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Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The New Proposed Building to Take the Place of the Rainier Cold Storage Building in Georgetown

posted by on April 2 at 17:20 PM

Sabey—the corporation that’s tearing down the Rainier Cold Storage Building and replacing it with something new—had a meeting with the neighborhood in October to show plans for the new building they proposed to build, and the neighborhood freaked out. Hated it. Couldn’t believe what they were seeing. Talked about Georgetown turning into Belltown. Or into Fremont. One horrified guy said that he could very easily see a Tully’s or a Kinko’s in the ground floor of the proposed building; of course, a Tully’s or a Kinko’s in Georgetown is anathema to what Georgetown—according to Georgetown residents—is.

Last week, Sabey unveiled plans for a new proposed building that is, it must be said, a helluva lot better than their previous proposal. Here is the old Rainier Cold Storage Building:


And here is the new proposed building (with, apparently, its attendant new name and marketing scheme):


Much more info on Sabey’s website.

RSS icon Comments


I didn't notice the building so much as the word "Brewery". I'm sold.

Posted by Mike of Renton | April 2, 2008 6:20 PM

It's nice enough. But we don't want Capitol Hill people down here. Keep your violence and homeless up there!

Posted by Georgetown Rules! | April 2, 2008 6:30 PM

The cliched arguments against gentrification simply don't apply to Georgetown. It has always been industry vs. resident there and industry always wins. If Georgetown becomes even a little bit like Fremont, perhaps finally the city, neighborhood industry, and the King County Airport will show a smidgen of respect. Georgetown needs to reverse a century old trend of treating residents as second rate. Perhaps even a Kinkos would help.

Posted by sr. kubiak | April 2, 2008 7:14 PM

see, even if something might be viewed as good by some, others will still find fault with the entire premise or implications of development. and how can you rely on a fractured communal thought to decide something for the developer?

Posted by Bellevue Ave | April 2, 2008 7:30 PM

I love the dude with the guitar case in the middle of the street. No traffic in Georgetown, apparently.

Posted by DOUG. | April 2, 2008 7:35 PM

Actually the traffic comes in truck waves from the south-end interchange and the north-end pair of interchanges. In between you could at least eat half a sandwich standing in the street and not be that bothered by the occasional car. It's the side streets where you can completely walk in the streets. I think that's part of the charm of Georgetown - the people who live and work there are really really nice and respectful of each other. Don't find that in too many down-and-dirty neighborhoods anywhere.

It is a special place - but like so much else of Seattle, isolated and bound by mega-infrastructure and natural barriers. You can walk on the railroad tracks there and put pennies on them because trains actually come rumbling through the 'hood.

Posted by chas Redmond | April 2, 2008 10:30 PM

So basically if you put the word "Brewery" on any development plan in Seattle, people will love you.


Posted by mackro mackro | April 2, 2008 10:50 PM

Props to the neighborhood for keeping the conversation going with the developer. I am sure it wasn't easy, but it seems worth it.

Posted by LB | April 2, 2008 10:53 PM

*ahem, ok here goes*

I know some of you voted down Prop 1., but this year, we're going to propose something different. It will be a big package called REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION BREWERY INVESTMENT DISTRICT.

Posted by mackro mackro | April 2, 2008 10:53 PM

I'm conflicted.

On one hand, it looks fairly faithful to what was there, opens up a street that in reality was a dark, cramped brick corridor, and is utile.

On the other hand, it also looks like one of those giant brick Adobe campuses that totally ruined Fremont.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | April 2, 2008 11:13 PM

While I'm not a native to Seattle, I've been here for enough years to note that threads like this add a drop to the enormous vat of ruminations of Old & Gritty Jet City that so many people here who comment on Slog revere.

So, I will ask you guys this here:

* If you guys could magically transform, say, Fremont or Belltown into what it was in the 80s, would you do it? If so, what would come back that would make things better?

* Do you like Fremont or Belltown today? If not, how would you have allowed Fremont or Belltown to grow and develop on your own terms, if that had to be the path of progress?


My opinion is boringly neutral on all of this. I see good and bad in the transformations I've seen over the past decade or so... some specific razings I liked/disliked, some specific developments I liked/disliked, and overall, a general growth that I've liked slightly more than disliked.

Anyway, I hope some of you answer, because they are vague questions. You guys would totally rock.

Otherwise, I'm kinda tired of the steady stream of snarky "all is going to hell" two-liners here, specific to the gentrification issue, especially, because it's always quasi-privileged "now I'm paying more for lamer things on my street" complaints. As valid as these complaints are, aren't there anything deeper things to say about all of this, instead?

Posted by mackro mackro | April 3, 2008 12:22 AM

gotta say, not bad. It's ascetically pleasing, and kind of keeps with the warehouse look of the hood. I fucking love Georgetown and gentrification scares me. But lets be real, how gentrified can the neighborhood get? It's a tiny island of suburbia in a sea of industry.

Posted by Rotten666 | April 3, 2008 8:33 AM

LB, you should be giving props to the developer who sought community input.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | April 3, 2008 8:43 AM

It's not horrible and it's not great.


Posted by michael strangeways | April 3, 2008 9:28 AM


He had to seek community input, moron. Please read the City of Seattle Land Use Code and Design Review rules before posting again.

(I'm starting to feel the same way about Bellevue as FNARF does about Will).

Posted by Mr. X | April 3, 2008 11:25 AM

bellevue. this is so much better than the pine building case you are vaguely referring to. this is a case where the developer was willing to work with the neighborhood some. and if it's not perfect, they are trying. and the effort they've shown is appreciated.

mackro mackro. the only choices are like 81, or like today. when a neighborhood develops, you can do so in many different ways. some just don't want bad, so they will settle for good. others won't settle for good, they want better.

Posted by infrequent | April 3, 2008 11:55 AM

@10 - That's about where I'm at with it. I've been a G'town resident since 1994 and I love it more than any other place I've ever lived in Seattle. Having said that, I also can't deny that it's time for me to leave the neighborhood (rental house being sold). The old Georgetown that was will live on in memory, and the new Georgetown will grow in ways we can't even imagine now (good and bad). Georgetown is dead; Long Live Georgetown!!!

And yeah, the guy with the guitar case in the drawing is a distinct corporate wink ("See? Still funky!") ..... :-P

Posted by merry | April 3, 2008 1:50 PM

@15 - Your ignorance of the land use code is laughable. Perhaps you should give it a read yourself before attacking others Mr Asshat. You clearly have no clue what you're talking about.

Posted by gtown guy | April 3, 2008 3:29 PM

@18, so you're saying that Sabey can build a suburban building to replace a designated Historic Landmark without community input under the Land Use Code and Design Review Rules? Right-o, sport.

Posted by Mr. X | April 3, 2008 4:07 PM

I'm saying that it's obvious that you've never bothered reading the land use code. It's also clear that you have no idea whatsoever as to the specifics of this project. But then again, you never do. You bitch and complain with no basis in fact. Keep tilting at those windmills you bitter little man.

Posted by gtown guy | April 3, 2008 4:20 PM

Nice job answering my direct questions (BTW - as it happens, I think Sabey is doing better work because they have to deal with the public, but you can keep calling me names if it makes you happy).

Posted by Mr. X | April 3, 2008 4:33 PM

Oh, just so you know, I have indeed read large chunks of the Land Use Code, as well as the Design Review Guidelines for a number of neighborhoods. Great stuff for insomniacs...

Posted by Mr. X | April 3, 2008 4:40 PM

...and here's the language from the Design Review Guidelines regarding the REQUIREMENT that there be public involvement...

"SMC 23.41.014 Design review process.

A. A preapplication conference is required for all projects subject to design review, unless waived by the Director, as described at Section 23.76.008*LINK*.

B. Early Design Guidance Public Meeting.

1. Following a preapplication conference, and site visits by Design Review Board members assigned to review a proposed project, an early design guidance public meeting with the Design Review Board shall be held.

2. The purpose of the early design guidance public meeting shall be to identify concerns about the site and the proposed project, review the design guidelines applicable to the site, determine neighborhood priorities among the design guidelines, and explore design concepts and/or options.

3. At the early design guidance public meeting, the project proponents shall present the following information:

a. An initial site analysis addressing site opportunities and constraints, the use of all adjacent buildings, and the zoning of the site and adjacent properties; and

b. A drawing of existing site conditions, indicating topography of the site and the location of structures and prominent landscape elements on or abutting the site (including but not limited to all trees six (6) inches or greater in diameter measured four and one half (4 1/2) feet above the ground, with species indicated); and

c. Photos showing the facades of adjacent development, trees on the site, general streetscape character and territorial or other views from the site, if any; and

d. A zoning envelope study which includes a perspective drawing; and

e. A description of the proponent's objectives with regard to site development.

4. The proponent is encouraged, but not required, to bring one (1) or more development concepts or alternatives to indicate possible design options for the site.

C. Guidelines Priorities.

1. Based on the concerns expressed at the early design guidance public meeting or in writing to the Design Review Board, the Board shall identify any guidelines that may not be applicable to the site and identify those guidelines of highest priority to the neighborhood. The Board shall incorporate any community consensus regarding design, expressed at the meeting into its guideline priorities, to the extent the consensus is consistent with the design guidelines and reasonable in light of the facts of the proposed development...."

But really, I'm just making this stuff up, right?

Posted by Mr. X | April 3, 2008 4:43 PM

Are you really so stupid as to confuse an EDG meeting with the type of community meetings that Sabey is conducting in the neighborhood? I'm guessing that you've never been to an EDG meeting, have you... HUGE difference - but again, I'm not at all surprised that you don't know that. So aorry that world has screwed you so that you feel you need to take it out on someone else.

Posted by gtown guy | April 3, 2008 4:57 PM

No, I'm not - and while I think it's extra super neat-o that they've gone to the public earlier than they were required to, they would in fact have been required to seek public input at some point regardless.

If you look at the post I originally commented on, he seemed to be suggesting that Sabey could build what they liked without public input.

And yes, I've been to lots of EDG meetings.

I'll be playing a show across the street from the building site in question this Saturday if you'd like to come and call me names to my face.

Posted by Mr. X | April 3, 2008 5:06 PM

I do believe that you were the first to start calling names (@15) - but it seems to be your m.o. to "forget" that which goes against your point. And I don't believe that you HAVE ever been to an EDG meeting. Otherwise, you would know that there IS a huge difference - which you obviously don't. BA (through this thread and others) has clearly shown that they have a much firmer grasp on the process than you do - and recognized that there are some developers who will go above and beyond what is required in order to create better communities. Unfortunately, you seem unable to understand this distinction. It seems that in your mind, all developers and all development is bad. I really do feel sorry for such broken old timers with their myopic hatred of any and all progress. And maybe I will see you on Saturday - assume you'll be at Jules Mae? One of my favorites.

Posted by gtown guy | April 3, 2008 5:19 PM

In re name calling, you're right - but I didn't call Bellevue anything I wouldn't say to his face.

I have indeed been to EDG meetings, regardless of whether you like my interpretation of the process.

On that note, Sabey wasn't exactly being altruistic by holding doing their own outreach efforts - they were able to sound their neighbors out before their opinions became binding through an official Land Use process, which is just good business. This is doubly true given that the building(s) in question is going to replace a designated City Landmark Structure, which will impose even more restrictions on what they can do than the usual Design Review process would.

But I don't understand any of this land use process stuff, really. I haven't spent literally hundreds of hours engaged in this work, really. After all, you said I haven't, so all of that reading I've done over the years was clearly for naught.

And yes, I'll be playing at Jules Mae's. For that matter, I sure hope that the new yuppie businesses (and/or residents) of Sabey's proposed building don't try and get em shut down once they've moved in across the street.

Because that sort of thing has never happened anywhere in Seattle as a result of new development, right?

Posted by Mr. X | April 3, 2008 6:01 PM

...and if "progress" means forcing working and lower-middle class people out of Seattle (which, in case you haven't noticed, it has), you can keep it.

Posted by Mr. X | April 3, 2008 6:11 PM

The only erection I want in Georgetown enormous penis!!!

Posted by Christopher Frizzelle's Enormous Penis | April 3, 2008 9:59 PM

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