The West Design Review Board unanimously recommended that planning move forward for the proposed eight-story, 226-unit mixed-use apartment building on Taylor Avenue at the board’s Early Design Guidance meeting on Wednesday, Oct. 17.

Located in Uptown, just across from Seattle Center at 223 Taylor Ave. N., the site is approximately 38,880 square feet. It would include 20,000-square-foot office and retail space, as well as 102 underground parking spaces.

The proposed building would be comprised of five wood-frame levels over three levels of concrete podium, as well as the additional underground concrete level for parking. Two stories of office space would be located on the site’s southern end. Parking and loading access would be from the alley on the property’s west side.

The project is being designed by Encore Architects, which also designed SOMA Towers, Twenty 20 MAD Apartments and Gallery Condominiums. The project was zoned as SM-85 in September 2017. Currently at the site is a two-story office building, which would be razed.

The board’s recommendation was not without added conditions. In a summary of the board’s deliberations, chair Stephen Porter said the board would like to see exploration of an increased setback from the property line along Thomas Street.

The board was generally supportive of the project’s northern ground plane, though Porter said the board would like to see modifications to the ground plane’s southern portion along John Street and Taylor Avenue. He said the board would like to see additional resolution in terms of using massing moves to break up some of the building’s long expanses and to create “connection porosity and energy” at that end of the building. Some potential options he suggested were an entry at the corner of John Street and Taylor Avenue for the office space, or the potential addition of retail at that end.

Porter said the board wants a resolution of the grade difference between the sidewalk and the building’s internal floor plate. He added the board would like details on the elevations and materials along the alley in regard to the project’s longer office-storage area, and strategies for softening how the alley expresses itself on the exterior of the building.

The board wants to see more in-depth study of the way the Taylor Avenue project connected to its immediate surroundings, particularly the nearby residential buildings, and how it related to its location, when the project comes back for its next review.