By Jack Stubbs
A new mixed-use development is on the way to Seattle’s Eastlake neighborhood.
On Wednesday, May 9th, a 56-unit development to the east of Lake Union was given the green light to proceed at an Early Design Guidance (EDG) meeting. At the meeting, Neiman Taber Architects presented preliminary plans to the review board on behalf of Build Urban, the developer of the project. The project team also includes Chadwick & Winters Land Surveying and Mapping.
The development, located at 2334 Franklin Ave E., is a three-story structure that will include 56 condominium units (half of which will be small efficiency dwelling units), an interior courtyard area and a rooftop equipped with solar panels. Two single-family residents will be demolished as part of the applicant’s project plans.
Beginning the applicant team’s presentation, David Neiman discussed the primary objectives of the project, which include creating affordable, efficient and high-quality housing; maximizing natural light and privacy for residents; transitioning successfully from the adjacent streetscape; and implementing an energy-efficient, sustainable design. Neiman also discussed the neighborhood context around the site—including the different single-family building types—and the pros and cons of the various proposed massing options. The applicant also emphasized how it had made significant design efforts to maintain the privacy of the building’s residents in relation to adjacent properties.
During the clarifying question period of the meeting, board member Melissa Alexander asked the applicant to elaborate on how the design of the development would be influenced by surrounding multifamily dwellings in the Eastlake neighborhood. The board also requested more information about the different massing options and how the proposed courtyard area would fit into the rest of the project plans, also asking the applicant to elaborate on the privacy studies that it had conducted. Board member Barbara Busetti inquired about zoning issues relating to the relatively small size of the units, and also expressed concern that the ground-level units might not have adequate access to natural light.
During its deliberation period, the board talked at length about the applicant’s different massing options and how the development would relate to the adjacent streetscape. The board also discussed the importance of ensuring the privacy of the building’s residents in relation to surrounding residential buildings. Finally, the board agreed that the applicant team would need to provide more detailed plans about how the proposed lobby, courtyard area and rooftop would be programmed and integrate more landscaping elements along the streetscape.