Thursday, June 18, 2020

Landmark Benton Clock Carefully Removed And Stored, Clock's Community Long History

The landmark Benton clock that has stood in front of Benton Jewelers since 1986 which then became Edward Jones (3615 NE 45th Street) next to the location where China Village used to be, was recently taken down and put into storage.

The cost to move and store the clock is $30,000.   

Jennifer, Director of Marketing, with Aegis Living, told the Laurelhurst Blog:

The clock was removed over 3 days, (5/20-22) by a professional clock restoration service, Tick Tock Tony.  The clock was not currently in working condition, although the good news is it has all of its parts.  The clock will be restored to working order and retrofitted with LED backlighting (it was not working when it was taken down), stored for the duration of construction, and replaced in a prominent position visible to the 5 corners intersection upon building opening, when building construction is complete.  
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.  

Prior to removing the clock, Aegis received approval from the Landmarks Preservation Board.  The clock was transported and will be stored by Artech, which is licensed and bonded to transport and store large art pieces and specialty objects.

Construction on the Aegis building has been put on hold. 

"We may elect to start demo of the existing buildings on site in the next 30-60 days. We will re-evaluate project start sometime in late summer/early fall," an Aegis representative told the Laurelhurst Blog. Currently the estimated opening date is Winter 2022.

Aegis Living Assisted Living facility will 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 will 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 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.

Aegis told the Laurelhurst Blog:
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. 

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.

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.

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.

Design Proposal Image

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