The Queen Anne Safeway redevelopment will have neighborhood impacts during construction, and then after the large, new grocery store opens with more than 300 residences on top.

After cutting more than 100,000 square feet of developable space out of the design — effectively foregoing another 100 apartment units for the project — and pressuring city officials to help meet requests from Queen Anne neighbors, developer Maria Barrientos says she’s not apologizing.

barrientosRYAN, which is leading the redevelopment with Cahill Equities, is the second development firm to take on the massive mixed-use project.

Albertsons Companies terminated plans to work with Holland Partner Group following neighborhood pushback and a poor showing before the West Design Review Board in 2017.

Barrientos and her design team shared a glimpse of what the project will look like during the Sept. 5 Queen Anne Community Council’s Land Use Review Committee meeting.  Another meeting is set for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 10, at the Queen Anne Community Center.

LURC chair Marty Kaplan encouraged residents at the Sept. 5 meeting to keep an open mind.

“What you saw before was someone else’s ideas,” he said.

Barrientos said all purchase-and-sales agreements have been signed, so this project is definitely happening.

The 50,000-square-foot store — double the current Safeway’s size — will belong to Albertsons Companies, and the housing above will be owned by the developers, she said, adding all exterior spaces will be maintained by barrientosRYAN.

The new Safeway store will serve as the podium for three residential buildings. The September meetings will better inform the massing, Barrientos said, and building materials have not yet been decided, but will be quality products.

“Brick is very common on Queen Anne, so we’re going to use brick,” she said. “We don’t know how much.”

Building A will be on the northeast corner of the site, at First Avenue North and Boston Street. That corner will be where the residential entry, lobby and leasing office will be located, with “residential gestures” along First Avenue North, Barrientos said. New curb bulbs should help slow traffic coming down First, she said. Plans are to include 5-6 units on the seventh floor, Barrientos tells Queen Anne News, but that floor will be set back 20 feet and not visible at street level.

Building B will be on the southeast corner of the site, at First Avenue North and Crockett Street. Around 6-8 townhomes with stoops are planned on this corner of First, to blend in with homes on the other side of the street. No apartment units are planned on the seventh floor, and another setback occurs at the fifth floor.

Building C runs along Queen Anne Avenue North and above the most prominent side of the new Safeway, which will have entrances on the north end and at a plaza at the southwest corner. Four units are planned on the seventh floor, which will also be set back and not visible from the street.

The project proposes 310 apartments, mostly one-bedroom and open one-bedroom units, with 60 two-beds and 59 studios.

Developers opted into the Mandatory Housing Affordability program prior to its adoption, which included an upzone that allows for a maximum height of 75 feet. Sixty-two units will be at affordability levels set by the city, and include a mix of studios, one-bedrooms and two-bedrooms.

Queen Anne resident Sharon LeVine questioned the city’s decision to upzone the Safeway site to an allowable height of 75 feet, to which Barrientos addressed a “conspiracy theory” that she had something to do with it.

“I wish I had that kind of power,” she said. “I don’t.”

She said the city had plans for the upzone before she became involved.

“I’ve read the [environmental impact statement] but I don’t understand why exactly just one block was identified,” Barrientos said.

There will also be large setbacks on Boston and Crockett streets to accommodate underground parking entry. Plans are to provide commercial and residential levels of parking for 160 and 194 vehicles, respectively. Boston will serve as a residential entry, as well as an exit for Safeway customers, who will enter from Crockett, Barrientos said. Brian Runberg with Runberg Architecture Group said Safeway delivery trucks will enter from Boston and back into a loading bay that is all contained internally.

HEWITT principal and landscape architect Kris Snider said there are circles designed on the four corners of the streetscape, including the public plaza, which the design team is considering integrating into the deli inside. Some coverage will be provided over the plaza space around an outdoor fireplace, he said.

Seattle code requires that the 50,000-square-foot grocery store include eight small commercial spaces along Queen Anne Avenue, but the developer is asking for a departure to have Safeway be the only retailer, arguing in its draft Early Design Guidance packet that it would preclude the corner plaza amenity and residential spaces along First Avenue North.

“I think that would be an enormous mistake,” said resident Tom English about not including more retail spaces.

English said the Safeway store on 15th Avenue in Capitol Hill doesn’t include other retail, and he thinks the building looks because of that.

“They are on different planets,” Barrientos said, “and I don’t think that’s a very fair comparison.”

The 50,000-square-foot Safeway is not negotiable, she said, so there’s no room for retail. Safeway also doesn’t allow for restaurants, because they would compete with its delis, she said, adding even the Starbucks inside isn’t allowed to compete with the one across the street on Queen Anne Avenue North.

“If we can’t give them a 50,000-square-foot store, this won’t happen,” Barrientos said.

Kathy King with Picture Perfect Queen Anne said she loved the proposed plaza and undulating massing proposed at ground level. The developer has had meetings in the past with the neighborhood group, which works to revitalize the streetscape along the avenue.

“It really sounds like what we’ve been pushing for; really friendly to the neighborhood,” King said. “It’s going to be gorgeous.”

Barrientos said permitting is expected to take two years, followed by another two years of construction. She predicted another 20 months before construction will start since the permitting process has already been initiated.

“The worst part will be when they’re excavating for the garage and then pouring in the garage,” she said.

Construction work will likely occur at Boston and Crockett streets while avoiding First and Queen Anne Avenue North. Barrientos said there likely will be covered walkways around the site, and plans are to have a crossing guard in place to support families and staff at adjacent preschools.

A final EDG packet is expected to be submitted to the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections by mid-September, ahead of an Oct. 2 West Design Review Board meeting. The meeting starts at 8 p.m. at the Queen Anne Community Center, 1901 First Ave. W.