Resident Stalls Pine and Belmont Development

The Slog has an updated on what is going on, or not going on, with the Pine and Belmont development by Murray Franklyn, How a Crusade to Save the Pike-Pine Neighborhood Is Turning an Active Block Into a Gravel Lot—For at Least a Year. In short a Capitol Hill resident, Dennis Saxman, feels that the current design violates city law and is petitioning the King County Superior Court. Earliest something might be built is a year from now:

So while Saxman, developers, and City duke it out downtown, we’re left with a vacant lot on Capitol Hill. It might step up design standards in the neighborhood in the long haul, however unlikely, but in the interim we’re left with a vacant gravel expanse. The space might be better used if it actually were a parking lot.

I’ve been meaning to catch up with Dennis for a month now after first hearing about this on a Capitol Hill mailing list. Fortunately the Stranger has reporters and wrote a pretty thorough blog post.

About Matt

Matt , Urbnlivn's publisher, has a love for lofts, floating homes and mid-century moderns.

For years Matt resisted becoming a real estate agent preferring to be an executive in the startup world but he recently caved in the spring of 2014 and became an agent.

You can also find Matt on Twitter or skiing.

  • CG

    Mazel tov to enfant terrible Dennis Saxman for doing what few neighborhood activists have the stamina to achieve. Sure, the gravel lot on Pine between Belmont and Summit is a temporary eyesore. But the god-awful design by Weber Thompson and Murray Franklyn would create a permanent Tukwila-style condo-cum-Subway Sandwich franchise in its place. (Just take a look at what Weber Thompson erected at 700 Broadway East, in the heart of Capitol Hills business district, if youre skeptical of this claim.) Whats the point of having neighborhood design guidelines if theyre merely aspirational? Weve got to demand better design. Lets make a test case of Murray Franklyns latest speculative crap and see if we can prevail.

  • CG

    Mazel tov to enfant terrible Dennis Saxman for doing what few neighborhood activists have the stamina to achieve. Sure, the gravel lot on Pine between Belmont and Summit is a temporary eyesore. But the god-awful design by Weber Thompson and Murray Franklyn would create a permanent Tukwila-style condo-cum-Subway Sandwich franchise in its place. (Just take a look at what Weber Thompson erected at 700 Broadway East, in the heart of Capitol Hill’s business district, if you’re skeptical of this claim.) What’s the point of having neighborhood design guidelines if they’re merely aspirational? We’ve got to demand better design. Let’s make a test case of Murray Franklyn’s latest speculative crap and see if we can prevail.

  • jo

    some people just need a hobby

  • jo

    some people just need a hobby

  • jcricket

    While I’m sympathetic to the frustration at “cookie cutter” designs, I think this is yet another case of single-issue loudmouths being able to halt progress in Seattle.

    We wonder why everything costs a zillion dollars and we have little progress on important area-wide issues, we can point to activists like Saxman.

    Also, as the SLOG points out, Saxman’s unlikely to prevail at trial and due to construction cost inflation, the resulting condos will be even more expensive (pricing out even more existing residents). What’s even better is that whenever a developer does something interesting or architecturally significant people either hate it, or complain about the extra costs.

    You just can’t win with Seattlites.

  • jcricket

    While I’m sympathetic to the frustration at “cookie cutter” designs, I think this is yet another case of single-issue loudmouths being able to halt progress in Seattle.

    We wonder why everything costs a zillion dollars and we have little progress on important area-wide issues, we can point to activists like Saxman.

    Also, as the SLOG points out, Saxman’s unlikely to prevail at trial and due to construction cost inflation, the resulting condos will be even more expensive (pricing out even more existing residents). What’s even better is that whenever a developer does something interesting or architecturally significant people either hate it, or complain about the extra costs.

    You just can’t win with Seattlites.

  • WhyCantWeAllJustGetAlong

    What’s with the mean spirited attacks, Carl? Murray Franklyn / Weber Thompson have actually produced some pretty decent projects in Seattle: Bagley Lofts, Madison Tower, Hotel 1000, Cristalla and Water’s Edge, for example. Regarding this project, I personally attended most of the community meetings and all of the design review meetings. The design evolved in response to input from a lot of people and in all honesty I think that the developer Wade Metz tried hard to create a building that would be an asset to the neighborhood. The design review board which is comprised of volunteer architects and community membersapproved it unanimously on the second meeting. Many changes were made in response to community input. It’s not perfect, but the design is URBAN and modern and thank God it has no cornices. Mr. Sexman claims that he represents the community, but this is absolutely not true. Most of us think that he is just a GOF.

  • WhyCantWeAllJustGetAlong

    What’s with the mean spirited attacks, Carl? Murray Franklyn / Weber Thompson have actually produced some pretty decent projects in Seattle: Bagley Lofts, Madison Tower, Hotel 1000, Cristalla and Water’s Edge, for example. Regarding this project, I personally attended most of the community meetings and all of the design review meetings. The design evolved in response to input from a lot of people and in all honesty I think that the developer Wade Metz tried hard to create a building that would be an asset to the neighborhood. The design review board which is comprised of volunteer architects and community membersapproved it unanimously on the second meeting. Many changes were made in response to community input. It’s not perfect, but the design is URBAN and modern and thank God it has no cornices. Mr. Sexman claims that he represents the community, but this is absolutely not true. Most of us think that he is just a GOF.

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