Unique microhousing development coming to 15th Ave. in Crown Hill

A proposal to build a microhousing community at 8311 15th Ave NW — where the old Restaurante Michoacan was located — has been given conditional approval by the city (.pdf).

This is a four-story building with 78 “sleeping rooms” and five “congregate residences” with retail space on the ground floor.

“This project is part of our ongoing mission to rethink the possibilities for dense livable housing in our rapidly changing city,” explained architect David Neiman in a blog post about the project back in October 2016. “(It’s) a pursuit that has led us to a unique approach to micro-housing that emphasizes small affordable housing paired with generous common amenities arranged to foster social interaction among residents.”

Those small “sleeping rooms” include private bathrooms and a kitchenette, and “congregate residences” located on each floor — which Neiman called “pajama commons” — offer full kitchens, dining area and laundry. On the main floor, there’s a larger commons area with a lounge area and a patio. (Here’s the full design proposal in a large .pdf)

Similar to the upcoming apartment development a couple blocks to the north on 15th, this project will offer no vehicle parking. The city found that there’s adequate on-street parking to handle the additional vehicles for both developments.

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Kip
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Kip

The “Robot Arms” comes to Ballard/Crown Hill. Sleep standing up in a closet. “Kill all humans”.

Aenesidemus
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Aenesidemus

Sufficient street parking at 83rd & 15th? In whose dreams?

Concerned Ballard Parent
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Concerned Ballard Parent

I live a few blocks away and the streets are pretty much empty. Don’t see what the issue would be.

Ann S.
Guest
Ann S.

Parking is not required within urban village boundaries, no matter what. That said, though there are many open spots during the day on side streets, it is becoming difficult to find parking at night and on the weekends. This implies to me that many current residents are driving to work (presumably because bus service is inadequate.) Another point to note is that there are no alleys (so no alley garage access) between 15th & 16th or 16th & 17th on this block, and there is limited parking on parts of 17th due to a rain garden/drainage project and the Greenway. With this and the amount of development coming in the pipeline for this area, I expect parking will spill over and become challenging many blocks out.

guesty
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guesty

lol *ahem* “pajama condos”???????

the developers/city keeps coming up of new weird ways to describe these prison cell style apodments…

Ann S.
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Ann S.

Also, has anyone else noticed how Crown Hill Urban Village seems to be losing its minority-owned businesses (Michoacan, Bento Sushi, WesternCo, Wild Orchid)?

ROBERT WYKOFF
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ROBERT WYKOFF

Ann S is well known troll who comes onto these websites in order to spark the flames of racial conversations. We aren’t falling for it!

Ann S.
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Ann S.

I hope you are joking Robert. I openly admit to being elf-like!…but not a troll. I have certainly never commented before on race on myballard. I don’t often comment on anything here at all. That said, it seems to me that my neighborhood seems to be losing minority owned businesses. I wonder/worry if it’s a trend that we should be monitoring.

Aenesidemus
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Aenesidemus

Minority-owned businesses are on average smaller and less well capitalized than their compeitors. They are more likely unable to afford affluent rents. Instead they’re in structures for which government planners plan destruction and replacement by higher rent space.
Such indirect and undesirable effects are usually called “institutional racism” or “gentrification”. Disproportionality is evident. Berating Ann won’t hide that!

Robert Wyckoff
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Robert Wyckoff

I agree that we should let buildings fall into disrepair and not replace them.

Silver
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Silver

Man I would have loved to live in a place like that when I was in college and riding the bus everywhere. Not sure I could have afforded it though.

Concerned Ballard Millenial
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Concerned Ballard Millenial

These buildings will be commonplace as long as the NIMBYs continue to keep 80% of the city as single family zoning.

Catherine
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Catherine

Can we stop calling this design new? I lived in exactly this configuration in the ’80 in the U-district. The building is still there. It’s called the Upstairs Downstairs. There are other buildings there just like this. Love them/hate them, whatever, but they’re not new or unique or innovative. Sounds like writing an article straight off a press release.

Chris
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Chris

So…Dorm rooms?

Defeat the city of Shilshole
Guest
Defeat the city of Shilshole

This building looks great—- if it was on lower queen anne, or near Seattle U, or in the U-District, or there was light rail coming to 85th and 15th in 5 years.

I’m all for increasing density in Seattle, but think it should be concentrated around the downtown core, or along true mass transit. In 5 years time, add in another 50 townhomes in the area, plus another 450 apartment and it’s going to be stop and go traffic along 15th from 85th all the way to the bridge in the morning.

Here’s another prediction. The construction will block at least one lane of traffic on 15th for 6+ months, instead of being limited to the parking strip. 15th will also be ripped up in spots for utilities, and will be patched so poorly, a year later there will be pot-holes where it was patched.

Andrew Daisuke
Member
Andrew Daisuke

Looks awesome, glad the 15th modernization train is finally moving its way up to Crown Hill.

Gwen Richardson
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Gwen Richardson

As someone who used to live behind this location I can tell you that parking is going to be a massive massive issue during the night/weekend timeframe. Sure, during the day when everyone goes off to work, there “appears” to be ample locations. But as someone else mentioned, nights/weekends are an entirely different story. And maybe one of these horrendous box-o’-rooms might be doable in that area. But the whole thing by Wild Orchid and the townhomes where Crown Hill Hardware used to be and now this one, plus the new zoning that lets the whole block of 16th between 83rd & 85th be town-homed to death? (40 ft height allowed) Kiss sunlight goodbye. Its like nobody at the “planning” dept (I use that term loosely) thought about the whole domino affect of continuing to wedge these monstrosities in to what was a single family neighborhood. Ok we need more housing? Fine. But think it thru – what’s the cumulative affect of ALL of these projects in totality. Does anyone think about that???!!

Concerned Ballard Millenial
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Concerned Ballard Millenial

NIMBY ALERT!!

Durkan-istan
Guest
Durkan-istan

Awesome soulless, overpriced human warehouse. Have any fans of this ever been to former Soviet republics?

Concerned Ballard Millenial
Guest
Concerned Ballard Millenial

“soulless, overpriced human warehouse”

This place forces you to interact with others. Soulless is what I call the baby boomers in the basements of their single family homes addicted to opioids.

Durkan-istan
Guest
Durkan-istan

@Concerned Commie
I smell more tax increases coming. Most boomers here are lefties. I am neither.

Concerned Ballard Millenial
Guest
Concerned Ballard Millenial

Huh? You just said it was soulless and I thought it was the opposite.

susannah
Guest
susannah

Great. Another soulless rabbit warren comes to Ballard. Add a little bit of barbed wire and some guards and you have a prison.

Ten or twenty years from now, when all you “pro-development” peeps are living in tiny shoe-boxes, with no greenery, kid-friendly residential spaces , and actually livable environments that don’t make you feel like you’re a faceless/bodiless/mindless cog in a great big urban wheel that’s slowly crushing you—then get back to me about how you’re just grooving on crappily built apodments.

reggie
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reggie

Oh Susannah,
Don’t you cry for me.

I may have come from Alabama with a banjo on my knee but I honestly appreciate this microhousing and think it will age just fine. There will always be 20 somethings or such looking for this kind of lodging. It was never meant for greenery or families. The former are what parks are for and the latter is clearly served by the 64% single family zoning

CrownHillJulie
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CrownHillJulie

Developers keep saying all these new apartment complexes are “affordable”. For whom? Rent for the microhousing/apodments i’ve seen in Lake City and the U District are at bare minimum $1000. And the standard apartments on 85th, Holman, and in Ballard are all market rate, at least $1500-2500. And they say retail on bottom floors– after the current business is kicked out. I have yet to see businesses in the apartment complexes going up. For those criticizing nimby’s, note that our rents and mortgages are often less than rents in the new places. We aren’t single techies with no commitments making $90-100,000 a year. We can’t move to anything equivalent nearby, even employed at decent jobs. It’s the scale and type of building just forced on people. If it were 2-story apartments or duplexes with setback, i’d be fine with that. I don’t oppose all building. But what’s going in in EVERY project i’ve seen are 4-6 story complexes next to small 1-story homes. That’s fine downtown where there are highrises– if that’s what i wanted, would have moved there! Or if wanted Victorians, to Snohomish, or skyscrapers, to New York. What’s wrong with urban trendy cubist modern there, and cottage… Read more »

Bobbi Lee
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Bobbi Lee

Thank you Crownhilljulie! I am also a home owner in the area and by the way I am never giving up my home. There is a trend amongst 10 to 20 year home owners that we are staying in our homes. In my neighborhood the only folks who have sold their homes in the past 5 years have refused to sell to developers. Up and down 15th and Market and in downtown Ballard it is another story. Talk to your neighbors and make a friendly agreement to not sell to the developers and keep our residential neighborhoods the way that we like them. Living in a residential neighborhood in Ballard is lovely and unfortunately unaffordable for many folks. However, there are many of us that can hold on to this wonderful way of life for another 20 to 30 years. Hang in there!