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September 11, 2017

Center Steps to start next spring, but artists working at the site now

Rendering from GGLO and Bogza [enlarge]
Center Steps at 225 Roy St. will have 285 apartments. A group of artists are using the site until construction starts.

The developer planning to build 285 apartments at 225 Roy St. in Seattle's Uptown neighborhood said it is letting local artists work and exhibit at the site until December.

Construction is slated to start next spring.

The arts program, called Storefront UN[contained], opened Labor Day weekend. The goal is to support artists and offer rotating residencies in which people can create and show their work in 8-by-20-foot shipping containers on the site.

The program is an expanded version of The Center of Contemporary Art's popular Lab Artist in Residence Program.

Storefront UN[contained] is a partnership between developer Barrientos Ryan, Uptown Alliance and Shunpike. It is designed to support 12 artists who will explore themes of racial equity and social justice.

Now at the site are Anastacia Tolbert's literary work, Edward Raub's Native American wood carvings, and Anissa Amalia's interactive videos that explore cultural identity and politics.

An open house reception will be held there Oct. 21 from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

(Editor’s note: The date and time of the reception have been updated.)

Support for Storefronts UN[contained] comes from the city. Barrientos Ryan is also a partial supporter.

In a press release, Maria Barrientos, principal of Barrientos Ryan, said she has been a Queen Anne resident for more than 30 years, and has worked with the Uptown Alliance. “We're excited to have created an interim use for property in a way that serves artists and our neighborhood.”

A limited liability company of Washington Holdings bought the 225 Roy St. property from Seattle Opera earlier this year. It is bounded by Mercer and Roy streets, and Second and Third avenues north. Barrientos Ryan was hired to develop the project, called Center Steps.

In addition to housing, Center Steps will have about 9,000 square feet of ground-level retail/restaurant space, landscaping, and a pedestrian through-block connection linking Roy and Mercer streets.

A 6,000-square-foot public plaza is proposed at Third and Mercer, with outdoor seating, a water feature, public art and landscaping.

The developer said housing affordability goals will be met through the city's Multifamily Tax Exemption Program and the new HALA/MHA program, in connection with the proposed Uptown rezone.

The project team also includes GGLO, and Hewitt for landscape architecture.

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