Former Teatro Zinzanni site is a sign of things to come for Uptown

Mar 23, 2017, 5:46 AM | Updated: 4:06 pm
Teatro Zinzanni building is demolished.  (Mike Lewis) Teatro Zinzanni building is demolished.  (Mike Lewis) (Courtesy photo)

When Seattle’s Washington Holdings recently purchased the Teatro Zinzanni property from the Seattle Opera — and helped close the curtains on the long-running acrobatics-meets-Moulin Rouge dinner show — company leaders were cagey about plans for the Roy Street site.

Not anymore.

In a mandatory notice sent to neighbors on Seattle Center’s north side, the company this week said it is proposing, “a 16-story building containing 350 residential units and 9,744 sq. ft. of retail space.” The letter adds that the project will rely on a rezone of the region to SM-160, which means a 160-foot height limit — four times the current allowable 40-foot height cap on the 200 block of Roy.

At one time, such a zoning request would have seen both audacious and unlikely. Seattle historically has kept the buildings near its iconic Space Needle low, with planners even deciding that 10 city parks — including Kerry and Volunteer parks — should have their views of the Needle protected from up zoning changes.

Those days might be ending sooner rather than later. Released Wednesday, a few days after the Washington Holdings notice arrived in Uptown mailboxes, is the template of how city planners see the neighborhood changing and rising in coming years.

The Uptown Preliminary Rezone Recommendation Director’s Report, if adopted by the city council would:

• Double the building height along the Mercer Street Corridor, from the current 40 feet to 85 feet;

• Allow narrow 16-story (with a 160-foot height rezone) residential towers in the area bounded by Broad Street, plus Aurora and Denny avenues;

• Overall, the most areas designated as the Uptown Urban Center currently zoned for multi-family residential or mixed-use would see one or two stories of additional height increases.

The first wave of public comment for the Roy Street project is set for 8 p.m. on Wednesday, April 5 at the Queen Anne Community Center.

“As a community, we have been actively engaged in conversation about how we support Uptown as a thriving residential neighborhood and unique cultural destination,” said Debi Frausto, of the Uptown Alliance, in a news release from the report’s authors.

“We look forward to working with the City to create more housing options and walkable streetscapes, while preserving the vibrant energy and cultural opportunities that we love about Uptown.”

The report, however, does not advocate a 160-foot height increase north of Seattle Center — the specific rezoning Washington Holdings said it seeks for the Roy Street property. Perhaps anticipating the document’s recommendations, the development company also submitted a second proposal to build the residential project at the report’s recommended 85-foot rezone for the area.

In all, Uptown rezoning could end up as the city’s third effort under Mayor Ed Murray to remake Seattle as taller and denser. The city already approved a major upzoning of the University District as part of the city’s Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA).  In April, the council is expected to vote on a Chinatown-International District upzone.

The Seattle City Council vote on the Uptown upzone is expected in May.

Find the draft of the Environmental Impact Statement of the proposed Uptown rezoning here.

Local News

Nicole Jennings

WA seeing major rise in antisemitism amidst hateful celebrity rhetoric

Acts of antisemitism are on the rise in Washington, with this year set to reach an all-time high in number of acts of hate against the Jewish community.
14 hours ago
Seattle likes Taylor Swift songs...
Micki Gamez

Seattle’s most downloaded songs and artists may surprise you

Newly released Spotify data says Taylor Swift is Seattle's most downloaded and listened to artist of the year 2022.
2 days ago
Stevens Pass skiing...
Heather Bosch

Stevens Pass vows to do better during this ski and snowboard season

The Stevens Pass Ski resort is open and it's under pressure to show skiers and snowboarders it has changed for the better.
2 days ago
Sunken ship Pacific...
Feliks Banel

Sunken ship lost 150 years ago, found off WA coast

The wreck of a sunken ship off the coast of Washington nearly 150 years ago has been found by a pair of maritime historians.
2 days ago
Puget Sound snow...
Bill Kaczaraba

Some snow into the Puget Sound region overnight

Friday snow is always a little bit different than Monday through Thursday snow. Friday snow is generally part of the holiday wonder.
2 days ago
human caused...
L.B. Gilbert

Small Business Administration offers disaster relief after Bolt Creek Fire

The SBA announced Thursday that they would be offering disaster relief loans to businesses impacted by the Bolt Creek Fire.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Former Teatro Zinzanni site is a sign of things to come for Uptown