By Jack Stubbs
A new development in the pipeline in Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood recently took its first step towards becoming a reality.
On Monday, December 4th, a 96-unit development was approved at an Early Design Guidance meeting. At the meeting, the applicant team—architect Ankrom Moisan and landscape architect Fazio Associates—presented its preliminary project plans on behalf of the developer for the project, Aegis Living, a prominent developer of assisted living and memory care facilities.
Located at 10002 Holman Rd. NW, the development is for a five-story 96-unit senior living facility that will also include a one-story below-grade parking lot with 49 stalls. The project plans submitted by the applicant team also include a 15,565 square foot indoor residential amenity area and a 1,003 square foot retail space at street-level on 9th Ave. Additionally, the project includes an exterior courtyard area for the residents of the memory care facility in the development.
One of the overarching hopes for the project is that it successfully conforms to the character of the Greenwood neighborhood. The applicant team articulated three primary project goals for the development, including its desire to create a connected and integrated assisted living community for older generations in the neighborhood; to emphasize the central architectural attributes of the Greenwood neighborhood; and to implement durable and detailed materials that draw from the architectural history of Greenwood.
Additionally, the applicant team emphasized some of the central city design guidelines that it hopes to incorporate into the assisted living facility. One of the primary considerations was the development’s location within the Greenwood neighborhood and greater Seattle—the applicant hopes that the building will draw upon the architectural cues of other developments along Holman Rd.—and encouraging human interaction at the street level.
When given the chance to provide clarifying questions, the Northwest design review board provided various points of feedback for the applicant team. Board member Keith Walzac asked about which tenant would eventually occupy the commercial retail space, also highlighting issues of way-finding and accessibility to the development. Board members Emily McNichols and Mark Angello also asked about the location of the entrances to the development, expressing concerns over the development’s entrances and how they would permit sufficient space for delivery vehicles to access the site.
No members of the public spoke during the public comment section of the meeting.
During the board’s deliberation period, central concerns included the applicant team’s three massing options for the development, exterior elements and materiality, the design and issue of accessibility to the retail space, the overall scale of the development and the relationship of the proposed courtyard to the rest of the project. The board approved the applicant’s proposed massing option and also expressed its appreciation of the development’s massing and scale.
Board member McNichols echoed the board’s sentiments, saying “I appreciate the various design element pieces; there’s some real clarity of form there.” Additionally, the board raised some logistical matters, suggesting that the applicant team further consider access points to the development and the viability of entrances. The board also suggested that, moving forward, the applicant team consider design and aesthetic elements—such as exterior landscaping—from the pedestrian perspective at street level.
Since the project plans were granted unanimous approval by the board, the applicant will now submit a Master Use Permit for the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspection to review.