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Legacy Companies Moves Forward With Redevelopment of Landmark Building In Seattle’s Capitol Hill

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By Kristin Bentley

An entity related to Bellevue-based Legacy Companies LLC plans to preserve the landmark Kelly-Springfield Building, located in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle, while redeveloping it into a five-story office building with ground floor retail. After presenting the proposed project to the city’s design review board in an early guidance meeting on Wednesday, the architecture team from Ankrom Moisan Architects, Inc. will make changes to the design before moving forward.

Built in 1917, the landmark building located at 1525 11th Avenue will provide 65,000 square feet of office space and 12,000 square feet of retail, as well as underground parking for vehicles and bicycles.

The primary objective is to connect Seattle University to Cal Anderson Park

An important aspect of the proposed project is that it will incorporate materials and architectural elements that strengthen the area’s historic auto-row vernacular. One way this will be done is by preserving the old white oak strip flooring on the second floor. In turn, these old aspects of the landmark building will be designed to stand out against the newer addition. “New parts of the project will be designed to feel new and be contemporary,” said Phillip Bozarth-Dreher, an associate with Ankrom Moisan.

Another goal of the design is to enhance the block’s sidewalk experience. “The primary objective is to connect Seattle University to Cal Anderson Park, and really enforce that north-south corridor,” said Phoebe Bogert, a landscape architect on the project from Place Studio, based out of Portland. “The attitude that we have towards the streetscape is basically how we’re connecting back to the street life that presents itself in Pike-Pine.”

Tenants of a residential building neighboring the proposed site, the Monique Lofts, attended Wednesday’s meeting to express their concerns that the project will block their windows, which provide needed air since many of the units are not equipped with air conditioning. After hearing these concerns, the board requested that the design team do a window study in order to determine how to prevent blocking windows on the south wall of the project. Once these changes are made, the project will move into the recommendation phase of the design review process.

According to the Downtown Seattle Association, Capitol Hill is home to an eclectic mix of families, young professionals and students. Sam Wayne, a senior research analyst for Colliers International, says Capitol Hill is a prominently residential neighborhood and office space is hard to find. However, he believes creative work space will absorb well into the area. “At this location, I imagine it will be successful for the creative type of person, such as those working in advertising, PR and graphic design.” Wayne continued to say that these are some of the many groups who value participating with the community, and this type of space in particular would be a great fit for them.