Pioneer Square board to review Urban Visions’ 77-unit building

Landowner Urban Visions and partner Johnson Carr are planning a new apartment building for the vacant pit at 165 S. Washington St. The Pioneer Square Preservation District board will consider that proposal next Wednesday in a virtual meeting. The public can view the proceedings via Webex.

Skidmore Janette is designing the eight-story, 77-unit building. The ground floor and part of the basement are programmed with about 2,820 square feet of restaurant and bar space.

No parking is required or planned, but there would be a basement bike room with 74 stalls.

The team includes GHA Landscape Architects; Swenson Say Faget, structural engineer; Bush, Roed and Hitchings, surveyor; and Blueline Group, civil engineer. For now, no general contractor is listed.

All the units would be SEDUs (small efficiency dwelling units), averaging around 280 square feet. Some would have storage lofts. Total project size is estimated at 35,433 square feet, including a roof deck with 913 square feet. The Mandatory Housing Affordability fee hasn’t been calculated yet; or the developers may instead include affordable units.

Greg Smith of Urban Visions acquired the site in 2007 for $750,000. That was about three years after the earthquake-damaged remnants of two old buildings were demolished. The property is east across the alley from Urban Visions’ 200 Occidental building, where Weyerhaeuser has its headquarters.

A mural is envisioned for the otherwise blank east wall that would overlook McCoy’s Firehouse, which continues to operate despite the pandemic. There’s no indication the owners would sell that small corner, with a footprint of only 1,980 square feet, to add to Smith’s site.

However, the neighboring building to the south, at 207 Second Ave. S., is for sale. It’s been listed for about three months, offered at $3 million by Gary Hunter of Westlake Associates. That parcel has 6,480 square feet, with a one-story building that the district board might not deem worthy of protection. It’s now home to a teriyaki shop and a karaoke bar. It’s zoned up to 120 feet — as is Smith’s smaller site, which he opted not to max out. Both are in a federally tax favored Opportunity Zone.


Skidmore Janette Architecture


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