Home AEC Intracorp’s 320-Unit Little Saigon Development Approved in Early Design Guidance Meeting

Intracorp’s 320-Unit Little Saigon Development Approved in Early Design Guidance Meeting

Intracorp, Seattle, Puget Sound, Little Saigon, International Special Review District, South King Street, Tiscadero Associates
Market passage entry looking through to South King Street. Image courtesy of Tiscadero Associates.

By Vladimir Bosanac

Intracorp, the developer of a proposed 320-unit apartment and retail complex located in Seattle’s Little Saigon neighborhood, received an approval last week during the first Design Review Board meeting to advance the project to master use permit application. The project architect, Bob Tiscareno of Tiscareno Associates presented the project and outlined the details of the development to a room full of supporters who endorsed the development and made several suggestions on ways to improve it.

The development site is in the heart of Little Saigon, in the center of the block bounded by South Jackson and King Streets and 10th and 12th Avenues South. It does not encompass the entire block, but rather takes up about half of the block’s area. The site presently houses the ACME Poultry complex and is comprised of seven parcels totaling 1.17 acres surrounded primarily by single story retail and industrial buildings. The project also sits inside the International Special Review District and is under review by that that group, as well. It had already undergone three ISRD Board meetings in April, June and July.

The application is proposing a 7-story, mixed use building with retail on the first floor of the development and housing above that. There would be approximately 320 apartments and 10,000 square feet of commercial space. The project would include one level of below-grade parking with 170 parking stalls.

The developer, along with its architect are looking to create a development that would contribute to the economic vitality of Chinatown-International District by providing residences that contribute to a diverse mixture of housing types. Some of its other development objectives also include a culturally-conscious, place-making retail for micro and small businesses in a pedestrian-friendly environment, which would be achieved by a passage way between the development and a neighboring project, stated the application.

“We heard great enthusiasm from the community for the small to micro retail spaces accompanied by commercial parking,” said Bob Tiscareno.

The C-shaped building had undergone several variations of the massing and settled upon a courtyard concept that would be surrounded by amenities for the residents. The planned project took cues from various developments in the surrounding geography in order to retain a consistent look and feel of the neighborhoods.

“Our preferred design was informed by our massing precedent that’s gathered from the International District,” added Tiscareno.

The project team also conducted four meetings with community groups to gain feedback on the design. The meetings were with the Friends of Little Saigon and with the general public through an open house that was held by the architect and the developer. The feedback brought ideas focused on retail, residences, how to activate the ground floor and develop the streetscape, amongst others. Some feedback stated that the retail should support Little Saigon as a food destination. Other feedback focused on how the development should add density to the neighborhood and that the ground floor could be planned to accommodate non-retail, civic commercial uses.

“From our street analysis, we determined that King [Street] should reflect the green street vision and contain a mix of commercial and residential uses. Uses on Jackson [Street] should maximize the commercial uses,” said Tiscadero.

Following a brief discussion and clarifying questions between the developer and the architect, the board members voted unanimously to allow the project to move forward to the recommendation phase.