June 27

Four new homes planned to replace "boarding house" at north entrance to Maple Leaf Park



As anticipation grows over the opening later this summer or early fall of the new Maple Leaf Reservoir Park, a firm has announced plans for redevelopment at the park’s north entrance.

There, at Northeast 88th Street and 12th Avenue Northeast, an easement will provide a new entrance to the park. The firm Build Urban proposes to replace a multi-family, somewhat dated building with four new single-family homes, each with five bedrooms and 3.5 baths.

The project is called “Canopy at Maple Leaf,”  and judging from the sketches it will retain many of the large trees currently on the property.

(We have the sketches, but are wrestling with WordPress to get them uploaded. You can see them at the “Canopy at Maple Leaf” link, above.

Two of the homes will be “traditional,” similar in appearance to the new homes currently next to the park entrance, according to Build Urban. “The two units next to the sidewalks maintain a more traditional look while utilizing contemporary materials, while the two units beyond these exhibit a more modern form.”

We are currently in the permitting process and expect to break ground sometime in the fall.

We expect them to be complete sometime in the spring of 2014 (timing is dependent on the permitting and construction process).

Currently it is too early to determine pricing of each unit. (They will) range from 2500-3600 approximate square feet.

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  1. I’ll note the 12th NE entrance to the park exists independent of this development. It is not an easement, it is a city-owned street-end.

    We’re contacting the developer to chat about ways to make that entrance more attractive. The early drawing of the plans there have us optimistic.

    @Concerned Citizen – Speaking from personal views and not as MLCC president, I personally agree. Our problem in Seattle is an unimaginative administration. Our Office of Housing is oriented to greenfield projects and not to the creation of affordable units. I’ve tried to convince them they could get more milage by buying floors in for-profit developments instead of hunting for new dirt to build on their own, but no luck so far.

    The MLCC has also repeatedly asked Mayor McGinn and the Office of Housing to proactively reach out to landowners in Northgate about working with the levy to build affordable units into their redevelopment plans. Thus far, no response.

  2. Lots of questions I see can be addressed here
    http://web1.seattle.gov/DPD/permitstatus/project.aspx?id=3014651 If it does link for you just go to dpd permits and plug in the address. The lot sizes are 5000, which is what the zoning calls for. There are a couple correction notices still pending. They are addressing the easement issue as its a fire code thing. I personally think this developer is amazingly transparent. Believe me I RARELY give kudos to developers.

  3. What makes the area so cute and attractive is the smaller home with yard space. What we’re getting (like next to me) are 3 story homes that do tower over the existing homes, but worse, built with “easement” to each others lots, and violate the 5′ clearance requirement to the lot line. It’s one thing for a big home on a big lot. We’re talking small lots here. Just keep the scale–it can be done well, but that’s usually the exception, not the rule.

  4. @ 25

    So long as we’re completely overreacting to minor things on the internet… the First Amendment of the Constitution grants people the right to free speech.

  5. Would be happy to a welcoming north entrance to the park. Otherwise, I don’t care how people develop the property, so long as it’s done in reasonably decent taste.

  6. It amazes me how some of my neighbors want to interfere with other peoples’ use of their property. How w0uld you like it if nosy neighbors came over to your house and started telling you what you could do with your property? Probably not a lot…

    Huge kudos to Dan and the others who have respect for private property. It’s not just a good idea, it’s the Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution. And the Constitution applies everywhere, even in Maple Leaf.

  7. Those houses sure are packed in there. What is the lot size for each house? How much of the lot is covered by house? A million dollars for what is almost a row house. The park must make up for the lack of space and privacy.

  8. This looks great! A nice improvement to our neighborhood. Since these houses are their own short block, I find this far different than a mini-mansion going into the middle of a block and clashing with the rest of the homes.

  9. David, it is great that MLCC advocates for affordable housing. The time frame on that exceeds the remaining life expectancy of anyone posting here. Right now the Seattle Housing Levy has three more years on it. Meanwhile the State Department of Commerce (major funding source for affordable housing) is dealing with something referred to as “the list”. The “list” is like a club. If your are not on it then forget about it. So you want more affordable housing in Maple Leaf or at North Gate then double the size of the housing levy (careful, roads and parks are after the same slice of property tax initiatives) and solve the budget problem at the state level (careful, if you do that for affordable housing then there is less money for education). In the end folks, City and State budgets are like your own. You move money around but reach a certain point where there is nothing left.

  10. @ David. Consider the comment was from a person who thought Maple Leaf should get rid of single family zones in favor of muti-family. We know you fight for affordable, low income in a sensible way. Still wondering if the Northgate Apts will get built in our life time as they have talked of expanding for a good 30 years now. Sigh.

  11. You neighbors are funny. It sure is going to be a detriment to the neighborhood to have nice houses replacing what is currently there, an easement into the park when there currently isn’t one, and more “rich” people living in the neighborhood and all the bad that comes with people who have managed to put themselves in position to afford the kind of house they want.

    Please note the sarcasm….

  12. “Matthew”

    I usually don’t respond to my stalkers, but I think it’s important for those wandering across this comment thread to know the MLCC advocates for affordable housing.

    February 2012 letter that started the current conversation about affordable housing in the TOD at the new link station:

    MLCC’s appeal of a rezoning application lead to significantly more affordable units at a better level of affordability than required by DPD. (10% versus 2%).



  13. This looks like a nicely planned development. Build Urban is to be commended for making a significant effort to blend into the existing neighborhood as well as demonstrating a sensitivity towards community hot buttons (preservation of the tree canopy).

  14. My goodness. Four very nice homes are being built in the neighborhood, and the radical lefties are up in arms… Uh oh… I bet these 4 homes will attract multiple SUVs, meat eaters, and neighbors who would prefer a large home in spite of the carbon footprint. Quick! Let’s judge them, their habits, and their values. How dare someone own a land development business, knock down a few trees, upgrade property, and attract 4 higher income families that benefit the city and our community…

    I personally can’t wait for these beautiful homes to be built and enhance our neighborhood. The new park will become a community jewel, and building large, spacious homes along it is a GREAT idea. This is win/win, people.

  15. “normal single family homes” –huh??? 5 bedrooms and 3.5 baths is “normal?” I find the the continued obesity of growth in square feet to be pretty disheartening. I’m not against property values increasing (I live here) but, just as a personal statement, the homes are HUGE. No need to bash wealthy people, I’m just kinda sick of seeing *everything* super-sized, Costco-sized, carbon footprint Sasquatch-sized. I’d love to see things smaller, greener, more affordable.

  16. Let’s just be honest and cut the crap with the affordable housing pc term. It’s low income or govt subsidized housing. I am not against it but putting it among single family homes is not ideal. Everyone whining because the houses are big are a joke. Good for the people that can afford a nice big house in a great location. Trying to bash them as evil rich is pathetic. They pay taxes, more taxes on higher value property. You should be happy about that.

    I agree with Dan. Why don’t the whiners put up the money to buy the property and eat the financial loss to put a small park next to a giant park. Oh wait. Of course they wouldn’t. They would rather tell others to take the loss with a smile in the name of the the supposed greater good.

  17. Why does a 3 story building need to be recessed. I’ve never looked at a 3 story building and thought “my god what an imposing structure” in my view anything less than 125′ has no chance of being “imposing”. Seattle is probably the only city in the world where 3 and 4 story buildings can be described as “lording over”.

  18. Well glad there will be an official easement/access to the park! But the lot next to my 1940 house was split and 3 monster homes went up, and all old trees removed. If they want to keep trees, they have to violate building height for 5 bedrooms?–odds are they’ll be “surprised” they have to remove the old trees because the new footings damage the roots. Stop the madness of monster houses, please!!

  19. Why would you want to encourage a change from single family zoning to multi-family!? That is something activists fight tooth and nail usually. I think the million dollar homes pay tribute to a great community. You are worthy.

  20. This is what we get with someone like David Miller representing us. Mansions instead of multi unit affordable housing.

  21. Really, Pete and Kristen?

    This as a green space would have more value to the city? I’d think the 30k pear year these homes will generate in taxes might be a bit more attractive to the city than a relatively small plot of park next to…. A GIANT PARK. I’m elated the city/voters are building us a massive park, but I’m not about to tell a private entity what they should do with their property.

    Good for Maple Leaf, and good for property values. What’s wrong with someone owning property and making a buck?

  22. Pete, maybe you could buy the land and donate it to the city. Or just keep it for yourself and let a prime piece of real estate go to waste.

  23. It would be wonderful to see some affordable housing built in this space instead (or leave as additional green space). These houses, even if built green, aren’t really in the spirit of a public park (or environmentally friendly at 5 bdrms each). The permit process may have a public comment aspect if people are interested in expressing their opinion.

  24. Ummm sounds like 4 rich families will think they own the park. I wish the building gone, but plant it up with even more trees and native plants. Heck a little woodland trail through the property. Hope it can become a great green space. Green space has far more value to a city and neighborhood than 4 HUGE houses over looking the park tax payers own and pay to maintain. Hope it does not pass city permitting

  25. I am glad that there is an easement for an entry to the park, that gives the park a better relationship to the neighborhood. overall it sounds like the redevelopment will be positive in that the hideous over scaled rooming house will be gone. I did not realize the property was big enough for 4 large houses, but I guess with postage stamp yards that can work

  26. No, these will be normal single family homes, said to be priced around 1 million dollars each per the company. They will be 3 stories tall, but the first level will be partly recessed so they don’t look so imposing.

  27. Interesting. RPA was trying to rent out that rooming house. Rent was on par for what you’d expect for that type of living arrangement and was probably the absolute cheapest rent in all of ML. Under $500 per bedroom IIRC.
    I had no idea RPA sold the property.

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