The Eldridge Tire building in 1937.
The Eldridge Tire building in 1937.

The Seattle City Council has cleared the landmark designation and controls placed on the Eldridge Tire building, allowing Capitol Hill Housing to proceed with plans to redevelop the site for affordable housing.

Seattle Central College worked with Sound Transit to swap the 1519 Broadway property and adjacent Atlas building for its Site D property — a parking lot between campus and  west entrance to the Capitol Hill light rail station.

Lincoln Ferris, consultant to Seattle Central president Sheila Edwards-Lange, told the  Finance and Neighborhoods Committee last week that the college had purchased the properties when it thought the campus would expand south of Pine Street.

When light rail was proposed further north, Seattle Central decided that’s where it wanted to expand, he said.

While Sound Transit 3 required creating affordable housing around light rail, Seattle Central wanted Site D for a new instructional building.

The Sound Transit Board approved a land swap in mid-November that granted Seattle Central Site D, and now Sound Transit is working with Capitol Hill Housing on developing 78 affordable units at 1515-1519 Broadway.

The Eldridge Tire building was designed in the Spanish mission revival style by architect A.H. Albertson, and constructed in 1925.

The Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board only granted the exterior designation status, which includes a porte-cochère between two retail spaces — Follicle Hair Design and Tacos Guaymas.

Eldridge Tire was designated under two standards; its distinctive architectural style and cultural significance, having been part of Capitol Hill’s old Auto Row businesses.

Seattle Central also nominated the adjacent Atlas building, but the landmarks board did not accept the nomination.

“It’s a great little building that, when you stand there and look at it, you wonder how were we ever able to preserve it for as long as we had,” said Councilmember Sally Bagshaw ahead of Monday’s unanimous council vote.

Capitol Hill Housing will apply for funding through Seattle’s Office of Housing in September, and also submit an Early Design Guidance package for review. The Office of Housing is expected to make its annual funding decision in December, according to CHH senior communications manager Yiling Wong. If selected, financing could close by September 2019, and construction would be able to start that October, and would include two- and three-bedroom units.

CHH has also partnered with YouthCare to provided affordable housing units at a new homeless youth opportunity center slated for development across from the Eldridge Tire site in Seattle Central College’s South Annex site.