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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Tonight’s Design Meetings

posted by on April 16 at 14:20 PM

Aging in Interbay

I didn’t even know Seattle had a Bertona Street until yesterday. It sounds Italian. Like the menu at this assisted living facility could be all cannelloni and grappa.


“You know, you could be surprised, I’ll bet there’s some grappa there,” says Marika Rausa, director of Senior Housing for the Stratford Group. The development and property-management company has proposed a four-story, 116 apartment building with 33 parking spaces for elders who need help with dressing, cooking, and drinking.

A few old houses are currently on the site, says, Rausa. “We’re really hoping to start digging in early spring of next year.”


Ankrom Moisan Architects

There’s an early design guidance meeting tonight at 6:30 p.m. in room 1 of the Queen Anne Community Center, 1901 1st Avenue West. Ciao!

Speaking in South Lake Union

Two parcels of land in South Lake Union owned by Weiss/Jenkins, LLC are lily pads compared to Vulcan’s massive algae bloom of development. But unlike Vulcan’s developments, information about this project is no state secret. Brad Hinthorne of Ruffcorn Mott Hinthorne Stine says the building is the second half of a campus, joining the adjacent Republican Building. It’s a stand-up design…


The intersection of Yale Avenue North and Republican Street. Ruffcorn Mott Hinthorne Stine

The proposed five-story building will don a two-toned brick and masonry façade, fitting neatly with its neighbor. It would contain 70,000 square feet of office space and 3,000 square feet of retail on the ground floor. Parking for 139 vehicles would be above and below grade. The existing structure, an “abandoned” print shop, says Hinthorne, will be expunged.

At an previous meeting with the review board, “One issue was building a sky bridge to connect to the existing building,” says Hinthorne. “They quickly said, ‘No.’” Good for them. Tonight’s meeting, a recommendation, begins at 6:30 p.m. in the multipurpose room at Miller Community Center, 330 19th Avenue East.

Quality on Queen Anne

The latest proposal for a building on Queen Anne Avenue North makes the case for Seattle’s design-review process. In an earlier iteration, the design was clunky, the components seemed incongruent, and, in front, potentially valuable sidewalk space went underused.


The most recent proposal from DDG architects, while seeming only subtly different at first, is substantially better design.


DDG Architects

The upper portions are lighter and modern, the windows in the brickwork are more traditional and provide variation of scale, the awnings are more natural, the proportions fit better, and the sidewalk court looks downright welcoming. Like, people could just sit down (pop-up).

“Joe [Geivett of Emerald Bay Equity, the developer] is a good listener, and he spent a lot of time with local community groups to hear what they’re looking for,” says Greg MacDonald of DDG Architects. “Without going with a rote regurgitation of what’s on the Hill previously, they were looking to dovetail traditional elements.”

One downside, three converted houses on the site will be demolished—the former Pete’s Pizza and Queen Anne Dentistry. Nonetheless, it’s a net gain. The new building will stand four-stories, containing about 15,000 square feet of retail and 40,000 square feet of administrative and medical offices. Parking for approximately 120 vehicles will be located below grade.

Tonight’s meeting will be the fourth. So a round of applause for Seattle’s committed neighbors, all-volunteer design review boards, DDG, and Mr. Geivett. The meeting is at 8:00 p.m. in room 1 of the Queen Anne Community Center, 1901 1st Avenue West.

RSS icon Comments


I'm not sure I agree that the second one looks better on the Queen Anne development. The white on the windows draws too much attention to itself and actually makes the building look more bulky. I also like the sleek, contemporary awnings on the first one. However, the sidewalk features are certainly an improvement.

Hurray for density in Interbay!!

The SLU one is passable I suppose. I don't really care for the tall blank wall, but there may be some detail there I am missing. I love all the retail at ground floor in SLU.

Posted by Cale | April 16, 2008 3:13 PM

These posts are a great service. Thanks.

Posted by cascadiareport | April 16, 2008 3:33 PM

i've said it before, i'll say it before again: this isn't developement what's happening to seattle---it is rape. it is murder. i'd far rather have that lovely patch of trees than another multi-billion dollar motel six looking piece of particle-board and plastic-piped and aluminum window-framed garbage can. i refused to live in denver, so they brought denver to me. joy.

Posted by adrian | April 16, 2008 3:45 PM

Both Queen Anne renderings look like Giants stadium (whatever it's called now) in SF.

Posted by Dougsf | April 16, 2008 3:50 PM

Why not build a skybridge between the two Republican buildings. The alley is nothing remarkable, no views would be blocked. In fact its alot like Alley24 *which has a skybridge*....

Posted by Paul | April 16, 2008 4:11 PM


Posted by max solomon | April 16, 2008 4:52 PM

All I see is unusable retail spaces.

Posted by Fnarf | April 16, 2008 5:44 PM

Dominic---love the boom posts, is there any chance that you can post them a day in advance for those of us who can't slog surf at work all day (though we want to)?


Posted by brice | April 16, 2008 9:31 PM

Better than usual.

But still just infilling.

Posted by Will in Seattle | April 16, 2008 10:06 PM

3) Was it also rape when they built your apartment building?

5) Skybridges suck because they remove pedestrians from the sidewalk, where they shop, interact, watch out for one another, etc.

6) Fake cornices: Better than no cornices. But I also get the impression that many of the buildings we now consider classic were, in the time of their construction, also considered shoddy knock-offs of older buildings.

7) I will never look at a retail space shallower than 700' as adequate ever again.

8) Usually the renderings are only provided to the city on the day of the review (and the developers usually won't release them to the media before they give them to the design board), and without a visual reference it would be hard to make sense of the design. But I'll try to get them up sooner when I have the images.

Posted by Dominic Holden | April 17, 2008 10:10 AM

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