Design Review

MOB’s Gone Mad?

Council Member Mike O’Brien [MOB] seems to have “gone mad” in the last few months, ever since it became obvious that he had no chance for Reelection to his District 6 Council seat. This week, however, his outrageous claims sank to a new low.

MOB’s Gone Mad?

Mama Mia! Mama and Baby towers would loom over the Fischer Studio Building

DRB asks for further study of proposed tower family after the community presented multiple studies and images showing that, without mitigation, the towers will do mass damage to the entire block.

Mama Mia! Mama and Baby towers would loom over the Fischer Studio Building

NATURAL LIGHT MATTERS: It’s the Essence of Life

Three new condo projects in varying stages of development in downtown Seattle: Emerald, First Light, and Spire all recognize the importance of natural light to the health and enjoyment of life of homebuyers, and each promotes natural light as a selling point to potential buyers.

NATURAL LIGHT MATTERS: It’s the Essence of Life

Downtown Design Review Board Asleep At The Wheel…Again!

The Developer of the Silver Cloud continues to disregard Code [SMC] and repeated direction from the Design Review Board (DRB) and SDOT as it proceeds through the Recommendation phase. And the DRB has not held them accountable. Unless modified Silver Cloud will have a devastating environmental impact on surrounding streets and right-of-ways.

Downtown Design Review Board Asleep At The Wheel…Again!

Fairness in Design Review

Open letter to Nathan Torgelson, Director SDCI:

When you read the Mission Statement of the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections (SDCI), “As stewards and regulators of land and buildings, we preserve and enhance the equity, livability, safety, and health in our communities”, it is easy to see how far from your mission you have strayed. We request a meeting with you and any other decision maker with the authority to require the Design Review process be structured to represent and protect all parties’ interests.

Fairness in Design Review

We Deserve Better than this City Council

You would think that with all the missteps they have made and continue to make; and with this year being a local election year, that they would at least be feigning interest in what their constituents have to say. Evidently not!

We Deserve Better than this City Council

Here We Go Again! 5th & Stewart Altitude [#3018037]

Nothing has really changed on the 5th & Stewart [Altitude] plans. The tower's loading and waste design will cause major back-ups in its alley and surrounding streets. None of its berths will fit the trucks for which they're intended.  There is no space on the alley for garbage collection. It’s a disaster waiting to happen. If you agree, please express your concerns to PRC@Seattle.gov.

Here We Go Again! 5th & Stewart Altitude [#3018037]

Too Big To Fail: Part 3 of 4; Jiffy Lube Site/Silver Cloud Hotel [#3025502]

The Applicant ignored all substantive design guidance from EDG1: loading design, turn radius study, alley circulation, waste storage niche --only to focus on ribbons, colors, palette, etc. That’s like saying "The patient is terribly sick and may die...but is wearing a lovely color of hospital gown.” And what did the Board do in response? They passed the project on to the Recommendation Meeting phase. Unbelievable! If you agree, please voice your displeasure by writing to prc@seattle.gov.

Too Big To Fail: Part 3 of 4; Jiffy Lube Site/Silver Cloud Hotel [#3025502]

Too Big To Fail: Part 1 of 4; First Light at 2000 - 3rd Avenue


First Light Condominium at 2000-3rd Ave. boasts a rooftop pool and some of the best sunset views in the Pacific Northwest. Its problems come on the ground, where it is not a functional design.  As home to an anticipated 1,600 condo dwellers and office workers, this small village is requesting fewer and smaller loading berths than required by code. Most trucks won't be able to access the berths because the project's narrow alley is lined with dumpsters from neighboring older buildings, home to some of Seattle's most popular restaurants. And ingress and egress from its parking garage will be challenging, if not impossible.

Too Big To Fail: Part 1 of 4; First Light at 2000 - 3rd Avenue

More gridlock ahead: Seattle’s 100-year-old alleys were not built for mega-towers.

Density done right could alleviate traffic congestion, but no one is considering the cumulative impact of spiked demand for access and service in alleys from a new round of mega-towers in downtown Seattle.

More gridlock ahead: Seattle’s 100-year-old alleys were not built for mega-towers.

Too Big to Fail: Part 2 of 4 [Project #3028017, Griffin Building & Sheridan Apartments]

While the basic building design is more aesthetically attractive from the street than many of the “big box” designs we’ve seen, this design is not functional, and thus is nowhere close to meeting the standards for approval today. Further, they are not “preserving” the two historic buildings, only using the preservation of the façade to avoid necessary alley setbacks.You will be doing the Applicant a favor by requiring them to come back for a 2nd EDG with a functional ground-floor alley-side design. As is, you have a recipe for loading, servicing, and resident parking disaster.

Too Big to Fail: Part 2 of 4 [Project #3028017, Griffin Building & Sheridan Apartments]

Why Is An Absolute Fabrication Allowed To Stand At Design Review?

When the Douglaston 5th & Virginia developer says "low angle sunlight is blocked by existing downtown context, no impact from proposed development", and the photo clearly shows bright morning sun shining through to east facade of Escala that will be totally blocked by the proposed development, where is the accountability for their misrepresentation?

Why Is An Absolute Fabrication Allowed To Stand At Design Review?