By Jack Stubbs
Last week, proposals for an 82-unit mixed-use development in Seattle’s Madison Valley neighborhood came one step closer to fruition.
On September 13th at Seattle University, a Design Review Recommendation meeting was held for a mixed-use development. The DRR meeting was overseen by members from the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspection (SDCI), who gave further feedback about the project proposal, a six-story building comprised 82 single-family residential units.
The residential units will be located above 26,250 square feet of retail space located at ground level. The development will also include of below-ground parking for 140 vehicles. The existing structure on site—a garden store built in 1959—will be demolished, pending final approval of the redevelopment.
The East Design Review Board granted approval for the development to continue in the design process, pending that the applicant team—developer TVC Madison Co., LLC, architect Studio Meng Strazzara and landscape architect Thomas Rengstorf & Associates—address certain issues that were brought up by board members and members of the public.
At a previous Early Design Guidance meeting, the applicant described the project site for the development, which is located at 2925 E Madison St. Located within the Madison Valley neighborhood, the site is oriented with downtown and Capitol Hill to the west, Madrona to the south, and University of Washington to the north. East Madison street is one of the major streets connecting downtown Seattle to the east Seattle neighborhoods. Building types in the Madison Valley project site are a blend of different styles, ranging from 5-story mixed use condominiums to 1-2 story arts and craft retail and restaurant to 1-3 story single-family houses.
The overarching vision for the project, according to the original submitted proposal, is to “extend the vibrant retail experience along East Madison St. and create a market rate mixed-use rental community that appeals to a wide range of Madison Valley neighborhood residents and retail businesses.” Describing the way in which the development would conform to its neighborhood context, the applicant noted that it would be designed “in keeping with the specific character of the surrounding neighborhood context in its architectural elements, building scale and massing.”
As part of their presentation during the DRR meeting, TVC Madison, Studio Meng Strazarra and Thomas Rengstorf & Associates addressed several concerns that had been brought up by the board during the previous EDG meeting. Some of the main issues raised were the height, bulk and scale of the project along Dewey Place East St., and the lack of vehicular access from Madison Street. According to Brian Stevens, Customer Service Manager and Media Relations at SDCI, responses to the development centered around these concerns. “At the recent Design Review Recommendation meeting, public comment focused on height/bulk/scale concerns at the zone edges and proposed vehicular/trash access along Madison St. and Dewey Place East,” Stevens articulated in an email.
The Review Board recommended approval of the project, with a few conditions related to these issues. Following this DRR meeting on September 13th, there is no further meeting scheduled between the applicant the the board members. With the board’s recommendation, the design review process is now complete, and the ball is now in the applicant’s court. “Now it’s in the hands of the design team to revise and modify the design to address the board’s conditions and to submit those plans back to SDCI for a final review before we publish our formal written decision,” Stevens said.