Author Archives: Queen Anne Scene

Design Review Approves Plan for 2 Apartment Buildings on Old Teatro ZinZanni Site

By Joe Veyera

The next act for the former site of Teatro ZinZanni is one step closer to reality, after development plans received approval from the West Design Review Board in a recommendation meeting on Wednesday night.

The project at 225 Roy St. includes one eight-story and one seven-story building with 269 apartments, just over 9,000 square feet of retail space at street-level, and underground parking for approximately 180 vehicles. Earlier plans had called for two eight-story structures, but neighbors along Roy Street had expressed concern about what that building height would mean for natural light in their apartments.

Developer Maria Barrientos said public feedback had, “a really strong influence,” on the design, with more than 20 meetings and presentations to various community groups over the last year and a half.

To that end, public comment Wednesday was almost unanimously in favor of the plan, with Uptown Alliance co-president Rick Hooper calling the process a “great model” for how a community can engage with developers.

“This site could have been a mundane project in the hands of somebody else,” said one attendee.

The proposal is also one of the first to account for building height increases allowed under a neighborhood rezone passed by the city council in October. The site is included in a small area north of Seattle Center that saw maximum heights more than double from 40 to 85 feet.

Board member Homero Nishiwaki acknowledged that as one of the challenges the project faced.

“It’s a very big project,” he said. “It’s not just big, it’s also very prominent, and it deals with a transitional period where a new code, a new height is being implemented.”

Nishiwaki — the lone holdover on the board from the project’s early design guidance meeting in April — said he felt many of the recommendations made at that time were incorporated into the updated design.

Among the elements to earn the board’s praise was the public plaza planned directly off Mercer Street (though its included in a separate permit) — something landscape architect Kris Snider of Hewitt said “put a stamp on this project,” as a commitment to the community — along with the high quality of materials proposed throughout the site as well.

Ultimately, the board gave its okay for the plans with a trio of conditions, one regarding the “gasket” that separates the massing volumes for the building along Third Avenue, and a second for material consistency throughout the project.

The third condition was the removal of a glass and steel weather protection canopy between the two buildings, which the board felt made the interior courtyard seem more like a private space than a public area.

“This is a public thoroughfare,” said board member Stephen Porter of the walkway down the middle of the site, connecting Mercer and Roy.

The board also approved a pair of zoning departures, one to allow for a continuous vertical façade along Roy Street — instead of an upper-level set-back — and a second allowing for a steeper driveway slope for the underground parking entrance.

The latter request drew questions from the board about its necessity, and what the alternative would be if the departure were denied.

Barrientos explained the entrance accounts for traffic entering and exiting the Mercer Street Garage, and that planned retail space at the corner of Third Avenue North and Mercer would be affected.

“We can’t keep the retail on Mercer at the grade it’s at without doing this,” she said.

That rationale was enough to earn the board’s approval by a 3-1 vote.

The plan now awaits the final published decision from the Seattle Department of Construction & Inspections, after which a master use permit will be issued.

For more information on the development, and a full list of project documents, visit web6.seattle.gov/dpd/edms and enter project number 3025946. 

Syndicated from QueenAnneNews.com

100-Unit Interbay Apartment Development Clears Review Board

By Joe Veyera

A proposal to build an eight-story apartment complex with nearly 100 units just north of the Interbay Golf Center was well received in its return to the West Design Review Board on Wednesday night.

The plan for 3008 16th Ave. W. had gotten favorable feedback during an early design guidance meeting in February, but faced three new board members as architects sought final approval.

Urbal Architecture principal Chad Lorentz said the project was driven by three points, unchanged from the last meeting; enhancing the dead end that separates the alley on the back end of the property from 15th Avenue West to make it safer and improve the pedestrian experience, taking advantage of the site’s “peninsula,” which allows for unobstructed views on three sides, and creating a “jewel box,” through the development’s massing and building materials to float above the solid, recessed base.

The plan calls for the lobby and four loft units at ground level along 16th Avenue West, with a fitness center on the second floor, and studio, one, and two-bedroom units on floors three through eight. That top level also includes a common lounge and patio space, with a deck and patio on the roof as well. Parking for up to 45 vehicles is included in a garage on the first two levels; 30 on the first with the use of a stacking system, and another 15 on the next floor, with separate entries for both.

The presence of the Interbay Athletic Complex directly to the west of the site — and how the field lights would affect the units at night — was also a factor in the design. It was something planners noticed after one visit, arriving after dark only to see those lights switched on minutes later.

“You watched everyone [at a nearby apartment complex] pull their shades down, and it became a blank façade, so we really took that to heart,” Lorentz said.

In turn, the layout of the units and the placement of their windows are meant to shade the apartments from that direct glare. Those windows are also mirrored from one another, and combine with minor recesses and the choice of building materials to activate the façade.

Those elements all earned positive feedback from the board, while much of the deliberation Wednesday regarded a detail that had also drawn attention during early design guidance. Concerned remained from members about the building’s north side, a blank wall for those approaching the site along 16th Avenue West.

Lorentz explained the choice, saying both the apartment signage and a vertical art piece that would tie into that branding will serve as an effective way finding feature.

“We actually think that the blank façade is a real important feature of this building,” he said.

The board, however, wanted more specifics for what that would look like.

“Right now, they’re kind of asking for an open license to do whatever, once they resolve their brand, and this is a major component of this project,” said board member Stephen Porter.

Though a living wall was found to be ultimately unviable by the planners, the board asked that the art element be based on the wilderness concept that informed the site’s landscape approach. The planting design emphasizes Northwest native species — many of which attract birds, butterflies, and bees — in response to feedback provided in February.

The board also okayed a trio of zoning departures, including one that allows for the two parking garage access points — one off of the alley, one off West Barrett Street — and another regarding the eighth floor lounge and patio. With the size of the patio smaller than the minimum to be considered an “amenity area,” the board was in favor of plans for an articulated, transparent wall that would connect the space to the lounge, allowing for the flexibility of both indoor and outdoor uses.

After Wednesday’s meeting, the plan now awaits final corrections by project architects, after which the Seattle Department of Construction & Inspections will publish its final decision and issue a master use permit.

Syndicated from The Queen Anne News.

KeyArena Redevelopment Progresses with MOU

By Joe Veyera

A more than $600 million plan to redevelop KeyArena with the hopes of luring professional hockey and men’s basketball to Seattle moved one step closer to reality on Monday, after the Seattle City Council voted 7-1 to approve a memorandum of understanding with the Oak View Group.

Councilmember Mike O’Brien was the lone dissenting vote, while Lorena Gonzalez was not in attendance.

Under the agreement, OVG is responsible for the entirety of project costs, in addition to overruns, along with $40 million in neighborhood transportation improvements over the term of a 39-year lease, as informed by a mobility action plan also paid for by the group.

Construction is expected to begin by the end of next year, with an opening of the renovated venue in October 2020.

KeyArena in its current state. Photo by Joe Veyera

KeyArena in its current state. Photo by Joe Veyera

“This redevelopment unlocks the potential for the best new arena for sports, entertainment, high-tech expos, concerts and more — with partners who have already demonstrated their commitment to partnering with the City for success,” she said.

In a separate statement, Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda said she was, “proud to support a project aligned with the progressive values and shared prosperity for which Seattle is now legendary,” as she cast her first vote.

“We are experiencing a unique moment in our City’s history and with it comes an opportunity to preserve one of our cities most iconic public assets for the benefit of the public good,” she said. “This project recreates a world-class, multi-purpose sports and entertainment facility (including women’s sports!) which will become a cherished part of Seattle’s legacy.

Monday’s vote, while a key milestone in the process, won’t be the last one by the council. The MOU provides a framework for a development agreement, lease agreement, and Seattle Center Integration Agreement, all of which still require council approval in the coming months.

Syndicated from the QueenAnneNews.com

December 13th is a Design Review for an 8-Story Interbay Apartment Building

By Joe Veyera

A proposed eight-story development in Interbay with nearly 100 apartments will again go before the West Design Review Board later this month.

A recommendation phase meeting for the project is set for Dec. 13 at 6:30 p.m. at the Queen Anne Community Center (1901 1st Ave. W.), almost 10 months after architects received positive feedback on the plan during early design guidance.

The proposal for 3008 16th Ave. W. currently calls for 93 residential units and 45 parking spaces; down one apartment and eight spots from what was presented in February.

At that meeting, the board expressed its support for the project’s preferred “Jewel Box,” massing option, and how it affected the configuration of its units (providing both a north or south view in addition to one of 15th Avenue West), and a rooftop common room.

The board also encouraged the continued development of an, “articulated, modulated, and textured design expression,” to keep the design from becoming merely a flat cube, and wanted to see a potential blank façade on the building’s north side be further studied, both in terms how it would interact with future development and how to integrate art or another cultural reflection in the meantime.

Pastakia + Associates and Teutsch Partners are the developers for the site, with Urbal Architecture serving as project architects. That firm lists the, “contrasting composition [which] consists of a grounded base and light upper stories with shimmering, airy details,” and, “contemporary facades with a mix of highly transparent materials, vertical metal siding and unique geometric angles,” as among the project’s key features on its website.

Comments on site planning and design issues regarding the development may be submitted through Dec. 12 via email to PRC@seattle.gov, or to City of Seattle – Seattle DCI – PRC, 700 5th Avenue, Suite 2000, PO Box 34019, Seattle, WA 98124-4019.

For more information on the development, and a full list of documents, visit web6.seattle.gov/dpd/edms/ and enter project number 3026027.

Syndicated from QueenAnneNews.com