Archive for December, 2007

Viaduct: Reality Creep?

Assuming any sort of grip on reality, the debate is over: Take it out, don’t replace it. This week brings news suggesting that reality may finally be sinking in: The City, County, and State DOTs have all agreed to evaluate the Surface/Transit Option (though they’re not calling it that).
Meanwhile, a 29 member [...]

Modular Living

Modular housing in Seattle – is it the right time and place?
Inhabit is a Unico demonstration project of modular housing…pretty neat if not a little heavy on the Scandinavian interior design. This kind of modular multifamily housing would likely be cheaper than typical multi-family housing, but they did not have any cost estimates when I [...]

Hunting for Goodwill on Dearborn Street

All that stuff shown above is a proposed $300 million development with 550 housing units, 650,000 square feet of retail space, and 2300 parking stalls, on a 10-acre site at Dearborn and Rainier, currently occupied by Goodwill. It’s a big one, guaranteed to be controversial, and interestingly, the two most vocal citizens groups have come [...]

Townhouses are the new SUVs

Lots of people bash them, but at the same time, lots of people are buying them. And as with SUVs, much of the bashing is justified. But some help could be on the way: the scourge of the townhouses is on the radar of Seattle city planners who are updating multifamily zoning [...]

da haps downtown

Each colored square on the map is a project that is permitted, under construction, or recently completed.  If you have a hankering to get the lowdown on a project, visit the Seattle Downtown Association and click away.


Just as I’m about to brilliantly blog my “new” idea of “micro retail”, prompted by the mourning over violent neighborhood change such as 500 Pine, someone has gone ahead and actually proposed it in a real project. So much for looking clever.
Here’s the idea posed as a question: Is there a way for a new [...]

Carbon-free on the oil-soaked desert sands of the Middle East

For real. Masdar: A zero-carbon, zero-waste, car-free city on 1500 acres, 20 miles outside Abu Dhabi, the second largest city of the United Arab Emirates. The city will be home to 45,000 people and 60,000 jobs. They are applying pretty much every sustainable design strategy there is — read the links. Even the construction process [...]


Holding the corner, all clean and simple, somehow just the right proportions. Located at 12th and Pike on Capitol Hill, formerly a surface parking lot. Designed by Weinstein A|U, developed by Dunn + Hobbes. How nice to see a new mixed-use building without a bulky brick storefront base. And it’s apartments, not condos. Could this [...]

SLOG is doing my job today

Lofty visions of the future…

Proposed mixed-use building at 14th and Union.

No really, blame the buildings

In response to this previous post noting that buildings account for roughly half of energy use in the U.S. and therefore half of CO2 emissions, the astute reader might be inclined to point out that here in Seattle we get about 89% (or is it 86%?) of our electricity from carbon-free hydro, and thus our [...]

Seattle Too Easy on Developers? (Hint: that’s not the right question)

Since I’m the token real estate professional in this group, I’ve decided to comment on Friday’s article in the PI entitled, “Is Seattle too easy on Developers?” The issue at hand is the proposed incentive zoning that would offer additional height allowances in exchange for 3-7% of affordable (i.e., workforce) housing. This proposal has sparked [...]

The Death and Life of Great American City Blocks

[ Photo: joshc ]
“Cities need old buildings so badly it is probably impossible for vigorous streets and districts to grow without them. By old buildings I mean not museum-piece old buildings, not old buildings in an excellent state of rehabilitation — although these make fine ingredients — but also a good lot of plain, ordinary, [...]

Activate the street

You know, designers and planners can talk all they want about “building community”, but it’s events like this that bring people together and make a place truly special:
Ninja Parade Slips Through Town Unnoticed Once Again

What about Seattle? Where are our ninja parades? Once again, in Sea-town it’s just more talk, less action, and no ninjas.

Blame the Buildings

U.S. energy consumption is typically broken out by sector as in the above left. But some big brained people associated with Architecture 2030 recognized the importance of separating out the impact of buildings — a big chunk of the industrial, commercial, and residential sectors — and created the pie [...]