18th and Jackson is less than a mile from some of the most expensive real estate in Pacific Northwest, so the curious thing isn’t why redevelopment is happening now, but rather, what the heck took so long?
The photo above is looking NW across the site of the development known as “Legacy at Pratt Park,” a six-story mixed-use residential building that will cover the entire block between 18th and 19th, north of Jackson. The building, designed by Sienna Architecture, looks to be standard issue Seattle-style “5 over 1″, see below. The red sign atop the building was salvaged from the Wonder Bread factory that was previously on the site.
Next door to the west on Jackson is a second, similar project under construction, covering half of the block between 18th and 17th. Designed by Streeter Architects, it appears to range between 4 and 5 stories, see rendering below.
It’s great to finally see infill development along Jackson, but not so fast: why aren’t these buildings taller? This section of Jackson is a wide commercial artery that does not abut any single family zones. Furthermore, within half a block of each of these two projects is a 10-story apartment building, see below. Current zoning along Jackson allows a 65-foot building between 18th and 19th, and only a 40-foot building between 17th and 18th. Huh? Note to Seattle: if you really want to densify, four to six stories ain’t gonna cut it.