|Mixed-use development in Kirkland using terracing|
and setbacks to reduce sense of scale from the street.
|A mixed-use building in Madrona enhances the corner |
and uses streetscape features well to create a gathering place.
For such a geographically small commercial corridor with zoning (NC-30) similar to that around 35th Ave NE and NE 75th Street, Madrona packs a punch. Madrona is not considered an "Urban Village" within the City's Comprehensive Plan, yet it has managed to create a successful commercial corridor that appears to serve the surrounding neighborhood well. There are numerous eateries that function as destinations from the nearby single-family neighborhoods and a couple of key services (e.g., school, library, parks, deli/market, salons, coffee shop) which accommodate many of the other daily needs of nearby residents. The result is a small, neighborhood commercial corridor that has successfully incorporated a moderate degree of new development over the past 15-20 years while maintaining its character. My personal take home lesson from this neighborhood is that business types really do matter in the success and vitality of a commercial corridor.
Our field trip transitioned from a non-Urban Village in Madrona to Wallingford, an Urban Village with codified growth targets. While we weren't able to walk the whole commercial corridor, we did take a long look at a relatively new mixed-use building at NE 45th St and Bagley Ave N. This building uses a variety of architectural techniques to soften the bulk and scale of the building, similar to what was seen in Kirkland, while also transitioning to the single-family residences to the south. This is one of the projects touched on by Catherine Benotto during the Coffee Talk 5: Density and its Benefits talk, whose firm Weber Thompson designed. Parking for this building is off of Bagley Ave N, south of ground-floor residences that open onto Bagley. My personal take home message from this neighborhood is that transitional zoning is not required, although good design is, in order to achieve a respectful and thoughtful transition transition to adjacent single-family residences.
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