The Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections is reviewing a Master Use Permit application for two new mixed-use apartment buildings at 225 Roy St. It’s the latest plan for the site, which is located on the north side of the Seattle Center.
The proposed development includes one eight-story building and one seven-story building containing a total of 269 residential units and covering nearly 300,000 square feet.
Under the new plan proposed by Seattle-based barrientos RYAN, the buildings would include below-grade parking spaces for 185 vehicles—a feature that will cover 6,488 square feet. A total of 8,787 square feet of street-level retail space is also planned.
The Roy Street development will include a broad mix of apartment sizes to serve a diverse community, including those who qualify for affordable housing, the project’s developer said in its 96-page Early Design Guidance application that was recently submitted to the city.
A key feature of the project depends on a pending Mandatory Housing Affordability upzone.
“The building’s height is based on the proposed rezone,” said Wendy Shark, senior public relations specialist with the City of Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections in an email to The Registry on Monday.
At an event held July 12, City of Seattle Mayor Ed Murray recommended a zoning change for the entire Uptown neighborhood that would more than double the building height limit to 85 feet from the current building height limit of 40 feet. The Seattle City Council will consider that change next month with anticipated passage of an ordinance in the fall, said Jason Kelly, communications director for the Office of Planning and Community Development. The city is recommending an upzone to SM-SLU (Seattle Mixed-South Lake Union) to allow an 85-foot height limit.
An earlier proposal for the building from April of 2017 for the site had caused concern for some nearby community residents. One of the biggest issues the residents had raised, which was nearly unanimous, was the mass of the building. Nearby community members said the plan didn’t fit the rest of the neighborhood and will be the first and only 85 foot building in an otherwise 40 foot, low-rise community. Other residents were concerned over the building blocking sunlight into their apartments. Several people who lived at 200 Roy spoke up at the meeting to say they were afraid the building would limit the amount of natural sunlight that comes into their units, particularly in the winter time when they are wanting it the most.
One resident said the building seems out of character for the neighborhood and added, “I don’t think anyone is going to love this building.”
“The project was looking at a couple of different alternatives of different heights,” said Jason Kelly. “The [225 Roy St.] proposal has evolved, as the city’s proposed zoning changes have evolved.”
Deborah Frausto, chair of the Uptown Alliance UDF Committee, spoke in favor of the rezone proposal at a city event held two weeks ago, as did Council member Rob Johnson (District 4, Northeast Seattle) and Council member Sally Bagshaw (District 7, Pioneer Square to Magnolia), according to a city press release.
The proposed 225 Roy Street project is bordered by Roy Street to the north, Third Avenue North to the east, Second Avenue North to the west and Mercer Street to the south. The proposed development is located near existing multifamily complexes and commercial and office spaces and the Mercer Street Parking Garage. The proposed development is also located near several art and community-related landmarks, including the Seattle Repertory Theatre, the Cornish Playhouse and the 2,900-seat Marion Oliver McCaw Hall.
“The design and planning takeaway: The site will serve the vital function of providing a transition from the institutional campus plan of Seattle Center to the varied retail and residential qualities of Lower Queen Anne” community, according to the the developer’s plan, which adds that “the focus on connectivity is [the] primary goal for the project.”
Architects GGLO Design and Hewitt landscape architects are also involved in the 225 Roy Street proposal.
Since the 1962 World’s Fair, Uptown has been a hub of Seattle arts and culture with the largest concentration of diverse organizations that range from independent artists to major music concerts.
The Managing Partner and Principal of barrientos RYAN, Maria Barrientos, could not be reached for comment about her company’s development plan for 225 Roy Street.