There’s been some progress on the proposed redevelopment of Wong’s that we wanted to share. And no, despite the image below, not everyone in the neighborhood will soon be driving a Porsche or other convertible sports car.
First, a quick history.
- In late 2018, a pre-design community meeting was held on-site as part of the city’s required Early Design Guidance to present a proposal for a townhome community to be developed on site.
- In late 2020, Milton Lam Architects proposed 3 different options for of a townhome community on-site. The different options were simialar in some ways, but varied substantially on how they integrated commercial uses on the site.
- Option 1 had more rowhouses overall, but included 2 live-work units and a seperate building along 35th Ave NE with a small parking lot accessed off 35th Ave NE.
- Option 2 was similar to Option 1 but traded the parking lot for a 2nd commercial building providing.
- Option 3 (the developer’s preferred option) forgoed the 2 standalone commercial buildings, reduced the rowhouses in half (5 rowhouses) and increased the live-work units to 7 resulting in all live-work units fronting on to 35th Ave NE.
- Public comments were submitted, including by the 35th Ave Committee which developed the Future 35th Ave NE Plan which was endorsed unanimously by the Wedgwood Community Council in 2015. The 35th Ave Committee noted that Option 1 was inconsistent with the Future 35th Ave NE Plan, but Options 2 and 3 were broadly consistent. Option 2 was preferred to the 35th Ave Committee due to it maximizing activated commercial space along 35th Ave NE and limited live-work units to those fronting NE 94th Street.
- At some point, these parcels were listed on Zillow for sale and the future of this redevelopment was uncertain.
- On April 8, 2022, the city posted the results of an Administrative Design Review (ADR) for the proposed redevleopment of Wong’s submitted by Jackson Main Architects. The results of the ADR appears to largely focus on refinning Option 3 (the developer’s preferred option) in the following ways:
- Stepping down the massing (size) of the development as it approaches 35th Ave NE (3-story) and NE 94th St (2-story).
- Appreciates the use of brick material as the primary material.
- Recommending design improvement to make the SW corner a more prominent commercial corner.
- Recommends increasing modulation along the eastern neighbors to avoid a flat vertical edge to the east.
You may submit comments to the city’s planner, Sean Conrad via email (Sean.Conrad@seattle.gov) or via www.seattle.gov/project/
Note that the Wedgwood Community Council has prepared a public comment echoing the concerns of the 35th Ave Committee and requesting that some or all of the commercial space accessed off 35th Ave NE is built for commercial and not live-work units as they do little to activate our streetscape and business district. This would be most important for the SW corner, which the city recommends making a more prominent commercial space. You can read the public comments we submitted here.