If the developers of a six-story, 157-unit apartment project on Northwest 56th Street were trying to get as much bang for their buck as possible, they'd fill almost all of the allotted 60K square foot property with residential, office or retail space. Instead, they're choosing to only build 18 apartments and 18,000 square feet of office/retail space while using the rest of the space to harness an urban wetland.
Rain from the buildings' roofs will feed a brand-new wetland, planted with sedges, ferns, camas and willow. Plans show a tiny "orchard" of native bitter cherry trees, chosen because birds like their fruit. Another area will be landscaped specifically to attract butterflies.
Another forward-thinking perk for urban gardeners...every tenant will get their very own 200-square-foot P-Patch.
In case you weren't already clear on what they're going for, the name of the complex is Greenfire Campus and the person behind it is Rose Letwin, one of the area's leading environmental philanthropists. You might also know her Greenfire Group as the people behind The Bullitt Center, the "world's greenest office building."
In a neighborhood overrun by new condo developments, it's refreshing to hear about an incoming project that's thinking about what it brings to Ballard other than just a new spot in the skyline.
· Wetlands, P-Patches amid apartment and office blocks [Seattle Times]
· Seattle Now Home To World's Greenest Office Building [Curbed Seattle]
· Greenfire Campus [Greenfire Group]