Home AEC 78-Unit Development in Lower Queen Anne Unanimously Approved at EDG Meeting

78-Unit Development in Lower Queen Anne Unanimously Approved at EDG Meeting

Seattle, Weinstein A+U, Karen Kiest Landscape Architects, Early Design Guidance meeting, Uptown neighborhood, Land Use code
Rendering courtesy of Weinstein A+U

By Jack Stubbs

On Wednesday, August 1st, a 78-unit development slated for Lower Queen Anne in Seattle was given the green light at an Early Design Guidance (EDG) meeting, at which project applicant Weinstein A+U presented preliminary plans to the west review board on behalf of developer Re Form LLC. Karen Kiest Landscape Architects is also on the project team.

The 8-story development, located at 110 1st Ave W. in the Uptown area on the edge of Queen Anne, calls for the construction of a 78-unit structure that will include street-level commercial space, as well as a resident lobby, roof deck and 23 parking stalls across two below-grade levels. The site is currently occupied by a surface parking lot and two parking pay stations, which would be demolished as part of the project plans.

Beginning the applicant team’s presentation, Rob Kiker with Weinstein A+U discussed the primary development objectives and the neighborhood context around the site. The hope is that the project—meant to serve as a gateway into the Queen Anne neighborhood—will successfully activate the streetscape along 1st Ave. through appropriate retail uses and landscaping elements, and provide a development with an appropriately-scaled facade that will create a positive street-level experience for pedestrians.

The applicant discussed the pros and cons of the three proposed massing options and emphasized how the preferred option would most successfully activate 1st Ave. W. through the use of landscaping elements. The applicant also emphasized how the decision to locate the parking stalls below-grade would impact the project plans—the applicant is requesting a Departure from the city’s Land Use code—particularly in relation to 1st Ave.

When given the opportunity to provide clarifying inquiries about the project, most of the board’s questions focused on how the plans for parking would impact the building in relation to the surrounding neighborhood context. Board member Stephen Porter asked how the three massing options would impact the proposed plans for the parking stalls, also asking whether the inclusion of parking was necessary given the city’s Land Use code for the neighborhood. Board member John Morefield asked for more detailed information about the three massing options and requested more clarification on the breakdown of retail, commercial and residential space in the building.

Echoing these comments, board member Patreese Martin asked the applicant team how its preferred massing option successfully would conform with the adjacent streetscape along 1st Ave. Finally, the board also requested that the applicant elaborate on how its development would fit into the Uptown neighborhood context given the unique site characteristics of the project.

During the public comment period of the meeting, three residents of the nearby 5-story Carrera Apartments voiced various concerns with the applicant’s current plans. One resident expressed how the proposed project would negatively impact views from surrounding buildings, while another emphasized how the building’s height and scale did not fit with the adjacent streetscape, recommending the board to further consider “quality-of-life” issues relating to the development. Another neighborhood resident asked for more detailed information about the applicant’s plans for landscaping along 1st Ave. and potential traffic-related impacts.

During its deliberation period, the board focused on how the project would fit into the surrounding neighborhood context, particularly in relation to 1st Ave. The board emphasized how it would need more detailed and refined project plans for the building’s exterior facades and massing, and also supported the applicant’s preferred option. The board also recommended that the applicant work on improving the relationship between the building and adjacent alleyway and agreed that there were unresolved issues relating to parking.