Elks Club project at old Ponti location is on tap at this week’s Queen Anne Community Council

This month’s Queen Anne Community Council meeting is Wednesday, May 3rd and the guest speakers are the architects for the Elks Club project. The Elks are remodeling the former Ponti Seafood restaurant at 3014 3rd Ave N.

The Elks are requesting limited variances and a small extension, including landscape improvements, for the project. There is also the possibility of a height increase to the building. Attend this week’s meeting and join the discussion on the project and its potential impact on the Ship Canal Trail.

  • Here’s the full agenda for Wednesday:
  • 7:30 – Adoption of agenda, approval of minutes, Treasurer’s Report
  • 7:35 – Open Forum: comments from the attendees
  • 7:45 – Karen Ko-DON
  • 7:50 – Utility Pole replacement
  • 8:00 – Elks Club/Ponti remodel
  • 8:25 – Election of new Vice President/Chair
  • 8:30 – Committee Reports
  • 9:25-New Business
  • 9:30-Adjournment

The meeting will be held at Queen Anne Manor, 100 Crockett St, from 7:30pm to 9:30pm. Anyone who lives or works on Queen Anne is welcome to attend.

MERCER ARTS ARENA DEMOLITION REVEALS THE PAST, BUT ONLY PART OF IT REMAINS

Republishing as the original post, along with 9 other posts, was deleted during the server migration – worth reposting due to historical significance.

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As demolition crews tore down the old Mercer Arts Arena at 375 Mercer St, the past was revealed – and a tiny bit of it was saved. The 1928 building didn’t show its age, as it was “substantially altered in 1961-62 in preparation for its use as an entertainment venue for the Seattle World’s Fair Century 21 Exposition” – but the original 1928 facade and decorative features were hidden behind the exterior walls:

 

Photo credit: Feliks Bane

According to KIRO Radio historian Feliks Bane, the original facade was “in perfect condition… I mean the glass was gone, but these arches were there, big medallions over the doorway and then, as they got farther and father down toward the street, I could see the wings and head of a gargoyle.”

That’s right, a gargoyle. Two of them, and they were destroyed. But, Banel examined the original blueprint and discovered that there were two more gargoyles behind the 1960s makeover. He contacted Seattle Opera and the two were saved. Their fate? Likely donated to the City.

Photo credit: Feliks Bane

SPS seeks volunteers for Queen Anne Elementary Departures Advisory Committee

Republishing as the original post, along with 9 other posts, was deleted during the server migration – note the deadline to apply is this Friday, April 21st.

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Seattle Public Schools (SPS) is looking for volunteers for the School Departures Advisory Committee for Queen Anne Elementary. What exactly does “departures” mean? As Queen Anne Elementary faces a redesign (see image below for latest plan), SPS seeks a “departure process” from the Seattle Land Use Code Section.

The departure process allows for the construction, addition, and/or renovation of schools that do not necessarily meet all of the land use and zoning standards of the surrounding neighborhood.

Queen Anne Elementary School is requesting such departures from Code for the following:

  1. Less than required off-street parking
  2. Greater than normally allowed lot coverage
  3. On-street bus loading and unloading

The committee will hold one to three public meetings at Queen Anne Elementary during a 90-day period beginning when the committee is appointed. Per SPS:

“At the meetings, the committee will receive briefings from the Seattle School District, and gather and evaluate public comment on the departure requests. Following these meetings, the committee will forward a recommendation to the Seattle Department of Construction & Inspections (SDCI) to either grant or deny the requested modifications. The committee may also recommend relevant conditions to be applied to granting these changes to minimize its impacts on the surrounding neighborhood. SDCI will make the final decision.”

Who’s eligible to apply?

  • Neighbors who live or own a business within 600’ of Queen Anne Elementary
  • Residents in the surrounding neighborhood
  • Representatives of city-wide education issues
  • Parents of future QAES students

Other committee members will include a representative from the School District and City of Seattle.

To apply, please send a letter of interest by email or snail mail to:

Maureen Sheehan
Seattle Department of Neighborhoods
PO Box 94649
Seattle, WA 98124-4649

Today’s the day: Bertha to break through

Bertha, the tunneling machine that has been making her way underneath 99, is scheduled to break through the final 5 foot southern wall today, Tuesday, April 4,

The entire route comes in at 9,270 feet. Here’s a shot of the assembly wall where she’s set to break through. A live stream is available online. Early this morning, Bertha was roughly 30 feet from her journey’s end. She’ll start boring through the final wall at 8am and her 5 foot path is expected to be about a foot per hour trip.

Here’s her path, the machine is set to break through near 6th Ave N and Thomas St today:

 

Proposed high-rise at 225 Roy St back down to 8 stories

The former home of Teatro ZinZanni will transform one way or another, but it’s been a rollercoaster ride when it comes to the number of stories for the site. First it was two buildings: one 8-story and one 16-story. Then, most recently, the City of Seattle Land Use Bulletin had two buildings listed, each with a public meeting – and they were 16 and 17 stories.

Last week, the City released its Uptown rezone recommendations last week which limit new developments along the Mercer/Roy corridor to 85’ buildings. In response, the project at 225 Roy St will adhere to that limit and come in at only 8 stories.

According to the developer, the “high-quality, mixed-use project will feature approximately 250-275 apartments and ground-floor live-work units and approximately 9,000 sq. ft. of ground-level retail/restaurant space.”

The 8-story building will also address the City’s affordability programs with 20% of the building designated for affordable residences.

Preliminary proposal for Uptown includes part of Upper Queen Anne

The City of Seattle released a preliminary proposal for the rezoning (aka height increases) for the Uptown Urban Center. The full proposal is online, and weighs in at 47 pages. What’s notable? The map of the study area is smaller than the new “Uptown” boundaries as defined by the City.

In the proposal, the boundaries for Uptown go as far north as Galer Street. That means that Bhy Kracke Park and the southern part of Queen Anne Boulevard are considered “Uptown” – meanwhile, Kerry Park is the boundary to the west, it barely escapes the new map designation. Please note: this map does not align to the study area for Uptown, this increase to the north is new:

Of course, building heights are of keen interest to supporters and opponents alike. Here’s the current proposal for increasing building heights:

And, what about that portion of Upper Queen Anne that’s now considered “Uptown”? There are some areas with “protected views” – noted by the dark blue arrows in the map below:

You can read the full proposal here, and if you have questions, concerns, or comments, here’s the information you need:

Open House: The City of Seattle will host an open house at Seattle Center Pavilion, adjacent to the Seattle Center Skatepark, from 5pm to 7pm on Wednesday, March 29. The public will have an opportunity to learn more about the proposal and speak to City staff about housing, transportation, support for the arts, and other neighborhood priorities.

Written Public Comments: on the preliminary rezone recommendation can be submitted by writing to jim.holmes@seattle.gov – comments must be received by Saturday, April 22.

After the public comment period, OPCD will make a recommendation to the Mayor and Council about how to proceed to implement the community’s vision for the future of Uptown. Make your voice part of these recommendations!

Early Design Guidance Meetings set for 16 and 17 story buildings at 225 Roy St

If you followed the saga of Teatro ZinZanni or perhaps just took note of the proposed development of the site at 225 Roy Street, here’s the latest news.

Two Design Review Early Design Guidance meetings are scheduled for the property, as two buildings are proposed for the site: a 17-story office building and a 16-story residential building. Both projects are reliant on Uptown height rezoning. Details on each – including the project numbers for each – are below:

17-Story Office Building, Project #3025946 
Proposal to allow a 17-story, 395,000 sq. ft. office building with 10,000 sq. ft. of retail space located at ground level. Parking for 405 vehicles to be located below. Existing buildings to be demolished.

Meeting: Wednesday, April 5, 2017, 6:30pm at Queen Anne Community Center (1901 1st Ave W)

16-Story Residential Building, Project #3025945
Proposal to allow a 16-story building containing 350 residential units and 9,744 sq. ft. of retail space. Parking for 270 vehicles to be located below grade.

Meeting: Wednesday, April 5, 2017, 8pm at Queen Anne Community Center (1901 1st Ave W)

Comments will be accepted through April 5th. The public is invited to offer comments regarding site planning and design issues via email or mail to: City of Seattle – Seattle DCI – PRC, 700 5th Avenue, Suite 2000, PO Box 34019, Seattle, WA  98124-4019.

Teatro ZinZanni will close after Sunday’s last show

Teatro ZinZanni has been racing against a ticking clock since the sale and future development of its current home plans became public knowledge. The site at 222 Mercer St will soon be demolished to make room for two separate buildings on the site: one 8 story building and one 16 story building.

Since it found out that its days on Mercer were numbered, Teatro ZinZanni has been looking for a new home, to no avail – it investigated “several hundred sites” in Seattle and the extended metro area, and found 12 suitable sites. However, the sites turned out to be out of reach for Teatro ZinZanni.

According to Teatro ZinZanni, the developer purchasing the site, Washington Holdings, offered Seattle Opera $8 million to extend its closing. The offer was declined and now tomorrow’s sold-out March 5th performances will be its last… for now:

“We’re continuing our rigorous pursuit of new space in Seattle. For our staff. For the city. For you.”

Seattle Immersive Theatre to close after one year on Queen Anne

Last January, we shared the news that Seattle Immersive Theatre was moving into the old Silver Platters location at the corner of Roy & 5th Ave N. The theatre signed a one-year lease, and as that lease expires, the troupe is moving on. Its three February performances – Storyville Rising, The Few Clothes Cabaret, and Mardi Gras Masquerade – will be the last on Queen Anne.

According to Seattle Immersive Theatre, the landlord of the building at 701 5th Ave N seeks to “more than double” the current lease amount. This particular site has been in the blog before, as it’s slated for demolition to make way for a new development. Design plans were revealed in October for the near-future 5-story building that will house 99 apartments and 3,481 square feet of commercial space on the ground floor:

Seattle Immersive Theatre may be losing their current home, but they plan to soldier on – here’s what they have to say about the future:

“Don’t despair- three years ago Seattle Immersive Theatre started as a nomadic theatre company and we’re embracing the change back to doing site-specific productions. Although we’ll be leaving our Queen Anne location, we certainly aren’t done doing our own brand of theatre magic.

Join us as we bid a bittersweet adieu to the space we’ve called home for the past year. The Masquerade Ball on February 25th will be our last event at this space and we plan to go out with a bang! After a respite from the transition, we’re on to the next adventure.”

You can buy tickets to Seattle Immersive Theatre’s last shows via their website.

Key Arena redevelopment: take the Uptown Alliance survey and attend a public meeting

If you have questions, concerns, opinions (or all three) on the redevelopment and/or possible replacement of Key Arena, the Seattle Uptown Alliance has two options for you.

First, take the Uptown Alliance’s survey on Key Arena plans. It’s a short 10 question survey with two key rating/ranking questions:

Potential community benefits: what you believe is most important, whether it’s community, transportation, or clean-up impacts.

Preferences for Key Arena: what you prefer for the future of Key Arena, from keeping the original structure as-is to completely demolishing it, and whether you want NBA/NHL teams playing at the Key.

The survey takes less than 3 minutes to complete, so take it today! Then, mark your calendars for a special community meeting to discuss the redevelopment of Key Arena and its surroundings. The meeting is scheduled for Monday, February 13th, at 7pm. The agenda is TBD, if you want updates on the meeting, RSVP here.