company and an ugly modeling agency

Posted by vooodooo84 | March 17, 2008 3:04 PM

Density rocks.

Posted by Mr. Poe | March 17, 2008 3:07 PM

more excellent work by the foremost chronicler of seattle development. and no, the pun was not intentional.

Posted by dpa | March 17, 2008 3:13 PM

Too short.

Density rocks.

Build it ... taller.

Posted by Will in Seattle | March 17, 2008 3:31 PM

Driscoll is not a developer. They are, as their name implies, an architecture firm.

The sucky thing about the Safeway on 15th East and East John is that the pedestrian entrance, while on the street, is only open until the evening. So if you are a pedestrian coming from the east, as most pedestrians are, you have to go ALL THE WAY AROUND to the parking lot. At night. Also the John Street facade, while right against the sidewalk (go urbanism!) is ugly as sin.

Posted by Finishtag | March 17, 2008 3:40 PM

look out, adjacent trailer park - you are not long for this world.

you're going to be Driscollized! yawn!

Posted by max solomon | March 17, 2008 3:47 PM

oh, and please note:

at the north edge of the Driscoll site is Talents West's tiny building, AKA the Colacurcio's stripper-licensing agency.

Landmarks Board, get on it!

Posted by max solomon | March 17, 2008 3:51 PM

@10 Italian parking only

Posted by vooodooo84 | March 17, 2008 4:02 PM

Fnarf's right. The Safeway not only retains a horrible parking lot (and even enlarges it), it adds nothing for pedestrians but a blank wall.

The parking should be underground or at least in a garage structure with a smaller footprint. There needs to be street-level retail and other amenities on all sides (or at least regular pedestrian entryways from all surrounding sidewalks) so that it's not at war with pedestrians. As it is, this is a blight that might improve the interior of the store but actually worsens the neighborhood.

Posted by Cascadian | March 17, 2008 4:53 PM

How many LEED points for taking out that many grown trees?

Driscoll's not an architecture firm, it's a CAD bog.

Posted by greg | March 17, 2008 8:36 PM

driscoll is a phenomenal architect, greg. i don't know what you are talking about. he's the next zumthor. damn, there is a reason he only lets you see 3 projects on his website... he knows you'll only copy his masterpieces.

the safeway should have to front the entire lot. so what if that means the building is only 40' wide. fuck, do something interesting and innovative, d-bags!

Posted by holz | March 17, 2008 10:05 PM

Prior bloviations on this topic here:

Posted by Henry Miller Lite | March 17, 2008 11:17 PM

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