By Jack Stubbs
A new development in North Rainier was recently approved at at the initial stage of the city’s design review process.
On Tuesday, January 30th, a 60-unit development was approved at an Early Design Guidance meeting. At the meeting, applicant MAS Architecture presented preliminary plans on behalf of Mercer Island-based Jabooda Homes Inc., the developer of the project.
Located at 2007 South State St., the development calls for the construction of a 6-story mixed-use development containing 60 residential units, 4,200 square feet of ground-level commercial space and a rooftop deck.
Kicking off the presentation, Seth Hale of MAS Architecture outlined the development objectives for the project: the applicant hopes to create a development that acts as a gateway to Rainier Valley; provide an attractive mixed use development with market rate housing and ground-level commercial space; and activate the streetscape along S. State St, according to the project plans.
Hale also articulated the priority design guidelines for the project, which include the development’s location on the corner of State St. and the building’s height, bulk and scale. Moving forward, the applicant also aims to consider central design elements including accessibility throughout the site, safety and security along the adjacent streetscape, and planning for a transit stop slated for near the site on Rainier Ave. South. Additionally, the project plans also include artwork on the exterior facade.
Most of the board’s comments focused on how the development related to its surrounding neighborhood context. Board member David Sauvion asked about the transition between the development and the adjacent streetscape, also asking the applicant team how it planned to program the planned commercial space in the development. Board member Carey Dagliano Holmes asked the applicant to elaborate on its plans for the building’s exterior, also asking the team how it would emphasize the “gateway” element in the project plans. Finally, board member Don Caffrey asked the applicant team whether it had any plans to include bike parking in the development.
There were two public comments expressed during the meeting. One audience member expressed how parking should be a major point of concern in the development moving forward, while the second comment urged the applicant to focus on meeting environmental and sustainability goals with the development.
During its deliberation period, the board again discussed how the development would fit into the surrounding neighborhood. Board member Dagliano Holmes expressed a concern that the proposed “gateway” element wasn’t clearly emphasized in the project plans, while board member Sauvignon expressed that the building’s massing and exterior facade was not yet refined enough.
In light of these design issues, the board suggested that the applicant team provide more information about landscaping plans for the development and also recommended that the applicant team focus on potential safety and security issues along the streetscape. Finally, the board suggested that the applicant team and consider the 2010 North Rainier Neighborhood Plan relating to sustainability goals for the development.
Having seen its project approved by the board, the applicant team will now submit a Master Use Permit to the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspection for review.