Thursday, March 5, 2015

There's No Mistaking It. Change to 35th Ave NE Has Arrived.

Goodbye, Green House!

There's no mistaking it, change is occurring along 35th Ave NE.  Two "tear downs," including the Green House, are currently ongoing along 35th Ave NE to make way for new townhomes. The Theodora is going to be remodeled soon. And the Bryant Heights development on the former Children's Home Society of Washington property will begin construction soon.  Technically, all of these projects are occurring in the Ravenna-Bryant neighborhood, since they occur south of NE 75th Street which is the border of Wedgwood and Ravenna-Bryant.

One might look at these recent developments along 35th Ave NE and think it's the result of the community-led planning that occurred in 2014 and which resulted in the Future 35th Ave NE Plan. However, those who share this perspective are mistaken. In fact, the changes we're seeing unfold now were anticipated and is what triggered the the Future 35th Ave NE planning to begin with.  It's why this community-led planning was proactive and not reactive. All of the projects that are going on now began their design and permitting process a few years back (or many years ago in the case of the Green House), before the Future 35th Ave NE planning began.  In fact, we wrote about all of these projects as reasons justifying the proactive, community-led neighborhood planning process, despite how difficult we knew the conversation might be:
In January, we published the final Future 35th Ave NE Plan and subsequently published the Supplemental Design Guidelines Handbood for 35th Ave NE thanks to the excellent work of our consultant team (Makers Architecture & Urban Design and SVR Design). The hope for these documents is that they provide early direction to current land owners, future developers, designers, and architects so that future projects help meet the needs for the overall community while still allowing developers to meet their own financial objectives. Each project is unique and different and we are not trying to criticize any of the projects currently proposed or being constructed.  But, the hope is that this early direction and hopefully early coordination with the representative community councils will lead to improved projects more generally, provide the developer and neighborhood with greater predictability, and result in an improved business district that better serves the surrounding community.