A new local developer plans to make its mark by breaking into Seattle’s housing market with a near 200-unit residential project. Bellevue-based Rainers Consulting Inc., representing the private developer, along with its design team from Seattle-based Studio 19 Architects, presented the proposed project for the first time to Seattle’s Southeast Design Review Board last night.
The site, located at 622 Rainier Avenue South in Seattle’s Atlantic neighborhood, a block east of the International District, is a near 32,000-square-foot triangular-shaped parcel bounded by South Weller Street to the north, 16th Avenue to the east and Rainier Avenue South to the west.
On the south corner sits a 18,000-square-foot warehouse built in 1923 that is awaiting final decision from the Landmark Preservation Board as to whether the building will be deemed a city landmark. Hui Tian, the lead architect on the project and a principal for Studio 19 Architects, assured the design board that her team is taking this decision under consideration as the proposed project continues forward. Tian says the existing warehouse will be incorporated into the design, however, it will need quite a bit of work in order to bring to code.
Building materials for the new development will include fiber cement, wood and corrugated metal with a green wall and art piece wall to add additional interest and design. According to the design team, much of the project will be defined in its finer details and artwork. “One of the things we intend to express are side treatments,” Tian said. “For instance, we are considering incorporating some kind of corrugated metal screen and an art piece.”
Tian and her team presented three different options for the residential development before the design board, stating that the third option was the preferred. The first and second options presented the project as one large six-story building, whereas the third option provided three separate buildings connected with pedestrian walkways at each level and a public alley walkway below. In all three options, the ground floor offers around 8,500 square feet of retail space with underground parking, due to the incline on the site. The second floor offers some additional retail as well as residential space, while the third to seventh floors are all residential.
A coffee shop and restaurant are anticipated to occupy the retail space, while a plaza on the ground floor with terraced planters, steps and a water feature will further engage the public. Some resident amenities include a second level courtyard with the third design option, private balconies in all three designs as well as a green roof and terrace with breathtaking views of Mount Rainier.
“I think it’s a very smart project, it’s obvious that they put a lot of thought into it,” said board member David Sauvion.
In deliberation, the board agreed that it most supported the preferred third design. It also stated that it would like for the existing warehouse building to be incorporated into the design. After showing its appreciation for the work put into the design at such an early phase of the review process, the board unanimously approved the proposed project to move forward for a Recommendation Meeting. At this next meeting, the design team will re-present the project showing decisions made to the final design.