By Meghan Hall
Seattle-based boutique development firm Pacific Housing Northwest has been busy in the north Beacon Hill neighborhood, working diligently to complete multiple blocks of development. At the end of February, Pacific and local architect Bumgardner received approval to move forward with half of its proposed development at 2709 17th Ave. S. Called Colina East, the 99-unit project will be complemented by Colina West, as well as the The Denning Apartments, also built by Pacific. Together, the developer hopes the three companion projects will form what it has described in planning documents as a “synergistic whole.”
In addition to the 99 residential units, the six-story, mixed-use building will have one level of underground parking with 40 vehicle stalls and approximately 1,410 square feet of ground level commercial space. The development’s Colina West counterpart, located at 2710 Beacon Ave. S., will have 40 residential units and approximately 3,744 square feet of ground floor commercial space. Both projects will share a fitness room, rooftop community room, two roof decks and a bike repair and court.
While the plans don’t detail the projects’ interior designs, the adjacent Denning Apartments are a mixture of studio, one- and two-bedroom units that feature maple plywood cabinets, plank flooring, stainless steel appliances and stone countertops. The units range in size from about 650 to 960 square feet.
The development team’s goal, according to project documents, was to design the project in a “connect the dots” manner through improvements to a shared courtyard with The Denning and the provision of a unified pedestrian and transit-oriented design next to the Beacon Light Rail station.
The T-shaped massing of the building allows for 3 corner units and 3 façades to directly face the El Centro plaza. The three facades would be well-fenestrated with generous windows throughout, which would help break down the scale and massing of the building. Residential balconies would also provide further modulation. To connect Colina East with Colina West, pavers and wayfinding materials will help to differentiate pedestrian and vehicular traffic, while recessed art nooks will break up the concrete walls that face the alley. A courtyard at the southwest corner of the site will connect to open space and allow for gathering along the retail façade of the development.
The materials palette for Colina East includes dark steel and copper coated canopies, light gray paint with gold accents and charred timber wood Shuo Sugi Ban siding.
Overall, the Board was supportive of the project team’s design and only presented a few minor recommendations and conditions before granting design approval. Of the conditions listed for approval, the Board asked that the development team extend the width of the roof canopy above the balconies to match their width as well as maintain proposed landscaping, signage and unique canopy design at the primary residential entry along 17th Ave. S. as the public right of way is developed.
As the project is built, it will become part of the fabric of the growing North Beacon Hill neighborhood, which is characterized mostly by a mix of multifamily developments and single-family homes. Commercial activity can be found along Beacon Ave. S., a main thoroughfare connecting the Beacon Hill to nearby New Holly and Rainier Valley. The Beacon Light Rail Station, just a block away, provides additional connection to the University District and Seattle Tacoma International Airport.
Colina East is just one of several projects part of the Pacific Housing NW’s efforts in Seattle. The firm aims to create housing with amenities, views and a multitude of transit opportunities. In addition to Colina East and Colina West, the firm is also working to develop two other residential communities in Beacon Hill: Bayview and Leaf & Twig. At 67 units, Bayview is the larger of the two developments, while Leaf & Twig will feature 24 units consisting of one bedrooms and micro-units. The firm, established in 2002, is continuing to grow throughout Seattle and also has several properties in Belltown, Capitol Hill and Central Area.