By Meghan Hall
When Crown Point, Ind.-based developer White and Peterman presented its plans for a 138-unit residential development at 6300 9th Ave. in Seattle’s Roosevelt neighborhood, the Northeast Design Review Board requested the project team refine its design before proceeding further with the application process. Now, with updated plans in hand, White and Peterman, along with Seattle-based B+H Architects returned Monday night to face the Board a second time. The development team’s persistence paid off; the Board was supportive of the updates made to the project’s design and gave it the green light to proceed with applying for a Master Use Permit.
“The neighborhood already has an evolving character; it’s got great connection to transit. It has that wonderful Pacific Northwest lifestyle, access to parks, access to bikelines that is so attractive and draws so many residents,” said Mazohra Thami of B+H Architects. “This is an established and very charming residential neighborhood…We wanted to create something that looks to the diversity in the neighborhood and a neighborhood that’s evolving.”
During the development team’s previous design review meeting, the Board’s design feedback primarily focused on creating a more engaging public realm by developing the project’s ground plane interactions with the neighborhood. The Board recommended adjusting the massing of the building to increase neighborhood activities through the use of features such as residential steps, raised porches and dark grey Juliet balconies. In addition, the Board suggested changing the development’s planned fitness center to a more community-oriented gathering space, such as a community kitchen connected to a courtyard or plaza.
The development team’s refined plans indicate a project that will be centered around a communal courtyard with an outdoor lounge, ground-level club room and semi-private unit patios. The ground floor will also feature a communal work lounge and gym. A rooftop deck will feature a fire pit, barbecue area and dog run.
From a design standpoint, transparency, setbacks and materiality were all reconsidered with a greater focus on the surrounding neighborhood. The amenity spaces have been relocated to the edges and corners of the development to encourage greater exposure and activity, while the ground floor will include larger windows to increase transparency. The development’s ground floor residential units have also been reconfigured with visible front entries and patios facing the street, while the building’s primary entry canopy has been redesigned to make a stronger statement and provide a connection from the entryway to the development’s club room. Instead of cementitious panels, the building’s podium will now be clad in dark glazed brick and warm woods.
“The palette [of the development] is much more neutral,” said Thami.
Overall, the Board appreciated the development team’s efforts to update project, stating that the proposal in its new iteration was much more approachable than previous versions presented. The Board remarked that now, the project is very well thought-out, with aspects such as the stitching between brick and wood adding vibrant detail and warmth to the neighborhood. The Board did suggest re-examining the modulation of the upper levels in order to carry the playful characteristics of the podium up the facades.
The project site is within walking distance to an array of local restaurants, retail and bike paths, and according to project documents, “is an ideal urban location tempered by multiple parks and quiet tree-lined streets.” With the introduction of the Roosevelt Light Rail Station expected in 2021, one of Seattle’s most well-established neighborhoods is expected to draw a greater mix of renters and young professionals.