Capstone Development broke ground on Monday commencing construction of the new 1107 Madison building which will provide needed additions to student housing. This development, though, has surrounding businesses concerned about more than just noise.
A rendering of the future dorm, located at 1107 Madison, expected to be completed by fall of 2018.
The building, which is anticipated to be completed by fall quarter 2018, will provide eight floors of student housing and two floors of administrative offices for Enrollment Services, which is currently housed in the University Services building.
Outside construction and design company Capstone Development is funding the $52 to $55 million project. Similar to The Douglas apartments, Capstone will also own and operate the building once it is complete.
It’s no surprise that there is a housing shortage on the Seattle U campus and that more student housing is in high demand, but surrounding businesses such as 12th and Madison Self Storage, Cafe Presse and Stumptown Coffee are not as excited about the new structure.
Seattle U has already begun construction of a new campus bookstore in the empty space directly next to the self-storage facility. Employees at 12th and Madison Self Storage said the construction has cut into their available storage space, and they expect the new 1107 building to infringe even more.
Waiters and waitresses at Cafe Presse expressed concern that the new structure will block their window view in the back area of their restaurant, eliminating the natural light that illuminates the room currently.
For Stumptown, the concerns are greater.
Baristas at Stumptown said they have already moved their coffee roasting facility out of the basement of their Capitol Hill location, as they are going to lose access to their delivery pick-up garage off of Spring Street once construction commences.
Stumptown moved the facility to a new location in South Seattle, but the cafe is still concerned with the noise the new construction will cause.
Construction Manager at Capstone Development Rick Meserve said the loudest portion of construction will begin now and continue over the next few months.
“Starting on Monday the 15th, we’re going to start excavating work, and some demo work on the drive that comes down next to Stumptown,” Meserve said. “For the next couple months you’re going to see a lot of Earth work foundation go in, and then starting in around mid-July, you’re going to start seeing the floor decks going up.”
Another concern of the location is that the city of Seattle is building a new RapidRide route along Madison Street from 1st Avenue to Martin Luther King Jr Way. This is going to eliminate one lane along Madison, which raises traffic concerns during move-in and move-out days.
Associate Vice President for Facilities Robert Schwartz said the current part of the construction process is only phase one of possibly three phases of new construction, according to Seattle U’s Ten Year Facilities Master Plan.
“We’d have another probably 400- bed in the future, and then Campion renovation would be phase three,” Schwartz said. “In my mind, probably the earliest that next phase will be is 2022, realistically.”
Housing and Residence Life (HRL) Assistant Director Tim Albert said that the housing this building will provide is desperately needed.
“It’s always hard to put a really specific number, but what I can say is based on applications, we have a deficit in our housing availability by around 600 to 700 beds,” Albert said. “For next year, the waitlist is already a couple hundred students who are current students.”
Albert said that housing applications for upperclassmen dropped this year due to HRL saying that all upperclassmen would not able to be housed, and that the waitlist runs into the hundreds of students that are not able to be accommodated.
Albert said that Housing responded to this shortage with solutions like adding beds in spaces that could accommodate them— like coverting dorms to efficiency triples and temporarily converting lounges into dorm rooms—but were not initially meant to house more students.
“It’s hard to just produce new housing overnight which is often why we’ve responded with some of these triples and other options, but we kind of recognize that that’s not ideally how we want to house students,” Albert said. “So that’s why we’ve reached out to build some partnerships to make sure we give students the options to be in and around campus, and have both a comfortable but a convenient and affordable place to live.”
The 1107 Madison building will be comprised of brand new studio apartments, along with one bedrooms, two bedrooms and four bedroom apartments, coming to a total of 303 new beds for student housing.
All rooms will have a kitchen and bathroom, and almost all the furnishings will be moveable, based on feedback from students during focus groups conducted last year.
The price point for these rooms are estimated to be similar to the cost of The Douglas apartments as well, which range from $1,070 to $1,765 per month. Housing priority will be given to third and fourth year students, with options for underclassmen depending on availability.
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