Update on Pine and Belmont – UPDATED

Curious about the controversial Pine and Belmont condo development aka the new parking lot on Pine?

Despite losing an initial hearing at a lower level court Dennis is appealing to the Superior Court. However, Murray Franklyn has the project on hold because they can’t get financing. (See update below from Murray Franklyn.)

Here’s the full details courtesy of local neighborhood group POWHat and Dennis:

Update on Dennis’s lawsuit against the City of Seattle and Pine and Belmont LLC for noncompliance to design guidelines in their design of the 500 E Pine condos and appearance of unfairness on the part of the City (bias toward the developers).

  • Dennis lost initial hearing with the Hearing Examiner on January 3rd (decision given on January 16th) and is now applying to the Superior Court. The date of the Superior Court hearing will be July 7th.
  • Dennis’ case did not hold up demolition, excavation or even construction. Once there has been a hearing by the Hearing Examiner (as there was on January 3rd), the developer can proceed with construction if the Hearing Examiner gives them their Master Use Permit; Murray-Franklin (sic) received their MUP. Dennis’ hearing with the Superior Court doesn’t get in the way of Murray-Franklin (sic) proceeding with construction. If Dennis wins his case, he may require Murray-Franklin (sic) to change some design elements, even if they’ve already been built.
  • The reason that Murray-Franklin (sic) did not begin construction as of yet was because the city would not allow them to excavate until April 1st (rainy season rules). Murray-Franklin (sic) does not plan to excavate now because they don’t have the financing because of the bad market.
  • City Council is interested in the case and the neighborhood’s reaction to the project.
  • Dennis is proceeding with the case (despite limited finances, paying all legal and court fees himself, and limited cooperation from the city) because the complaint about the city ignoring its own neighborhood guidelines is still valid, even if construction may not go forward.

In related news, the DPD’s decision has been published on 1605 Bellevue Ave just down the block.

Bonus Link: The Slog, City Slaps Capitol Hill Building Owner With Hefty Fines. Is this the eyesore besides the Shell station? As much as the Stranger hates Ted, I’d love for him to buy the place and make it pretty again. It’s not that eyesore…

Update: Wade Metz of Murray Franklyn wrote in this more objecting to POWHat’s presentation of the situation. Regarding financing of the Pine and Belmont project he had this to say:

The project is financed. We are a long standing (40) year old company, uniquely positioned and extremely well capitalized. We have 15 plats and a couple of multi family sites currently under construction. Pine and Belmont is a great property and will make a fantastic apartment. The reason we have not moved forward is due to the LUPA appeal which, for which our hearing is July 7th. We feel confident in our position on the appeal and will proceed once the appeal is settled. We completed the Demo only because the city was forcing our hand to do something with the building. It was falling down and vagrants and druggies were housing inside. When the tenants left they destroyed the building leaving it un-rentable.

I find the use of the word “apartment” interesting. Given market conditions it would appear the decision of apartment vs condo has not yet been made. I wonder if neighbors objections are less if it is apartments instead of condos as there seems to be a lot more vilification of condos then apartment buildings.

Wade also writes that he thinks a better blog story would be one about the impact that Dennis is having on this project’s costs. Specifically how a small investment by Dennis in legal costs is costing Murray Franklyn a significant amount of money that will need to be re-couped one way or the other.

Update 2: Wade confirms it will definitely be apartments. Whew, we don’t need that much more inventory at this time :).

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

    It almost doesn’t matter whether Murray Franklyn’s Pine + Belmont project ends up being condos or rental apartments. Either way, it seems clear it is slated to be dreck.

    Don’t forget that the Murray Franklyn designer, Weber + Thompson, is also responsible for the monstrosity at 700 Broadway East, in the heart of Capitol Hill. That apartment building has cheap tanning salons and pizza shops as its retail tenants, foreshadowing Murray Franklyn’s plans at Pine + Belmont. Gee, what nice successors to the beloved neighborhood bars and shops that Murray Franklyn evicted.

    Retail aside, what can we expect re the Pine + Belmont building design? Again, using the experience of the 700 Broadway East project, we should be braced for super crap. Here’s a snip from the Seattle P-I architectural review of April 12, 2004:

    “Designed by Weber + Thompson, the new apartment and retail building acknowledges the significance of the site by terminating the north end of Broadway with a curved wall, but falls apart in a cacophony of shapes, details and cheap materials.

    It’s not the most egregious design in town, but it is a prime example of how mediocre architecture can drain Seattle’s vitality and saps our souls.”

    Murray Franklyn and Weber + Thompson are masters of the “soul sapping” school of exploiting a neighborhood’s hipness by building a project more suitable to a nowheresville like Tukwila than the Pine/Pike corridor. Of course, Murray Franklyn doesn’t give a damn about a neighborhood’s soul when it thinks it’ll get more spec profit out of a hip neighborhood than a suburb.

    So, good for gadfly Dennis Saxman for trying to hold the city accountable in its permitting process. Why have neighborhood design standards, like those for Pine/Pike, that are supposed to engender vital urban development, and then go ahead and approve the crap coughed up by Murray Franklyn?

  • CG

    It almost doesn’t matter whether Murray Franklyn’s Pine + Belmont project ends up being condos or rental apartments. Either way, it seems clear it is slated to be dreck.

    Don’t forget that the Murray Franklyn designer, Weber + Thompson, is also responsible for the monstrosity at 700 Broadway East, in the heart of Capitol Hill. That apartment building has cheap tanning salons and pizza shops as its retail tenants, foreshadowing Murray Franklyn’s plans at Pine + Belmont. Gee, what nice successors to the beloved neighborhood bars and shops that Murray Franklyn evicted.

    Retail aside, what can we expect re the Pine + Belmont building design? Again, using the experience of the 700 Broadway East project, we should be braced for super crap. Here’s a snip from the Seattle P-I architectural review of April 12, 2004:

    “Designed by Weber + Thompson, the new apartment and retail building acknowledges the significance of the site by terminating the north end of Broadway with a curved wall, but falls apart in a cacophony of shapes, details and cheap materials.

    “It’s not the most egregious design in town, but it is a prime example of how mediocre architecture can drain Seattle’s vitality and saps our souls.”

    Murray Franklyn and Weber + Thompson are masters of the “soul sapping” school of exploiting a neighborhood’s hipness by building a project more suitable to a nowheresville like Tukwila than the Pine/Pike corridor. Of course, Murray Franklyn doesn’t give a damn about a neighborhood’s soul when it thinks it’ll get more spec profit out of a hip neighborhood than a suburb.

    So, good for gadfly Dennis Saxman for trying to hold the city accountable in its permitting process. Why have neighborhood design standards, like those for Pine/Pike, that are supposed to engender vital urban development, and then go ahead and approve the crap coughed up by Murray Franklyn?

  • j blue

    Carl, you need to calm down and take your meds now, everything will be all right.

  • j blue

    Carl, you need to calm down and take your meds now, everything will be all right.

  • uptown

    J blue, if you have something to add to the conversation, please do it. Cheap shots don’t cut it anymore.

  • uptown

    J blue, if you have something to add to the conversation, please do it. Cheap shots don’t cut it anymore.

  • Pingback: Urbnlivn’s Pine and Belmont Update. — Smarter Neighbors

  • citizena
  • citizena

    BTW
    CG is expressing a notion that so many of us feel.
    Seattle can become as ugly as Whitecenter or Bellevue if the city doesn't maintain the historic architecture that makes this city beautiful.
    J Blue, there's a great quote that applies to you in particular.

    “Originality is the one thing that unoriginal minds can't find a use for.”

    - John Stuart Mill

  • citizena
  • citizena

    BTW
    CG is expressing a notion that so many of us feel.
    Seattle can become as ugly as Whitecenter or Bellevue if the city doesn't maintain the historic architecture that makes this city beautiful.
    J Blue, there's a great quote that applies to you in particular.

    “Originality is the one thing that unoriginal minds can't find a use for.”

    - John Stuart Mill

  • http://www.holidaytraveltips.net/ holiday_travel_tips

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