Category Archives: General News

Queen Anne Real Estate Report – Half of Year

We are halfway through the year and the real estate market is still in an all-time frenzy. There still isn’t much relief for buyers in the Seattle area, with low inventory and prices still climbing high. There were 164 single-family homes sold in Queen Anne between January & June, which is 18 more than we saw this time last year. The median sales price took a small jump from $986,000 (2016) to $989,950 (2017). The lowest price for a home has seen an increase from $182,000 (2016) to $379,000 (2017). There are currently 33 listings active and 48 pending.

Condominium sales in Queen Anne showed some strength these last 6 months. The median cost has gone up from $390,000 (2016) to $475,000 (2017). The average list price has also seen a small jump from $436,804 (2016) to $502,376 (2017). There are currently 21 active and 40 condos pending, one of which listed by Ewing and Clark for $3,985,000.

Completing the Aurora Bridge Repainting Project – Open House Next Week

By Joe Veyera

The second and final phase of repainting the Aurora Bridge is scheduled to begin next spring, but before the Washington State Department of Transportation finalizes its construction plan, the public will have a chance to learn more about the project and provide feedback later this month.

The Upper Gwinn Commons at Seattle Pacific University (3310 6th Ave. W.) will host an open house from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. on June 13, on work expected to wrap up in the fall of 2019.

Last year, contractor crews painted the bridge’s floor beams and stringers — sections of steels directly under the concrete bridge deck — after sandblasting the old lead-based paint off of them. The plan for stage two is more sandblasting and repainting, this time of the bridge’s trusses. Crews are also expected to grind and repave the driving surface of the bridge, and repair one and reseal six expansion joints.

The work will be done in sections, with crews encasing separate portions of the bridge one at a time to protect surrounding areas from the construction activities.

The repainting comes at a time when the last coat is peeling and flaking off the bridge, falling onto homes and into Lake Union, while exposing the steel, leading to rust and corrosion. The bridge was last painted in the mid-1980s.

The cost for the entire project is estimated at just over $28 million, with the work broken into two stages to best make use of available funding. It’s scheduled to go out for bidding in October.

Syndicated from QueenAnneNews.com. Photo source: WSDOT

KeyArena Revamp Bids to be Reviewed at May 11th Open House

By Joe Veyera

The two groups to respond to the city’s request for proposals to redevelop KeyArena will take part in an open house later this month just steps from the multipurpose venue.

Representatives from the Oak View Group and Seattle Partners (a group comprised of AEG and Hudson Pacific Partnership) will be on hand at KEXP (472 1st Ave. N. on May 11 from 5 to 8 p.m. to discuss their plans for the site, and answer questions.

Both proposals peg the cost of a KeyArena renovation to meet NBA and NHL standards at north of $500 million, while expanding the seating capacity to hold more than 17,000 spectators for hockey, and 18,000 for basketball, and preserving the iconic roofline designed by modernist architect Paul Thiry. Where the plans differ is how they each use the footprint, and how they address traffic and transit concerns.

The proposal from the Oak View Group would primarily consist of below-grade expansion, while the Seattle Partners bid calls for extending the existing arena roofline further to the south to add space.

The Oak View Group plan includes an 850-stall parking garage, and proposes offering bundled tickets to events with mass transit or rideshare programs, along with exploring the creation of designated drop-off and pick-up locations for services like Lyft and Uber. Renovation groups have additional strategies for dealing with concerns for parking and transportation.

Meanwhile, Seattle Partners would invest $5 million “to accelerate existing transportation strategies around the arena, and to create a shared mobility hub,” adjacent to it, while investing in the Lake2Bay Corridor.

Recommendations will be presented to the Mayor in June, with the input of the Arena Community Advisory Panel comprised of community leaders, and the City’s Executive Review Team. If the mayor moves forward with one of the two proposals, the City Council would then vote on a development and lease agreement with the winning bidder.

“This is the moment we have all been waiting for. We have two strong proposals to consider,” said Brian Surratt, Director of the Office of Economic Development in a press release last month. “We take this responsibility seriously and understand the sense of urgency for sports and music fans. The City remains committed to choosing the best possible path to bring back the NBA and to bring the NHL to Seattle.”

It’s currently unclear when construction could start. Last month, KeyArena was awarded first- and second-round NCAA men’s basketball tournament games in 2019, pushing the timeline past at least that March. The Oak View Group plan calls for a 19-month timeline to complete design drawings, and secure discretionary approvals and construction permits, along with a 20-month building timeline.

Syndicated from the QueenAnneNews.com. Photo source: The Seattle Times

City Announces Next Steps on Backyard Cottage Proposal

By Joe Veyera

Months after the hearing examiner ruled in favor of the Queen Anne Community Council in their appeal of a proposal to ease regulations on building backyard cottages and mother-in-law units, the city has announced its next steps on the issue.

In a blog post late last month, Seattle City Councilmember Mike O’Brien wrote that after a “thorough examination” of the decision, the city will pursue a full environmental impact statement to look deeply into the potential impacts of code changes.

In the post, O’Brien said the EIS process will likely take a year to complete, and that there will be multiple opportunities for residents to voice their opinions during that period.

O’Brien originally introduced a proposal last year that would have allowed properties to have both an attached accessory dwelling unit (ADU) and detached accessory dwelling unit (DADU) on the same lot, removed the off-street parking requirement, removed the owner-occupancy requirement after one year, reduced the minimum lot size for a DADU to 3,200 sq. ft., and increased the allowable floor area for a DADU from 800 to 1,000 sq. ft. Opponents of the proposal raised concerns that the potential environmental impacts weren’t adequately studied, and the hearing examiner ruled that the city’s determination of non-significance in relation to the State Environmental Policy Act was not based on sufficient information to evaluate potential impacts. Meanwhile, proponents of the original effort labeled the Community Council’s efforts as obstructionist, something they firmly denied.

The hope, O’Brien wrote, is to bring legislation to the Planning, Land Use, and Zoning Committee by the middle of the next year.

“I believe lowering the barriers to creating backyard cottages and in-law apartments is an important part of addressing affordability across the city, and am looking forward to continuing to pursue this legislation,” O’Brien wrote in the post.

Syndicated from QueenAnneNews.com. Photo source.