Developers with designs for a 42-unit apartment building on Queen Anne Avenue North shared those plans while fielding criticism from the audience during the community council’s land use review committee meeting on Wednesday night.

The six-story mixed-use development with ground-floor retail at 2220 Queen Anne Ave. N. is a joint project by Shilshole Development and Ironstone Real Estate, with Public 47 Architects leading the design. The block was rezoned last March to allow for a maximum height of 55 feet, and Public 47 architect Scott Carr said the scale will be minimized with setbacks on the top floor of the building’s front and back.

The project recently cleared Early Design Guidance, with the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections supporting a preferred massing design that includes a central south-facing courtyard.

Unlike the massive Safeway redevelopment proposed down the street, the apartment project was small enough that its design could go through administrative review rather than be scrutinized by local architects on the West Design Review Board.

Ironstone owner Mike Shields, whose offices are on the second floor of the existing single-family building on the site — the bottom half occupied by The Thai Kitchen restaurant — said he proposed to longtime friend and Shilshole Development principal Mike Yukevich acquiring the building when he saw it for sale during a jog. They purchased the property from a living trust for $2 million in July 2018.

Shields said the decision to make all 42 units studio apartments — each at a little less than 400 square feet — was based on market demand in the neighborhood. He said the monthly rent for a unit will be around $1,800, and plans are to take advantage of the multifamily tax credit exemption (MFTE) program, he said, which would set affordability requirements for 20 percent of the units.

In response to concerns about only providing four parking spaces — code doesn’t require any — Shields said they expect fewer than eight future residents will own a car.

“They can’t afford it,” he said. “No one can afford it.”

Shields was referring to owning a car and paying for parking in Seattle, but one resident at the Queen Anne Community Council Land Use Review Committee said they were upset people would move in and take on-street parking existing residents are already using.

The project is required to provide bike parking for each unit (42 spaces).

Carr said there will be recessed balconies on the building, which will be constructed with cross-laminated timber. The exterior will include brick, Shields said, to match the neighborhood character.

“It’s not going to be one of these hermetically sealed Kleenex boxes,” he said.

The 1,400-square-foot commercial space on the ground floor will also have a larger setback to allow for a restaurant or cafe to include outdoor dining, Carr said.

The most vocal opponent of the project at the Jan. 22 meeting was Bill Knowles, who gathered contact information from attendees for a new group he’s forming, called the Queen Anne Historical Architectural Preservation Association (QAHAPA). He argues the converted single-family building is among a number of historical structures in the neighborhood that should be preserved; Shields noted he’d seen the opposition flyers Knowles put up.

 

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