SLU To Gain 28-Story Apartment Building And…Church?

Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood is home to many things- fabulous restaurants, tech giants and soon, a new church?

You read that right. According to the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce, the part of town affectionately known as “Amazonia” (remember that part about tech giants?) may soon be getting some new residents, but these residents won’t all necessarily have laptops and badges with them.  Some may have a Bible or hymnal in tow.

But, it’s not a done deal yet.

Preliminary plans have been filed with the city by Greystar Real Estate Management for a proposed 348-unit apartment tower and church. The site for the possible construction is adjacent to Denny Park at 200 8th Avenue North and covers an impressive 29,000 square feet.

The hitch in their giddy-up at the moment is that the property is yet to be sold, but the current owners identity sheds some light on why there is a church component in this proposed deal.

The property has been owned for nearly 60 years by Seattle Unity Church.  The sale of this land would help fund the building of a new church for a congregation whose current place of worship is “wearing out” according to church staff.

The prospective plans for the site include a 28-story mixed use apartment building, and a new church of unspecified size. The apartment building would include decks, setbacks and 4 levels of underground parking.

It’s no secret that South Lake Union’s popularity has exploded in recent years, as has development in the area, with numerous other projects in talks or already in progress right near this proposed site. Seattle Unity Church’s founders were forward thinking to have bought the expansive piece of property back in the 1960’s when SLU was called the Cascade neighborhood and Amazon wasn’t a word used in conversation unless you were naming jungles and rivers of the world.

Since the site is currently only zoned for building up to 240 feet, it would seem that Greystar has their work cut out for them to really get this project off the ground (pun intended) as re-zoning would be a must.

Stay tuned for more information and to see if this project officially gets the green-light.

After all, miracles do happen.

South Lake Union: A Developers Cash Pot

In South Lake Union Seattle developer, Mack Urban announced plans to build a 43-story tower which will house 430 apartments and 2,800 square feet of retail space at 1001 John Street. The location poses some challenges as it’s quite a steep location, but Urban told the Puget Sound Business Journal, “The plan is to create a public hill climb assist within the building.” Something that resembles the Harbor Steps, which connects Seattle’s waterfront to downtown.

The site, located at the corner of John Street and Terry Avenue North, has become a developer’s cash pot due to its close proximity to Amazon’s headquarters. Next to the Mack Urban site Holland Partner Group is planning for a 40-story apartment tower, and just last month a Beverly Hills headquartered company called, H5 Capital reviled plans to build two high rises which will go up on the same block. Via Architectures will design the high rises and will have a total of 840 residences between them.

With all the residences and office space planned for South Lake Union, it’s a wonder how much more active the development market can get, though we guess it’s not over by a long stretch.

Access Seattle Initiative Addresses Traffic Problems In SLU

South Lake UnionDrive anywhere in South Lake Union these days and you are likely to run into at least one roadblock. Road work on Mercer Street and on 9th Avenue combined with countless construction projects in progress in the area has led to street and sidewalk closures, reduced parking availability, and near-constant traffic gridlock.

Throughout 2014, the Seattle Department of Transportation has been making efforts to alleviate some of these problems through its Construction Hub Coordination Program and Access Seattle Initiative. As a result of feedback from neighbors and business owners at a recent South Lake Union Community Council meeting, drivers and pedestrians should see some changes happening in the near future. Here’s a summary of the issues that are being addressed:

  • Amazon is using off-duty Seattle Police officers to restrict access to Harrison Street to aid in emptying their parking garages, which has increased traffic on neighboring Republican Street. SDOT says they will no longer allow this.
  • Heavy traffic on Mercer Street is deterring people from visiting surrounding businesses. SDOT says that an additional eastbound lane on Mercer will be opening in less than a week, and new signal timing should further reduce backups.
  • Construction workers who commute to the area are taking up a large chunk of street parking in the area. SDOT and the Department of Planning and Development will increase requirements for construction companies to provide off-street parking for workers.
  • Heavy traffic, including from construction vehicles and equipment, does not make the area pedestrian friendly. SDOT will install all-way walk signals at the intersections of 9th & Republican, 9th & Harrison, 9th & Thomas, John & Minor, Yale & Minor, and Yale & Thomas.

Also, click here to see a map of SLU construction projects.