By Meghan Hall
The project team behind a 131-unit residential project in Seattle’s up-and-coming Eastlake neighborhood has received the go-ahead from the East Design Review Board to move forward with Master Use Permits. In a recent early design guidance meeting (EDG), architecture firm Weinstein A+U pitched plans for 2947 Eastlake on behalf of the property owner, an entity affiliated with Seattle-based Daly Partners. The project team seeks to create a development that meshes well not just with existing development, but future projects planned in the area.
Project documents indicate that of the 131 units planned, apartments will be a mix of studio flats, one-bedroom, open one-bedroom and two-bedrooms. An on-site leasing and management office will be located at street level, as will various residential amenities. An additional terrace will be located on the roof. Commercial space within the building includes four live/work units totaling approximately 3,350 square feet, as well as a 2,865 square foot restaurant. Parking for the project is not required, but the project team intends to build 88 spaces in a subterranean parking garage.
The project’s design, according to documents, will be shaped by a number of factors. The design team aimed for the massing to respond appropriately to both existing and upcoming development, while emphasizing a strong urban edge along Eastlake Ave. E.
“The immediate vicinity around the project is undergoing a tremendous amount of change,” the project’s design packet explains. “New developments consisting of primarily mixed-use buildings will create greater density with commercial spaces activating the ground level…The project has an opportunity to be welcoming as one transitions from the bustling public life of Eastlake Avenue East to the quiet near the water.”
The documents continue, adding, “It will be especially important to activate the east, north and west sides of the project with building, open space, and landscap[ing] to aid in this transition.”
The ground floor will be inspired by the Eastlake Bar and Grill and feature a prominent commercial corner to accomplish this goal. The project team also wanted to respect the lower density structures to the west and develop amenity areas that are capable of acting as a transition to reduce the appearance of the project’s bulk and scale.
The project team’s preferred massing scheme will incorporate massing moves to help diminish the appearance of bulk on all facades. Longer facades will be broken into identifiable, but overall cohesive pieces, and the distribution of commercial and residential will help to balance the building further. The west facade will be characterized by a defined “top” and “base” that emphasizes two to three story masing movements along the facade. The building will be further broken down by decks, at-grade patios and landscaping. The main residential lobby will also be located at the southern property edge, and penthouses will be strategically placed to break the upper volume down, as well.
The Board unanimously supported the preferred massing option, noting in its deliberations that the deep facets that break down the three masses effectively help to mitigate the scale of the building. The Board, however, expressed that the Eastlake facade may need additional depth, texture or other secondary detail due to its length. The Board also questioned the height of the penthouses, and asked for further review of their layout.
The Board also agreed with the project team that the programming of the development is key to its success. While it supported the restaurant use, glazing and outdoor areas near Eastlake Ave. E and E. Allison Street, the Board asked for further development of the entry lobby so that it will foster human interaction. The Board also expressed concern about the location of the live/work units, and questioned their ability to activate Eastlake.
However, despite these concerns, they were not enough to warrant a second EDG meeting, according to the Board. Ultimately, the Board voted to move the project forward to allow the project team to apply for Master Use Permits. In the meantime, Weinstein A+U and the property owner will continue to refine the project’s design based on the Board’s guidance.