Community Post

23rd & Union Update:!3{2}Rezone passes committee

We spent part of the morning here tuned in to the live stream of the city council’s Land Use and Planning Committee, where the 23rd & Union rezone was a part of the agenda.   The result should be good news for developer Jim Mueller and neighborhood supporters of the project, as it was approved on a vote of 2-0 and forwarded to the full council for consideration.

Long time readers of the site know that it’s been a long process for the project:  design reviewsplanning department recommendations, and a turn before the city’s hearing examiner.   Today was the second to the last step, where the rezone had to make it out of Councilmember Sally Clark’s committee before going before the full council.

Among the topics of discussion were the changes in height from 40 to 65 feet, a reduction in parking from the standard of 95 spaces down to 74, and the level of neighborhood support for the project which was described as 20 in support vs. 5 against.  

Councilmember Tim Burgess seemed especially supportive of the project, saying it was a “very good project for neighborhood.  I hope there’s more.”   

Committee Chair Sally Clark remarked that “concerns about height are serious are are taken seriously. “

Councilmember Rasmussen declined to vote due to another appointment and a desire to read all of the project documentation and public comment first.

The next step is a vote before the full council, which could happen as soon as September 8th.  If approved there, the rezone is officially approved and the detailed permitting process will begin.   The developer has previously said that real construction would start in the spring or summer of 2009 if the rezone is approved this fall.

Here’s a link to the city’s video of the committee hearing:    (if you can get Real Player to do it, you’ll want to scroll forward to about the 1:15 mark for the rezone part of the agenda)

7 thoughts on “23rd & Union Update:!3{2}Rezone passes committee

  1. construction starting spring or summer of 2009??

    I thought it would start a lot sooner, like a month or so after final approval. This is disappointing to me.

    Oh well…

  2. When we spoke to the developer back in June, he said it would take several months to get building permits once the rezone was complete. That pushes things into the rainy season – not the best time to start digging big holes in the ground. So they’ll get things going once the weather dries out.

  3. It is nice that this is finally in the home stretch. It has been more than a decade, and three owners talking about building on this site. I was excited when the city demolished the old building as it looked like progress. I am looking forward to Union street becoming an active neighborhood zone instead of a thoroughfare.

  4. Anybody know anything else about the other 3 corners and their prospects for redevelopment to make it a real neighborhood zone?

  5. I have heard speculation that Jim Mueller (the 23rd & Union developer) is very interested in developing the whole block where the liquor store and post office is. That entire block is owned by one man who lives out on Bainbridge Island.

    It seems possible if the current owner is willing to sell. But it wouldn’t be cheap. King County values the whole block at $10.8 million, and I’m sure you can add 50-75% to that to get a real market value.

    For comparison, Mueller’s paid $7.6 million for the much smaller Deano’s property on Madison across from Safeway.

    Does anyone thing they could make a mixed-use project at 23rd & Union pencil out when the price of the land alone is $15-$20 million?

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