Home AEC Historic Franklin Apartments in Belltown to get 24-Story Residential Tower Addition

Historic Franklin Apartments in Belltown to get 24-Story Residential Tower Addition

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Franklin Apartments, Studio 19 Architects, CallisonRTKL, Belltown
Proposal for 4th & Bell | Rendering: Studio 19 Architects/CallisonRTKL

By Brittan Jenkins

Plans for the 24-story tower proposed at 2302 4th Ave. in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood were presented to the Seattle Design Review Board at a Tuesday night meeting. Developer and owner TeamRise Group along with Seattle-baed architects Studio 19 Architects and Los Angeles-based CallisonRTKL gave their presentation of the project dubbed 4th & Bell, which sits at the intersection of the two streets and includes the historic Franklin Apartments. The tower also sits next door to a Seattle fire station.

The three-story and daylight basement Franklin Apartments were built in 1918 as an investment property for real estate developer Frank M. Jordan. George Lawton and Herman A. Moldenhour were the architects of the apartment building, and used a Georgian Revival style for the building. The style is often characterized by brick cladding, symmetrical facades, terra cotta lintels and sill, dentilled cornices and double-hung windows. At the time, two and three-bedroom apartments were going for $45 and $60 per month.

“Of the 28 remaining pre-World War II apartment buildings in Belltown, the Franklin ranks high in terms of retaining integrity — it is one of four that retains its exterior character defining features,” according to a 2015 Landmark Nomination Report Analysis submitted to the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board. “It represents the everyday story of middle class residents who lived in affordable housing near the center city. Early 20th apartment blocks are important to the community and greatly defines Belltown,” the report continued.

The building had been purchased by L.A. Black in 1932 and then went through a number of short-term owners in the 1940s. It was later purchased by Howard A. Close in 1973 who then sold it to its current owner, according to Seattle records.

The tower TeamRise is proposing would sit on a 19,440 square foot lot and would utilize a stepped masses approach with about 274,750 square feet. With this option, there will be 287 units with 204 parking stalls. Plans for this option also call for retail space of 8,768 square feet.

“The concept of this design option responds to the landmark buildings on both sides by creating a podium level clad with bricks and having the glass tower emerge from this base,” according to the plans.

One of the advantages to this option is that the tower would be completely off of the Franklin Building footprint, allowing for the roof of that building to be used as a large outdoor amenity area. The rooftop would be accessed from the fourth floor of the tower and would also include an amenity space of 1,450 indoors, just next to the rooftop access. Rooftops on the fourth and top floor include open viewing decks, fire pit and lounge areas, a covered outdoor kitchen bar and bbq and private seating and dining areas. The fourth floor rooftop also provides private patios for units on that level.

According to the plans, residents will be greeted by a large glass atrium at ground floor where architects have carved out space for three retail exclusive spaces and two additional retail spaces that could be used for office or amenity space. There’s also a mailroom and residential lobby on the ground floor, along with a handful of residential units.

A breakdown of the units per floor show the majority of floors, seven through 24 will have 12 units each while level six will have 11 units, level four with eight units, level three with 17 units, level two with 18 units and level one with five units.