By Jack Stubbs
On Tuesday, August 14th, a 104-unit high-rise building planned for Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood was given the green light at an Early Design Guidance (EDG) meeting. At the meeting, applicant CollinsWoerman presented preliminary plans to the downtown review board on behalf of developer Renova Capital Partners. Weisman Design Group Inc. is also on the project team.
The 14-story development, located at 303 Battery St. at the corner of 3rd Ave. and Battery, calls for the construction of a building with an exposed steel exoskeleton that will bring a mix of studio, one- and two-bedroom units (including 25 affordable housing units). The team is also working in conjunction with homebuilder Sustainable Living Innovations in order to limit construction waste and construction time on the site and integrate various on-site renewable energy elements into the structure to create a Net-Zero energy building.
The building will look to comply with the Living Building Pilot program in order to become one of the first Net-Zero energy high-rise projects.
Beginning the applicant team’s presentation, CollinsWoerman discussed the neighborhood context around the site and the primary development objectives for the project—some of the priority neighborhood design guidelines for the development are to successfully respond to the surrounding physical environment and neighborhood context and promote pedestrian street-level interaction.
The applicant also presented the pros and cons of the team’s three different massing options and emphasized how the preferred option’s facade would best activate the streetscape along 3rd Avenue and allow for the best unit orientation and programming.
During the clarification period of the meeting, most of the board’s questions focused on how the applicant planned to program various elements of the project. Board member Aaron Argyle asked for more information about the preferred massing option, also asking the applicant to elaborate on the relationship between the proposed building and Battery Street. Board member Aaron Luoma requested more detailed plans about the orientation and layout of the residential units and how the applicant would incorporate landscaping elements along the adjacent street.
During its deliberation period, the board focused on how the design of the building would allow it to fit within the surrounding neighborhood context. The board agreed that the applicant would need to refine its plans for the building’s exterior facades and further explore the relationship between the ground-level units and Battery Street. The board also emphasized the the applicant would need to work on ensuring the privacy of residents in the ground-level units and further refine the design of the exterior exoskeleton.