01 Dec Liberty Bank Building Passes Design Review
On Wednesday evening at a public meeting held at Seattle University, the Liberty Bank Building officially received approval from the design review board. The overall reception to the project was positive, though the board made a recommendation that the team consider less muted colors in the final design.
As reported in the Capitol Hill Times, there is much more to the project than just the colors.
Mentioned during Wednesday’s review, but not discussed at any length were plans for numerous art features that will honor the community and history of Liberty Bank. Al Doggett and Esther Ervin are leading a team of artists for the project.
While CHH and its partners explore a revised color palette for the exterior, the review board’s decision on Nov. 30 allows the public corporation to request a contract rezone from the city, in order to construct the Liberty Bank Building above 40 feet.
CHH has a memorandum of understanding with community partners Africatown, The Black Community Impact Alliance and self-sufficiency nonprofit Centerstone that commits the development to the betterment of the neighborhood, with CHH eventually making the building available for public ownership.
The MOU also commits CHH to using black-owned subcontractors for the project and making its retail units along East Union available to black small business owners.
Walter Zisette, CHH associate director of real estate development, said 2,700 square feet of ground-floor retail will be made available to four businesses, but no ten
ant decisions have been made yet.
“They deserve a shoutout for building the coalition that they have,” said Jeff Floor, co-chair for the Central Area Land Use Review Committee, when voicing support for the project. “That was no easy feat.
The approval of the design review allows the project to proceed on schedule. The partners expect to break ground in the spring or summer of 2017. When completed, Liberty Bank Building will provide 115 much needed affordable homes as well as nearly 2,700 square feet of space for local businesses.