The plan for the first private mixed-use apartments in the Yesler Terrace neighborhood redevelopment has received design approval from the City of Seattle and construction is scheduled to begin in early 2014. Mithun designed the six-story building with 120 low-income housing units for residents who make less than 85 percent of the area median income. The developers, Spectrum Development Solutions and Gracorp Capitol Advisors, anticipate that the building will serve teachers, nurses, civil servants and others working in the surrounding area. Jake McKinstry, principal at Spectrum, was recently quoted about the project in the Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce:
“With all that Seattle has to offer in urban living, housing opportunities for the middle class near the downtown core and major employers are almost nonexistent,” said Jake McKinstry, principal at Spectrum. “This project is intended to serve those who don’t qualify for assisted housing yet can’t afford the new, market-rate housing in downtown, First Hill and Capitol Hill.”
- Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce*: Spectrum/Gracorp gets OK for new apartments at Yesler Terrace site
- Puget Sound Business Journal: First private developer picked for Yesler Terrace redevelopment
Out of 117 design proposals submitted for phase one of the FAR ROC design competition, Mithun was selected as one of six firms to receive an honorable mention. The competition, “For A Resilient Rockaway,” called for innovative strategies for the planning, design and construction of a resilient, sustainable development on an 80-acre site on the Rockaway Peninsula – a site devastated last year by Hurricane Sandy. Firms from more than 20 countries participated in the competition. The full list of finalists and honorable mentions can be found on the project website.
Debra Guenther, a Partner at Mithun, was recently elected into the 2013 class of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA) Fellows and will be inducted in November at a national ceremony in Boston. According to ASLA’s announcement:
“Debra Guenther received her nomination, for Service, from the Washington Chapter. Her collaborative work as a designer, leader, and innovator, and her dedication to the public realm has enriched the national discourse on the built environment. For 30 years, over the entire course of her experience in practice, her body of work reflects her own commitment to natural processes and has resulted in nationally recognized examples of system-based design that are compelling and sustainably functional. A committed leader of multi-disciplinary work, she has consistently brought landscape architecture and site issues to the table throughout the green building revolution. Her commitment to the challenge is evident through her participation with interdisciplinary organizations such as Urban Land Institute, US Green Building Council, Living Futures, and National Recreation and Parks Association, as well as her long term service as ASLA’s representative to the Sustainable Sites Initiative.”
Both a theorist and a practitioner since the creation of the Sustainable Sites Initiative, she has implemented SITES™ into Mithun projects such as Chatham University’s Eden Hall Campus and Louisiana Children’s Museum: Early Learning Village. As Mithun’s landscape architecture team leader, Deb has built a team of landscape architects that bring exceptional quality, critical thinking and award-winning design to projects. Her career at Mithun has included work on such projects as the Blue Ring, Taylor 28 Streetscape, Seattle University Sustainable Master Plan, and the University of Washington’s Lander, Terry and Maple Halls. Her project leadership has resulted in two national honor awards from ASLA and the 2010 ASLA President’s Medal.
- ASLA.org: ASLA Honors 33 Outstanding Members of with Fellowship
- Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce*: Guenther, Swift new fellows in the ASLA
Our county is facing a public health epidemic: life expectancy of children can be predicted by zip code. In a recent article featured in GreenSource Magazine, writer Katharine Logan explores the connections between public health and the built environment. The article highlights projects and nationwide initiatives that seek to integrate environmental and public health outcomes through the design process. Logan highlights the success of Mithun’s evidence-based design approach and Health Impact Assessment for the Mariposa Redevelopment Master Plan in the article, and Associate Principal, Erin Christensen, is quoted:
“As designers, we have such a huge role to play in influencing health,” says Christensen. “There’s all this evidence out there, so let’s use it.” Mariposa’s master plan replaces obsolete, inefficient housing with a mix of environmentally responsible options for a range of income levels and provides new economic opportunities in a walkable, mixed-use, transit-oriented development. When the Denver Housing Authority updated key health indicators against the rapid-HIA baseline in 2012, a 100-unit LEED Platinum apartment building was complete, subsequent building phases were in progress, and services and programs, such as community gardens, bike sharing, and health education, were under way. Even at that early stage, the monitoring found average income, crime rates, access to open space, and walking distance to healthy food outlets all beginning to show positive change.
Continue reading about the Mariposa Redevelopment and other projects that are designed for health in GreenSource Magazine at www.continuingeducation.construction.comRelated:
An article by Mithun Associate Principal, Erin Christensen, was recently featured in the Puget Sound Business Journal. A longtime advocate for sustainable design, Mithun is also a leader in design that also supports human health. In the article, Christensen highlights key Mithun projects that are groundbreaking early examples of how design strategies can be linked to health, including High Point and the Mariposa Redevelopment Master Plan. According to Christensen, the results from these projects is proof that:
“... design that supports health is the next important step for real estate.”
To read the full article in the Puget Sound Business Journal, visit www.bizjournals.com.
Brightwater Center is currently featured as the Seattle DJC’s project of the month. In the nearly two years since it opened to the public, the Center has become the premier place in the Northwest to learn about environmental stewardship and resource conservation. According to King County, nearly 6,200 people visited Brightwater in 2012 – a little over half of those visitors were students. The facility not only teaches the public about the water cycle, but it also helps people understand how personal actions impact the health and wellbeing of our community.
“At Brightwater Center, [visitors] learn about environmental protection. The building is intended to push concepts of sustainable construction to new limits, and make a statement about them at the same time.”
Read the full article at www.djc.com*.
A Mithun project and a student project by a Mithun designer were recognized by the Congress for New Urbanism (CNU) with 2013 Charter Awards. Each year CNU recognizes a few select projects worldwide that fulfill and advance the principles of the Charter of the New Urbanism – defined by the essential qualities of walkable, sustainable places.
Mithun received an honorable mention for the TOD redevelopment master plan that is revitalizing the 17-acre Mariposa community in downtown Denver at RTD’s 10th & Osage Light Rail station. The visioning for this underutilized site emphasized economic development and public health connections with the built environment. The master plan strengthens connections and sets the bar for high-performance TOD and mixed-income redevelopment in the historic La Alma neighborhood, nearly tripling the existing density and adding a mix of uses. Mariposa was commended for its use of a health impact assessment and significant environmental performance, including LEED-ND Gold.
Mohammad Momin, based out of Mithun’s San Francisco office Mithun l Solomon, won the student grand prize for his plan to re-envision public housing in Lower Eastside Manhattan. His proposal, which was originally based on his University of California Master of Urban Design thesis, seeks to take advantage of unused development rights on existing NYC Housing Authority properties. Momin’s thesis showed how the city could double the number of dwelling units on site while not displacing existing residents, reintroduce the former street grid into the superblocks, create new mixed-use buildings that would hold the street-walls and do all of this while using existing planning codes.