By Meghan Hall
Crown Point, Ind.-based developer White and Peterman will have to wait to move forward with the approvals process for its proposed 141-unit apartment complex located at 6300 9th Ave. in Seattle’s growing Roosevelt neighborhood. The project — named Corner 63 — must undergo further design review by the Northeast Design Review Board after the proposal underwent its first recommendation meeting at the beginning of December 2018. Because Corner 63 is in a neighborhood known for its walkability, the board has asked the development team to further consider the project’s relationship to the pedestrian realm.
The seven-story, 141-unit development — proposed in conjunction with Seattle-based B+H Architects — would rise on the current site of the Seattle Healing Arts building and would also include parking for 81 vehicles below-grade, 35 bike slots, a fitness room and a roof deck. The massing approved during the project’s early design guidance meeting proposed to create a communal courtyard carved out along 9th Ave. NE, providing space for residential access to the building. The courtyard has been designed not just to be an entrance, but also a gathering space with flexible furnishings, potted trees and landscaped paths.
While the upper levels of the building are white, the podium will be darker to relate to the surrounding residential neighborhood. The volume on the upper levels is further broken up by darker bays punctuated by extra tall windows that provide increased fenestration.
The site is located just a block from numerous eateries and restaurants such as Portage Bay Café, Bol Pho Bistro and Whole Foods. 6300 9th Ave. is also easily accessible by Interstate 5, NE Ravenna Blvd, and it will be in close proximity to the Roosevelt Light Rail Station when it opens in 2021. Other important community centers such as Roosevelt High School, Cowen Park and Green Lake Park are also within easy walking distance.
The review board’s feedback centered around creating more engaging public rights of way and the development’s interaction with the neighborhood. The board recommended moving the at-grade residential units to a different location on the property in order to increase privacy to the units in order to enhance transparency and adherence to current land use code. The board also felt that the building massing should be adjusted to increase neighborhood activity, stating in its report that “the uses at ground level should contribute to vibrant interaction between residents and the public sphere including residential steps, raised porches and balconies to create a sense of community.”
The board asked that the development team reorient the use of the fitness center to something more flexible, stating that fitness rooms are often underused. The board suggested adding a sitting area, TV viewing area or community kitchen and connecting it to the courtyard and plaza to better service the residential community.
The development team also requested several departures regarding setbacks and parking, but the board deferred providing a recommendation for the requests until the final design review meeting, at which they will see more refined plans for the building’s massing and design. A second design review meeting will be scheduled in the coming months, and if approved, the development team will be able to move through the rest of the permitting process.