A residential project that was proposing to deliver 67 residential units to the Ballard neighborhood in Seattle did not get approval this week by the Design Review Board, and it was asked to reconsider the development and return with a new proposal.
The project is located at 6416 15th Ave. NW in Seattle, across the street from Ballard High School on the corner of NW 65th Street and 15th Ave. NW. Developer Pryde Johnson is looking to rezone a 15,000 square foot lot that would bring a 65-foot tall development with 67 units, 34 parking stalls and just under 3,000 square feet of retail space. Pryde Johnson is working with Clark Design Group and Fazio Associates for landscape architecture.
One of the more significant aspects of the site is that it is located at the northeast corner of the Ballard Hub Urban Village. The Seattle 2035 neighborhood plan has targeted this area to provide a community with housing types that range from single-family to moderate-density multifamily, according to the proposal.
On top of that, the 15th Ave. corridor is major transit thoroughfare in the neighborhood to points in downtown Seattle. The future light rail transit expansion studies have identified two stops in Ballard that will be located along 65th Street.
At the start of Clark Design’s presentation, the design review board was engaged and genuinely interested in the development. The architect went over the project details, the different massing options and provided an overview of the changes made in the development since the initial feedback was received from the city.
During the public comment period, only one person spoke, an architect that lives in the neighborhood, who expressed a concern about the size of the development and how it would fit in with the rest of the neighborhood. It was this exact point that board member Mark Angelillo caught on, as well. He was the first one to really push the board in the direction of the discussion, which initially only considered minor issues, such as the railing, the garage door and the choice of brick color in the project. However, once Angelillo moved the discussion into the question of neighborhood fit, the rest of the board took his lead and started to push back on the development overall.
Very quickly into the board deliberation, the group voted on the need for a next meeting and unanimously agreed that this was the best next step in the process.
Finally, the board did provide a number of feedback items for the architect to consider ahead of the next meeting, the most important of which is the scale of the project vis-a-vis the community. Board member Angelillo declared that he was not in support of any of the departures in the project’s present form; board member Chris Bell expressed his concern about the design that featured three stories over two, visually, and asked the designers to reconsider that; Emily McNichols, another member of the board, did not like railing choices and variety.
The next meeting has not been set, yet, and the rendering above will certainly be transformed as Pryde Johnson and Clark Design Group look to reshape the development further.