Home AEC 170-Unit Apartment Building to Fill in “Missing Tooth” Along Lake Union Waterfront

170-Unit Apartment Building to Fill in “Missing Tooth” Along Lake Union Waterfront

Pastakia Real Estate, Board & Vellum, Seattle, 1405 Dexter Ave. N.
Pastakia Real Estate, Board & Vellum, Seattle, 1405 Dexter Ave. N.

By Meghan Hall

A new residential project situated on the edge of Queen Anne Hill and the South Lake Union Urban Center will continue to add to the vast redevelopment that has occurred along the Dexter Avenue corridor in the coming months as entitlements near completion. The proposed project, located at 1405 Dexter Ave., has been proposed by Seattle-based Pastakia Real Estate Development and architecture firm Board & Vellum. Upon completion, the development would bring 167 apartment units as well as five live/work units to market, adding to a slew of recently-completed residential development around the neighborhood.

The project was presented to the West Design Review Board at a Design Recommendation Meeting (DRM) at the end of June. According to public records, it had been nearly two years since the project had been formally reviewed by the Board, and at the meeting the development team presented their updated schematics for the project.

The project’s design was ultimately influenced by the rapid redevelopment of Dexter Avenue in recent years. Today, the neighborhood is highly walkable and development immediately surrounding the project site is residential or mixed-use in character.

“The Dexter Ave corridor has been undergone vast redevelopment in the last few years extending north from the South Lake Union neighborhood. This new development is primarily mixed-use apartment buildings with a ground level mix of live/work units and classic retail,” Pasatkia Real estate and Board & Vellum state in project documents.

Given this developmental context, the project team is aiming to design a pedestrian-oriented, and modern building that will blend with not just the larger developments in the area to the south, but the smaller infill projects and single-family residences located just to the north.

“The scale of these projects varies in size from block-sized development such as the Leeward and True North Apartments, to smaller infill multi-family including Westlake Steps Apartments and Anchor Flats,” the project team added. “The resulting architectural character is contemporary and indicative of a lot of recent mid-rise development throughout the city of Seattle…The projects use a variety of façade articulation strategies including coplanar material shifts in color, or pattern as well as expressed frame elements while maintaining relatively simple massing. There is a prevalence of fiber cement siding and an emerging precedent for wood or color accents.

The project’s updated designs presented in June continued to build upon the initial schemes approved two years ago at a previous early design guidance meeting. The design team described the development as filling in a “missing tooth” in the Dexter Avenue urban fabric.

Three massing elements make up the façade of the building: a corner tower, base and gasket, and floating boxes. The corner volume moves all the way down to grade, anchoring the corner, and all elements are clad in varying materials to break down the perceived massing of the building. A ground floor courtyard acts as a buffer to surrounding development, while further modulation is created through a large, upper level roof deck. 

Materials proposed include gray corrugated metal panel siding, dark color modular brick veneer, black aluminum storefronts and vinyl windows and metal doors.

“Cladding materials are discreetly applied to the major building forms in order to reinforce the overall massing strategy. Material changes on outside corners are avoided. The result is a clearly legible composition that addresses context and use,” explains the project team in design documents.

Timing for the project remains unclear and will largely depend on when Pastakia and team wrap up entitlements. However, the project is not Pastakia’s first in the Puget Sound market. The firm has also developed several other multifamily projects in Seattle, including Art House, a 139-unit urban infill project, Cue, a 91-unit development in Capitol Hill, and Zella, a 128-unit complex in nearby Queen Anne. Founded in 2010, the firm focuses almost exclusively on urban infill and mixed-use projects throughout the region.