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Entries Tagged as 'Planning & Construction'

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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Get ready to welcome Expedia to the neighborhood

April 2nd, 2015 by Laura Fonda

Amgen site mapThe waterfront campus that once housed Amgen will become Expedia’s headquarters by the end of 2018. The deal was a rumor yesterday; today it was officially announced by Expedia’s CEO Dara Khosrowshahi at a press conference with Mayor Ed Murray.

Expedia, currently based in Bellevue, is looking at a lease expiring in 2018, and is jumping over to Seattle from the Eastside to take over the old Amgen campus. As it exists today, the campus has buildings with a total of 750,000 square feet – as well as land that will allow Expedia to build 200,000 square feet of additional office space.

There’s been a lot of press since the announcement, so here’s a round-up of the best local coverage, including a couple that point out that 3,000 more commuters will hit our streets. That’s a small downside as Expedia’s move will be good for the neighborhood and the tech industry in Seattle.

Seattle Times: Expedia will make Seattle waterfront its new home

GeekWire: Expedia confirms Seattle move, will buy Amgen campus for $229M, relocate from Bellevue by 2018

GeekWire: Check out this View: Inside Expedia’s new Seattle headquarters campus –> has photo gallery

Wall Street Journal: Expedia to Buy Amgen Campus In Seattle

KING: Expedia move to Seattle expected to impact traffic

KIRO: Mayor announces Expedia’s move from Bellevue to Seattle

KOMO: Expedia moving headquarters from Bellevue to Seattle

Puget Sound Business Journal: Bring on the developers: Expedia’s move could help Seattle tech companies attract talent

Puget Sound Business Journal: Get ready, Seattle: Expedia’s 3,000 commuters are coming and it won’t be pretty

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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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