The Development Plan
Seattle Department of Construction & Inspections (SDCI) just plastered a yellow “Notice of Proposed Land Use Action” sign on the corner of 45th & Burke. This block will be developed into a 5-story 36-unit apartment building with retail. Additionally, the plan includes 12 parking spaces. The project will wipe out two existing buildings at 1901 N. 45th (Fainting Goat & Lawless Financial Group) and 1905 N. 45th (Sock Monster & Chroma), plus the existing second story apartments.
It’s always sad to hear about beloved local businesses getting displaced due to development. I hope the new building can attract (and be affordable to) vibrant local businesses.
Seattle’s Design Review Program provides an opportunity for public comment on design guidance that will be part of the building permit. If you have something to say about design elements of this development, now is the time! Comments are due February 7.
How to Comment (due February 7)
Direct Link to Comment Tool (with a map that’s easy to navigate)
By Mail: City of Seattle, SDCI – PRC, 700 5th Avenue, Suite 2000, PO Box 34019, Seattle, WA 98124-4019
Who’s Developing and Designing?
According to a Sale Deed dated November 20, 2020, the two buildings set for development were sold to Rose Burke LLC. This LLC can be traced to Trinity Partnership which owns and manages (under 206 Property Management) approximately 30 buildings in Seattle. Most of Trinity’s buildings are older and this brand new development seems to be a departure for them. [Full disclosure: coincidentally, 206 PM happens to be my landlord in a different building they manage.]
The early design documents were uploaded by a local architecture firm d/Arch LLC. One example of this firm’s work is the Bowman building (3801 Stone Way N.).
d/Arch has a philosophy that reads, in part:
[T]he ability to design attractive buildings that…have longevity, a unique identity, and a sense of place is crucial….We strive to provide creative, professional responses to construction issues, offer measures of achievable sustainability, and contribute to the community to assure the project’s long-term success. We measure our achievement by our client’s success and by the community’s response.
Why Bother Commenting?
Design guidance is essentially the only aspect of development that Wallingford neighbors get a chance to voice opinions about. In 2013 I followed the development plans of CVS (2100 N. 45th) on Wallyhood, submitted comments, and attended a Design Review Board meeting. It was a great way to experience local government and provide input. While the outcome wasn’t perfect, sustained public comment and pressure caused CVS and its developers to directly engage with concerned neighbors.
While the overall development timeline is unclear, here’s what can be expected:
Following the public comment period, the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections will issue a written design guidance report. This report will consider public comment and the applicable city-wide and neighborhood specific Design Guidelines and will serve as the basis for further review of the building permit. Once the applicant has incorporated the design guidance into the proposal they may apply for a building permit. No public notice of the building permit application will be provided.
Current Design Proposal & Alternatives
You can find all project drawings and documents online, including d/Arch LLC’s 39-page detailed proposal. Follow the link below to the project portal specific to 3038044-EG. Then click on the “attachments” tab and select “Design Review EDG Proposal – Draft” uploaded on Jan. 12th (a 12 MB PDF). https://cosaccela.seattle.gov/
Below, you’ll find excerpts that show three alternatives, focusing on pages that detail the “Preferred” Alternative 3. There’s too much to cover with these proposals in a single post so a separate deep dive into the drawings will follow. Please take a look at the various alternatives and let the city and developer know what you think!
Thank you for telling us about this. Would not have known otherwise.
I always welcome additional housing to the neighborhood. I think it’s a shame that they’re removing six small commercial spaces from the neighborhood and proposing to replace them with one or two larger ones.
I agree. I hate those big cement box buildings- like cement towers- no green, no space, no trees, no retaining of the beautiful architecture nor support fo r the small business owners who are displaced.
In a just world (I know we don’t live in one), the design would not be approved without part of the retail being designed to Fainting Goat’s specifications at a rent they can afford. We moved from Wallingford in 2018 and from Washington in 2020, but when we walked into Fainting Goat on our short visit last year, we felt so completely at home. A little boy in front of us in line was having a bit of a meltdown and we, along with his dad, helped get him calmed down. The woman behind the counter clearly noticed, because our “single scoops” were the size of large grapefruits when we finally ordered. It’s such a nice part of Wallingford, it’s a shame it’s unlikely to be there when we next come back.
Not enough parking spaces! 12 spaces for 36 units? 👎🏼 They need to reduce # of units by 2-4 & up # of parking spaces by 4 at min. There shd be at least ½ as many spaces as units!! So minimum 18 spaces & that’s still too few!! There is little if any street pkg in that area! 🙄 ⅔ parking spaces/units is a more practical model for Seattle-dwellers, so: 24 pkg to 36 units or, reduce # of units.
We were able to get a couple of local W’ford condos to reduce units & up spaces a few yrs bk. We need to write some letters!
And those 24 spaces should have accessible electrical outlets on a circuit that can handle multiple Level 1 (common wall socket) charging.
Those parking spaces are especially necessary for disabled renters who may have to rely on a vehicle for transportation. I’m sick of these new apartments with no parking.
Where exactly would this additional parking go? Look at the floor plan. The basement is almost entirely devoted to parking. The only other stuff in there is elevator/stair access that you can’t possibly get rid of, and a mechanical room that occupies perhaps 15% of the space.
It’s not clear to me that moving the mechanical room to a different floor would make a difference, because you’d need to make enough space for a third row of parking (and access to that row) and it doesn’t look like deleting the mechanical room would provide that. I also doubt the site is big enough for a multi-level parking structure to work out; the spiral access ramp would eat up most of the area leaving little room for actual parking spaces. If you’re seeing some possibilities that I and the architects have missed, I guess you’re welcome to provide that feedback.
I guess you could do some dingbat-style spaces on the ground floor instead of retail, but is that really the right trade-off to make? I’d strongly disagree there. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/edca607f7cb256167873eea300a5928eb7b3307862b4575096fd00386efa4b57.jpg
So time is short! thru 2/7/22 comments for: 1901 N. 45th St.,
can submitted online to:
Use: Record # option, rather than address—which did not seem to work— to locate comment form, for this project.
I recommend suggesting both a ⅔ parking spaces to units ratio & as per comment below:
accessible electrical outlets on a circuit that can handle multiple Level 1 (common wall socket) charging.
I commented on another development and even attended a design meeting but to no avail. I don’t want to discourage anyone – it just seemed from my one experience that the bulk of the decision-making had already been made by the time the sign went up. I wish we had protected the historic brick one-story buildings on 45th as a historic neighborhood long before all this development. Wallingford is losing it’s character and IMHO, the new buildings have no character at all. I’d also like to know how many of these new units will be affordable. My guess is zero. I am disheartened but will still comment on the proposed development.