By Jack Stubbs
“The project passed unanimously on Wednesday evening, and overall we had really good feedback from the board. [The board members] thought we had considered all of the design elements that had been brought up at the EDG meeting,” said Tejal Pastakia.
On Wednesday, December 13th, a 93-unit development in Seattle’s Interbay neighborhood was unanimously approved by the west design review board to proceed to the next stage of the design process. At the meeting, the applicant team—civil engineer KPFF, landscape architect Weismann Design Group and Urbal Architecture—presented updated project plans on behalf of Pastakia Real Estate Development and Teutsch Partners LLC, who are co-developing the project.
The applicant team was presenting updated project plans for the apartment complex, which was previously reviewed at an Early Design Guidance (EDG) meeting held on February 15th, 2017.
The project, located at 3008 16th Ave. W., calls for an 8-story apartment building—with a gross floor area of 80,700 square feet—that will also include 47 parking spaces. According to the submitted project plans, the main project objectives are to transform a current dead-end area into a pedestrian-friendly thoroughfare and activate the street-level experience; create residential units that provide views and natural light; and create a development that connects with adjacent green spaces and parks. Through appropriate scale, transparency, programming and material selection, the applicant team hopes that the development will become a “jewel box” for the Interbay neighborhood.
At the meeting, the applicant team responded to various design elements highlighted during the EDG meeting in February, including the development’s massing—specifically the relationship between the proposed rooftop amenity area and the surrounding neighborhood context—and its choice of design materials. Additionally, another design element that was emphasized during the meeting—which was brought at the prior EDG meeting—was the development’s blank facades, signage and landscaping, and how the building’s exterior would enable it to conform with the surrounding neighborhood context. Finally, the applicant team discussed how it had integrated additional wayfinding elements into the building’s design, per the board’s comments and had incorporated a refined landscaping design at street-level to encourage more of a “wilderness” element highlighted by the board.
There were no public comments expressed during the meeting.
Overall, the West review board expressed its approval of the development and the applicant team’s updated project plans, according to Design Review Planner Sean Conrad. “The board was generally happy with the building articulation and how the concepts were carried through,” he said. According to Tejal Pastakia of Pastaka Real Estate Development, the design review board also expressed its support for the building’s design and color and material selection.
However, the board did highlight two conditions for the applicant team to further integrate into the project designs moving forward, concerning the building’s exterior elements—landscaping and signage—and the articulation of an overhang, a prominent architectural feature of the building. Specifically, the board asked the applicant team to consider the architectural cornice detailing along the building’s exterior edge and wanted the applicant team to further emphasize these design elements in the project plans as it awaits a decision on its submitted Master Use Permit application. The board also asked the applicant to continue working with its Land Use planner on the building’s signage and branding and further enhance the landscaping elements of the development moving forward.
As it awaits a decision on its Master Use Permit from the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspection, the applicant team will work on integrating the conditions articulated by the board.