Category Archives: News

Irish Eyes Are Smiling! Seattle Center’s Festal presents the 2018 Irish Festival

With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, there’s no better time to celebrate the beauty and depth of the Irish culture, and Seattle Center’s Festal is gearing up to do just that!

Head to Seattle Center on Saturday, March 17th and Sunday, March 18th and find a serious taste of the Emerald Isle right here in the heart of in the Emerald City. Festal’s Irish Festival will bring to life a multifaceted, in-depth adventure through Ireland, its history and traditions, no passport necessary.

Enjoy a fun and fascinating exploration of Irish cultural heritage, past and present, through visual arts, live performance, games, activities, and of course, food! Explore the market place featuring Irish handicrafts, live Irish music and that famous and oh-so-impressive Irish step dancing.

Do you have the luck of the Irish? Find out by tracing your own roots in geology workshops (yes! That’s at the festival!), and learn a bit of the Celtic language while you’re at it. The festival also promises Irish movies and short films, cultural exhibits and live demonstrations and maybe even a few Irish celebrities!


Festal is a series of multi-cultural events presented by and at the Seattle Center each year. Now in its 21st year, Festal continues to shine a light on the beauty and majesty of cultures across the globe by showcasing their rich and complex traditions, histories, art, music, dance, food and much more. Festal’s Irish Festival is presented in partnership with the Irish Heritage Club of Seattle.


Whether you’re looking to learn more about your own heritage, wanting to learn more about Ireland and its culture in general, or you’re simply tired of leprechauns and green beer and looking for a more authentic experience, Festal’s Irish Festival is sure to be a fun and fabulous way to spend your St. Patty’s Day weekend.

Seattle Center Festál
Irish Festival
March 17-18, 2018
Armory Main Level

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 and enter project number 3025946. 

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Queen Anne Real Estate Report – November 2017

The Seattle real estate market is still one of the most talked about in the nation. Though that hasn’t changed, many home prices have. There were 63 sales in the Queen Anne neighborhood last month, 31 single-family homes and 32 condos.

Sold this year by Ewing and Clark

As Seattle grows, so does the value of the homes. The median sales price for a single-family home jumped from $935,000 (Nov. 2016) to $1,042,000 (Nov. 2017). The average selling price was $1,346,971 and the average listing price was $1,390,692. The highest sold listing was $6,200,000, compared to $2,850,000 in November 2016.

Condominium sales in Queen Anne continue to rise in price. The median sales price increased from $352,500 (Nov. 2016) to $467,500 (Nov. 2017). The average selling price was $524,075. The highest sold condo was recorded at $1,175,000 and the lowest was $179,000.

There are currently 42 active listings and 60 pending.


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, 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 and enter project number 3026027.

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