the Southwestern Design Review Board gave its approval Thursday evening to the project which now bears the address 9208 20th SW [map], formerly 9201 Delridge Way SW. No public comment was offered and council recommendations were few; most of the changes proposed at the previous meeting in October (BMS coverage here) had already been incorporated into the design presented at the online meeting.
Four members of the SWDRB were present – chairman Scott Rosenstock, newly appointed members Patrick cobb and Johanna lirman, and member Alan grainger. The city was represented by the town planner Tami garrett, who manages the project, and responsible for the Design Review program Lisa rutzick.
Towards the start of the meeting, the architects Drôme workshop‘s Michelle linden explained that the owner / developer (not identified by name at meeting, but documents show he is Craig haveson of STS construction services [WSB sponsor]) “will expand his office in this building.” The offices of STS are currently in a neighboring building recently enlarged and marked as the Livingstone Apartments. Linden noted that the main objective of the new project is to “provide dense housing in a frequent transit area,” she said. It is planned for five floors – 77 apartments over the office space on the ground floor – without outdoor parking.
Among the changes made since the previous meeting – moving the residential entrance to the north and expanding the lobby. A café-bar and a community space would be part of it; the cafe-bar seats could be a community space for residents during the evenings. Commercial and residential entrances will be marked with different exterior colors.
Linden said the previous suggestion to move the trade entrance to SW Barton wouldn’t work, however. They worked to tie the curved streetscape more closely to development. Having a drop zone on the 20th rather than Barton will solve security concerns, Linden said. She also showed the range of materials and floor plans offered. (you can see them in design package.) The lighting outside the building will “be dimmed”.
After the architect’s presentation (20 minutes max), the format of the meeting allows board members to ask up to 10 minutes of questions. Cobb, whose tenure on the board began after the project’s first meeting, questioned some of the original mass (size / shape) decisions. Linden explained that part of the building’s orientation to the west – rather than east to Delridge – is in part due to the other two buildings from the same development / property team nearby, Livingstone and BlueStone (the renderings show this new one with the name Keystone). Grainger questioned the “orientation” if people approached the building looking for street parking, for example, and wondered if the building’s address numbers were best planned. in law. Linden said they had considered the likely “decision points” for people approaching the building, but agreed there might be a better place for the building numbers. Lirman, who also joined after the previous project meeting, sought clarification on the landscaping; Linden explained why the landscaping plan changed more to relate to the building than to the possible future park across Delridge. President Rosenstock wondered about the paving of the square and whether the building’s name would be on a light panel. Likely backlit for the main panel, Linden said. He also wondered about the color choices of the building; blue, on the other hand, is for neighboring buildings, Linden replied.
When council deliberations began, Cobb had words of appreciation for the “perforated windows” on part of the building. Rosenstock suggested the color scheme and site safety were issues for discussion. Cobb said: “There’s a lot of gray… and not a lot to break it up.” Many discussions ensued on how to solve this problem. The predominance of dark gray on the south side was of particular concern to Lirman. Overall exterior color / material recommendation: Make the joint, especially on the south side, a little more differentiating, at least in its color. Lirman suggested more continuity between the entries. Frainger thought the north side needed a little more of the orange that is featured on the canopy. The board’s overall final recommendations included reviewing commercial spaces and how they articulate, stronger “pops of color” to differentiate them from the rest of the building. They also wanted to make sure that the “square” had access to the street. And they reiterated that signage / addressing needs to be clear with respect to residential and commercial areas, “so it’s clear in orientation for both driving and walking.”
With that, they voted unanimously to move the project forward out of Design Review. This is only one step in the permitting process, however, so construction is not imminent. If you have any comments on the design or any other aspect of the project, you can email the planner at [email protected].