By Jack Stubbs
As the city of Seattle continues to grow and densify, the Rainier Valley continues to be a hub of activity, but one project will not yet proceed to the next stage of the city’s design review process.
On Thursday, July 26th, a 139-unit project in North Rainier Valley was asked to return for a second Early Design Guidance (EDG) meeting. At the initial EDG meeting, project applicant Hybrid Architecture presented preliminary project plans to the board on behalf of the project developer.
The project, called the “Genoa Apodments,” is located at 2000 23rd Ave S. in the Atlantic neighborhood in Seattle’s Rainier Valley. The development will provide 139 units as a mix of congregate and small-efficiency dwelling units, as well as 105 bicycle parking stalls and shared amenity lounge areas. An older commercial building on the site will be demolished as part of the project plans.
The primary design objectives, according to the applicant team’s submitted project plans, are to create a welcoming courtyard environment; successfully activate the adjacent streetscape; provide a variety of efficient dwelling units; establish a sense of privacy along 23rd and Rainier Avenues; and create a project that is ecological and sustainable through the use of bio-planters, efficient materials and various green spaces.
Targeted for single residents, the hope is that the project will address the need for affordable, market-rate rental product in the Atlantic neighborhood, where 57.5 percent of the households are single-occupant. The project plans indicate how Atlantic, along with many other neighborhoods in Seattle, has experienced significant densification over the past decade, with much of the city’s traditional single-family building stock becoming transformed into denser multi-family townhouse, apartment and condominium developments.
The board ultimately recommended that the project return for a second EDG meeting, according to Wendy Shark, public relations specialist with the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections. In terms of feedback to the applicant, the board recommended that the project team work on creating a hybrid massing of Options 1 and 3, and noted the importance of having a prominent building entry off 23rd Avenue. Additionally, the board recommended that the applicant configure the larger open space courtyard at the corner of the site to be highly visible and activated, and also suggested that the applicant seek input from the surrounding community to inform the relevant cultural place-making elements of the project.