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May 30, 2018
The redevelopment plan for the Nickerson Street Saloon, at 318 Nickerson St., doesn't have to go through design review because it's in an industrial zone.
The DJC first reported the plan last November. Now a city new-project sign has gone up on the irregular block just south of the Fremont Bridge, and design architect Shoesmith Cox has refined its design for what will be called Ross Town Flats.
The program is for a five-story building with 64 units, of which 18 will be affordable. Underground parking for 37 vehicles will be accessed from Florentia Street.
Nickerson Street Saloon, which is run by the property owner, will return after construction to a new ground-floor corner space.
A separate one-story retail kiosk, probably for a coffee shop, will go on the northeast corner of the site — closest to the bridge. A pedestrian corridor will separate the two structures. In the main building, a separate smaller retail bay will also face Nickerson.
The project hasn't yet received permits or approvals for an upzone from 40 to 65 feet (the roofline would only reach 55 feet.). Total project size is estimated at 72,400 square feet.
Ross Town Flats will include a large bike room, green roof and roof deck. Possible solar panels are indicated in some renderings.
JC Commercial Properties owns the 15,334-square-foot property. That entity is a venture among restauranteur Chris Gerke — of Hecho, Martino's, Ridge Pizza, Prost! and others — and partners.
The team also includes The Schuster Group, project manager; Twist Design, architect of record; Bush, Roed & Hitchings, civil engineer; CT Engineering, structural engineer; and Communita Atelier, landscape architect. No general contractor has been announced.
The Schuster Group previously told the DJC that it hoped to begin construction next year and be finished in 2020. The site has been a tavern since 1948; for much of that history it was the 318 Tavern.
The new project namesake is early settler John Ross (1827-1886), who in 1853 claimed 320 acres north of Queen Anne Hill. What was once Ross Creek, which linked Salmon Bay and Union Bay, later became the route for the Ship Canal.
For a while, the Seattle Lake Shore & Eastern Railroad had a stop in the Ross neighborhood, aka Ross Town, which also had a school and post office. Ross also had coal interests in Newcastle.
Ross Town Flats isn't the only significant project on that side of the bridge. North across the street, at 316 Florentia, the planned Fremont Crossing project will connect a new four-story, 49,000-square-foot office building to the landmarked former Bleitz Funeral Home. Fremont Crossing developers Bill Pollard and Doug Waddell also own the 4,427-square-foot west corner of the Ross Town block — which might potentially be developed at a later date.
Fremont Crossing is being offered for sale by Kidder Mathews for $9.5 million.
And the Queen Anne Elks Club is planning a one-story addition to the former Ponti Seafood Grill building, which also overlooks the Ship Canal.
Brian Miller can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (206) 219-6517.