Queen Anne’s most prominent and active developer, Joe Geivett, told the Queen Anne Community Council’s land-committee Monday that the Metropolitan Market project is still on track to begin construction by next summer.
Geivett, principal at Emerald Bay Equity, LLC, is currently pursuing a mass-use permit from the city and will apply for a building permit in January. He said the market will close next summer and will be razed along with two neighboring rental homes and the El Frieda apartments. The combined demolition and construction should take up to 18 months. Geivett expects the new structure will be ready by late 2013.
Geivett’s presentation was warmly received by the Land Use Review Committee of the Queen Anne Community Council on Monday. The developer focused on the look, shape and boundaries of the project which is aimed at completely redeveloping the existing space into a mixed-use structure. As is the trend in urban housing projects throughout Seattle, particularly noticeable in Ballard and Queen Anne, Geivett’s project will have 24,000 square feet for the market, 20,000 square feet of additional ground-floor space for retail, 110 apartments and roughly 200 underground parking spaces. Geivett said there has already been interest in some of the retail by an Irish pub-type establishment. And while the building will mean an increase in the number of people living in Queen Anne, Geivett doesn’t anticipate an increase in traffic along Queen Anne Avenue North as the younger demographic expected to live in the building is “trending away” from the use of cars and even home phones.
The building will have three levels for residential use, ground-floor commercial use, and two levels of underground parking. It will have an open plaza facing Queen Anne Avenue North and may have moveable planters, sculptures and seating. The plaza, to be equipped with electrical outlets and lighting, could also be home to outdoor entertainment, Geivett said.
LURC members appeared pleased with the plan, though Marty Kaplan raised questions about its curb appeal. He suggested Geivett to pay more attention to style and detail particularly with the cornices. The committee will make a recommendation to the Queen Anne Community Council, which, if approved by members, will send a recommendation to the city.
The building will be a mix of brick, composite and metal siding. Part of the residential space will recede from the street allowing for a private, upper-level promenade. Delivery trucks will be routed into the alley behind the building between Crockett Street and Howe Street. The El Frieda apartment building, a brick structure built in the 1930s and located at 1932 Queen Anne Ave., to the north of the market, will be razed along with two other homes. The market rents out the single-family homes and Emerald Bay currently rents out the 10 apartments in the El Frieda. Some of the leaded glasswork found at the El Frieda will be incorporated into the new building.
While Geivett expects few schedule problems, some neighbors have told him they are not happy about alley deliveries and may take him to court.
The project has been in the works for some time but was put on hold largely because of the flagging economy.
“We planned on developing it three or four years ago but the unusual economic condition delayed it,” Geivett said.