Updated design proposal for 5020 California made public

Two nights before the second Design Review Board meeting for the “Spring Hill” mixed-use building at 5020 California, south of The Junction, you can now take a look at its revised design proposal, just posted online. Check it out here; its highlights are three new options (first three drawings below), labeled C2, D, and E:


The courtyard placement in the last two renderings seem to address concerns of neighbors to the east that their back yards (on the alley at the right side of each sketch) would face little more than a big flat wall at Spring Hill’s rear. Compare those to the original three options (angled, California at front, alley behind):


Our coverage of the first DRB meeting for this project is here; Thursday’s meeting is at 8 pm, Denny Middle School Library, after the DRB meets at 6:30 pm for its first look at 9030 35th SW.

5 Replies to "Updated design proposal for 5020 California made public"

  • Danno February 26, 2008 (8:50 pm)

    Absolutely horrible. These 65 foot high behomoths have ruined the neighborhoods to the west. Just blot out the sun, no problem. California is becoming a lifeless canyon.

    Greed, Avarice, not other explanation!

  • SLK February 26, 2008 (10:21 pm)

    It looks to me like the revised design concepts do a really good job of taking much of the building’s mass & height off the alley (where it has a greater impact on single family houses) and putting it along California Ave. where it is more appropriate. That seemed to be a major concern at the earlier meeting.
    I am somewhat curious why the architects chose to put the courtyard in the “L-shaped” alternative on the north side of the building; probably it works out better with the site topography and height limits but won’t be as sunny. On the plus side, it would be a nice amenity for the existing building to the north, providing some “breathing room” between the two relatively massive buildings (compared to the existing building to the south).
    Should be a good discussion at the Design Review meeting!

  • chas redmond February 26, 2008 (11:54 pm)

    Danno, it’s less about greed and avarice than it is about your government’s zoning. The neighborhood plans are about to be updated so that’s when you should get involved and argue for a more meaningful approach to density than the canyon-wall syndrome we seem to have now. It is zoned, though, for 65-foot height, which is generally agreed to be what “urban” hubs can sustain (Morgan and Admiral are villages rather than hubs and their height limit is 45 feet). And, even though they’re canyons, on California there is the tree canopy which, when walking, somewhat obviates the intrusion of the building. Every intersection is a clear view to the mountains or the Sound so a block-walk isn’t completely view challenged.

    Regards the greed and avarice concern. If you don’t maximize the available development capacity of a parcel of land then you are not as fiscally prudent as you need to be in the eyes of lending institutions. It’s entirely possible that a few points of loan discount are involved in better utilization schemes. If I were a banker, at least that’s how I’d approach lending developers money. That part is about maximizing investment and return-on-investment, has nothing to do with greed and everything to do with sound financial management. Different things. To turn the land into a park is called philanthropy. We have an unbelievably small amount of that here in Seattle. The Ercolini’s are one recent example. The Schmitz’ a more memorable example from the past. Your tax dollars at work on the Pro Parks Levy is citizen philanthropy.

    By the way, I have no stake in that building, I just don’t see the evil in developing an area like the Junction.

  • JW February 27, 2008 (9:04 am)

    As a pedestrian who approaches this area from the south fairly often, I scratch my head about the “lifeless canyon” comment. As you approach the Junction, what you see are more and more people walking on the sidewalk, i.e., more life. As you walk away from this area, you get more direct sunlight, but suddenly you become the only pedestrian on the sidewalk in a sea of rushing cars.

  • Nancy February 27, 2008 (10:07 am)

    I would rather see development concentrated than more sprawl created.

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