By Kate Snyder
A proposal that would bring an affordable housing complex to Seattle’s Georgetown neighborhood is moving forward in the master use permitting process. During a recommendation meeting on Tuesday, the Southeast Design Review Board approved a plan for an eight-story, 152-unit apartment building with eight live-work units as well as retail space.
The project developer is a partnership between the nonprofit organization Georgetown Community Development Authority, property owner TWG Development and Seattle-based design firm Jackson Main Architecture. The landscape architect is KLLA Landscape Architects, Inc., which is based in Sammamish.
The project is located at 402 S Lucile St. and would combine that address with 406, 412 and 416 S Lucile St. as well as 5412 and 5416 4th Ave S. Plans show that the proposed building would total approximately 118,000 square feet with 152 units that break down into 144 residential units and eight live/work units. The residential units would be a mix of studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom configurations. Amenity space would include an on-grade courtyard. There is also 3,705 square feet of street front retail use planned as well as parking for nine vehicles and building services located along the alley.
Steve Schmitz, architect at Jackson Main Architecture, presented details about the project to the board and highlighted how the building would fit into the changing landscape in Georgetown as the area moves in the direction of affordability and greater mixed-use development throughout the neighborhood.
“This building is in a neighborhood that is transitioning toward affordability for the greater community and embracing the change that is sweeping Seattle today, including massive amounts of affordable housing needs protected into the future,” Schmitz said. “This is trying to meet that need and exceed it with great amenity spaces as well as a variety of uses on the frontages and activation of the streets themselves.”
The site is currently developed with single-family homes on each of the parcels that would be included in the project, Schmitz told board members. Those existing homes would be demolished before any construction began.
“The neighborhood of Georgetown has historically been a place of residency, a place of affordability and a place that has been called home for eons since before settlement began in the late 1800s,” Schmitz said. “The current development pattern is represented today with a mix of single-family homes as well as industrial and commercial uses. This mix is transitioning as we speak, and our project is anticipating further development and growth as well as affordable uses as part of a new mixed-use neighborhood south of the SoDo and downtown districts and in the Duwamish River Valley.”
The nearly half-acre site is in a zone that mandates a housing affordability requirement, according to The Registry’s previous reporting. The Georgetown Community Development Authority also owns several parcels in the region that can be developed for such purposes.
The Georgetown Community Development Authority, or the Watershed Community Development, is a non-profit organization based in the neighborhood with a mission to create
homes and workspaces for artists, artisans, local workers and strengthen existing community bonds, project plans show.
TWG Development is a multifamily real estate developer with a focus on affordable housing. The proposal shows that TWG has 100 housing communities across the United States, most of which are affordable partnered with local non-profit agencies.
Board members thought the design overall worked well, though several recommended conditions were included as part of the approval. For the screening on the south-facing courtyard, the board conditioned a certain level of visibility between two and eight feet from the street to the courtyard and the live/work units. The board also included as a condition more lighting in the courtyard for safety and functionality purposes. Maintenance of the brick at the podium level was another condition made by the board.