By Jack Stubbs
On March 21st, a 238-unit apartment project in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood, developed by Vancouver, Washington-based Holland Partner Group, was unanimously approved at a Design Review Recommendation meeting held by the Northwest design review board.
The project, located at 2318 NW Market Street in Ballard and named “Market + 24th”, was previously reviewed at an Early Design Guidance (EDG) meeting on August 16, 2021. The 7-story development includes parking for 168 vehicles and ground-floor retail space, according to the submitted project plans. San Diego, California-based architecture firm Carrier Johnson + CULTURE is the project architect; and Kirkland, Washington-based The Blueline Group is the landscape architect of record.
The applicant team provided an overview of how the project plans had evolved since the last time it was reviewed by the Design Review Board – emphasizing that one of the main goals was to achieve a successful integration of the building with its adjacent streetscapes, according to Alex Gutierrez, associate principal at Carrier Johnson + CULTURE. “Really, it’s about tying into the neighborhood of Ballard, the scale and urban relationships also play a role in the project, especially paying attention to the primary corner on 24th and Market street.”
Gutierrez also addressed the board members’ feedback from the previous EDG meeting, which primarily pertained to the materiality and scale of the building, as well as how it would better fit into its surrounding neighborhood context of Ballard. “There are a variety of outdoor spaces along Market and 24th Streets…our [approved] massing option [participates] in the great energy along Market Street,” Gutierrez said. “The idea of true indoor public and private use that engages the streetscape…the fitness area for residents will add to this activity, [encouraging] this idea of indoor and outdoor experiences.”
During the clarifying question section of the meeting, the board’s feedback focused on the applicant team’s design of the central courtyard and its relationship to the adjacent streetscape. The board also asked for more information about how the building’s exterior materials – and the proposed amenity and fitness areas – would be refined to contribute to the vibrancy of the nearby streetscapes.
There were several public comments submitted by members prior to the meeting. One comment expressed concern that the building’s scale might detract from Ballard’s historic character, while another comment emphasized how the project would be a positive addition to the neighborhood that fits into the existing context. The final comment expressed unequivocal support for the project, particularly in its use of materiality and the proposed retail space on 24th Street.
During its deliberation period, the Northwest Design Review board encouraged the applicant team to give further thought to the building’s exterior character materials. The board also expressed its general approval of the façade since the last EDG meeting, particularly relative to the historic nature of Ballard. “The red brick blend is exactly what this location warrants being so close to historic Ballard,” said Lauren Rock, chair of the Northwest Design Review Board. The board asked for more development of the fitness area relative to the private and residential areas, also encouraging the applicant team to make the residential entrances as accessible as possible.