Monday, November 13, 2017

Tonight Public Invited To Aegis Assisted Living/Memory Care Early Design Guidance Meeting

Design Proposal Image

The public is invited tonight at 6:30pm to the  Aegis Assisted Living/Memory Care Early Design Guidance Meeting held by the City's Northeast Design Review Board. The meeting will be held in Room 202 at the Good Shepherd Center (4649 Sunnyside Avenue North.)

Aegis is to be located at 3200 NE 45th Street, at Five Corners, where Baskin Robbins previously was located. 

Project # 3025056, proposes a six-story assisted living building with street level retail, parking for 65 vehicles below grade. 

The Laurelhurst Community Club reported that at the first EDG (Early Design Guidance) meeting, the Board asked Aegis to return after further exploring the potential for visual connection to the Burke Gilman Trail and its residents, as well as further refine the open space area in front of the building to make it more level along the street frontage, which will be addressed at tonight's meeting. 

Three "massing concepts" in the design proposal were submitted and the third one has been "tentatively approved at EDG" (shown above). It provides less light for north facing memory care center, but provides south facing open space along NE 45th Street, a terrace adjacent to the Burke-Gilman trail, "breaks up the bulky facade along NE 45th Street" and provides corner/commercial retail frontage.

Here is information LCC recently published:

Update on Aegis Five Corners Plans

Aegis Senior Communities recently presented preliminary plans to build out a large assisted living and memory care facility at the triangular lot at the five corners intersection of NE 45th Street and NE 45th Place.
Because the location of the project will have direct impacts on the neighborhood, LCC has requested it be an official party of record in the permitting process for Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections (SDCI) and transportation planning impacts with SDOT. 
Bryon Ziegler, Aegis Director of Development and Entitlements, recently reported that, in response to LCC’s earlier requests, they have refined their design to connect better visually with the Burke-Gilman Trail and to level the open space plaza area at the street frontage. The group showed plans and revised concepts for the architectural character during LCC’s October 9 meeting. 
Ziegler also said they have leased the former Baskin Robbins store to a medical supply company for about 18 months prior to construction of their new facility. An occupied space will help deter problem graffiti, which they have been cleaning up regularly.  
Aegis also contacted the Benton family, owners of the historic clock on site, and agreed to a purchase price. Ziegler writes, “Our intent is to purchase the clock, remove it from site during construction and have it professionally refurbished, then place it back in a more appropriate location in the new open space plaza.” 
LCC supports the addition of a senior care facility in Northeast Seattle and submitted comments to SDCI on the proposed build out of the structure , driveway, and gardens. 
LCC is very supportive of the second massing alternative as it offers a good pedestrian experience and appears to be more of a “gateway” building at the Five Corners location, making it a more significant entrance to the Bryant and Laurelhurst neighborhoods. The building tucks into the hillside and creates a multi-level structure, which is much more interesting than a box shape.  
The distinct indentation of the residents’ garden along NE 45 Street offers a park like setting to pedestrians and nearby residents looking south and west. The larger, south-facing plaza and gardens offer longer exposure to much needed natural sunlight for its residents. The garden edge on the northern part of the parcel would provide an improved, tree-lined experience along the Burke-Gilman Trail for that short segment. 
Aegis should consider the opportunity to utilize its rooftop for a residents’ community garden or an additional garden that gives residents a safe space away from the pollution and noise of the street traffic. A green roof could soften the harsh visual impact of such a massive industrial rooftop at this five-way focal-point intersection. Its rooftop location might benefit from the installation of discreet solar panels to generate alternative energy as well. 
The preliminary architectural design for this Aegislocation appears to borrow features from both the historic Tudor and Craftsman styles found in the adjacent Bryant and Laurelhurst neighborhoods. LCC strongly encourages quality and compatibility with the neighborhood in determining the overarching style of the new facility. LCC requests that SDCI require samples of proposed building materials and a more fully developed design from Aegis Senior Communities LLC before permit approval. This would include exterior facades, window types, paint colors, and lighting as key design components. 
Because senior living facilities are very labor intensive, underground parking shown in all of the alternatives is essential. The underground parking places shown in the alternatives look impossible to use, however. They appear to offer little or no room to back up or exit. It may not be possible to park as many cars as shown within the footprint on the drawings. LCC requests a more detailed drawing of the parking stalls and circulation be submitted to SDCI and SDOT before their permit approval. 
The Five Corners intersection is one of the busiest in Seattle, and the busiest in Northeast Seattle. When the red-light cameras were operative at that intersection for several years, the City of Seattle reported that it had the highest number of infractions recorded and fined. Therefore, it is critical that the driveway proposed along NE 45th Place is far enough away from that intersection to avoid backups and potential collisions.  
In addition, trees and vegetation along both NE 45th Street and NE 45th Place should be set back or low enough to maintain safe sight lines for oncoming traffic and pedestrian crossings. There is a proposed island which may (or may not) be useful, but open sight lines are very important. 
Aegis together with the Bryant and Laurelhurst neighborhoods could lobby the State Legislature to amend the four-corner maximum statute on red light cameras to include five-ways. This would help prevent the rampant red-light running, avoid collisions, and protect pedestrians as well as occupants of other vehicles in the intersection. 
LCC is supportive of this type of facility, and wants to contribute as a party of record to make it a good fit and a successful addition to the neighborhood. 

Permits (3025007, 3025056) have been submitted to the City's SDCI (Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections).  The demolition permit includes "two existing one level buildings" the building to the north of Baskin-Robbins up to Bakker Dry Cleaning. The addresses are 3200-3212 NE 45th Street and 3201-3209 NE 45th Place. 

The new facility would have 116 units and would be five levels over a parking garage with 2500 square feet of retail on the first floor which would house a salon and cafe, according to the design proposal submitted in July 2016.

The new facility would have 116 units and would be five levels over a parking garage with 2500 square feet of retail on the first floor which would house a salon and cafe, according to the design proposal submitted in July 2016.

Bryon Ziegler, Director of Development and Entitlements for Áegis Senior Communities, told the Laurelhurst Blog Staff in March, that "other possibilities include an ice cream bar, community room, outdoor plaza and salon."

Bryon said that they are anticipating permits in late 2019 and the construction period is likely 20-24 months with the first resident move-in’s the fall of 2021. Aegis anticipates approximately 80% of the residents will come from the local neighborhoods.

Bryon told the Laurelhurst Blog staff that the new site is somewhat confusing saying: 
The assemblage of parcels includes 3200 and 3232 NE 45th Street and 3215 NE 45th Place. There are two buildings, but three parcels.  
There is also a billboard that will be eliminated. The historic clock will remain. 
The 30’ city right of way between the curb and the property line will be landscape and enhanced for public use, including the little pedestrian bulb at the intersections of 45th and 45th. This Aegis Senior Community will be designed to either the City’s Living Building Challenge or Mandatory Housing Affordability standards.

He said that the businesses currently in the buildings that will be demolished will have all their leases honored, until they end in 2019.   These businesses included  Diane’s Alterations, Lakeview Vision Clinic, Edward Jones, Farmers Insurance, Uncle Lee’s, University Tutoring, Felipa’s Consignment and Rules Salon.

The café at Aegis, would be open to the public and would be the 
Queen Bee Café, a non profit business. Others are currently located at the Madison and Queen Anne Aegis facilities and specialize in traditional English crumpets.

Bryon said that Aegis has engaged Transpo traffic engineers to conduct a traffic study of the very busy Five Corners area where the facility will be located.
For more information about the project, go to the City permits website and reference permits 3025007, 3025056, 6520824, 6537047, 3025007, 6552104, 3025056, 6557274, 6082637.

Another retirement home is also under review for 4020 NE 55th Street, where the Hawthorne Hills Veterinary Hospital is currently located, across the street from Metropolitan Market. The proposal, Permit #3025827, includes 3 stories of approximately 74 units with 3,100 square feet of commercial space and parking for approximately 28 vehicles located below grade. The existing structure would be demolished.  The architect has proposed 3 different alternatives which can be seen here.

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