Comments for 27-unit apartment building across from Queen Anne Library accepted until September 20

In July, the developers for the old Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Garfield Exchange Building hosted a public meeting to inform neighbors of the plans to turn the historic building into 27 apartments. The plan includes a 4th story addition to the building at 1529 4th Ave W, along with limited underground parking (14 spots).

Neighbors who attended the meeting expressed concerns with congestion and parking around the Queen Anne branch of the Seattle Public Library. Many have submitted comments already, and now the comment period for the project has been extended to September 2oth.

If you have questions or concerns about this project, you can submit them via email to PRC@Seattle.gov – put “Project #3027522” in the subject line.

Details on the project, as well as public comments submitted to date, are available online – you can find information by going here and entering either the project number (3027522) or the address (1529 4th Ave W). [Note: the project # is not currently working, so try the address if that’s the case for you.]

Nickerson Paving Project kicks off today, Monday, July 24th

Seattle DOT is planning to start is Nickerson Paving Project today, Monday, July 24th. Construction crews will repave Nickerson St and W Nickerson St, with construction beginning in Zone B (see map), between 3rd Ave W and 14th Ave W.

The week of July 24, you can expect:

  • Crews to set up traffic control starting at 3rd Ave W and make their way west
  • Traffic lanes to be shifted north to allow room for crews to repair and repave the south side of the street
  • On-street parking restrictions on Nickerson St/W Nickerson St between 3rd Ave W and 14th Ave W
  • Saw cutting as crews prepare to repair sections of pavement
  • Nickerson St/W Nickerson St to remain open throughout construction
  • Typical work hours will be from 7am to 5pmMonday through Friday

Uptown Rezone recommendation announced by Mayor

This week, Mayor Ed Murray announced the Uptown Rezone recommendation. The plan allows building heights to increase across Uptown, with some buildings allowed to go up to 160 feet.

The plan also calls for 600 new affordable housing units near Seattle Center as part of the Mandatory Housing Affordability program –  it requires developers to include rent-restricted units or pay a fee to construct affordable housing somewhere else in the Seattle city limits.

Here’s the plan map – old heights are listed first, new heights are second:

The plan also includes development recommendations as follows:

– The ground level of buildings in pedestrian areas have restaurants, retail, theaters and other uses that drive pedestrian activity.

– Storefronts must be transparent at the street level. Windows and openings add visual interest to the pedestrian environment.

– Parking at the street level must be separated from the right of way with buildings and uses that hide the parking. At least half of all new parking must be underground.

– 15% of the lot area for large projects be usable open space.

– New development must include upper level setbacks to maintain pedestrian scale and provide light at the street level.

You can read the full plan here.

Early view of Safeway expansion shows parking below the new 50,000 sq ft store

Following up on our post on the planned Upper Queen Anne Safeway redevelopment, we have a view of the current site plan from the Seattle Department of Construction & Inspections. As previously reported, the plan has the current store footprint doubling from 25,000 square feet to 50,000 square feet. It also includes 4 stories of residential space above the storefront on the first floor.

Per the initial site plans, the new Safeway would extend to the sidewalks on both Crockett and Queen Anne Ave N, with underground parking replacing the current above-ground parking. The entrance would be across from the Trader Joe’s garage parking entrance on Crockett. Pedestrian entrances would be located on Queen Anne Ave N and at the corner of Queen Anne Ave N & Crockett St.

Please note, this site plan could change, but this is what has been publicly filed to date:

The current plan is to break ground in 2018. As more information becomes available, we’ll post it.

Proposed 6-story building coming to corner of Roy St & Queen Anne Ave N

It sure seemed inevitable. A new development is planned at the location of the one-story building and parking lot at the corner of Roy St and Queen Anne Ave N. The site at 631 Queen Anne Ave N currently houses Manhattan Express Deli:

The proposed development will be a 6-story mixed-use building with 64 residential units and 5,000 square feet of commercial space. It also includes 46 underground parking stalls.

The architect firm for the new building is Jackson Main Architecture. You can see examples of their work here – much of their work appears to be in Redmond and other Eastside locales. There’s one project on Aurora that has yet to break ground. No date or plans available for the Queen Anne site yet.

Safeway plans to redevelop its Upper Queen Anne store

I received a notice from Safeway the other day about its plans for the Upper Queen Anne Safeway, and had a few questions – such as what are the plans for parking, what materials will be used, any preliminary drawings. But, I haven’t heard back yet, so here’s what has been officially announced. And, for those hoping for a larger, more modern and clean Safeway, it’s good news:

Safeway plans to redevelop the Upper Queen Anne store with construction beginning in the fall of 2018. The new store doubles the existing square footage from 25,000 square feet to 50,000 square feet. It will also include 4 stories of multi-family housing above the ground floor retail space.

The larger Safeway promises “expanded departments” and a “larger selection of… fresh, local, and organic products” in a store that will be better able to serve the peak hour crowds.

According to Karl Schroeder, Safeway’s Seattle Division President:

“We love being a part of this neighborhood.  Since 1962 the store has undergone several significant remodels that were limited to our current space constraints.  We are now committed to pursuing a redevelopment plan well-suited to both our neighbors and the location. We know how important this store redevelopment will be to the neighborhood and are taking a thoughtful approach to building design and materials.”

Planning begins this summer and perhaps we’ll soon know more about parking (will it be above or below ground?) and how the building will look and fit into the business district. Plus, the usual Land Use updates and comment period. Stay tuned.

Public meeting on Queen Anne Elementary renovation is this Monday

Queen Anne Elementary is expanding, and its growth brings changes around the school. From traffic impacts, bus load/unload, and on-site parking, the Seattle Public Schools has released a SEPA (State Environmental Policy Act) document in advance of breaking ground. Seattle Public Schools has prepared a Draft SEPA Checklist for Queen Anne Elementary School Addition Project.

First up, here’s the plan for the remodeled school:

The 100+ page document is available online – here are its key findings:

  • The expanded Queen Anne Elementary School is expected to accommodate a student capacity of 500—an increase of about 80 compared to current enrollment. The expansion may result in 10 additional employees—up from 50 current employees.
  • The expansion project is estimated to generate net increases of 54 vehicle trips during the morning peak hour and 53 vehicle trips during the afternoon peak hour.
  • Traffic conditions will continue to be busy along the roadways that surround the site—4th Avenue N, Bigelow Avenue N, Boston Street, Crockett Street, and Newton Street—in the morning before school begins and in the afternoon when school is dismissed.
  • Traffic generated by the school is expected to add some delay to the study-area intersections during the peak 20 minutes around arrival and dismissal. However, all study-area intersections are expected to continue operating at the same levels as without the project during both morning and afternoon conditions.
  • The project would increase on-site parking from 21 to 30 spaces, and is expected to increase midday parking demand by 12 or fewer vehicles.
  • During the evenings when large events are held at the school (typically once per month or once every other month), on-street parking demand surrounding the school is expected to continue to be well utilized.

Seattle Public Schools is holding a public meeting on Queen Anne Elementary to present the project and answer questions. All are welcome to attend this meeting at Queen Anne Elementary (411 Boston St) on Monday, June 12, 2017 from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm.

If you can’t make the meeting and would like to submit written comments, you can do so via email through 5pm on  June 16th. You can also snail mail comments to:

Pegi McEvoy
Seattle Public Schools
MS 22-183
P.O. Box 34165
Seattle, WA 98124-1165

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

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.

Land with Teatro ZinZanni sold to developer with plans for 16-story building

The land that runs along 3rd Ave N between Mercer and Roy Streets has been sold to a developer that plans to build two separate buildings on the site: one 8 story building and one 16 story building per the Seattle Department of Construction & Inspections.

The two buildings will 350 residential units and 9,744 sq. ft. of retail space. Below grade parking for 270 vehicles is currently included in the early design phase.

How 16 stories? This project is impacted by the Uptown Rezone, and the notice notes “project relies on contract rezone” in reference to the building height.

The first public meeting for this project is the Design Review Early Design Guidance Review meeting on April 5th:

Review Meeting
April 5, 2017 6:30 p.m.
Queen Anne Community Center
1901 1st Ave W, Room 1

In the meantime, Teatro ZinZanni is looking for a new home, which isn’t a small feat. You can read more about the impact on this local icon in this KOMO story. And, you can learn more about the history of the “K Block” from the Queen Anne Historical Society.