Community Post

Goodbye Copier Building?

Just a few days ago, I briefly mentioned the need to redevelop the old copier office building at 20th & Union in order to help grow the retail district in that part of the neighborhood.

Now it sounds like our wishes might be answered. There’s a design review scheduled for July 2nd to provide preliminary guidance on the development of a three-story mixed use building with ten residential units and 3,500 square feet of ground floor retail.

The only thing that gives me pause is the statement that “Surface parking for 10 units will be provided on the site. ” But even with that, it would be a fantastic addition to that block. Just adding a few more stores to Katy’s, 20/20 Cycles, and Central Cinema would create a great critical mass of options there.

We’ll make plans to attend the design review and let you know what we find out.

0 thoughts on “Goodbye Copier Building?

  1. Great news! Every time I ride by that in the morning I wonder what a shame that it is sitting vacant.

    Too bad that it is being knocked down entirely, looked like a decent brick building to me, but I suppose not the best use of space.

  2. Fingers crossed for a yummy restaurant! I’d love to see that block get more great businesses….child friendly is a bonus!

  3. Ooops! My fault – the calendar entry is now fixed to the correct date and time

  4. The latest activity doesn’t say, but I’m fairly sure that the existing building is coming down. I found an old permit from last August that says it definitely would be demolished, but the project appears to have changed significantly since that time (losing the underground parking and changing the residential portion from townhomes to apartments:

  5. Oh, *that* building. Good riddance. I thought you meant the one with 2020 cycles in it.

  6. Unfortunately, because this project would have so much surface parking, it is not the kind of development that is appropriate for a sustainable urban village. Ten surface parkings stalls plus the access driveway would typically cover roughly 3000 square feet. For comparison, a typical single family lot is 5000 sf (50×100).

    This proposal is a perfect example of how parking requirements lead to development that flies in the face of the City’s goals to become more sustainable. A project at this scale cannot pencil with underground parking. So the choice is either remove the parking requirement, or end up with suburban style surface parking that has no place in a pedestrian-oriented urban village.

    There is no easy solution here. Across the street, Pb Elemental is about to start building three work-live units. The City does not require any parking for live-work units. But 10 live-work units may not be practical at the copier site. The proposed project on 34th Ave in Madrona puts 9 parking stalls inside the back of the building, but that is a relatively high-end building and so can absorb that extra cost.

    It would be interesting to find out if the owner would be willing to build a project without parking if the city would allow it.

    It’s probably premature to form a final opinion on the copier project without having seen the plans, but I can’t imagine how it won’t be something I will be strongly opposing.