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Old March 2nd, 2014, 11:10 PM   #641
cityviewer
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Originally Posted by sequoias View Post
It looks so...1970's. Probably scrimped on design due to cost. Looks like the widest skyscraper in Seattle, if built.
Downtown Hilton, Atlanta
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This 1976
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Old March 3rd, 2014, 09:12 AM   #642
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Boo hoo. I feel nothing for people who live in new construction near developable land in the heart of a booming city.
basically. If you are plunking down a half million or more on a condo (referring to Olive 8 not The Olivian obviously) it'd be wise to research the lots between you and whatever view you cherish to imagine what things would look like if every block was built to the maximum allowed by zoning.

I broke my Tower 801 lease several months early to escape the hellscape dark cave my north-facing apartment became when 815 Pine grew next door. If it were a condo that I had for decades I'd be really sad, but it's hard to feel bad for people who bought in the last couple years and didn't research.
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Old March 3rd, 2014, 04:14 PM   #643
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I looked at Olive8 and the sales reps mentioned the future development without me even asking. I can only assume they did that with everyone who came through (maybe especially because it was the same developer).
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Old March 3rd, 2014, 06:02 PM   #644
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I recently looked at a small house on the slope of QA hill, with the idea of building up. It turns out the person selling the house had bought it plus the property above it on the hill a few months ago, wrote a height restriction on the small house, then is selling it back on the market for $100k less than he paid (it sold in 2 days, and likely above asking). So you really can buy your view, and if you're smart it might not cost that much (it's hard to say $100k isn't that much, but I'm sure the market value of the view will be well beyond that).
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Old March 3rd, 2014, 07:12 PM   #645
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I recently looked at a small house on the slope of QA hill, with the idea of building up. It turns out the person selling the house had bought it plus the property above it on the hill a few months ago, wrote a height restriction on the small house, then is selling it back on the market for $100k less than he paid (it sold in 2 days, and likely above asking). So you really can buy your view, and if you're smart it might not cost that much (it's hard to say $100k isn't that much, but I'm sure the market value of the view will be well beyond that).
Funny. That probably also improved the value of the upper home with a now guaranteed view.
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Old March 3rd, 2014, 07:23 PM   #646
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I'm absolutely sure it did. Nothing can come between the Space Needle and that property unless they change SF zones to something tall (which will never happen). I wonder what the overall property value that the Needle has generated. It's certainly worth whatever we invested in it, and probably 1,000 times over. Maybe we need to invest in more tall beautiful iconic things.

When's our next world's fair?
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Old March 3rd, 2014, 07:41 PM   #647
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I don't know if the Wright family got any public money for the Needle (I'd be interested to know that) but I think it was all private and still is.
From wiki:
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The proposed Space Needle had no land on which to be built. Since it was not financed by the city, land had to be purchased that was within the fairgrounds. The investors thought that there would be no land available to build a tower and the search for a site was nearly dead when, in 1961, they discovered a plot, 120 by 120 ft (37 by 37 m), containing switching equipment for the fire and police alarm systems. The land sold for $75,000. At this point, only one year remained before the World's Fair would begin.
It was privately built and financed by the "Pentagram Corporation" which consisted of Bagley Wright, contractor Howard S. Wright, architect John Graham, Ned Skinner, and Norton Clapp. In 1977 Bagley, Skinner and Clapp sold their interest to Howard Wright who now controls it under the name of Space Needle Corporation.[15]
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Old March 14th, 2014, 05:24 PM   #648
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Looks like this is in design review for a no-alley version. Similar height but 3/4 the room count and presumably no housing.

I don't blame them. The city is trying to screw them over the alley.

I'd rather they build the big version including the housing of course. Maybe they're doing multiple angles for now, and using the second version as a hedge.
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Old March 14th, 2014, 05:29 PM   #649
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Looks like this is in design review for a no-alley version.
Isn't the original version a no-alley version? Or by no-alley version, do you mean a no-alley-vacation, i.e., keep-the-alley version?
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Old March 14th, 2014, 05:31 PM   #650
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I mean that presumably the new version doesn't require an alley vacation. That's only based on the fact that it's a new DR project, vs. an update of the old one, plus the description makes it sound smaller. My guess is it might be a half block total. We'll see.
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Old March 14th, 2014, 05:54 PM   #651
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They have a road going through the building, you'd think that would be a suitable alley.
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Old March 14th, 2014, 10:06 PM   #652
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I for one would like to thank our local government for standing up for our alleyways. These precious urine soaked civic gems must be preserved for future generations of hobos. They provide an ireplacable habitat for intervenious drug users and their ecosystem sustains fragile endangered flocks of crack heads. The magestic dumpsters and trashcans are an irreplaceable asset to our city.

Thank you city government. Always fighting the good fights on our behalf, please vote yourselves another pay raise, you deserve it.
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Old March 15th, 2014, 04:55 AM   #653
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The good news is this proposal would still mean demolition of all existing buildings on that lot. It would just also preserve the parking lot and the all important alley.
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Old March 16th, 2014, 01:13 PM   #654
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NWDave83 View Post
I for one would like to thank our local government for standing up for our alleyways. These precious urine soaked civic gems must be preserved for future generations of hobos. They provide an ireplacable habitat for intervenious drug users and their ecosystem sustains fragile endangered flocks of crack heads. The magestic dumpsters and trashcans are an irreplaceable asset to our city. Thank you city government. Always fighting the good fights on our behalf, please vote yourselves another pay raise, you deserve it.
Intravenous, even! Well, I do like how Seattle is consulting design firms to figure out how to make its alleyways more inviting, inspired by places like Melbourne, etc.
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Old March 16th, 2014, 04:29 PM   #655
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Don't get me wrong, more alley, post alley, canton alley are great and I would love to see our alleys more utilized. But not when an entire block is being redeveloped! Especially when another short cut through the block is included in the design like in this and the west Seattle developement! WTF are they thinking? How do these bum barracks seem more important to our government than the job creating city enhancing projects they are interfering with to keep?

It's got to be some kind of shady extortion scheme.
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Old March 17th, 2014, 12:56 PM   #656
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Oh, yeah. I agree with that. I don't think this project needs an alley, especially since it has a porte cochere running straight through it.

I can't even believe the city would opt for an alley over an entire half-block of housing. What a horrible, stupid trade-off.
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Old March 17th, 2014, 02:38 PM   #657
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Oh, yeah. I agree with that. I don't think this project needs an alley, especially since it has a porte cochere running straight through it.

I can't even believe the city would opt for an alley over an entire half-block of housing. What a horrible, stupid trade-off.
To be fair, isn't it Hedreen who is opting for the alley instead of the half-block of housing?

It feels like a game of chicken is being played out, but I wonder if the city is limited in its response by legal issues, i.e., if they grant an exemption to this project are they open to challenges by other developers who did not get an exemption. It does seem like there should be a way the city could tweak the rules to allow the larger version of the project to get built. Figure out a way to thread this needle without unraveling the whole zoning/planning schemata.
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Old March 17th, 2014, 03:46 PM   #658
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From todays DJC.

http://www.djc.com/news/re/12063352.html

March 17, 2014

Hedreen may scale back plans if city doesn't grant alley vacation

Plan B is a 44-story hotel with 1,260 rooms. The apartment tower would be eliminated.

By JOURNAL STAFF

R.C. Hedreen Co. wants to be ready if the city of Seattle doesn't grant an alley vacation for a full-block development at Ninth Avenue and Stewart Street in the Denny Triangle.

The developer has submitted plans for an alternative design that would leave part of the block undeveloped.

The current plan is for a 40-story hotel with 1,680 guest rooms and a second tower with 152 low-income apartments over a shared podium. Parking for 700 vehicles would be built underground.

The alley vacation would be needed to create a mid-block corridor for pedestrians and vehicles.

A city design-review board approved the project in February, but that was just one of a number of hurdles the project has to clear before it can be built.

Next, approvals are required from the city Design Commission, which last reviewed the project on Feb. 20, and the city Department of Transportation. Then, it would move on to the City Council, which will make the final decision.

A supplemental environment impact statement also needs to be completed before the Design Commission votes on the proposal.

A sticking point has been whether the public benefits offered by the development are sufficient to convince the city to give up the alley.

Representatives from Hedreen were unavailable to discuss the project on Friday.

The developer's Plan B is a 44-story hotel with 1,260 rooms, and no low-income housing. Altogether, the project would encompass 1.3 million square feet versus more than 2 million square feet under the current plan.

Parking would be reduced to 445 underground stalls. Other elements include 35,000 square feet for ballrooms, 50,000 square feet for meeting rooms, 30,000 square feet for retail and restaurant space, and 25,000 square feet for “pre-function” areas.

A site plan submitted to the city shows the tower would be built at Eighth Avenue and Howell Street, leaving a parking lot at Ninth and Howell undeveloped.

The drive-up entrance would face the parking lot, and a pedestrian entrance would be at the corner of Eighth and Howell. The meeting space would be built along Stewart Street, with a retail entrance on Eighth.

The site address for the alternative proposal is 808 Howell St. The current proposal is for 807 Stewart St.

LMN is the architect for both proposals.

Other project team members include Sellen Construction, Magnusson Klemencic Associates, Arup, Coughlin Porter Lundeen, Heffron Transportation and Site Workshop.

Shauna Decker, Hedreen's director of design, told the DJC in February that the developer wants to start construction as soon as possible, but may not begin until spring of 2015.

She said a decision on the master use permit for the current plan could come by the end of April.

A legislative assistant for Tom Rasmussen, who chairs the City Council's Transportation Committee, said on Friday the alley vacation has not made its way to the committee's agenda.

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Old March 17th, 2014, 04:38 PM   #659
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At least they knew how to place it properly to try reduce complaints.

I agree that SODO would be a better site for greyhound station so people and transfer from/to amtrak or light rail or other modes of transportation, not in north part of downtown.
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Old March 17th, 2014, 04:47 PM   #660
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Originally Posted by old_smithy View Post
To be fair, isn't it Hedreen who is opting for the alley instead of the half-block of housing?

It feels like a game of chicken is being played out, but I wonder if the city is limited in its response by legal issues, i.e., if they grant an exemption to this project are they open to challenges by other developers who did not get an exemption. It does seem like there should be a way the city could tweak the rules to allow the larger version of the project to get built. Figure out a way to thread this needle without unraveling the whole zoning/planning schemata.
Hedreen is doing public open space plus a shitload of affordable housing. They're jumping through all the right hoops. It's just that some politicians and appointees are saying "uhhh, you're really not getting screwed enough" with the alley as leverage.
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