We got in touch with Kilburn Architects which is designing the project at 61st and Phinney Avenue to ask about some of the concerns being raised.
About the scale of the project: The proposed height is the maximum allowed by code, equivalent to the Roycroft building on the west side of the street, but the plans are about 2,000 square feet below what is allowed in the zoning. The rear setback is one foot more than required.
How they intend to make the design fit in with the neighborhood: It’s described as “Northwest contemporary.” Their intent is to use brick that looks similar to what was historically used in the neighborhood, as well as single-family style material on the exterior. See what you think.
Environmental concerns: Some concerns have been raised about construction disturbing any PCE that may still be in the soil from an old dry cleaning business that used to be where Zeek’s Pizza now stands. The owner promises any tests that need to be done will be done.
Construction timetable: They won’t tear down the building and leave a hole in the ground. Demolition won’t start until they’re ready to build. Asked when that might be, the architect figures even with speedy approval (by no means a sure thing) it will be at least a year before construction could start and that’s not taking into account the poor economy which could further delay the project’s start.
One other item of note: The project will be apartments (12 two bedroom and seven one bedroom units), as the market won’t support condos at this time, according to the firm. A public hearing on the project is set for 6:30 p.m., Feb. 23 at Ballard High School’s library.