By Jack Stubbs
On Tuesday, February 27th, a 66-unit development in Seattle’s up-and-coming Beacon Hill neighborhood was unanimously approved to proceed to the next stage of the city’s Design Review process at a Design Review Recommendation (DRR) meeting.
At the meeting, the applicant, architect Signal Architecture + Research, presented updated project plans on behalf of Landmark Property Holdings, the developer of the project. Architect Berger Partnership and architect El Dorado Inc. are also on the project team.
The development was previously reviewed by the Southeast Design Review Board at an EDG meeting held in September 2016, and the applicant team made various changes to the project plans since the last EDG meeting. Some of these alterations included reducing the building’s massing along Beacon Ave. S.; refining the materiality and exterior facade to better fit the neighborhood context; and further encouraging pedestrian interaction with the building along the adjacent streetscape.
The project, located at 2912 Beacon Ave. S., calls for the construction of a 66-unit development that will include 2,000 square feet of amenity space, 1,700 square feet of storefront commercial space and a rooftop area. Additionally, the project requires approximately 4,000 square feet of mechanical and building support and includes 14 below-ground parking stalls, according to the submitted project plans.
The primary goals of the project are to create a development that successfully responds to the neighborhood context of Beacon Hill; enhance the pedestrian experience along Beacon Avenue; provide a retail destination for local neighborhood residents; and emphasize safety and security with the development along Beacon Ave., a prominent thoroughfare in the neighborhood.
According to the applicant team’s submitted project plans, the Beacon Hill neighborhood is characterized by a high level community involvement and engagement in local planning through various neighborhood action groups such as the Beacon Hill Family Bicycle and Pedestrian Circulation Plan, the 7-acre ‘food forest’ on the western edge of Jefferson Park, and the neighborhood-wide “Beacon Art Walkabout” hosted by Beacon Arts several times a year.
The project plans also emphasize how, with rapid population growth occurring throughout Seattle—and the introduction of the Light rail station on Beacon Ave. S.—the proposed development conforms with the design character of the Beacon Hill neighborhood and also meets the demand for more housing.
Much of the board’s feedback and comments during the meeting focused on how the development would fit into the neighborhood context, according to Bryan Stevens, customer service manager with the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections. Specifically, the Southeast board commended the applicant team on the immense amount of effort put into designing a building that would set a positive precedent for future development within the Beacon Hill Neighborhood.
Additionally, the board expressed its support for the applicant team’s selection of materials for the development, also voicing its approval of the unique entry design of the building along Beacon Ave. The board also voiced its support of the building design—and how the development complimented the nearby Light Rail station—specifically the attention that the applicant team had given to the relationship between the development and the pedestrian experience along the adjacent streetscape.
Since the development was given the green light to proceed to the next stage of the design process, the next step of the process is for SDCI to issue a formal written decision on the proposed development.