Home AEC 204-Unit Apartment Project in Seattle’s Beacon Hill Neighborhood Approved at EDG Meeting

204-Unit Apartment Project in Seattle’s Beacon Hill Neighborhood Approved at EDG Meeting

Seattle, Beacon Hill, SoDo, Kamiak Real Estate, Southeast Design Review Board, Workshop AD, Garlic Gulch
Courtesy of Workshop AD

By Jack Stubbs

Seattle’s Beacon Hill neighborhood, located just east of the SoDo neighborhood, has seen the advancement of a number of new residential developments in the last few quarters and recently saw another endeavor progress past the first stage of the city’s Design Review process.

At an Early Design Guidance (EDG) meeting on January 10th, the Southeast Design Review Board approved a 204-unit project – spearheaded by developer Kamiak Real Estate and Seattle-based architecture firm Workshop AD – to advance to the Master Use Permit (MUP) phase of Design Review.

The proposed development, located at 2103 S. Holgate Street, sits in an evolving neighborhood of transition, with several new and pending large-scale projects in the works, notes the applicant team’s design proposal, and the diverse existing development consists mainly of light industry, multifamily residential, retail and local businesses.

The seven-story mixed-use apartment building, which will consist of studios and one- and two-bedroom units, will pursue LEED Gold Certification. The first story includes a residential entry and lobby, amenity areas, bicycle parking, solid waste storage, and commercial space, while the proposal for the roof entails an outdoor amenity area, a vegetated roof and solar.

The site for the proposed development sits at the confluence of North Beacon Hill and the Rainier Valley, which is an evolving area with a rich history, as the applicant’s proposal details.

“The site is in a neighborhood that has been enriched through various waves of immigration over the years. Historically, the neighborhood was largely Italian and the site is just southwest of what was known as Garlic Gulch. In the early part of the twentieth century, the area was lightly settled with homes and family farms…Two of the last remaining Italian businesses in the [Rainier] Valley are now gone.”

During the EDG meeting, the applicant proposed three different architectural massing concepts, the first of which is organized around an interior courtyard, with the building mass expressed as a singular form. The second massing concept is organized around two courtyards of varying depths, resulting in “vertical differentiation and setback to express a base, middle and top.”

The board approved the third (preferred) option, which emphasizes further activation of the streetscape and street-level uses through landscaping features. 

“Alternative C is organized around two west-facing courtyards that provide light and air to ten dwelling units per floor…As an extension of the public realm, the north courtyard reaches to street level as an active residential entry space…these landscaped courtyards differentiate the building mass into three forms of similar proportion and provide sixteen street and eight alley fronting units per floor,” the proposal states.

Having seen its project approved by the Southeast Design Review Board, the applicant team will now apply for a MUP and return in the coming months for a recommendation meeting.