Home AEC Beacon Crossing, A 99-Unit Apartment Complex in Seattle’s Beacon Hill Receives Design...

Beacon Crossing, A 99-Unit Apartment Complex in Seattle’s Beacon Hill Receives Design Review Approval

Seattle, Beacon Hill, Beacon Crossing, Puget Sound, Lemons Architecture,
Rendering courtesy of Lemons Architecture

By Vladimir Bosanac

A 99-unit development in Seattle’s Beacon Hill neighborhood called Beacon Crossing was approved by the city’s Design Review Board on July 25, 2017. The seven-story structure, which is proposed by Seattle-based Beacon Crossing LLC and architect Lemons Architecture PLLC received approval with minor conditions and will advance to the next stage of review with the city of Seattle.

Developer Scott McDonald, purchased the site in 2016 for $2.2 million, according to public records.

The development is located 2505 Beacon Avenue S, and was described by the architect as the gateway project to Beacon Hill, one of the first visible structures one would see entering the neighborhood. The building would be 65 feet in height, which is the maximum heigh allowed by zoning on that specific site. The site today is home to some retail and warehouse uses, which would be demolished to make way for the building that could include a lobby and two restaurant spaces on the ground floor with apartments on the floors above.

The proposed development would feature 99 units, ranging in size from roughly 350 to 800 square feet. There would be no parking at the location, and at the moment the proposal shows three affordable units, which would be located on the second floor of the building.

The building’s location is at the intersection of Beacon Avenue S and 15th Avenue S. It is right next door to another 80-unit residential development located at 1405 South Bayview Street, which held its first Early Design Guidance meeting in March of 2017. The surrounding built environment is a mixture of residential, both single and multi-family, commercial, and mixed-used buildings. The property is also across the street from the Beacon Hill Market.

Given the property’s location in a traditionally immigrant neighborhood of Seattle, Jonathan Lemons, the principal of Lemons Architecture described the his effort to articulate a cultural context of the building that would fit with the Beacon Hill surroundings. “In this proposed building at this very prominent intersection, we really wanted to create an urban focal point,” said Lemons as he explained the materials and the articulation of the building’s facade to match examples from Asian and Latin American buildings. “That’s evident in the materials that we used and some of the gestures we tried to make.”

The Design Review Board, comprised of three architect-volunteers Charles Romero, Sharon Khosla and David Sauvion was accompanied by Sean Conrad, a city of Seattle planner. The feedback the board gave was centered mainly around the fit of the building within the community. Romero’s biggest concerns were around the proposed artwork, which would be commissioned by a local graffiti artist, and they would fit with the community. Khosla’s feedback centered on the retail look and feel, which she did not see fitting with the neighborhood. Sauvion was not pleased entirely with the wrapping of the building on the back side. However, after deliberation that lasted approximately twenty minutes, the board did approve the project for the next steps with conditions that developer Scott McDonald would have to work on including.

Other companies involved in the development are Malsam Tsang Structural Engineering, civil engineers Davido Consulting Group and Karen Kiest Landscape Architects. Schuchart has been selected to act as the General Contractor on the project.