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Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Tonight’s Design Meetings

posted by on May 7 at 14:55 PM

Queen of the Hill

The last time a developer proposed a block-long building at the site of the Metropolitan Market on top of Queen Anne, neighbors lost their shit. They didn’t like the size and they didn’t want to lose their neighborhood grocer. QFC later scrapped the proposal. But now, there’s a new plan for the site.

“This is better than the QFC proposal,” says Craig Hanway, chair of land use review committee for Queen Anne Community Council. “This new development is a similar scale but the developer is proposing a smaller grocery store, and they are working actively with Metropolitan Market to maintain them as a tenant.”

In addition to housing a grocery store and a few small retail spaces, the proposed four-story building would contain about 105 apartments above, and parking below grade. But it’s still a massive block-long development.


Tiscareno Associates

About 100 people attended an open house on Monday. “Some people had concerns about traffic, some had concerns about noise associated with truck traffic,” says Jeff Smith of the developer, Emerald Bay Equity. “We’re doing our part to mitigate noise.” A meeting tonight for early design guidance—the first for this project—will begin at 6:30 p.m. in room 1 of the Queen Anne Community Center, 1901 1st Avenue West.

Bottom of the Hill

At the other end of the community-involvement spectrum, a proposed apartment building at the southwest foot of Queen Anne is getting no love. A report after the last meeting said: “There were no public comments received; no one from the general public attended the meeting.” Aww.

However, the design board members did attend: “Improving the quality of the streetscape is of utmost importance,” they wrote in a report. “The Board felt that that architectural statement could be simpler.” Here’s the design criticized by the board.


And here’s the “new-and-improved” design they’ll be reviewing tonight.


Nicholson Kovalchick Architects

I think I liked the previous version more. But anyway, the site is currently used as a parking lot with 26 spaces. The new building, if built, will stand six stories, contain 40 apartments, and 20 parking spaces. That’s half a space per unit—the undignified horror. The public meeting—which will be more fun than rolling in the ocean surf with otter pups—is at 8:00 p.m. in room 1 of the Queen Anne Community Center, 1901 1st Avenue West.

Between the Hills

Two back-to-back meetings tonight will review portions of a bio-tech campus envisioned by the Blume Company, one of the largest players redeveloping South Lake Union after Vulcan. To the south, a four-story, four-building complex filling the entire block at Yale Avenue North and Mercer Street (map); to the north, along a winding tree-lined avenue called a woonerf, two more buildings (map). Behold.



NBBJ Architects

The glitzy new buildings—characteristic of the glass and concrete buildings coming to define SLU—will replace several light-industrial and storage warehouses.

“We don’t have any signed leases and we are still in the planning stages,” says Blume’s Tara Raymond. “If we had a medical or biotech company come along that would be fine, or if one of Amazon’s partners came along, we would be thrilled.“ But will such a tenant be looking for spendy new digs in this mopey economy? “Actually, its interesting because the need [for office space] is there, unlike the residential decline,” says Raymond. “I actually think that things are getting better. Knock on wood, of course.”

The meeting for the larger southern portion begins at 6:30 p.m.; the second meeting begins at 8:00 pm.—both in the library at TOPS School, 2500 Franklin Avenue East.

RSS icon Comments


Man, that 'new and improved' design for the lower Queen Anne building is BORING!

Posted by Darrell | May 7, 2008 3:29 PM

Dominic is right; the first version of that Queen Anne building is waaaaay better than the "improved" version.

The Blume buildings are delightful, if your political aim in life is to invade Poland and massacre all the Jews, Gypsies, Commies and Homos...

Posted by michael strangeways | May 7, 2008 3:48 PM

I agree with Dominic. And the SLU buildings are NOT ped friendly. If you've ever walked around there in the summer, it just feels like walls after a while, almost like a desert. This just increases that disconnected feeling.

Posted by Will in Seattle | May 7, 2008 3:54 PM

“The Board felt that that architectural statement could be simpler.” means “we want it to be boring”.

Posted by Alan | May 7, 2008 3:55 PM

Anything that might possibly wipe out that shitacular Paragon restaurant n' bar is endorsed by me!

Posted by QA res | May 7, 2008 4:05 PM

God the downgrade in the LQA project makes me sad.

Posted by Cale | May 7, 2008 4:23 PM

Here we go again. More square buildings that have no greenspace. The residential buildings have the same lack of any type of deck. Those cookie cutter proposals just keep rolling in don't they? Will they ever stop?

How about designing a patio deck that is 6 feet wide by 20 feet long? How come every proposal has a deck that you can barely stand on with 2 people, let alone want to set a table up for 4 with chairs and grill? Has any developer actually laid out that type of furniture and then figured out how many square feet it would take? Why even have a deck at all?

Seriously. If I ever consider dropping $400,000-$700,000 on a damn condo, it better have a deck large enough to put a hottub on it. I'm very sick and tired of the crap options prospective condo buyers have to swallow at the whims of these developers.

And for those of you who mock or jump for joy when you find that there is no mandated underground parking, I'd like to give a big fuck you to all of you also. For those of us that can actually afford to buy that type of property, it is likely we have a higher paying job not located within blocks of our condo. Thanks for hamstringing our options to be able to have a vehicle to get to work, else we need to have a commute that exists solely within the bus lines.

It sounds all touchy feely to have less parking spaces, but the reality is... people need to get to their job. And if I can afford to buy that property, I shouldn't be forced to consider giving up my driving because some eco-rabid middle class granola cruncher thinks they are doing the environment a favor on my behalf.

Don't even bother replying, unless you too fit the demographic of being able to afford to live in Queen Anne.

Posted by Can any of you even afford a condo in Queen Anne? | May 7, 2008 5:16 PM

that barely consitutes a woonerf... and i know the designers pretty well...

Posted by holz | May 7, 2008 7:20 PM

The MM development on top of QA looks like it's going to demolish that cute brick apartment building between it and Safeway. Way to go, developers!

Posted by madamecrow | May 7, 2008 7:49 PM

just wanted to thank the stranger, the slog and dominic for keeping readers posted on land use projects around town. your analysis is helpful too.

Posted by saucy | May 8, 2008 1:06 PM

Condo buyers hate Seattle's developers too? Interesting.

Posted by keep seattle seedy | May 13, 2008 3:11 PM

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