By Jack Stubbs
Earlier this week, a 6-story apartment building was given the green light to proceed in the city’s design review process.
On Tuesday, February 27th, a 73-unit development slated for Seattle’s Rainier neighborhood was unanimously approved by the southeast Review Board. At the meeting, the applicant, Skidmore Janette Architecture Planning Design, presented preliminary project plans on behalf of Build Urban, the developer of the project.
The project, located at 3421 Rainier Ave. S., calls for the construction of a development that, along with 73 units, will also include 575 square feet of street-level commercial space and a landscaped roof deck area. Four of the units will be live-work units, according to the submitted project plans.
The applicant’s proposal also highlights how the project addresses a need for affordable housing within the North Rainier neighborhood. One of the main objectives of the development is to reduce commuting time and keep people within the city’s urban neighborhoods rather than the outlying suburbs. The project is roughly one mile south of Seattle’s Mt. Baker neighborhood and roughly 1.5 miles from North Beacon Hill. The priority design guidelines for the project include emphasizing the architectural character of the building; emphasizing its connection to the adjacent streetscape; and enhancing the pedestrian experience along Rainier Ave. South.
During its deliberation period, the board mainly focused on the applicant team’s three proposed massing options, according to Bryan Stevens, customer service manager with the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections. The board also emphasized the need for the small efficiency dwelling units to provide adequate light, air and amenity space for the residents.
Having seen its project approved by the board, the applicant team will now submit a Master Use Permit for the city to review.
The new development in the pipeline adds to an already-active multifamily market in the area. According to a fourth quarter 2017 Seattle Development Pipeline Report written by the Seattle Apartment Team of Colliers International, there are currently 7,112 units in the Beacon Hill/Columbia City/Hillman City neighborhoods, with another 949 units expected to deliver over the next 5 years and 151 units expected over the next 12 months.
In the shorter term, there are 219 units expected in second quarter 2018. Looking ahead, there are 850 units under construction and roughly 2,200 units planned or permitted, according to the report. Some of the other recently-competed developments in the submarket include Harlow Heights, a 39-unit project built in 2017, and Mercy Othello Plaza, a 108-unit project also built in 2017.