Seattle's Queen Anne Neighborhood News Blog


Reminder: Seattle Children’s Home development meeting is tonight

December 19th, 2013 by Laura Fonda

The Early Design Guidance meeting for the proposed Toll Brothers development at the former Seattle Children’s Home site is tonight. There will be 20 minutes on the agenda for feedback from attendees – the meeting is open to all, so if you have concerns, feedback, or opinions on the proposed 61+ townhome development at W McGraw and 9th Ave W, plan on attending tonight’s meeting:

Meeting Details:

  • Camwest Proposed Development – Early Design Guidance Meeting
  • Wednesday, December 18th @ 8:00pm
  • Queen Anne Community Center
  • 1901 1st Ave W, Room 1

Option 3

Option 3: Developer’s Preffered Option

The developer will present the design plans, followed by questions from the West Design Review Board. Public comment will close out the meeting. More information, including all relevant documents, are available on the Seattle Department of Planning and Development site – project # 3015522.

You can also catch up on the latest from our last post on the plans.

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Aegis on Galer Public Hearing Moved to February 19

January 24th, 2013 by Laura Fonda

Proposed Aegis on Galer
Courtesy of VIA Architecture

As reported earlier this month, the proposed Aegis on Galer project was conditionally approved by the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) – however, appeals were being accepted through yesterday, January 23.

Today, the DPD announced a new public hearing date for appeals received for the project. According to the DPD, both the Declaration of Non-Significance and Design Review have been appealed. The original public hearing was slated for January 30th, but it has been rescheduled to February 19th at the Office of the Hearing Examiner. If necessary, additional time has been reserved on February 22, 2013 for a continuance.

Written comments will be accepted until the close of the hearing scheduled for February 19, 2013. Comments should be sent to:

City of Seattle Hearing Examiner
700 5th Avenue, Suite 4000
P.O. Box 94729
Seattle, WA 98124-4729

You can access copies of the Report and Recommendation, the rezone application, and all other documents related to this project online – enter “3012582” in the project number field.

Key Details

  • What: Public Hearing on Rezone Application for 223 W. Galer Street
  • When: Tuesday, February 19, 9am
  • Where: Seattle Municipal Tower, 700 5th Ave, Room 4009

If you have additional questions, contact Colin R. Vasquez, Senior Land Use Planner at 206.684.5639.

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New Drawings of Aegis on Galer – No Longer a White Box

January 8th, 2013 by Laura Fonda

Most of the comments on yesterday’s Aegis on Galer article were around the design review drawings – they are not, ahem, attractive. But, as pointed out in the post, they are preliminary and don’t reflect the materials or final design.

Well, now we have brand-new images from VIA Architecture of the planned development at 223 Galer St – see the two views below and let us know what you think:

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DPD Conditionally Approves Aegis on Galer; Public Hearing Set for January 30

January 7th, 2013 by Laura Fonda

VIA Architecture: Planned Design Option
note: does not show final materials

The City of Seattle Department of Planning and Development (DPD) released a conditional approval of the planned Aegis development at 223 W Galer Street (corner of Galer and 3rd W). You may recall that the last Design Review was held in October.

The Director’s Report is available online, and is quite exhaustive. Here are the key points if you don’t feel up to reading 39 pages:

Proposal: Council Land Use Action to Contract Rezone 12,800 sq. ft. of land from NC2-30′ to NC2-40′ [this means increasing the height from 30’ to 40’ – or four stories]. Project includes a 4-story structure containing 60 assisted living units above 509 sq. ft. of street level retail. Parking for 21 vehicles to be provided below grade. Existing structure to be demolished.

Conditional Approval: The Director recommends that the proposed contract rezone to NC2-40’ (increasing the structure to four stories) be “conditionally approved” and has accepted the findings of the final Design Review recommendation meeting. Conditional approval requires that the design meet the following conditions:

Rezone: Approval of this contract rezone is conditioned subject to a Property Use and Development Agreement (PUDA) that limits the structure to be built to the design approved by the Design Review

State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA): For the duration of the removal of the existing building, excavation of materials, and delivery of construction materials; the owner(s) and/or responsible party(ies) shall cause truck trips to and from the project site to cease during the hours between 4pm and 6pm on weekdays.

Design Review: Any proposed changes to the exterior of the building or the site must be submitted to DPD for review and approval by the Land Use Planner assigned to the project.

Prior to Issuance of a Permanent Certificate of Occupancy: The applicant shall arrange for an inspection with the Land Use Planner to verify that the construction of the buildings with, sitting, materials, and architectural details is substantially the same as those documented in the approved/issued plans. A public hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, January 30 at 9am at the Office of Hearing Examiner (address below).

Written comments will be accepted until the close of the hearing scheduled for January 30, 2013 – send comments to:

City of Seattle
Hearing Examiner
700 5th Avenue, Suite 4000
P.O. Box 94729
Seattle, WA 98124-4729

If you want to appeal the environmental determination or design review, appeals must be received by the Hearing Examiner at the address shown above no later than 5pm on January 22, 2013. Appeals must be accompanied by $50.00 filing fee in a check payable to the City of Seattle. Appeals of the decision will be heard at the public hearing on January 30, 2013 at 9am.

Edited to add some content about the final look and feel of the building. At this point, VIA Architecture only has the above drawings available. However, in the Conditional Approval document, the firm provided the following statement on the “character” of the building:

“The design intent is to express a timeless character and quality that is referential to neighborhood precedents such as the Victorian Townhouses on Lee Street and other  dignified mixed-use and apartment buildings in the district. At the same time the detailing will be crisp and appropriately proportioned but not overly decorative.”

They also provided the following information on the materials for the building:

  • A significant amount of reddish/brown brick is used to accentuate and feature the primary corner of the building. This also includes a rustication recess effect at the ground level, a second lighter brick color at the base of the columns, header courses and masonry sills at windows openings.
  • Bay windows, storefront columns and the commercial “frieze” will be painted wood trim with board and batten style multi-level paneling.
  • Windows will be pre-finished storefront aluminum at the ground floor and white or beige vinyl windows on the residential floors.
  • Windows will be surrounded with painted trim wood or cementitious trim.
  • Lap siding is painted cementitious siding with a 6” exposure.
  • Painted concrete block at the east property line.
  • Cast in place concrete plinths along W Galer St.
  • Painted steel trellis, steel and glass canopies and steel brick channel headers.

We still don’t know what the final building will look like, but at least it won’t be a solid concrete building. Check out what VIA Architecture designed for Aegis Madison for an example of what comes after the design proposals.

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Construction on New Fire Station 20 Begins in 2013 – It’ll Be Green & Sustainable

November 30th, 2012 by Laura Fonda

Back in 2006, then-Mayor Greg Nickels described the West Queen Anne Fire Station 20 at 3205 13th Ave W, as being “in the worst condition of the 33 stations in our system”, citing its inability to meet current code requirements or the daily needs of firefighters, as well as its unsuitability for seismic retrofitting. In 2009, a new site for Fire Station 20 was chosen by the City Council – 2800 15th Ave W.

The new site is comprised of four lots, 2 vacant lots and 2 commercial lots (boarded up and vacant), at the northeast corner of 15th Ave West and West Armor Street. It will become the new home of Fire Station 20 in 2014, serving Queen Anne, Interbay, Magnolia, Ballard, and north downtown. Fast forward to today, the design firm has been chosen and plans are in place with early drawings available. Construction on the new station begins in Spring 2013 with completion estimated for early Summer 2014. The construction budget will top out at $5.7 million, funded by the Fire Facilities and Emergency Response Levy Program passed by voters in 2003.

The new Fire Station 20 won’t be your typical station – it’ll be an example of green infrastructure and the City’s new model of sustainable design. The City challenged the Fire Station 20 design team to create a building that meets the criteria for LEED Platinum certification, and adheres to guidelines outlined in the Architecture 2030 Challenge. Key impacts include reducing water usage by 40% and energy usage by 30% – with actual energy savings rising to 40-50% once the building is operational and running as planned.

The innovative green design elements include the following:

  • Terraced gardens along the north and east will provide a protected green area for native plants and a vegetable garden for the firefighters
  • Storm water runoff will be treated and filtered via systems as well as the garden’s vegetation
  • Two green roofs will support infiltration and evapotranspiration, provide additional softscape reducing heat-island effect, and provide a habitat for birds and insects
  • Ground source heat pumps will boost efficiency and reduce the operational costs of the heating and cooling system
  • A rooftop solar panel array will provide all of the energy needed to heat the water used in the sinks and showers in the building, and store excess energy for use in the building.
  • All plumbing fixtures will be ultra-low flow, with toilets using 1.28 gallons per flush, versus the standard 3.5 gallons
  • Greywater from sinks, showers and laundry facilities will be collected, filtered, and reused on-site to flush toilets

The City and Design team want to use the new green, sustainable station as an educational opportunity to engage and inform people about how the project protects the environment, operates efficiently, and does so all in the space of 9,446 square feet. The site will be accessible to the public on three sides and the grade will allow people to see the solar panels and green roofs from above. The City is currently exploring public signage highlighting the sustainable features of the station and a flip-dot electronic signboard connected to the station’s control system.

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House Across From Uptown Safeway Torn Down to Make Way for New 4-Story Residential Building

November 19th, 2012 by Laura Fonda

House before today

Today an old house at 509 1st Ave W, just across from the Uptown Safeway, was torn down and a reader caught the action on video and asked us what’s next for the lot. According to the Department of Planning and Development (DPD), the house will be replaced by a four-story building that’ll have 40 residential units, 3 live/work commercial spaces, and underground parking for 20 cars.

The original house was built in 1906 and sat on a 7,200 square foot lot. It was sold last November for $1.2 million.

Planned development

The construction of the new mixed-use building is expected to last approximately 16 months.

Construction workers will park on-street until the completion of the parking garage, so expect parking and pedestrian impacts for at least the next year.

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Ballard Bridge Northbound Lane Closure Starts Wednesday

November 6th, 2012 by Laura Fonda

Plan ahead if you’re headed to Ballard this week and next – SDOT is installing fiber optic cable, so the northbound right lane will be closed starting tomorrow, Wednesday, November 7th through Friday, November 9th, 9am-3pm daily. The closures then start up again on November 13th and 14th – same lane, same times.

The pedestrian walkways will remain open, but drivers should expect increased congestion, especially at-and-after bridge openings.

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ZoomCare to Open in 7 Hills Complex in January

October 26th, 2012 by Laura Fonda

ZoomCare, a primary health care clinic, will be moving into the recently completed 7 Hills mixed-use complex in January. So far, only Queen Anne Dentistry has moved into the retail space on the ground floor, with other storefronts displaying “for lease” signs. ZoomCare will move into the space now occupied by the 7 Hills construction office, at the south end of the building at 1909 Queen Anne Ave N.

As of the January opening of the Queen Anne location, ZoomCare will operate four clinics in Washington – three in Seattle and one in Vancouver. One is already open on Capitol Hill, and a Wallingford location opens in December.

ZoomCare clinics provide primary care and have pharmacy dispensing services. The clinics are open 7 days a week, 362 days a year. Patients use a live scheduler to reserve a same-day, no-wait appointment, pay a flat price using insurance or self-pay and never receive a bill from ZoomCare.

If you’re curious about local patient experiences with ZoomCare, check out the Yelp reviews for the Capitol Hill location – they’re rated fairly well, with a quite a few 5 star reviews.

Co-founder and Co-CEO Dave Sanders, M.D. provided the following prepared statement:
“By bringing great care closer to the neighborhoods where Washington families live and work, we’re designing a modern healthcare system that puts patients first and gives them more control of their own health.”

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SPU Sells Apartments to Bellwether Housing

October 24th, 2012 by Laura Fonda

Bellwether Housing announced today 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. Last February, SPU’s student paper The Falcon reported on the poor condition of the building, with one section closed to students, but at the time the university had no plans to sell in the “foreseeable future”.

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 will partner with SPU to connect lower wage SPU employees with this affordable housing option.

Bellwether plans a two-phased rehabilitation approach – the first phase will address immediate repairs starting this month. It’ll be complete by January 2013; the second phase will focus on extensive interior and exterior improvements beginning at the end of 2013. The Parker begins leasing in December of this year.

Bellwether paid “just over $6.45 million” for the SPU property, with financing provided by Enterprise Community Loan Fund, the City of Seattle Office of Housing, and Seattle Public Utilities.

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.”

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Interested in the SLU Rezone or Aegis’s Latest Plans? Attend Monday’s QACC LURC Meeting

October 14th, 2012 by Laura Fonda

If you’re interested in what’s happening with developments on Queen Anne, then the Queen Anne Community Council (QACC) Land Use Review Committee (LURC) is your go-to QACC meeting. The LURC meets tomorrow, Monday, October 15 to review two key agenda items, the South Lake Union Rezone and Aegis’ plans for 3rd W and Florentia St.

The descriptions of each agenda item are below, followed by meeting details. As always, these meetings are open to the public, and I encourage you to attend if you have any questions, comments, or concerns!

South Lake Union Rezone: The QACC must forward their opinion on this legislation “very soon” – net: the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) has been working with the SLU Community to develop proposals for allowable heights and development density. The proposed South Lake Union rezoning allows for 12,000 new housing units and 22,000 jobs. More details and relevant materials are posted online.

Aegis at 2900 3rd Ave West: A review of the most recent Aegis plans at 3rd W & Florentia St; Aegis has been reviewing a potential trade of their current parking lot on the west side of 3rd W for an unused portion of Parks land between the field and the Aegis site. An update on progress will be provided at this week’s meeting.

Key Details:
- What: QACC Land Use Committee meeting
- When: Monday, October 15, 7pm
- Where: Queen Anne Manor, 100 Crockett St

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Public Design Review for Aegis Galer Street Project Set for October 24

October 9th, 2012 by Laura Fonda

The proposed 4-story Aegis assisted living building at 223 W Galer St is up for public design review on Wednesday, October 24th. If you’re concerned about the height of this building or any other impacts related to the design, mark your calendars. Only a few neighbors attended the first design review, so this is your chance to make your voice heard!

Courtesy Via Architecture Early Design Review: click for larger image

This particular Aegis property will include 60 assisted living units above street-level retail, with parking for 21 vehicles below grade. The existing one-story structure will be demolished, and the project is still pending City Council approval of the rezone required for the four-story structure.

Courtesy Via Architecture: proposed Aegis building

Where are we in the process? This will be the second stage of Design Review, the Recommendation phase. The meeting agenda is as follows:

- The applicant presents information about the proposed design and how it responds to the Design Guideline priorities

- The public may comment on the proposed design

- The Design Review Board will offer their recommendations to the Director of the Department of Planning and Development (DPD)

Public comments are welcome at the Recommendation meeting – but note that comments are limited to design considerations only. According to the DPD, “if environmental review is triggered, comments related to environmental impacts (such as traffic, parking, noise, etc) may be sent to DPD following notice of that review.”

To prep for this meeting, you can read relevant documents, such as the Design Review document fro June, and public comments on this development at – enter “3012582” as the project number. The Early Design Guidance document (with drawings and photos) is also available online.

Key Details:
What: Design Review & Public Comments for Aegis Project at 223 W Galer
Date: Wednesday, October 24, 2012, 6:30pm
Where: Queen Anne Community Center, 1901 1st Ave W, Room 1

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Two weeks of night closures on Mercer start today

August 29th, 2011 by Thea

The Seattle Department of Transportation will begin intermittent nighttime lane closures on Mercer Street today, Monday, August 29, as part of ongoing work on the Mercer Corridor Project.

Night work is scheduled to take place intermittently between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m. over the next two weeks. SDOT says that up to three lanes of Mercer Street will be closed overnight at Westlake Ave N, Terry Ave N and Boren Ave N during the work to accommodate storm drain, water main and gas line crossings along Mercer.

More information on the Mercer Corridor Project here.

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