Courtesy of Henbart LLC.
There are plans for the structure to be seven-stories with 78 apartments, four townhouses, 20,000 sq. ft. of office space and two levels of underground parking with 131 spaces. This design is merely preliminary and not actually what designers have in mind.

Design features discussed to replace Bartell Drug

Last week Henbart LLC, current owner of Ballard Bartell’s property presented their design plans to the City of Seattle’s Design Review Board in an early design guidance meeting. The public was invited to the meeting and participants were invited to add their concerns and comments.

Charles Strazzara, a principal architect with Studio Meng Strazzara , is one of the architects working on the 5601 22nd Avenue project and lead the presentation, along with Kris Snider, principal landscape architect (Hewitt).

They presented three potential concept designs for the project, favoring the third: two separate standing buildings that share a bottom retail/commercial level with residential on top.

There are plans for the structure to be six-stories with 78 apartments, four townhouses, 20,000 sq. ft. of office space and two levels of underground parking with 131 spaces.

“A dynamic space will provide the same value as maximizing the space, so we think the market will reward that. …When there are ten to eleven people sharing a floor with you it’s a little friendlier than 40,” said Strazzara.

Moreover, rooftop view terraces, building entrance, park side lower and midlevel landscaping were many of the features discussed.

“This is a great opportunity to create a lot of interest and powerful landscapes, “ said Snider.

A primary feature for the building is a shallow tapered rooftop to prevent too much shadow from falling on the park and library.

“There is a lot softer roof and lowering of the façade that would make a better product for this neighborhood. This is a true mixed use building and making it like this is one of our commitments so it will be a viable part of the community -- that’s a real key for us,” said Strazzara.

Moreover, the designers plan to add more space to the sidewalk on 22nd Ave, extending the sidewalk to fall parallel with the sidewalk to the north along the park.

“We are designing a project that will take its cue from both the adjacent city park and library. … The library has done a really great job with public space and that is something we would like to do as well,” said Mark Craig, President of Henbart LLC. 

There are also plans for extra storage for cycle storage.

“We have a commitment to the biking community, and we are planning every lobby to have bike storage and the elevator and entry ways need to have durable finishes and resilient flooring,” Strazzara.

“Rather than maximizing the site with a cookie-cutter design, we want to build a project that creates connectivity with the neighborhood in a contemporary and artistic manner.  With the Design Review Board’s early guidance, we are excited to take the project to the next stage of design,” said Craig.

Parking is another feature the designers are paying attention to. However the design review meetings do not involve statistical studies of parking demand, and are solely focused on building design. Also, the Land Use Code does not require parking for this building since it’s located in a designated urban village in close proximity to frequent transit service.

The review board does not have the authority to require any parking in the project, so it’s all voluntary on the part of Henbart LLC , and also on what the market or community demand.
Craig said, “In the meetings parking has been a major concern expressed by the neighborhood, so we really want to provide adequate parking for retail and residents. “

“The urban core is spreading out and breaching north of market place. …A very eclectic neighbor,” said Strazzara.

Fewer than ten local residents attended the meeting, however few in numbers there were many issues the participants communicated. Individuals brought up issues like lack of disability access to the condos, shadow, parking capacity, and general aesthetic of the building exterior. There was also mixed feelings about the sidewalk extension on 22nd Avenue immediately along the Bartell building.

As far as who will be occupying the retail spaces on the street level is still undetermined. Strazzara said that Bartell’s has still not committed to the space, however they are designing the space so that it will accommodate Bartell’s if they do decide to commit.

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