More Tasty Pike/Pine Infill


[ Proposed mixed-used infill project at 1424 11th Ave; rendering:  Weinstein A|U ]

Pike/Pine has more examples of small-scale urban infill done right than any other neighborhood in Seattle, and Liz Dunn’s latest, shown above, promises to continue that trend.  Designed by Weinstein A|U — the same firm that designed Dunn’s Agnes Lofts just around the corner — the proposed project at 1424 11th Ave is only 65 feet wide at the street.  For comparison, 1310 E Union is 40 feet; 1111 E Pike is 60 feet; and the 500 block of E Pine is about 200 feet long.

The building will incorporate 60 apartments, 6148 sf of retail, and 27 parking stalls.  Most of the units are studios and they are relatively small:  the average gross floor area per unit is 600 sf, which translates to a rentable area of roughly 500 sf.  That’s small, though not too far below market norms — Moda in Belltown has units as small as 300 sf.

The parking ratio is fairly low, at 0.45 stalls per unit, which helps keep costs down.  And because the garage has less than 30 parking stalls, code allows a driveway width of  10-feet rather than 20, alleviating the necessity to put a gaping hole in the street wall.  The design as a whole de-emphasizes the base of the building, in contrast to the heavy, visually disconnected base that is so common on this building type in Seattle.

What’s not to like?  Well, as it the case with pretty much any new market rate housing, rents in this building are likely to be unaffordable to a large fraction of the people who established the colorful and magnetic urban character of Pike/Pine in the first place, and makes it such a marketable location for housing.  Small units and low parking ratios are about as much as a market rate developer can do to keep rents low.

The bottom line is that the market cannot provide affordable housing in expensive cities — subsidy is a prerequisite.  To the best of my knowledge, Pike/Pine has only one relatively new affordable urban infill project:  Broadway Crossing at the corner of Broadway and Pine.

8 Responses to “More Tasty Pike/Pine Infill”

  1. holz

    can we talk about the mews that aren’t mews at all?

  2. dan bertolet

    Creating a pedestrian connection between 12th and 11th is a good urban design move. All the hyperventilating by SLOG commenters about whether or not it’s OK to call it a “mews” was pathetically silly.

    http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2009/02/18/this_is_how_it_s_dunn

  3. JoshMahar

    After the success of the Broadway Crossing, Capitol Hill Housing has been working on another project which may come to fruition in the near future. They are working out a deal with SPD to take over their parking lot at 12th and Pine.

    http://www.capitolhillseattle.com/2009/02/17/making-a-better-police-parking-lot-on-12th-ave

    There will be a meeting about this and other 12th Ave improvements on February 25th

    http://capitolhillhousing.org/12thave/?p=147

  4. joshuadf

    I agree completely about the affordability. Even old ugly apartments are only affordable at about 70% of AMI (2008 Seattle AMI is $77468). On the other hand, apartments are still far more affordable to the middle class than in-city mortgages.

    I hadn’t seen that award for Broadway Crossing, congratulations to Capitol Hill Housing and GGLO too.

  5. L

    I want a mews. Is that “mews” as in like how a cow says, or more like how a cat says it?

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