**UPDATE - FOR EVERYONE FOLLOWING THE CAPTOL HILL SEATTLE LINK, THIS WAS JUST AN IDEA I HAD FOR THE PROPERTY. I DON'T KNOW WHO BOUGHT THE CHURCH OR WHAT IS GOING ON WITH THE PROPERTY. Please feel free to look around this site though. Thanks!**
Take a walk up Olive, just East of 12th Avenue and you will come across two sites that pique my interest.
At the corner of 13th, to your left, you will find a beautiful old church building, home to Medhame Alem Evangelical Church. I used to just walk past and note its classy architecture and continue up the hill. However, within the past few weeks "For Sale" signs have been posted at both ends of their property, which extends along Olive to 14th Avenue.
You can't see it in these pictures, but one of the signs says it's a great location for a church, condos, or townhouses. Being a fan of "old brick buildings" and a resident of Capitol Hill, I have mixed feelings about these prospects.
Part of me thinks that the building should be preserved as is; another part, the pessimistic part, just knows that some developer is going to level it and put in more reactionary, overpriced condos (this attitude is ubiquitous in my neighborhood; it is arguably warranted); and the last part of me, the enterprising part, thinks this would be a great place for the type of project I'm talking about pursuing.
According the King County, they paid almost $1.3 million for this property in 2002. I don't know what that translates to in today's dollars but I know it's a lot. As you can see by the sign, it is already zoned L3, which would allow for six units, up to three stories in height, to be built on the property. Unfortunately, if you assume the property is worth $1.8 million now and divide that out over six households, you get $300,000 per household for only the land. Back to the drawing board, I guess.
If you cross 14th and look to your left, you will see Cite Jardin. It fits into what Lawrence Cheek calls "The Townhouse Scourge"(and may actually be the same project that is photographed in the article). The only redeeming qualities I see in this development are the added density to the neighborhood and the landscaping. As for aesthetics, originality, or advertised sustainable features, I can't say anything positive. I know there are eleven units in the development but I haven't found out much else (what the property is zoned, the density of the development, or how much each unit cost to buy).
I'll keep my eye on this block but pessimism is taking hold. Hopefully I'm wrong.