Seattle's Queen Anne Neighborhood News Blog


Entries Tagged as 'Planning & Construction'

Uptown Planning Open House is Thursday at McCaw Hall

October 4th, 2015 by Laura Fonda

Uptown FrameworkThis Thursday, October 8th, the Seattle Department of Planning and Development (DPD) is hosting an open house and scoping meeting for the Uptown Urban Center. The meeting will run from 5:30pm to 8pm at McCaw Hall (Allen Foundation for the Arts Room)

Planning for the Uptown Urban Design Framework has been underway with community stakeholders, DPD, and the Seattle Center. The Framework provides a vision for the development of Uptown, and includes the following issues:

  • Establishing Uptown as an Arts and Culture District
  • Increasing housing diversity (housing type and affordability)
  • Development of a multi-modal transportation system that includes high capacity transit, bike, and pedestrian facilities
  • Addressing a complex parking situation
  • Zoning for open spaces, affordable housing, and cultural spaces
  • Advocating for a school and community center

The meeting also signals the kickoff of two actions in the Urban Design Framework:

1) DPD environmental impact statement to evaluate building height increases

2) Seattle Center and Uptown Strategic Parking study

If you’re interested in any of the above issues or the two actions being kicked off on Thursday, attend the meeting at McCaw Hall. All interested residents and business owners are welcome to attend.

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7-story residential building to replace Mariner Apartments

September 10th, 2015 by Laura Fonda

203 W RepublicanA Design Review Early Guidance proposal was just posted today for 203 W Republican St, the current site of the Mariner Apartments. The proposal calls for another multistory building in Uptown/Lower Queen Anne, this one coming in at 7 stories.

The proposed building will house 90 residential units and 4 live/work units on the ground floor. Underground garage parking will accommodate 50 vehicles. The existing brick building, Mariner Apartments, will be demolished (photo below from Google maps):

Mariner Apartments

A public meeting is scheduled for  Wednesday, September 30, 2015 at 8pm at the Queen Anne Community Center (1901 1st Ave W, Room #1). The public is welcome to comment on site planning and design issues at this meeting, but the design proposal is “not yet available” on the DPD site.

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Aurora closure this weekend between Battery St Tunnel and Valley St, plus Aurora Bridge lane closures

August 20th, 2015 by Laura Fonda

Heads up for weekend travel plans – Aurora/SR99 will be closed between Valley St and the Battery St tunnel. Here are the details from WSDOT – expect extra traffic on Queen Anne due to detours:

Aurora closure August 2015Starting Friday night, contractor crews working for the Washington State Department of Transportation will close SR 99/Aurora Avenue North between the south end of the Battery Street Tunnel and Valley Street. This closure will give contractor crews the space they need to shift traffic onto roughly 750 feet of new roadway in time for Monday morning’s commute.

The new roadway is actually a bridge. Once the traffic shift is complete, Atkinson Construction crews will work underneath the bridge to complete construction on the northbound ramps and roadways that will connect to the SR 99 tunnel.

Drivers should plan and prepare for additional congestion on nearby streets during this time by using WSDOT’s travel tools or SDOT’s traveler’s information web page.

Closure details:

  • Both directions of SR 99 between the south end of the Battery Street Tunnel and Valley Street will close from Friday night, Aug. 21, to Monday morning, Aug. 24.
    • Southbound lanes close at 10 p.m.
    • Northbound lanes close two hours after the Mariners game, to help fans get home from the game.
  • All lanes reopen by 5 a.m. Monday, Aug. 24, in time for the morning commute

Additional work on the Aurora Bridge:

  • On Saturday, Aug. 22, WSDOT bridge crews will close up to two right lanes of northbound SR 99 across the Aurora Bridge for maintenance work from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m.  
  • On Sunday, Aug. 23, WSDOT Bridge crews will close two southbound lanes of the Aurora Bridge from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. to continue maintenance work on the other side of the bridge.

Changes to Harrison Street at SR 99 starting Aug. 24

  • Drivers will no longer be able to enter northbound SR 99 via westbound Harrison Street after SR 99 reopens Monday, Aug. 24. This closure is for additional construction in the area. Access to northbound SR 99 from Thomas and John streets will remain open.
  • Northbound drivers on SR 99 will be able to exit at Harrison Street as they do today.

Here’s a video from WSDOT that shows the plans and what to expect in the future:

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SDOT to pave 6th Ave W this weekend

August 7th, 2015 by Laura Fonda

SDOT will be paving a short stretch of 6th Ave W, from W McGraw to W Crockett St, this weekend. Here are the details from SDOT:
6th Ave W Paving

Crews from the Seattle Department of Transportation will pave Sixth Avenue West on Queen Anne Hill, from West McGraw Street to West Crockett Street this weekend, if weather permits. The street will be closed to through traffic except for King County Metro buses which will be allowed to drive through the work zone. On-street parking will be restricted in the area. The crews plan to work from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day. Police Officers will be present to help keep traffic moving.

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SDOT paving portion of Galer St this weekend

August 1st, 2015 by Laura Fonda

Starting tomorrow, SDOT will be re-paving a portion of W Galer St, and westbound traffic will be detoured:
Galer Paving

SDOT crews will grind and pave W Galer Street from Queen Anne Ave N to 2nd Ave W this weekend, Aug.1 – 2. The crews plan to work from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day.

Galer will remain open to eastbound traffic, but drivers traveling westbound will follow detour signs leading them north on Queen Anne Avenue and onto West McGraw Street to continue westward. Sidewalks will remain open. Police officers will be on-site to assist pedestrians cross the street and to help keep traffic moving.

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Reminder: Public meeting on Roy St homeless shelter this Tuesday

July 27th, 2015 by Laura Fonda

157 Roy St ViewIf you have questions, comments, or feedback on the overnight emergency homeless shelter that’s planned for 157 Roy St, attend the community meeting planned for tomorrow (Tuesday) night.

Human Services Department and Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC) staff will be on hand to discuss the new shelter with residents and business owners. You can read the official announcement in our blog post from earlier this month.

Meeting Details:

  • When: 6pm, Tuesday, July 28th
  • Location: Seattle Center Armory Loft Room #2 (yellow building on map):

 Seattle Center Armory

The building is currently undergoing upgrades and renovations that are expected to be completed in August. The city then plans to open the shelter in the Fall. There will be two phases: the first phase is for 50 beds, the second phase is for 100 beds. The city will use Human Services Department general funds to cover operation costs and the shelter will be managed by the Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC).

Key Details:

• The shelter is for adult men who are medically fragile and over 60 years of age.
• Shelter hours are from 10 pm to 6 am.
• The men will be screened and referred from the downtown DESC location to prevent queuing lines outside the shelter.
• Daytime access to the shelter will be limited to janitorial services and shelter staff.
• Food preparation at the site will be limited to reheating of food in microwaves. There is currently no stovetop or range in the existing kitchenette.
• Commercial washer and dryers are for shelter linens and will be operated by shelter staff only.
• There will be three shelter staff that are awake and alert during shelter sleeping hours to keep diligent watch for fires, obstructions to exits, and any other hazards during the time that people are sleeping.
• No tolerance policy to drinking or drug use on site, threats of violence, etc.

If you cannot make tomorrow’s meeting or would like additional information, contact Lindsey Garrity at 206-684-0106 or via email.

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Six-story mixed use building with 5 parking spaces planned for Uptown

July 22nd, 2015 by Laura Fonda

219 1st Ave N mapThe Seattle Department of Planning and Development (DPD) has approved a 6-story mixed-use building to replace two one-story apartment buildings at 219 1st Ave N. A few minor design changes (e.g. change the exterior from corrugated to solid surface), and this project will move ahead.

The new building will house 45 residential units above street-level commercial space. Since the site is located in the Uptown Urban Center, parking requirements do not equal the number of units – there will be parking for 5 (five) vehicles.

219 1st Ave N siteSince posts about new developments often spur questions on the lack of parking, here’s the rundown for the “why only 5 parking spaces?” The developer submitted a traffic study and parking utilization report that “indicates that a peak parking demand of 22 parking stalls is expected. The onsite parking supply is 5 vehicles, thus the spill-over demand to on street parking is 15 vehicles.”

DPD reviewed the traffic report and concluded that there are no significant adverse impacts with the parking plan.

The existing apartment buildings will be demolished. Note, this 6-story building joins 3 other planned multi-story developments we covered in June.

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UPDATE: Non-community meeting scheduled for planned Roy St and Interbay homeless encampments

July 5th, 2015 by Laura Fonda

157 Roy St View UPDATE: The Queen Anne Community Council has informed us that this July 21st meeting is limited admission for Interfaith pastors only  - not a public meeting as the Magnolia Community Coucil pitched it. Contact the Mayor to get a public meeting that’s open to all.

We just got this notice about a planned community meeting to discuss/answer questions about the proposed homeless shelters on Roy Street and in Interbay.

Note, this meeting is scheduled at the convenient time of noon on a weekday… I can’t attend because of my day job, so hopefully some neighbors can attend and report back:

When/Where: Noon on Tuesday, July 21, QA Lutheran Church, 2400 8th Ave West

Who: Sola Plumacher of the Seattle Human Services Department will brief attendees on the 2 new shelters opening in the Queen Anne neighborhood:

You can read more about these proposed shelters in the post from last Thursday.

Let’s hope the Mayor will schedule additional meetings in the evenings to accommodate those Queen Anne residents who work during the day. As with the Interagency Recovery School, often these meetings come after a review period and whether you’re for or against the City’s plans, you have no option to comment or ask questions.

In the meantime, if you have questions call the Seattle Human Services Department at 206-386-1001 or contact the Office of the Mayor via a wide variety of social media sites or email form-letter.

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Three new multi-story developments planned for Uptown/Lower Queen Anne

June 30th, 2015 by Laura Fonda

Silver PlattersIn the latest Land Use Bulletin news, there are three sites slated for demolition for multi-story residential buildings. All three are in the planning stage, so no concept drawings yet. A key landmark of sorts, the Silver Platters building, is on the list. After being vacant for over two years, looks like it’ll become a 5-story residential building.

Here are the details:

701 5th Ave N701 5th Ave N aka Silver Platters building:

  • 5-story structure containing 97 residential units
  • 3,600 square feet of commercial use at ground level
  • Parking for 88 vehicles to be provided below grade
  • Existing structure to be removed (goodbye, Silver Platters murals)

513 1st Ave N513 1st Ave N:

  • 6-story, 92 unit apartment building
  • Parking for 45 vehicles to be provided
  • Existing structure to be demolished
  • Note: this is the old one-story liquor store and Floyd’s Place on 1st Ave N

200 2nd Ave W200 2nd Ave W:

  • 5-story structure containing 75 residential units above four live-work units
  • Parking for 69 vehicles will be located below grade
  • Existing structure to be removed
  • Note: this is the blue wood building across Western from the PI Building

That’s three Land Use notices in 2 weeks, so expect more in the future as the landscape at the bottom of the hill changes and grows upward. And, yes, I’ve used both Uptown and Lower Queen Anne in the title of this post – if I go with one or the other, someone isn’t happy, so make peace with the combo… for now.

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Last call for Lower Queen Anne 7-11 is today

June 24th, 2015 by Laura Fonda

7-11NOTE: we just got a late-breaking tip that the site will remain a convenience store, just not 7-11.

We’ve received several reader tips about the 7-11 at the corner of 5th Ave N and Valley St. On Friday, the shelves were starting to look bare, and the clerk on duty told a reader that the building was being sold to a developer for apartments (which it turns out, was incorrect information).

7-11 ValleyIn the meantime, we received another reader tip this morning. Today is the last day of business for the Lower Queen Anne 7-11.  According to another tip from someone close to the activity says the building willl become a private party convenience store.

With no sale records and no Department of Planning and Development records, a new/different convenience store makes sense. Stay tuned for more news of the new convenience store.

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Old SPU property becomes The Parker and garners press as a model for affordable apartments

May 22nd, 2015 by Laura Fonda

The Parker signYou may recall (or may not – it was several years ago) that we posted on the sale of an old SPU property to Bellwether back in October 2012. At the time, the apartment building was in disrepair, and Bellwether Housing, a non-profit affordable housing agency, planned to renovate the property and create affordable housing on Queen Anne.

It’s now completely renovated and sparking positive local press in both The Seattle Times and Puget Sound Business Journal as a creative and effective way to develop affordable housing in Seattle.

From our 2012 post:

Bellwether Housing announced today [October 24, 2012] that it has purchased SPU’s Robbins Apartments, netting the nonprofit affordable housing agency its first building on Queen Anne. Robbins Apartments, located at 2701 3rd Ave W, opened in 1966 and provided SPU students with close-to-campus apartments, but has been in need of repair for several years.

Bellwether, a non-profit agency, will repair and renovate the building, resulting in 50 affordable apartments that’ll be renamed The Parker. The Parker will provide apartments for people who earn up to 60% of the area median income ($36,960 for one person to $47,520 for a family of three).

Bellwether’s Executive Director Sarah Lewontin issued the following statement:
“This is Bellwether’s first apartment building in the Queen Anne neighborhood. I’m particularly excited that we’ll be able to provide affordable rents in this highly desirable area – giving working people a chance to live close to jobs, parks, schools, grocery stores and very convenient bus service. SPU has been a great partner to make this transition possible.”

The Parker gardenBellwether’s Parker House Apartments on Queen Anne has since opened and hit the news yesterday. Both the Seattle Times and Puget Sound Business Journal have highlighted The Parker:

PSBJ: “The creative way this Seattle developer made a $735-a-month Queen Anne apartment possible”

Seattle Times: “Rents are half the Queen Anne norm at revitalized apartments”

Next time you walk or drive by the property on 3rd W, take note of the difference Bellwether is making in our neighborhood. Not only has the property been nicely rehabbed, it’s also providing a great affordable option for Queen Anne families. And, it’s been 100% occupied since it opened, so it’s filling a need in our community. What was once an near-eyesore of a building is now renovated, complete with a beautiful exterior garden along 3rd Ave W, all while offering affordable housing on Queen Anne.

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Old Trader Joe’s site to become Anytime Fitness

May 1st, 2015 by Laura Fonda

TJ AnytimeA reader sent us a tip a couple of weeks ago about the old Trader Joe’s location (thanks, Charlie!) – it’s slated to become a new Anytime Fitness location.

Anytime Fitness is a 24-hour gym that’s open 365 days a year, so members can work out whenever it’s convenient for them.

We got in touch with the franchise owner, who also owns the Fremont Anytime Fitness. He says they are “very excited to be opening on Queen Anne in the near future.”

Transforming the former grocery store at 112 W Galer St into a gym will take some time, so no set opening date yet. But, “what’s going in the old Trader Joe’s spot?” is one of our most popular reader questions, so there’s your answer.

As construction nears completion and an opening date is set, we’ll post an update. And, thanks as always to readers who submit tips!

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