Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Comment On Aegis Facility Re-Zone

The public is invited to comment now on the Contract Rezone for Aegis Living, an assisted living and memory care provider, which would be built at "Five Corners, where the former Baskin Robbins site, which closed September 2015 was located.

Aegis Living is planning on a building a 135 unit, six story building (55-70 feet) with 53 parking stalls on a lot currently zoned for 40 feet. Permit # 3025056 will require City approval of a "contract re-zone" to build as requested. 

An NEDC Board member said "Of note is that newly approved higher heights can later be used to justify higher heights for future nearby buildings. This site is a 5-way intersection which had a "red light" camera which recorded 6,000 violations by SDOT in 2009 while it was operative. "

The new facility 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 Blog Staff last 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.
The assemblage of parcels includes 3200 and 3232 NE 45th Street and 3215 NE 45th Place. There are two buildings, but three parcels.  The existing large billboard will be eliminated and the historic clock, below the billboard, will remain. 

Bryon 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. 

Laurelhurst Community Club (LCC) wrote in a newsletter,earlier this year:

LCC Comments on Aegis Design Plan 

LCC wrote to Seattle’s Department of Construction and Inspections in support of the proposed Aegis senior care facility at Five Corners and  its local approach to senior living.  
LCC offered comments on the architectural style and building design, massing and scale to adjacent structures, and zoning. LCC has appreciated Aegis’s outreach process for involving the neighborhood in the design process.  
Aegis’s large assisted living and memory care facility site is the triangular lot at the Five Corners intersection of NE 45th Street and NE 45th Place. The location of this facility is at the gateway to residential communities, and its look and size will have direct impacts on the neighborhood.  
The tentatively approved concept is Massing Concept Option #3, which features a garden patio cut out along NE 45th Street and a memory garden at the back of the building along the Burke Gilman Trail. The proposed architectural character for this site borrows features from the historic Tudor and Craftsman styles found in adjacent Bryant and Laurelhurst neighborhoods.  
LCC very much supports this design effort from Aegis as their building will be a prominent structure with significant visual impact. The facades and materials and overall style appear very compatible with the quality of its surrounding architecture.  
Despite the codes’ allowance for the averaging of the buildable heights within a sloped lot, the 72-foot height requested in the plans starts straight up from the pedestrian level intersection and is out of scale to surrounding small businesses and nearby single-family residences.  
The requested building height also will block view lines of Mt. Rainier for some adjacent residents from the north and east, as well as create more shading along the Burke-Gilman Trail. LCC recommends that the building be lowered by at least 12 to 15 feet. LCC is supportive of Aegis’ re-configuration of the new crosswalk and improved public safety; however, LCC recommends retaining a 30-foot setback for the project, not the 21-foot requested setback. The loss of site lines due to a shallower setback could be detrimental at this dangerous intersection.  
The garden patio feature for pedestrians with access to the cafe is welcoming landscape along NE 45th Street. LCC would like to see a roof-top garden feature incorporated in the design. This outdoor space with views of Mt. Rainier could be used for activities by patients, families, and Aegis staff. While LCC supports this project, it requests that the issues outlined be addressed further and resolved in the design approval process before approval for construction.  

For more information go here.

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 73 units with 3,100 square feet of commercial space and parking for approximately 30 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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