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Joseph Arnold Lofts in Belltown

By May 26, 2011

Joseph Arnold Lofts

The Schuster Group brought us Mosler Lofts back in 2008, and it is with anticipation that we look forward to seeing what they do with their current apartment project, Joseph Arnold Lofts.

I couldn’t wait, so I took a peek at the design proposal that went before the design board on May 10 — this project’s first design review as an apartment building. Plans for the lot located at the corner of Cedar St & Elliott had previously underwent early design guidance reviews in 2009 as a residential condominium project.

Here is what is currently on deck:

Joseph Arnold Lofts - May 10, 2011 Proposal

In short, the proposal is for a 13-story structure containing 132 residential units above 3,577 square feet of retail at ground level. Parking for 76 vehicles is to be provided below grade. The project will be seeking certification from Green Globes (roughly equivalent to LEED Gold), Built Green, and Energy Star.

The proposal seems largely based on the previous condominium design with a few notable differences:

  • The average unit size is reduced, and there are now approximately 132 units proposed instead of 115
  • Higher ceilings in what are now urban lofts meant one residential floor was removed
  • The scale of the penthouses was reduced, while the rooftop common areas were increased
  • Parking is now 76 spaces instead of 107 after removing 1.25 floors in the parking structure
  • The entrance to the parking garage and the main residential entrance were both relocated to the northeast corner (Cedar St and the alley)

The look of the exterior building changed to present a more vertically-oriented facade framing what are now loft windows – a rather positive visual change in my opinion. There is discussion about the shifting of massing and lowering of the podium to better fit the context of its neighbors, Bellora and Klee (and to explain the departures from design guidelines on required setbacks from the green street, etc).

Additionally, there is an exploration of the building from all directions, including this view of Joseph Arnold Lofts from the water:

JAL as seen from water

Landscaping designs were included for the green rooftop (intended for community use) and the 12th floor private terraces attached to 2 penthouse units — one of which is seen here:

Joseph Arnold Lofts - 12th Floor, Private Terrace

According to the board report, the proposal received at positive thumbs up on the current direction, with an additional request for further development on a few areas of concern (safety of pedestrians from vehicle traffic in the alley entrance, increased design detail of balconies and overhanging “eyebrow” element, and exploration of an exterior facade that more visually wraps around the corner from Cedar to Elliott).

Joseph Arnold Lofts (2700 Elliott) is tentatively scheduled for another round of design review in late June. If you want more information, the May 10 design proposal is here and board report is here.