AvalonBay Communities, the Arlington, VA-based developer of apartment communities received a green light on Tuesday evening from Seattle’s Downtown Design Review Board to proceed with its proposed 210 Wall Street project in Seattle. The board, after deliberating several proposals during two prior meetings and revisions provided by the developer approved the project that will feature upon completion a 24-story mixed-use building with below-grade parking for 250 vehicles. It will have approximately 274 apartments as well as 10,000 square feet of retail space along the fist floor facing the street.
“I’m actually really proud of this design, the team’s work and how they’ve incorporated the guidance from the board and staff into the final package,” said Derek Bottles, vice president of development at AvalonBay, who is leading the project for the organization in Seattle. “I think we have a fresh and modern looking building that fits really well into Belltown, and it fits really well with the historic buildings in Belltown.”
“I think we have a fresh and modern looking building that fits really well into Belltown, and it fits really well with the historic buildings in Belltown.”
He led the discussion along with architect Jennifer Sobieraj Sanin, who is the managing principal of Ankrom Moisan Architects in Seattle, the lead design firm on the project. They provided an in-depth overview of the development and a detailed update on the comments and recommendations from the board’s prior two meetings. “I’m really happy to show you the progress we’ve made since the last time we saw you in our EDG (Early Design Guidance meeting) number 2,” she said. “We were really lucky that at EDG number 2 we had the opportunity to really present our proposed design to you and get very specific feedback on that design.”
Sanin’s presentation covered twelve points, generally grouped into three distinct groups focused on the tower, the mid-level and the pedestrian comments provided by the design review board. They focused on such details as facade treatments, the two decks on the 7th and 13th floors, an updated residential lobby entrance as well as an updated presentation of the ground floor retail, among other items.
The development is planning to bring a new and modern look to Belltown. The building, with its tiered levels will feature two green roofs, a deck at the top level and views of Seattle that will engender envy from neighboring buildings. The developers are also proposing an installment of public art that they hope will become a landmark feature of the neighborhood and a pedestrian experience that will create vibrant plantings and art features that display water conveyance, with water collected at the building’s roofs.
The public and the board members seemed pleased with the new proposals. Only two members of the public spoke during the public comment portion of the meeting; one in favor and the second asking for more clarity on noise abatement during the construction phase. The Downtown Design Review Board followed that with a unanimous approval of the project and a go ahead for the development to advance to the next phase, the Master Use Permit Application.
Apartment vacancy in Seattle’s Belltown neighborhood is roughly 4.4 percent, well below the citywide rate of 5.7 percent, according to Dupre + Scott Apartment Advisors. The Puget Sound apartment market was the first sector to recover from the recession, according to a recent Kidder Mathews report on the metro apartment market. Deliveries jumped from 7,900 to 11,146 new units in 2015, with a slightly higher number planned for 2016 and a forecasted 16,052 units for 2017. A total of 46,753 units are planned for delivery from 2016 through 2019, according to the firm.
AvalonBay’s portion of that pipeline includes 2,809 units over nine projects across the Puget Sound region that are recently finished, under construction, or planned, according to Dupre + Scott. In January the developer completed the 249-unit AVA Capitol Hill Apartments on Belmont Avenue in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.