Is Seattle getting a new high rise?
An application made with the City of Seattle for the corner of 8th and Lenora is catching some attention (Ariel Photo). I received the tip from a source of mine at the Cosmopolitan. It seams to have stirred up a frenzy among the Cosmo owners. If the 2030 8th Avenue Project is approved the Cosmopolitan will lose it’s view of the Seattle Space Needle and surrounding views. The proposal includes a 38 story tower with 348 units and 3,134 feet of retail space. In my opinion, this story is much bigger than just the Cosmo.
I’ve included the design material for your review (See here). If this design is positioned to be condominiums, they are the most opportunistic/bullish plans for development since the inception of Escala. As you will see on page (3) and (6) of the design documents, the project has a sleek exterior with dynamite views to the North & Northwest including Lake Union, the Space Needle and Elliot Bay (not to exclude city views as well):
I’ve included the mission statement if you don’t want to read through all 62 pages like I have:
2030 8th Avenue introduces 350 residential units to the Denny Triangle
neighborhood of downtown Seattle. The project includes 350 parking stalls,
more than half of which will be below grade. For the residents, a large common
area rooftop terrace and amenities will provide additional living space, and a way
to meet and socialize with neighbors and friends.
The building will also provide two ground-floor retail spaces, including a potential restaurant location on the
highly visible corner where 8th Avenue meets Lenora Street and
Westlake Avenue.From a minimal 120’ x 128’ site a 400’ tower will rise. A sleek, contemporary,
curtain wall system unbroken by external decks will drape an interior concrete
frame giving shape to urban sculpture. Mechanical and other building systems
will be concealed with a sculpted top rising an additional 40’ from the rooftop.
With such a small footprint, attention to base sculpting will be critical to
connecting the tower to the ground without creating a tower that simply sits
atop a podium. Likewise, the base massing and architecture should improve the
pedestrian experience, and respond to the Lenora green street.
Residents of 2030 8th Avenue will support the City’s goals for more residential
density downtown, which in turn provides support for local small shops and
services. With the emerging South Lake Union / Denny Triangle employment
center within walking distance, and the streetcar connection to the bus tunnel /
light rail, this project is truly pedestrian and transit friendly which will be one of
several strategies employed to achieve LEED Silver Certification.
So, circling back to the Cosmopolitan. I’ve included a letter that was sent amongst the owners in regards to the impact of this proposed project. Clearly it could make an impact on the Cosmo in more ways then one:
ATTENTION: Owners interested in engaging in discussions and working together toward a common goal regarding the Proposed Land Use Action Project #3010926 Requiring Permits (2030 8th Avenue At Lenora) and additional building permits that may be requested and issued within blocks of the Cosmopolitan and surrounding areas are invited to participate in discussions with other Cosmopolitan Owners on Sunday, May 16, 2010 in the Cosmopolitan’s Owners Lounge on the 9th floor at 7 pm.
Note: This meeting is not an HOA Board Event. Independent Owners are inviting neighbors to discuss the proposed project and future land development plans in “Downtown Seattle”.
2030 8th Avenue Project Detail: http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/AppDocs/GroupMeetings/DRProposal3010926AgendaID2876.pdf
Current Seattle inventory adding up to a large supply of vacancies with little or no demand in the condominium market in “Downtown Seattle”: ENSO, Escala, Olive 8, The Olivian, Aspira, 2200 Rollin Street (originally planned for condominiums, currently rentals with plans to convert to condominiums in a few years), The Gallery and additional condos in Belltown, new condos almost complete near Seattle Center…
If the 2030 8th Avenue Project is approved the Cosmopolitan will loose it’s view of the Seattle Space Needle and surrounding views from as high up as the 35th floor rooftop deck. Our views being diminished may not concern the City, but perhaps the City wants to consider the impact of increasing supply while demand is as low as it is in Seattle and say, “No,” to approving additional building permits.
Attached is additional detail with contact information to submit comments by the May 19, 2010 deadline. Additionally, you are most welcome to engage in discussions on Sunday, May 16, 2010 at 7 pm in the Cosmopolitan’s Owners Lounge on the 9th floor.
So, where does this project go from here? First, the design has to be approved, then they will begin the permit process. Starting with demolition. So will it be approved you ask? Frankly, I’m not sure. If you look at the players involved it seems inevitable. However, we won’t know for weeks.
What do you guys think?
- Does the city of Seattle need another high rise?
- Is this smart building?
- Is the developer planning for a shortage of inventory by the time the project is done?
What’s your opinion. I will share mine later after you have had a chance to digest this post.