May 24th, 2012 by Cory Bergman
A Redmond company plans to build a senior assisted living center next to Queen Anne Bowl, surprising some neighbors who believed the land was part of the city park. The plot in question sits just to the northwest of Queen Anne Bowl, immediately west of the Northwest Center Kids facility.
Here’s a sketch of the proposed development (.pdf), which is currently in design review. If approved, the three-story facility will feature about 100 apartments, a center square, outdoor gardens and roof terraces. You can see the playfield immediately to the right of the development.
The lot is currently home to four abandoned tennis courts, a house, large trees and a couple trails that wind through the property. While some neighbors believed the city owned the land, the lot was owned by Seattle Pacific University, which sold it to Aegis Living for $9.5 million.
Several neighbors told our partners at the Seattle Times that the sale came as a surprise, and they wished SPU would’ve worked with the city to preserve the land as a natural extension of Queen Anne Bowl and David Rodgers Park. The Times reported that both Seattle City Parks and Seattle Public Schools (which leases the former North Queen Anne Elementary School to Northwest Center Kids) had expressed interest in owning the land before, and SPU said it notified both about the impending sale — but didn’t hear back.
The view from the entrance of Queen Anne Bowl, looking toward the lot.
Queen Anne Community Council’s Don Harper told the Times that SPU didn’t give the city enough time to react. “There’s so many things that could have happened here,” Harper said. “A basketball court, a playground for little kids while their siblings are at the bowl. I just don’t think SPU gave the community enough time.” Added neighbor Denise Derr, “This is a significant loss of parkland for the entire city.”
The university provided Queen Anne View with a timeline of its communication with the city and the neighborhood. In October, SPU says it contacted each member of its advisory committee — some of which are neighbors — that the land was going up for sale. SPU also contacted Seattle Parks and the Seattle School District but “neither party responded back with any interest.” On November 14, the SPU advisory committee met with a number of Queen Anne neighbors in attendance. A few days later, a summary of the meeting was emailed to “lengthy neighborhood email distribution list.” On March 2, the committee was notified the land was sold.
Nevertheless, SPU Senior VP Don Mortenson told the Times that the university may not have notified enough people: both the Queen Anne Community Council and Northwest Center Kids right next door say they were not told about the impending sale.
The lot is heavily wooded in parts, and Aegis Living says an arborist has determined that seven of them are “exceptional” per the City of Seattle’s tree preservation program. The preferred design option, shown above, would preserve all seven of the trees, but the rest would likely be removed. The house on the property would be demolished, as well.
SPU says the plan is to use the funds from the sale to fund a new facility planned just to the south of SPU including a “performance auditorium, classrooms, faculty development center and facilities for SPU music and visual arts academic programs.” You can see more details on that project here.
The plan is currently in the design review process. We’ll keep you updated. In the meantime, what do you think of the planned development?
Tags: development, parks
May 22nd, 2012 by Cory Bergman
After nearly a year of construction, workers are putting the finishing touches on “Seven Hills,” the mixed-use development along Queen Anne Ave. on the hill. Emerald Bay Equity’s Joe Geivett tells us it should be completed by August, and Queen Anne Dentistry (which is currently located right next door) is the first tenant confirmed to move into the space.
With 57 apartments and just over 8,000 square feet of retail space, Seven Hills is the third in a string of four developments called “The Commons.” Sweetbrier and Eden Hill buildings are already completed, and construction will begin at the Met Market location later this summer.
Earlier: Met Market in Upper Queen Anne prepares to close
May 15th, 2012 by Cory Bergman
Metropolitan Market on Queen Anne Ave. N is preparing to say goodbye to Upper Queen Anne after four decades in the neighborhood. This week, the store began handing out coupons encouraging shoppers to begin to shift their shopping habits to the Lower Queen Anne/Uptown location, which will remain open. Met Market on the hill is planning to close in mid-July.
Met Market’s Brad Halverson told us the development planned for the Queen Anne Ave. location was out of the company’s price range. “We worked closely with Emerald Bay Equity for 3 years to try and make something work. But in the end, the redevelopment as designed was just too expensive for us,” Halverson said, who’s VP of marketing for Met Markets. “The grocery business runs on pennies and nickels and at the end of the day, some features of the redevelopment – customer flow, underground parking and equipment location were making it more expensive.”
The development planned for the lot will span the entire block on Queen Anne Ave. between West Crockett and West Howe streets with a mix of retail and luxury apartments. As you may be able to see from the project rendering above, Met Market initially planned to be a part of the facility but withdrew. As we reported earlier this year, the project hasn’t been without controversy, with some neighbors expressing concern over parking and traffic impact.
Emerald Bay Equity’s Joe Geivett told Queen Anne View that construction on portions of the site will begin in June or early July with “major construction anticipated to begin in August.” As for a replacement tenant for Met Market, Geivett says he can’t comment.
Queen Anne resident Becky Sparks Parker emailed us to express her dismay that Met Market is leaving the top of the hill. “(It’s) is not just my favorite neighborhood grocery store, it is my daily dose of inspiration for food & home, which is central to my family’s life,” she writes. “How often have I chatted with Rachel about parenthood while she scans my groceries, or received the latest tip from the ‘wine guy’ on which bottle under $15 to serve at my upcoming backyard BBQ, or been inspired by the food demo for what to serve my family that night? So often in fact that I have apparently taken it for granted and I am sad to see it go. It is truly one of the last neighborhood grocery stores that does not act like a chain and treats its customer with love and respect.”
“Thank you doesn’t say enough,” says Met Market’s Halverson. “We started in Queen Anne in 1971 and wouldn’t be the company we are today without the loyal support of the Queen Anne community…. We put down roots together, grew up together, and have been part of each others lives since. We take great pride in being a central destination in Queen Anne life.”
Halverson says the Upper Queen Anne market just began handing out Queen Anne Appreciation Cards “good for money to be used for shopping now at the 1st and Mercer store, and we will be continuing with offers on that card for the next several months.” Offers include cash to spend on groceries, free sandwiches, free produce, discounts and more. Just ask to receive one.
Many of the employees now working at the Queen Anne Ave. store will be transferring to the 1st and Mercer location, Halverson tells us. “We hope it becomes your new home,” he says.
By the way, Met Market also plans to continue its support of the Queen Anne Helpline, the Queen Anne Farmers Market, FOLKpark and other neighborhood fixtures.
Have a favorite Met Market story to share? Let us know in comments…
Tags: development, Met Market
July 6th, 2011 by Thea
Emerald Bay Equity has broken ground on the Seven Hills development at 1919 Queen Anne Ave. N., beginning with the tearing down of two existing structures long standing vacant in anticipation of the project.
The much-delayed project is the third piece of the four-part mixed-use retail/residential development group on the top of the hill called The Commons, which includes the finished Sweetbrier and Eden Hill buildings next door and down the block from the Seven Hills site, and the forthcoming Met Market redevelopment directly across the street.
Just last week Emerald Bay Equity, which had been attempting to sell all four properties in The Commons since April 2010, opted to break up the group and sold the completed Sweetbrier and Eden Hill buildings to affiliates of RREFF, a real-estate subsidiary of Deutsche Bank, for $44 million.
Despite the sale, Emerald Bay Equity has continued construction plans with the remaining two developments, securing approval from the Department of Planning and Development to move forward with the Seven Hills project back in May, with plans to begin construction last month. The Met Market redevelopment project is expected to break ground in 2012.
The completed Seven Hills development will be a four-story mixed-use building with 57 residential units, 8,180 square feet of ground-level retail and underground parking for 68 vehicles. For more information on this project, take a look at the DPD’s decision here (.pdf), the design review proposal here (.pdf), and our past coverage.
Tags: 1919 Queen Anne Ave N, Department of Planning and Development, Deutsche Bank, development, Eden Hill, Emerald Bay Equity, Met Market Redevelopment, mixed-use, RREFF, Seven Hills, Seven Hills apartment, Sweetbrier, The Commons
April 18th, 2011 by Jesus Chavez
A new residential building is in the works on the western edge of Queen Anne near the intersection of West Dravus Street and 15th Avenue West in Interbay.
The land use application was completed last week for a seven-story building at 3040 17th Ave. W. with 5,500 square feet of ground level retail spaces and 234 residential units above. The existing structures on the property would be demolished.
Some of the steps yet to be completed include the SEPA Environmental Determination and getting approval from the design review board. Community members are invited to make comments on the proposed development, which can be submitted through next Wednesday, April 27, 2011. Reference project #3010370 when filing a comment.
Tags: development, Interbay, land use application, mixed-use, new building, residential, residential properties, retail, retail properties, SEPA Environmental Determination, west Queen Anne
February 25th, 2011 by Thea
Another mixed-use residential/retail building is in the planning stages for Lower Queen Anne, at 101 John Street. The proposed six-story development would include 25 residential unites and ground level retail/commercial space.
The development is adjacent to the Fiona Apartments, located on the same site. The site, at the corner of John Street and 1st Ave N, is currently the home of Rice ‘n Spice Thai and another building, both of which would be torn down to make way for the project.
The Department of Planning and Development has scheduled an early design guidance meeting on the plan for 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 16 at the Queen Anne Community Center (1901 1st Ave W, Room 3). From DPD:
The applicants have applied for Design Review related to development of this site. At the early design guidance meeting, the applicants will present information about the site and vicinity. The public may offer comments regarding the design and siting of a development on the subject site; and the Design Review Board members will also offer comments and identify those Citywide Design Guidelines of highest priority in developing the site.
For more information regarding this project application and the design review process, contact land use planner Lisa Rutzick at (206) 386-9049.
Tags: 101 John Street, Department of Planning and Development, development, Fiona Apartments, Lower Queen Anne, mixed-use development, public meeting, Rice 'n Spice Thai
February 9th, 2011 by Thea
After Abraxus Books announced it would be closing just 20 months after moving to Lower Queen Anne from Ballard, its home for seven years, neighboring store Mother Nature’s has said that it too is closing its doors this month.
Mother Nature’s, a natural health store that has been a staple of Lower Queen Anne retailers for 35 years, is closing up shop at the end of the month, according to owner Stephanie Gilbert.
This drawing was created by Mother Nature’s employee Sara Spidell, depicting Sara, Stephanie and Elaine (Stephanie’s mom and prior owner). The date is inaccurate, according to Gilbert, who says the store has been open since 1974.
The store, which has been in Gilbert’s family since the ’70s, has seen declining business for some time now, she says.
“I grew up in the store—since I was 12 I’ve worked here. In the ’80s and ’90s it was a rocking store. We’d get 160 people in the store a day. Now we get 60 people a day,” she said. “Business has been pretty crappy, to be frank, for the past couple years… it’s just hard to be an independent retailer in the city. If we were in Cle Elum, we would probably be fine.”
Though the mixed-use development planned for 100 Republican Street spurred the decision to close, Gilbert says the saturation of the market (with customers coming into the store, finding what they want, and then buying it from larger suppliers who can offer cheaper prices like Costco, Super Supplements, or online) has ultimately led to the store’s choice to close down, rather than relocate.
“It really bums me out that people don’t make a conscious effort to shop local,” Gilbert said. “It’s destroying our communities.”
The property owners of the building that houses Abraxus and Mother Nature’s, the Burkheimer Family LLC, plan to turn the Seattle Center and KeyArena-adjacent site into a residential/retail mixed-use development that will span from the current storefronts to the edge of the empty lot at 100 Republican.
The six-story building will house 275 units–studios, 1-2 bedrooms and 10 town homes–parking, 17,725 square feet of street level retail space, two rooftop courtyards, and a 2,000 square-foot outdoor plaza on Republican that will serve as an entrance to the building. After a series of public hearings on the project, developers have been given the go-ahead to move forward with the project. Developers expect to complete the project in 2012.
While the new development will house ground-level retail, Gilbert says the rent would have been too high for Mother Nature’s to re-open in the new building. But despite the fact that Abraxus and Mother Nature’s will be closing to make way for the development, many in the community support the project. In a negotiation with the city to allow the development to use part of the alleyway bounded by Mercer Street, Republican Street, 1st Avenue N and Warren Avenue N, developers added plans for a public plaza (equipped with a rain garden) to the plan.
On top of that, Uptown Alliance co-chair John Coney shared his support of this proposal with City Council’s Transportation Committee this past fall, noting that he believed the project would revitalize a “dead block” in the neighborhood.
“It’s an important redevelopment on what is now a substantially dead block of Republican,” he said. “It is going to bring housing onto Warren Avenue North. We believe that is important because that is another dead block in an urban center.”
For the time being, Mother Nature’s and Abraxus are making preparations for closing.
Gilbert says her lease is up on the 28th. She plans to keep the store open until just a few days before then (though no final date has been set yet), to clear out its current stock and say goodbye to longtime customers. Everything in the store is currently 30 percent off. Gilbert says discounts could go as high as 75 percent as the end of the month nears.
Abraxus will be closing in just a few days, on Saturday, February 12. “Our building is being torn down and we’re calling it a day on this chapter,” the owners Carol and Tony wrote on the store’s Facebook page. The last month since announcing plans to close has been a “pretty emotional time” for them, Carol wrote to us.
Everything in the store is being sold at 50 percent off, and bookshelves and other fixtures are also up for sale. The store will be open from 12 to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, and from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on its last day Saturday.
Tags: 100 Republican, Abraxus Books, closings, development, local business, Lower Queen Anne, Mother Nature's, project, sales, Uptown
October 25th, 2010 by Cory Bergman
Red Mill Burgers in Interbay could soon have a lot of new neighbors. A mixed-use development is planned at 3040 17th Ave West. The proposed building would have five floors of residential units over street level retail and parking.
Current site at 3040 17th Ave West
Currently, the lot is made up of a small warehouse and old machinery for sale. The proposed complex would be called Interbay Apartments with 220 to 240 residential units, 160 to 200 parking stalls, and 4000 square feet of commercial space.
Image of the preferred design from City of Seattle/Fish Mackay Architects
We have calls in to the developer to find out more about the project and we’ll keep you posted. In the meantime, the community is invited to attend a design meeting to learn more about the development (pdf file). It will take place Wednesday, November 3 at 6:30pm at the Queen Anne Community Center.
June 21st, 2010 by Thea
Last week real-estate investment company Avalon Bay Communities broke ground on the old Mountaineers Club site, located at 3rd Ave W and W Thomas St. in Lower Queen Anne, where there will soon be a new apartment complex, according to our news partner, The Seattle Times.
Called the Avalon Queen Anne, developers expect to be ready to lease the 204-unit complex by fall 2011, when they hope demand will have picked up.
Avalon Bay is based in Alexandria, Va. The company has an interest in 14 apartment complexes in Washington state, and 172 nationwide.
Tags: apartment complex, Avalon Bay Communities, construction, development, Mountaineers Club, The Seattle Times
April 22nd, 2010 by Thea
The lot at 100 Republican in Lower Queen Anne used to be a QFC. Now it houses a temporary auto dealership and the occasional mobile food truck. In the next two year, however, the owners of the property, Burkheimer Family LLC, plan to turn the Seattle Center-adjacent site into another residential/retail mixed-use development.
This rendering of the project design, provided by Burkheimer Family LCC in a Department of Planning and Development proposal (.pdf) back in July 2009, shows what the building would look like from the intersection of Republican St. and Warren Ave N.
The six-story building will house 275 units–studios, 1-2 bedrooms and 10 town homes–parking, and 17,725 square feet of street level retail space. The average residential unit size will be 696 square feet. The building will also have two rooftop courtyards–one 9,028 sf, the other 5,985 sf–and an over 2,000 sf outdoor plaza on Republican St. that serves as an entrance to the rest of the building.
The building, located just across the street from the KeyArena and Seattle Center campus, is expected to be completed in 2012, according to a Daily Journal of Commerce story published today. For more information on the building specs and zoning issues, see the DPD project proposal (.pdf).
(Thanks to reader Jon for the tip!)
Tags: 100 Republican, apartments, development, DPD, KeyArena, mixed use building, Seattle Center
April 9th, 2010 by Thea
Emerald Bay Equity has put 2.1 acres of Queen Anne Ave N property at the top of the hill on the market, looking for either a partner or buyer to step in and take over the company’s current redevelopment plans, according to a report by our news partner, the Seattle Times.
The property package includes the half-block where Metropolitan Market is located, which EBE would like to redevelop into a four-story 120-unit apartment complex with 40,000 square feet of ground-floor space for the longtime neighborhood grocery and other retailers (with underground parking), two retail/residential projects that were recently completed across the street–Sweetbrier and Eden Hills–and a fourth smaller redevelopment site. From the Times:
Emerald Bay principal Joe Geivett said he would prefer a joint venture over a sale.
“Getting financing is challenging,” he said. “That’s been the single biggest barrier.”
EBE purchased the Met Market property for $14 million back in 2008, when the then owners were planning to turn it into a larger mixed-use complex housing QFC. At the time many residents, alongside the Queen Anne Community Council and Queen Anne-Magnolia Design Review Board supported the EBE takeover, and according to QACC land-use review committee chair Craig Hamway, the best option for the community would be to continue the relationship with EBE. From the Times:
“It would be a shame if he had to sell,” Hamway said of Geivett [EBE principal Joe Geivett]. “He’s been good to work with from a community standpoint… He’s viewed as a pretty responsible developer.”
Of EBE’s two finished projects at the top of the hill–Sweetbrier and Eden Hills–the Sweetbrier still has a number of retail vacancies.
Read the full Seattle Times story here.
(Graphic used with permission from the Seattle Times).
Tags: development, Eden Hills, Emerald Bay Equity, Metropolitan Market, redevelopment, Sweetbrier
February 8th, 2010 by Thea
Last month community members gathered to tell FOLKpark what they wanted out of the Lower Kinnear Park enhancement. The developers took notes on your suggestions, but before presenting a draft plan at the next public meeting at the end of the month, there will be another opportunity to discuss the future of the park and share your opinions.
FOLKpark, along with urban advocacy group GreatCity.org, will be hosting a free brown bag discussion this Thursday, February 11 from noon to 1:30 p.m. at architecture and urban design firm GGLO, located at 1301 1st Ave.
Here’s what FOLKpark had to say:
More than a century ago, the Olmstead brothers developed the “Emerald Necklace” plan – a set of paths and vantage points creating a sense of continuity throughout downtown Seattle. Imagine a looping urban trail that includes a breath of fresh air in Myrtle Edwards Park, art in the Sculpture Park, breakfast spots in Belltown, the Seattle Center, coffee spots in lower Queen Anne, and tennis or picnic in lower Kinnear Park. An entire day of activities, highlighting Seattle’s finest, all in one easy stroll. The hidden and overgrown lower Kinnear Park link is a missing gem in this plan.
Community members and urban designers are invited to talk about how “completing this missing link in an urban loop that dissolves the boundaries between the Waterfront, Belltown, South Lake Union, and Queen Anne.” There’s no need to RSVP – just show up and share your thoughts.
Dean Koontz from HBB Landscape Architects (the firm handling the development of Lower Kinnear Park), Alan Hart of VIA Architecture and Debi Frausto from FOLKpark will be leading the discussion, looking for ways to create an Uptown Loop that “can strengthen pedestrian accessibility and secure the relationship between urban forests, walkable city streets, community amenities, residential living, and waterfront vistas.”
For more information, visit FOLKpark’s website. Read up on past meeting progress here and here. HBB Landscape Architects will be presenting the draft plan for the park at the next public meeting on Thursday, February 25 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the Bayview Retirement Community, located at 11 W. Aloha St,
Tags: brown bag lunch, development, FOLKpark, Lower Kinnear Park, public meeting, urban design