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Entries Tagged as 'Planning & Construction'

Queen Anne Community Council reviews two new multi-story Uptown developments tonight

March 16th, 2015 by Laura Fonda

The Queen Anne Community Council Land Use committee (LURC) meets tonight, March 16th, at 7pm at Queen Anne Manor (100 Crockett St). This particular Land Use meeting will focus on two Uptown developments, so if you’re interested in Uptown’s rapid growth, this is the meeting for you.

One project is a 6-story mixed use building at Denny Way and Warren Ave N, the other is a 5-story apartment complex at 19 W Harrison. Representatives will provide presentations and answer questions from the QACC and people in attendance.

Here’s the agenda with brief descriptions of the two new developments:

124 Denny Way7:00pm – 8:00pm: 124 Denny Way  (NW corner of Denny Way and Warren Ave N)
John Teutsch

Land Use Application to allow a 6-story structure containing 75 residential units over 2,550 sq. ft. of commercial and six live/work units. Parking for 50 vehicles to be provided. Existing structures to be demolished. A preliminary design package is available online. 

19 W Harrison8:00pm – 9:00pm 19 West Harrison  (SE corner of 1st Ave W and Harrison)
Maria Barrientos

Land Use Application to allow a 5-story structure with 71 residential units above 685 sq. ft. of retail space. Project also includes 4 live/work units and parking for 45 vehicles to be provided below grade. Existing structure to be demolished. A preliminary design package is available online.

The QACC meeting is open to all, so if you want to see what’s on tap for Uptown in the near future, or have comments/questions, plan on attending tonight’s meeting.

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Full closures for parts of Mercer and Dexter this weekend

February 10th, 2015 by Laura Fonda

Plan ahead for travel this weekend, as SDOT will be fully closing portions of Mercer and Dexter from 11pm Friday, February 13th to 5am Monday, February 16th. The closures are required for the completion of concrete pours and the removal of a temporary road along the south side of Mercer at Dexter.

Here are the details from SDOT:

Mercer:

  • Westbound Mercer St will be fully closed to traffic between 9th Ave N and 5th Ave N from 11pm Friday, February 13th through 5am Monday, February 16th
  • Travelers will be detoured onto Denny Way
  • Capacity will be restricted on eastbound Mercer; at least one eastbound lane will remain open

Dexter:

  • Dexter Ave N will be fully closed between Roy and Mercer Streets from 11pm Friday, February 13th through 5am Monday, February 16th
  • Travelers will be detoured onto 9th Ave N
  • Access to businesses and residences on Taylor Ave N will be maintained from Roy St

Mercer closure Feb 2015

Immediately following the completion of this work, one lane of eastbound Mercer Street will remain closed 24/7 as SDOT completes concrete paving activities February 16 through February 20.

Note that all work is weather-dependent and may be cancelled and rescheduled for later dates if inclement weather continues to occur. Plan ahead and expect “significant traffic delays” as the Mercer Corridor Project keeps marching on.

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Queen Anne Community Council to focus on Toll Brothers’ plan for Seattle Children’s Home site

February 7th, 2015 by Laura Fonda

The planned development at the Seattle Children’s Home site is inching closer to reality. National homebuilder Toll Brothers now officially owns the Seattle Children’s Home property, closing the sale for $14M in December 2014. Seattle Children’s Home has vacated the premises, moving to Burien.

Toll Brothers 2014 planThe Queen Anne Community Council will host a LURC (Land Use Review Committee) meeting dedicated to the planned Toll Brothers townhome project at 9th Ave W and W McGraw St on Wednesday, February 11th 7pm-9pm. Representatives from Toll Brothers will present their final design proposal and take questions from residents.

Controversy had dogged the proposed project since it was first announced in 2013. Neighbors have been fighting the original plan for 66 townhomes on the 2.5 acre lot, with concerned residents forming community group Future Queen Anne to help coordinate their efforts.

The latest change to the proposed plan: Another developer purchased the white house on the site, and it plans to demolish the house – the cottage will be preserved – and replace it with 6 units. The total number of townhomes with Toll’s new plan and the demo of the white house is 65 units. Here’s the plan from last year – an updated will be provided on Wednesday:

Toll Brothers Proposed Plan

The meeting will follow QACC’s typical format: Toll will give LURC and the community a presentation illustrating its latest design. After QACC and Future Queen Anne’s questions are addressed, the floor will open to community questions determined in order by a sign-up sheet.  In respect for all questioners, everyone will be limited to 1 minute each for questions.

If you are interested in the final design plans or have questions/concerns, attend the QACC LURC meeting on Wednesday, February 11th, 7pm-9pm at Queen Anne Manor (100 Crockett St). All are welcome.

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Four-story residential building proposed at corner of Roy and 4th Ave N

December 29th, 2014 by Laura Fonda

The vacant one-story office building at 400 Roy St may soon be the home to a new four-story building with apartments above and retail on the first level.

400 Roy St 2I walked by the building last week and the entryway was filled with garbage. Next door to the old Silver Platters, which has been vacant for 18 months, the block of Roy between 4th Ave N and 5th Ave N has been untended for some time and is becoming an eyesore.

Enter a Department of Development and Planning proposal for the site. According to DPD, a Design Review Early Design Guidance application has been submitted proposing a 4-story, 64 unit residential building with 3,500 square feet of retail at street level.

400 Roy St DPD mapParking for 32 vehicles is to be provided below grade. The existing building will be demolished. Note that the parking lots next to and behind the existing building are also highlighted in the DPD site map for the new structure.

An Early Design Guidance review meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, January 21st at 8pm. The meeting will be held at the Queen Anne Community Center, 1901 1st Ave W, with written comments accepted prior to the meeting. Send comments regarding site planning and design issues (reference project #3018206) via email to PRC@seattle.gov or via snail mail to:

City of Seattle – DPD – PRC
700 5th Avenue, Suite 2000
PO Box 34019
Seattle, WA  98124-4019

No preliminary design drawings are available yet, but chances are they’re an improvement on the existing building. Expect early drawings to be available in advance of the January 21st meeting. Documentation lists Grace Architects as the architecture firm for the site. You can check out recent completed projects by Grace Architects online.

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Mercer Alert: Emergency repair will reduce Mercer westbound to one lane this evening

November 18th, 2014 by Laura Fonda

Mercer Water RepairJust in from SDOT – plan ahead as traffic is sure to back up with only one westbound Mercer lane this evening. Still pending a start-time from SDOT, but if it’s during rush hour, it’ll be bad. (UPDATE: closure has already started, per SDOT)

Note: you can pretty much completely ignore the 1 minute travel estimate on the map…

Emergency lane restriction on westbound Mercer Street this evening

SEATTLE—The Seattle Department of Transportation advises travelers that westbound Mercer Street will be restricted to one lane between Sixth Avenue North and Fifth Avenue North this  evening, Tuesday, Nov. 18, due to a leaking water main in the roadway. One lane on westbound Mercer Street will remain open at all times. Eastbound Mercer Street will be unaffected.

Please use alternate routes where possible and expect traffic delays.

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Mercer Alert: Taylor closure Thursday only a taste of messy – get ready for full closure of Mercer, 5th, and Taylor this weekend

November 12th, 2014 by Laura Fonda

Taylor Ave N will be fully closed tomorrow, Thursday, November 13 between Roy and Mercer Streets. The closure begins at 8:30am and runs through 3pm. It’ll be closed again this weekend – along with a  stretch of Mercer Street and 5th Ave N. Traffic will be heavy along detour routes and adjacent streets. SDOT advises there will be “significant delays” due to the upcoming closure.

Here are the details from SDOT:

Thursday, November 13: Full closure of Taylor Ave. N at Mercer St.

From 8:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Thursday, November 13, Taylor Ave. N will be fully closed between Roy and Mercer streets as crews pave a portion of the roadway.

  • Turns to and from Mercer St. at Taylor Ave. N will be prohibited.
  • Travelers from Queen Anne should use 5th Ave. N to access Mercer St.
  • Local access to businesses on Taylor Ave. N between Mercer and Roy will be maintained from Roy St.

Following this work, Taylor Ave. N will continue to be restricted to southbound travel only as crews complete work in the roadway. Travelers from westbound Mercer St. should use 5th Ave. N to continue north to the Queen Anne neighborhood.

November 14-17: Full closure of Mercer St, Fifth Ave N and Taylor Ave N

Friday, Nov. 14 at 11 p.m. through Monday, Nov. 17 at 5 a.m., crews will fully close Mercer Street, Fifth Avenue North and Taylor Avenue North.

  • Mercer Street will be fully closed to traffic between Dexter Avenue North and Fourth Avenue North.
  • Fifth Avenue North will be fully closed between Republican and Roy streets.
  • Taylor Avenue North will be fully closed between Roy and Mercer streets.

During the closure:

  • Detour routes will be posted and police officers will direct traffic through signalized intersections along the detour.
  • Travelers heading to Queen Anne and Seattle Center from I-5 should use alternate routes through downtown or Denny Way to avoid the closure.
  • Travelers heading to I-5 and SR 99 from Queen Anne should use Denny Way and alternate routes through downtown.
  • Mercer Street between Queen Anne Avenue North and Fourth Avenue North will remain open for local access only, including to the Seattle Center Mercer Garage.
  • Local access to businesses and properties will be maintained at all times.
  • Access to businesses and residences on Taylor Avenue North will be maintained from Roy Street.
  • Advanced signage will be posted to direct pedestrians around the work zones.

Please plan ahead and expect significant traffic delays. Early warning signs will be available in advance of all detours and police officers will manage traffic at key intersections on the detour route.

Mercer 1114 Closure Map

November 17: Third eastbound lane opens on Mercer St between 5th Ave N and 9th  Ave N

On Monday, Nov. 17, crews will open a third eastbound lane on Mercer Street from Fifth Avenue North to Ninth Avenue North. This new Mercer Street configuration will also include two new left turn lanes from westbound Mercer Street onto southbound Fifth Avenue North and is a major milestone as the project works to complete the West Phase. Please pay careful attention to street signs as travelers adjust to new traffic patterns.

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McGraw & 7th Ave W gets concrete makeover by Parks; attend QACC meeting to learn more

September 30th, 2014 by Laura Fonda

Our local Queen Anne Greenways community group has made great strides in making our neighborhood safer for pedestrians, cyclists, and motorists too. One key upcoming improvement is a 4-way stop at the intersection of McGraw and 7th Ave W – but the park-like improvements to the intersection proposed by SDOT are now in jeopardy.

McGraw Option 1

SDOT’s Brian Dougherty provided a quick sketch of the proposal for the intersection; surprisingly, the sketch is far from park-like. You can see below the stark difference between the SDOT proposal and the Parks proposal. The Parks sketch is almost all concrete, adding little to this key intersection near businesses and Coe Elementary:

McGraw and 7th Ave W Parks

Ironically, 7th Ave W is part of the historic Queen Anne Boulevard, a Seattle landmark and park. It takes a left on McGraw to the west, part of the intersection up for revision. SDOT preserves the look and feel of a park, but Parks is proposing concrete corners with very little landscaping.

Brian Dougherty of SDOT will present the changes and take questions and concerns from residents and neighbors at Wednesday’s Queen Anne Community Council meeting. Attend tomorrow’s meeting and voice your opinion – Wednesday, October 1st at 7:30pm, Queen Anne Manor (100 Crockett St).

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Nickerson-Emerson Overpass closed for repairs October 9th through January 2015

September 30th, 2014 by Laura Fonda

SDOT Emerson letterStarting next week, SDOT will be working on repairs to the West Emerson overpass – the last overpass before the Ballard Bridge. The overpass was built in 1959 and has taken a beating by trucks with over-height loads. Chunks of concrete are missing, and SDOT will be repairing the overpass and repaving it.

A big heads up that this project is not a short one. SDOT will close the overpass to both vehicles and pedestrians starting next Thursday, October 9th through the end of the year. SDOT estimates that the repair work will be complete around January 1, 2015. (assuming no delays)

Here are the details from SDOT, plan ahead for trips to/from Ballard and expect delays on 15th Ave W as detours will be in effect.

W Emerson Overpass Repair Project

The project requires both nightly closures of 15thWest on the weekend of 10/10 – 10/12 and a long-term closure of the W Emerson overpass which begins the morning of Thurday 10/9.

SDOT has decided to combine the replacement of this girder, which will require demolishing the northern side of the overpass, with the renewal of the road surface on top of the road deck. This resurfacing will protect the existing road structure from future corrosion as well as provide an even driving surface for the portion of the overpass that must be replaced.

The project will require both a long-term closure of the overpass (beginning October 9) and a short-term closure of 15th Avenue W underneath the overpass.

15th Ave W Closure: October 10, 8pm to 9am and October 11 8pm to 3am

15th W DetourAt 8pm on the night of Friday October 10 both north and southbound traffic on 15th Ave W will be detoured to the west using W Emerson Place, Gilman Drive W, 20th Avenue W and W Dravus Street.

Between 8pm and 9am the next morning, the contractor will break apart and remove the northern edge of the overpass and the damaged girder.

15th Avenue W will reopen to traffic Saturday morning, once the demolition is complete and the protection placed for the road below has been removed. The next night, October 11, new bearing pads and a replacement girder will be installed, with 15th Avenue W reopened before traffic resumes Monday morning.

Long Term Nickerson-Emerson Overpass Closure: October 9 through the end of 2014

Nickerson Ramp Detour ShortThe repair work will also require the complete closure of the W Emerson Street overpass to all traffic (including pedestrians) beginning on October 9, 2014. This closure will last through the duration of the work, approximately 12 weeks. The detour for west-bound vehicular traffic on W Nickerson Street will be a double crossing of the Ballard Bridge (using Leary Way NW for the turnaround) to reach W Emerson Street.

The detour for east-bound vehicular traffic on W Emerson Street will be turning south on 15th Avenue W and using W Dravus Street as the turn-around for accessing the W Nickerson Street exit from northbound 15th Avenue W.

We anticipate physical completion of the project within a few weeks of January 1, 2015.

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Kidd Valley closes Queen Anne location to make way for CVS

September 3rd, 2014 by Laura Fonda

Kidd Valley closedThe Kidd Valley at the corner of Mercer St and Queen Anne Ave N has closed up shop. A sign on the door stated that September 1st was its last day in Queen Anne.

The building that houses Kidd Valley will be demolished for the upcoming construction on a CVS Pharmacy location. We first reported on the short future for the Queen Anne Kidd Valley last summer.

More on the upcoming new development is in our August 16th post.

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New developments on Queen Anne include 3 six story-plus buildings

August 19th, 2014 by Laura Fonda

There have been several land use applications for new developments on Queen Anne, along with 2 proposed multi-story residential buildings that share an Early Design Guidance meeting next month. The two with a shared meeting are side-by-side, one 6-story, one 7-story. Another 6-story building is proposed for 1st Ave N.

First up, the two residential buildings with live/work units that span the block of Thomas St between Queen Anne Ave N and 1st Ave N:

300 1st Ave W
The proposal is for a 7-story building containing 129 residential units and 9 live/work units. Parking for 113 vehicles to be provided below grade.

301 Queen Anne Ave N
The proposal is for a 6-story building containing 32 residential units and 6 live-work units. No parking provided.

300 1st Ave w

300 1st Ave W

301 QA Ave N

301 Queen Anne Ave N

The two projects above share an Early Design Guidance Meeting:

8pm, Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Queen Anne Community Center
1901 1st Ave W, Room #1      

The following addresses have Land Use Applications – decisions have not been made at this time, and no Early Design Guidance meetings have been scheduled:

219 1st Ave NLand Use Application – 219 1st Ave N
Application to allow a 6-story structure containing 45 residential units above 1,827.85 sq. ft. of commercial space. Parking for five vehicles to be provided. Existing structures to be demolished.

1010 5th Ave NLand Use Application – 1010 5th Ave N
Application to subdivide one development site into four unit lots. This subdivision of property is only for the purpose of allowing sale or lease of the unit lots. Development standards will be applied to the original parcel and not to each of the new unit lots.

722 3rd Ave NLand Use Application – 722 3rd Ave N
Land Use Application to allow 3, 3-story residential structures with a total of 16 units. Parking for 16 vehicles to be provided within the structures. Existing structures to be demolished.

Here’s a map of the above projects:

August 2014 Developments

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Tree removal becomes part of Boston Street sidewalk replacement

August 17th, 2014 by Laura Fonda

Boston Sidewalk Repair 1

Trees on Boston prior to SDOT work

Late last week we received several emails from readers who saw SDOT removing the trees along the side of Starbucks on Boston St. The crew was working on the sidewalk replacement project that we wrote about in mid-July. The project did not originally include tree removal. The sidewalk was slated for replacement and the tree pits were to be enlarged.

When the trees were ripped out last week, QAV reader Geoff Saunders sent us the photo of the SDOT crew in action (thanks, Geoff!). By the time I got up to Boston and Queen Anne Ave N, the trees were completely gone. As of this weekend, the construction area is prepped for the sidewalk, with no hint that there were ever trees in the space.

Boston Tree removal

Boston St tree removal,
photo courtesy of QAV reader Geoff Saunders

We contacted both SDOT and Picture Perfect Queen Anne (PPQA) about the tree removal. According to PPQA, tree removal was not originally included in the project plan, so we contacted SDOT about the removal of the trees.

SDOT prepared a statement for QAV readers, to explain their justification for tree removal and plans for the future.

Here’s the statement from SDOT – it’s lengthy, but explains their rationale:

During a sidewalk repair project, SDOT removes the old sidewalk, examines the tree roots, and evaluates tree health and structure.  Root pruning is routinely performed as part of this process as a means to preserve both tree and sidewalk.  In some cases, the amount of root pruning necessary to construct a new sidewalk exceeds the threshold that could sustain a healthy tree.

In this case, the westernmost tree and easternmost tree required extensive root pruning, which would have severely affected their health, jeopardized their structural stability and caused safety risks.  Therefore, SDOT determined the best plan is to replace them.

The center tree (the smallest one) did not require such extensive root pruning, so it could have been preserved for the time being. However, all three trees were Ash, which adapt poorly to – and often decline after – root pruning. Given that this smaller tree was impacted by root loss, the decision was made to replace all three trees to support the community’s desire for uniformity along the block, while adding diversity to the street tree population. There is the potential future threat of Emerald Ash Borer finding its way to Seattle, and SDOT  weighs that risk when considering opportunities to replace Ash trees in the street tree population. The replacement Gingko trees are extremely insect and disease resistant and have demonstrated excellent health and vigor in other business districts where we have recently planted them.

Boston Sidewalk prep

Boston St sans trees, prepped for sidewalk

The bad news: the old trees are gone, and it’ll be a while before the new trees provide the benefits of mature trees. The good news: Gingko trees will replace them.

However, let’s hope the Gingkos are male trees, as a Seattle Times article from 2009 notes that the female trees can be very smelly and drop “sticky, slimy” seeds:

“Female ginkgoes produce the troublesome seeds, which are covered in a fleshy coating that contains butyric acid, also found in rancid butter.”

According to the article, many cities have decided to remove their Gingko trees or replace the female trees with male trees. The city of Seattle has Gingko trees listed on their approved Street Tree List, so they’ve been used elsewhere in the city – hopefully without too much olfactory impact!

UPDATE: It’s a boy! SDOT has confirmed that the Gingko trees are all males, so no stinky, messy trees.

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New CVS design accommodates community, becomes more than just a one-story, one-use box

August 16th, 2014 by Laura Fonda

The proposed CVS at the corner of Mercer and Queen Anne Ave N has been through several changes. Originally planned as a one-story pharmacy-only building replicated in other locations, the new design takes into account the unique location in Lower Queen Anne/Uptown, and the urban village concept.

CVS Proposed Design

Single-use CVS design from July 2013 by Norr Architects

It was a close call. Wallingford residents fought against a CVS in their neighborhood. The single-box concept, the CVS had no housing above it and was a clone of generic CVS stores across the country. In the end, not much changed. The Wallingford CVS remained stuck at one-story and single-use.

However, we’ve been lucky on Queen Anne. Thanks to active residents and community groups like the Uptown Alliance and Queen Anne Community Council, the plans for the Queen Anne CVS were sent back to the drawing board. In addition to general design principles, the Uptown Framework provided additional guidance to ultimately create a building that fits into the neighborhood – and is more than just a one-story, one-use building.

CVS Final Plan

New multi-use CVS design by Schemata Workshop

The current design by Schemata Workshop is a big departure from the first, standard cookie-cutter CVS Pharmacy design. Instead, the Queen Anne CVS building is proposed as a three-story structure with 16,200 square feet of commercial use at street-level and 31 residential units above the first floor. A 62 stall below-grade parking will be accessed from an alley on the west side of the building.

The design guidelines incorporate the specific Uptown considerations. Among the many points in a 33-page pdf, key Uptown considerations that helped guide the new design address elements such as:

  • site characteristics
  • streetscape compatibility
  • entrance visibility
  • respect for adjacent sites
  • parking/vehicle access
  • corner lot considerations
  • height, bulk, and scale
  • architectural context
  • exterior finish
  • pedestrian open spaces and entrances

All of the above, plus more, help guide the design of Uptown buildings and ensure they are in keeping with the character of the neighborhood. One overriding principle that carries across all of the considerations is how people interact with and live with the buildings.

In the case of the Queen Anne CVS, the guidelines and feedback from the community have impacted a significant change. Whether you want a CVS in the neighborhood or not, the final building structure goes beyond just a pharmacy. It adds new living space to a key corner, and the street space will be much more pedestrian friendly – not a bad outcome for what was once a plain suburban box. If you’ve ever been pessimistic about the impact Queen Anne and Uptown residents and community groups can have, think again!

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