With a 3-2 vote, Seattle’s Downtown Design Review Board has voted in favor of Amazon’s plans for a three-block, high-rise complex in the Denny Triangle. The board voted after conducting five, comprehensive meetings over the last six months to review Amazon’s evolving NBBJ-designed proposal. Although this design review approval is simply a recommendation to the city’s Department of Planning and Development, it is still a milestone for the ambitious project.
The five acre site, roughly located between Sixth Avenue, Blanchard Street and Westlake Avenue, is currently occupied by expansive parking lots, the Sixth Avenue Inn and the King Cat Theater. Continue after the break to learn more.
As reported by the Seattle Times, two dissenters were still unsatisfied with the design of one of the blocks. One of the reviewers complained that the planning process has been too rushed, considering this is the largest development to date for Seattle’s downtown.
Amazon still needs building permits before it can start construction. The city’s Department of Planning and Development will consider the review board’s recommendation and examine Amazon’s application for land-use permit for the complex, while reviewing the project’s environmental impact and the “public benefits”. A decision could come as early as late November.
The three-block proposal will introduce three new towers to Seattle’s skyline and add 3.3 million square feet of office space to the down town. Each block will consist of a 38-story office tower along with a smaller, mixed-use building. The plans will integrate 66,000 square feet of shop and restaurant space, underground parking for 3,300 cars and 1.7 acres of public open space.
Additionally, Amazon has offered to fund a fourth car for the South Lake Union streetcar, which runs past the proposed complex; subsidize more frequent streetcar service; build bikeways separated from both pedestrians and cars along Seventh Avenue, which runs through the middle of the site; and construct a “shared-use street” on Lenora Street between Seventh and Westlake avenues.
However, the planning department can’t act on Amazon’s land-use permit application until the City Council agrees to vacate alleys that bisect each of the three blocks.
Reference: The Seattle Times