Design Review Board meeting on the old Fruit Stand blocks (LIVE COVERAGE)

Tonight, Monday, February 3, the Northeast Design Review Board will meet to decide the next steps for the development of the “old Fruit Stand block” just south of Roosevelt High School.

The meeting takes place at 6:30 PM at the University Heights Community Center (5031 University Way NE, Room 209). There is a public comment period during the meeting, but it is only 20 minutes in length and not for Q&A-style discussions.

Ravenna Blog will be in attendance and providing LIVE COVERAGE below, starting around 6:30 PM.

Page 12 from the Roosevelt Development Group's Design Review Recommendation presentation. Click the image to download the entire presentation (17 MB PDF)

Page 12 from the Roosevelt Development Group’s Design Review Recommendation presentation. Click the image to download the entire presentation (17 MB PDF)

The Roosevelt Development Group will be presenting their preferred project design (by Seattle architecture firm GGLO) for 6505 15th Avenue NE (Project #3013244) to the Northeast Design Review Board at tonight’s meeting.

Three different design schemes were presented during the early design guidance meeting on August 6, 2012. (You can find the notes from that meeting here.) Tonight’s recommendation phase design is the third of those three designs and features:

    • Approximately 221 dwelling units, in a mix of multi- and groun- level configurations;
    • 7,500-square-feet of ground-level commercial space;
    • 175 parking stalls, accessed from 14th Avenue NE;
    • Overall height of 7-stories (building heights ranging from 55 to 75 feet, depending on the slope of the property)

Jim O’Halloran, past Roosevelt Neighborhood Association Land Use Chair, had this to say about tonight’s meeting and the current design plans:

“Now that a zoning decision for the high school blocks has been made, and that a reasonably attractive building has been designed for the site with some engagement from the Community, let’s get on with it; build the building.  If for any reason the project will be further delayed, then it is important that the existing decrepit building structures be removed without further delay.  Allowing this sore spot to fester without near term improvement would surely undermine RDG’s relationship with the Community.”

Rebecca February 3, 20148:08 PM

Anyway, thanks for reading along!

Fingers crossed for bulldozers in 2014.

Rebecca February 3, 20148:07 PM

Want to mention lastly: If you’re curious about whether nor not the board takes into consideration the comments made by the public, I believe (in this case, anyway), they discussed each and every one during their deliberations. And a majority of the comments given were concerns shared by board members.

TL;DR = Your voice really does matter, so speak up.

Rebecca February 3, 20148:05 PM

Looks like the verdict is recommended with some tweaks.

A report will be available later on the project page on the DPD website, and we’ll link back to it here when it comes available.

Rebecca February 3, 20148:02 PM

Some of the issues the board has (not many, in total) has to do with renderings: Not enough in the presentation to give the best sense of what the finished product would look like. But generally happy with what has been shown.

Rebecca February 3, 20147:43 PM

Lorne McConachie (commented earlier) worked on the Roosevelt High School renovations and lives in the Ravenna neighborhood.

Rebecca February 3, 20147:39 PM

Overhearing the deliberations (still public, just can’t butt in). Some concern from some board members that ground floor residential spaces may see high school students hanging out in them, instead of being more private for residents.

Rebecca February 3, 20147:33 PM

Board will now deliberate, and decide if the tonight’s plans are enough to move to, or more adjustments are needed.

Sisley OUT.

Rebecca February 3, 20147:27 PM

8th: John Adams (RNA board member of the past), worked with the city on the rezone process. Setbacks and other design elements gleaned from an intensive neighborhood process. Response to concerns were thoughtfully considered. Is happy with the results in the presentation.

Rebecca February 3, 20147:24 PM

7th: Parent of a kid at RHS. Not much setback on 15th for students and other pedestrians. Worried about traffic patterns at this intersection (65th and 15th) and increased pedestrian activity. More green/trees.

Rebecca February 3, 20147:22 PM

6th: 66th is one way going east. Anything to making it a two way street.

Rebecca February 3, 20147:21 PM

5th: “What this building is doing to Roosevelt High School is just tragic.” “Almost completely blocking” off the views of the high school. Thinner buildings. Greater communication between the high school and the neighborhood. “Walls off the high school.”

Rebecca February 3, 20147:20 PM

3rd: 65th side does not match the residential nature of the neighborhood.
4th: Same. Why put the most modern exterior facing the residential areas, not the brick? Swap ’em. Brick on 65th and 15th instead.

Rebecca February 3, 20147:17 PM

Architect of the RHS upgrade: Protect that space along the 14th Ave side.

Not completely sold on the “lantern” exterior of the 65th side.

Rebecca February 3, 20147:16 PM

Public comment time!

1st: Member of the RNA board asking about the parking entrance. Seems like parking along that street would run against the idea of the festival street.

Rebecca February 3, 20147:10 PM

Looking at the Public Space Massing page of the presentation. Board member had a question about residents’ flow around and through the building, and also where the “micro plazas” were located. Not lingering spaces as much as space for pedestrian and resident flow.

Rebecca February 3, 20147:04 PM

Clarifying questions by the board now. Live/Work spaces on the plans. A typo?

Yes. Should be commercial.

Rebecca February 3, 20147:02 PM

Site a challenge to design for: Slopes across the property in two directions, working with community to create a “gateway piece” for the neighborhood.

Rebecca February 3, 20147:01 PM

In the public courtyard along 65th, there is movable seating (cafe tables and chairs) as well as permanent seating (concrete seating steps.

Rebecca February 3, 20147:00 PM

Gate on the north side/RHS side of the centra courtyard space so pedestrians can see into the space, but not access unless they are residents.

Rebecca February 3, 20146:57 PM

No on-street parking on 65th or 15th, which is what I believe is the current situation.

Rebecca February 3, 20146:56 PM

“Unitized architecture.”

Rebecca February 3, 20146:56 PM

Those the two buildings are quite large, the 65th and 66th sides are broken up on the exterior to look like they are further divided up into more and smaller buildings. (Think University Village, where the larger buildings are broken up on the exterior to look like many buildings next to one another.)

Rebecca February 3, 20146:54 PM

Building fronts along 65th are further set back at angles from the street, to provide room for people waiting for/exiting buses.

Underground parking access on the 14th Ave NE side. Residential stoops on this side. Narrower sidewalks than on 65th. Bike racks on the corners for retail. Residential entries are elevated from the sidewalk and pulled back.

Rebecca February 3, 20146:51 PM

Treating each of the four sides of the block as unique spaces, being used in different ways.

“High quality” materials to be used throughout the buildings. Different materials depending on height and building use (commercial sides different from residential, for instance).

Rebecca February 3, 20146:47 PM

Between the buildings there are both public (on 65th) and private courtyards.

Aiming to make the 65th street side a vibrant commercial area, continuing the flow from further west in Roosevelt.

Rebecca February 3, 20146:45 PM

Proposed building split in two to preserve views from the school.

List of values of the neighborhood were compiled and addressed in the design. Pedestrian studies done to track where students of RHS and others were choosing to walk and when.

(We’re seeing slides selected from the full design presentation, which you can view by clicking the image above to download the full presentation.)

Rebecca February 3, 20146:41 PM

GGLO guy speaking to the area of the project, near the school, pedestrian zone, etc.

“…surrounded by derelict structures that we hope to take down very soon…” (Yeah, us, too, GGLO guy.)

Rebecca February 3, 20146:38 PM

Tonight’s meeting is in response to recommendations from the early design guidance meeting from August 2012. The project tonight is much more fleshed out than previously.

Rebecca February 3, 20146:36 PM

DPD’s Colin Vasquez is explaining the procedure. His role is to deal with the things that the Design Review Board doesn’t deal with. Board also introducing themselves. (There’s a link to their bios in the article above).

Rebecca February 3, 20146:33 PM

Okay, more folks here now. And I recognize at least one Roosevelt Neighborhood Association board member in the audience.

Rebecca February 3, 20146:30 PM

Somebody from the City of Seattle wanna stop in, to see if Sisley has his checkbook on him? For the $3 million he owes? Might be just that easy.

Rebecca February 3, 20146:27 PM

Hugh Sisley himself in the house. He is sporting a Seattle Seahawks ball cap. It is not from the new logo era, which probably won’t surprise you.

Rebecca February 3, 20146:24 PM

Hello there! Eight minutes until the meeting start time and…there are very few people here. I’m sort of shocked.

Meeting for the CHSW/Paragon site was packed. I think there are TWO residents here, besides me.


  1. Andres Salomon says:

    The plan overall looks great. Would have been nice to see the design group’s plans/presentation specifically mention NE 66th as a greenway, but whatever. Catering to RHS access achieves the same thing.

    Thanks for covering this!

  2. Julie Jones says:

    With much less parking than residentual units will the residents be able to obtain a ZONE 19 parking permit and use the side streets where our homes have been for years, This can really get messy coming home after work and finding our spots taken up by some of the 221 residents.

  3. Paul Thackray says:

    Thank you for reporting on this!

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  1. […] The project is currently in the Review phase, and has been presented twice at Northeast Design Review meetings (Early Design Guidance meeting on August 6, 2012, and a Recommendation meeting on February 3, 2014). […]

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