By Meghan Hall
A new residential project pitched by a veteran development team is well on its way to becoming reality. At a recent design recommendation meeting, J. Selig Real Estate LLC, affiliated with Jordan Selig, and architecture firm Mithun, presented their plans for 2501 NW Market Street in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood. The project team received support from the Northwest Design Review Board, who subsequently voted to move the project forward.
Currently, the property is an underutilized industrial site, but the development team intends to transform it to accommodate higher and better uses. In all, the development will include 110 units, of which 7 will be studios, 85 will be one-bedrooms, and 18 will be two-bedrooms. 4,585 square feet of commercial space, as well as 67 parking spots, are also planned. Units will be catered towards those with a mix of incomes, according to project plans.
The meeting centered around just one design scheme, dubbed “Terraced,” in which the massing is set back from the street at the upper stories. The residential entrance, lobby and commercial space are all located along Market Street, while further visual interest is added via five ground floor apartments along 54th street. Project documents indicate that the scheme will create a “rich character and multiple opportunities for large outdoor spaces,” while the varying building volumes work to relate to the smaller scale of the rest of the neighborhood.
The project team hopes that the massing will both acknowledge the traditional, more historic, architecture along Ballard Avenue and its more modern, waterfront industrial character.
“The resulting massing exercises architectural character, material application, and form to complement the growing urban village, the nearby Ballard Avenue landmark character area, and acknowledge the adjacent industrial uses located along the waterfront,” design documents explain.
Since the project’s previous early design guidance meeting, or EDG, Mithun and Jordan Selig have made several updates to the project’s design. The western mass of the project now has a shorter base height to transition better to adjacent architecture, and an upper level setback along Market Street has been added. The setback will follow the datum of the neighboring Ballard Yards. Building notches have been incorporated to increase space along the pedestrian realm.
The project team also discussed its proposed materials palette, which would be “restrained” and “neutral.” A dark gray brick will be the primary material used on the exterior of the building, while wood infill panels and soffits will serve as an accent. Darker mullions will also compliment the brick and anchor both the windows and the storefront. Large windows will have their own place, and have been “carefully proportioned…to give a nice animated contrast to the solid material palette.”
The board was supportive of the design’s evolution since EDG, noting that the massing created strong relationships to its context and transitioned well to other properties in the neighborhood. The board also noted that at the ground level, the added insets should be utilized as commercial spill-out spaces to enhance pedestrian activity. The board also recommended specific dimensions for the inlets to increase their success.
The board was also supportive of the materials selected, including the brick, wood and window recesses, and it also backed a departure relating to parking access for the site. The board had a few other minor suggestions–such as working with SDOT to add planters and dedicated pedestrian paths–but had no major qualms about the project, and therefore approved the development to move forward.
With approval in hand, Jordan Selig and Mithun can now work to secure the rezone and Master Use Permit needed to move forward with the project.