Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Aegis Assisted Living Update and Landmark Benson Clock Being Removed

Design Proposal Image

Aegis Living will break ground this month on their Assisted Living facility which includes  135 units in a six story building (55-70 feet) with 53 parking stalls on a lot currently zoned for 40 feet according to Permit # 3025056.

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.

The construction period will be about two years with the first resident to move-in 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 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.

Businesses  that had to move out are: Baskin-Robbins, Diane’s Alterations, Lakeview Vision Clinic, Edward Jones, Farmers Insurance, Uncle Lee’s, University Tutoring, Felipa’s Consignment and Rules Salon. 

The billboard was removed in January.

On May 20th the street clock will be moved and stored at a cost of $30,000 according to an Aegis representative.  The landmark clock that has stood at the site (3216 NE 45th Street) since 1986 will be carefully packed-up and stored for refurbishment before demolition and during construction. C

The clock will ll be "returned to a prominent location as part of the community’s grand opening," according to Aegis' communications to the Laurelhurst Blog. The new location will be approved by the Landmarks Preservation Board.  Options include placing it on the corner of Ne Street and NE 45th Place, or in the large new courtyard which will face NE 45th Street.

The street clock, associated with Benton Jeweler’s, originally stood at the first jeweler's locations on University Way from 1911 to 1986. It was then moved to its current location when Benton moved to that new location.  Benton’s Jeweler’s closed in 2008 just short of their 100th anniversary. 

Aegis bought the clock from the Benton family.  The clock is one of only nine street clocks left in the City of Seattle, and all are designated as City landmarks. At one time Seattle had over 50 such clocks.  

Aegis told the Laurelhurst Blog that t
he clock is not currently in working condition, although the good news is it has all of its parts. Aegis is investigating what it would take to get it back to working condition. Any restoration plan will need to be reviewed and approved by the Landmarks Board as well.

Aegis received approval from the Landmarks Preservation Board for the temporary removal and storage. Acoording to the Certificate of Approval Application filed by Aegis, the estimated cost  to remove and re-store the clock is approximately $35,000.  The clock will be transported and stored by Artech, which is licensed and bonded to transport and store large art pieces and specialty objects. 

The Laurelhurst Community Club (LCC) recently published this information in their newsletter:

Aegis Senior Living Project Ready to Go 
On December 26, 2019, the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections issued a permit for demolition of the old “Baskin Robbins” triangular site at the five-corners intersection. Existing businesses were closed in 2019, and the old billboard was removed January 24.  
LCC supports the new facility as it will be close to neighborhood families as their physical and mental needs change over time. The facility will be six stories with 136 rooms and 63 underground parking spaces.  
Project construction and transportation circulation will be difficult in such a high-traffic intersection. When completed, the facility is estimated to generate 230 additional daily vehicle trips through this already busy area. The City allowed less setback than normal at the base of the 72-foot structure, which will obscure visibility for cars entering the five-way intersection. 
Because of erosion and drainage issues posed by the property’s steep slope, the City is requiring on-site structural engineer observations to ensure slope protection and structural integrity.The owners are required to pay into the MHA (Mandatory Housing Affordability) fund at a rate of $14.46 a square foot, which will used to build affordable housing units elsewhere. 
The Design Review process recommended, and the developers have included, a lounge view of the Burke Gilman Trail for residents and that open space frontage along NE 45th St. be an outdoor plaza for residents and families.With the recent removal of the billboard and permit in hand, site construction appears imminent.

Jennifer Hall, Director of Marketing, provided this recent update to the Laurelhurst Blog:

The Aegis Living Laurelhurst construction site has been reopened this week. However, there will not be much activity at the site in May. We are working on scheduling power and civil utilities removal. We do not currently have a confirmed date yet, but a timeline in the next six weeks. We are currently working toward finalizing our building permit to determine the rest of the project schedule.We have currently stopped construction at all of our development sites following the Governor’s hold on non-essential construction activity and out of consideration for the safety of our partners and the community. 
As part of the new building project, a community green space will be constructed along NE 45th Street. The existing street trees were unfortunately planted too close to the travel lanes, and they are of a variety that spreads horizontally causing conflicts with passing vehicles, thus those trees will need to be removed. The tree limbs of this particular species tend to grow “out” rather than “up.” Further, SDOT arborist noted that this particular species has not thrived along this corridor. New maple trees (approved by SDOT) will be installed in a larger landscape area placed further from the travel lane.  The variety of maple will blend with the existing character but be a better fit for the local environment. We are also providing a larger planter area and will place the trees further from the curb.
No lane obstructions are anticipated during demolition, however there will be some disconnects of existing utilities and installation of new upgraded utility infrastructure for the project and area that will occur in the right of way and are being scheduled around heavy traffic times and in some cases overnight.  Flaggers will be present during construction phases that require lane obstruction. This will be intermittent throughout construction. 

Another retirement home, Empress Senior Living, has broken ground across at 4020 NE 55th Street, where the Hawthorne Hills Veterinary Hospital was currently located and since been demolished, across the street from Metropolitan Market. The proposal, Permit #3025827, includes 3 stories of approximately 74 units with a restaurant at street level and parking for approximately 30 vehicles above and below grade. 

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