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Plaza Roberto Maestas update: Design Review meeting postponed

August 8th, 2013 at 10:42 pm | 2 Comments | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

A possible design for the entrance to the plaza at Plaza Roberto Maestas.

A possible design for the entrance to the plaza at Plaza Roberto Maestas.

El Centro de la Raza Executive Director Estela Ortega sent the neighborhood mailing lists an update on the Plaza Roberto Maestas project today. Among other things, it mentions that the Design Review meeting scheduled for next week has been canceled. Read on:

Estimadas/os Neighbors:

It has been a busy spring and summer and I wanted to provide you with a brief update on Plaza Roberto Maestas, the redevelopment of our south parking lot into a vibrant mixed-use project next to the Light Rail Station.

We are currently preparing for submission of an application for public funds to the City of Seattle in September. As such, we are also spending time this summer making sure we understand and incorporate all of the policy changes afoot right now with the City of Seattle and the Washington State Housing Finance Commission, both likely to be major sources of funding for Plaza Roberto Maestas. Unfortunately, Seattle affordable housing projects did not fare very well in Olympia this year – none made the priority list for the State Housing Trust Fund, including our project, Plaza Roberto Maestas. As we indicated on our last blog post in the spring, we do have feasible back-up funding scenarios and are in conversations right now with funders about these financing options.

However, we have unfortunately decided to cancel our August 13th City Design Review Meeting. We realize that this meeting had already been rescheduled twice, and apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused in the community. As you can tell, we are eager to begin this review process with the neighborhood and to start permitting Plaza Roberto Maestas. At this point we hope to return to the community in the fall, when the North Beacon Hill Council is meeting again regularly, for a more comprehensive update and check-in before moving on to the formal Design Review process later this year.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Kate de la Garza at kated@beacondevgroup.com or 206-860-2491 ext. 202.

Again, gracias for your patience with us, and we look forward to meeting again with you in the fall.

-Estela Ortega

Executive Director
El Centro de la Raza
The Center for People of all Races


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Plaza Roberto Maestas design guidance meeting delayed

June 7th, 2013 at 5:23 am | 2 Comments | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

A rendering of a design for the 17th Avenue South side of the Plaza Roberto Maestas project.

A rendering of a design for the 17th Avenue South side of the Plaza Roberto Maestas project.

Kate Gill de la Garza of the Beacon Development Group wrote to let us know that the design review process for El Centro de la Raza’s south lot development, Plaza Roberto Maestas, will be delayed by a month. The Early Design Guidance meeting is now scheduled to take place on July 23 at 6:30 p.m. at Wellspring Family Services, 1900 Rainier Avenue South.

Kate said, “This is primarily because the State legislative process now looks like it will go into July, and while we feel confident in our momentum and financial scenarios on the project, we have decided to wait until we have more information in hand from the State budget process. Hopefully this will happen by July!”

See previous information about the project here.


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Plaza Roberto Maestas project moving forward

May 13th, 2013 at 2:33 am | 13 Comments | Posted by admin
A proposed design for the plaza and stage at the Plaza Roberto Maestas project.

A proposed design for the plaza and stage at the Plaza Roberto Maestas project.

To the community from El Centro de la Raza:

In late February El Centro de la Raza presented to the community its latest designs for Plaza Roberto Maestas (PRM). We have been delayed in getting this post out to the wider community by the significant fight for State housing resources for this project in Olympia right now. PRM is the mixed-use community-inspired transit oriented development project that will be built on El Centro’s currently vacant south parking lot, next to the Beacon Hill Light Rail Station. It will be 113 units of affordable housing over 30,000 square feet of daycare, multi-cultural community center, retail/restaurant and office space. The latest design renderings incorporate feedback gathered from over ten community meetings and focus groups that took place in 2012. ECDLR just scheduled its first City of Seattle Early Design Guidance meeting for June 25th at 6:30pm at Wellspring Family Services on Rainier Avenue. This meeting will kick off our permitting process and is open to the public.

A rendering of a design for the 17th Avenue South side of the project.

A rendering of a design for the 17th Avenue South side of the project.

Plaza Roberto Maestas will be built in the spirit of Dr. King’s “Beloved Community.” It will be a physical place that honors the history and culture of El Centro de la Raza, while serving as a “town center” gathering place for the larger Beacon Hill community to utilize and enjoy.

For those that have not been able to attend community meetings to date, we have compiled this post and the following Frequently Asked Questions to maximize information sharing and community awareness of the project. In the near future, El Centro de la Raza hopes to co-host a meeting with the North Beacon Hill Council, Beacon BIKES and SDOT to talk about parking, traffic and pedestrian safety in the Beacon Hill neighborhood around this project. We will announce a date for this meeting soon.

Please feel free to contact Kate Gill de la Garza, Project Manager, with any questions about PRM. She can be reached at 206-860-2491 ext. 202 or at kated@beacondevgroup.com.

Read on for the FAQs about the Plaza Roberto Maestas project:
More »


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Station block project completes design review

March 5th, 2013 at 5:25 pm | 6 Comments | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

This artist's rendition of the southwest corner of the proposed project at 2721 17th Ave. S. was included in the November Design Review presentation.

This artist’s rendition of the southwest corner of the proposed project at 2721 17th Ave. S. was included in the November Design Review presentation.

The Seattle Department of Planning and Development (DPD) director has issued a decision on the project at 2721 17th Avenue South (the southeast corner of the Beacon Hill Station block), approving the project’s design as based on the final recommendation of the Southeast Design Review Board, with certain conditions. The conditions include designing additional lighting for the sidewalk along South McClellan Street, improved treatment of the ground-level residential units to increase privacy and reduce light pollution, and specifications for the artwork along the alley façade.

Previous conditions already met include designing the top floor along 17th to be set back 10 feet from the property line, and a revised lighting plan for additional lighting.

The complete report and analysis may be read here. The architects’ presentation from the November 2012 Design Review meeting may be read here, and the Design Review Board’s report after the November meeting is here.


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Opinions wanted on Plaza Roberto Maestas project

February 12th, 2013 at 2:51 pm | No Comments | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

This preliminary view from an earlier version of the Plaza Roberto Maestas design is seen from the corner of 17th and Roberto Maestas Festival Street on the southeast side of the site.

This preliminary view from an earlier version of the project is seen from the corner of 17th and Roberto Maestas Festival Street on the southeast side of the project.

El Centro de la Raza and the Plaza Roberto Maestas design team are hosting a community meeting on Thursday, February 21 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. at El Centro’s room 309.

This is the next in a series of community meetings to discuss the redevelopment project on El Centro de la Raza’s south parking lot located on Roberto Maestas Festival Street next to the Link station. Plans for this meeting are to review the feedback so far and to present the latest design for additional community feedback. The intent is for the project to enter the city’s Design Review process this spring.

Childcare and translation will be available upon request, and refreshments and light snacks will be served. El Centro de la Raza is located at 2524 16th Ave. S.


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Community invited to give input on new plaza

December 7th, 2012 at 12:24 am | 3 Comments | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

On Monday, December 10, at 6:30 p.m. El Centro de la Raza is hosting a community meeting about the public gathering spaces in the planned Plaza Roberto Maestas (PRM) development, to be built in El Centro’s south parking lot, just north of Beacon Hill Station.

Representatives of El Centro and Beacon Development group will present and discuss ideas for 10,000+ square feet plaza and the adjacent community center, including how the two spaces will work together on the site and with the surrounding community.

Monday’s meeting is the latest in a series of community meetings about the PRM development project. Community opinions and concerns stated at a meeting last June are viewable here.

The meeting is at El Centro de la Raza, 2524 16th Ave. S. There will be refreshments available, and translation will be offered. If you plan to attend, please RSVP to execasst@elcentrodelaraza.org to confirm attendance for planning purposes.

This preliminary design shows a possible plaza in the PRM development project.


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Master Use Permit application filed for station block site

September 17th, 2012 at 5:23 pm | 7 Comments | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

The currently-vacant site on the station block. Photo by Wendi Dunlap.

A Master Use Permit Application was filed recently for a six-story structure on the property at 2721 17th Avenue South, the southeast corner of the “Beacon Hill Station Block.” The deadline for comments is this Wednesday, September 19. However, the comment period may be extended if a written request to do so is received by the Department of Planning and Development (DPD) before the deadline.

The notice of application from the DPD says:

“Land Use Application to allow six-story structure containing 47 residential units and 2,046 sq. ft. of retail space. Parking for 17 vehicles to be provided below grade.”

The site is zoned Neighborhood Commercial 2 (NC2), 65′ tall, with pedestrian incentive, and it is in the light rail station area overlay district. NC2 is defined by the city as “A moderately-sized pedestrian-oriented shopping area that provides a full range of retail sales and services to the surrounding neighborhood.” Because the project is in the light rail station area overlay, no parking is required.

You can comment at this link, or by mail to:

Department of Planning and Development
ATTN: Public Resource Center or Assigned Planner
700 5th Ave Ste 2000
P.O. Box 34019
Seattle, WA 98124-4019

Comments may also be submitted by fax to 205-233-7901, or email to PRC@seattle.gov.


View New development on Beacon Hill Station block in a larger map


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Presentation on Plaza Roberto Maestas project planned for Saturday

July 19th, 2012 at 6:23 am | 16 Comments | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

This preliminary design shows a possible plaza in the PRM development project.

After the Beacon Hill Merchants Association annual meeting this Saturday, July 21, there will be a presentation about the Plaza Roberto Maestas – Beloved Community (PRM) development being planned for the south lot at El Centro de la Raza. The presentation will include time to give feedback and ask questions about the project, as well as to discuss the retail spaces and business opportunities that the project will provide. The meeting is at Kusina Filipina (3201 Beacon Ave. S.), and the presentation, which is open to the public, is expected to start about 1 p.m.

El Centro de la Raza and the North Beacon Hill Council co-hosted a public meeting on June 19 to discuss preliminary designs for the project. Over 60 people came out to the meeting to ask questions and give feedback about the early design ideas (see photos of the meeting here). You can read notes from the meeting here (PDF) and see a PowerPoint presentation about the project here.

The images shown on this page give an idea of the type of development that is being considered, but the project is very early in the design process and still subject to much potential change. Community feedback is vital at this stage to shape the future of the development.

This preliminary view is from Beacon Avenue on the southwest side of the project.

This preliminary view is from the corner of 17th and Roberto Maestas Festival Street on the southeast side of the project.


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El Centro selects team for south lot development project

May 7th, 2012 at 6:11 am | No Comments | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

El Centro de la Raza has chosen the team of SMR Architects/Glenn and Glenn Architects/DKA Architecture to work on the redevelopment of their south parking lot to mixed-use transit-oriented development with affordable housing.

According to a press release from El Centro, “SMR Architects/Glenn & Glenn Architects/DKA Architecture was selected because of their deep level of experience in multi-family mixed-use affordable housing development, work with non-profit cultural organizations and skill in community-based design and outreach. Their ideas for the site were well received at the community open house attended by more than 50 neighbors on April 28.”

The organization plans to build about 100 units of housing, with childcare, retail, office space, and “flexible multi-cultural performance/community space” on the ground floor. They also promise public open space and pedestrian amenities, as well as underground parking for both residents and light rail commuters to use.

Neighbors look at site possibilities while attending El Centro's open house on April 28. Photo by Ashley Haugen, courtesy of El Centro de la Raza.


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El Centro to present redevelopment concepts at open house

April 19th, 2012 at 4:20 am | 3 Comments | Posted by Wendi Dunlap

This lot south of the main El Centro building is planned to become mixed-use transit-oriented development. Photo by Wendi Dunlap.

On Saturday, April 28 from 10 a.m. to noon, El Centro de la Raza will hold a community open house to present the finalist design teams for the redevelopment of El Centro’s south parking lot into a mixed-use, “transit-oriented development” project. The finalist teams will present their site redevelopment ideas and concepts based on feedback from last year’s community meeting, and also on El Centro’s program needs and desires.

The two finalist teams, SMR Architects/Glenn and Glenn Architects/DKA Architecture and Weinstein A|U/Jones and Jones, were selected from an initial group of five teams. According to El Centro de la Raza, this was due to their “extensive experience in multi-family design, childcare and community facilities, and prior work with diverse organizations and communities.”

All interested neighbors are invited to the open house. Lunch, translation services and childcare will be provided. If you will be eating lunch, RSVP by noon on April 27 to 206-957-4605 or execasst@elcentrodelaraza.org. El Centro de la Raza is located at 2524 16th Ave. S.


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