A milestone tonight in Junction development: The 5th time turned out to be the charm for the Conner Homes two-building megaproject, which is now done with Design Review, one year and twelfth days after the first DR meeting on the project. The rendering above shows “scheme D” from the latest round of proposals for the till-now-undecided final element of the project – the shape/look of its western building, at California/Alaska. That shape, with a few changes large and small, will form the framework of the recommendations made tonight by Southwest Design Review Board members as they concluded their fifth — and now, it can be said, final — meeting on the project, which ended moments ago. About 50 people filled the room at one point – breaking several times into applause during the public-comment period, especially for West Seattle resident Rene Commons‘ impassioned presentation (second one she has made to the board) requesting architectural details that would at least give a nod to the area’s history.
Board members did make one stipulation that’s a major change from any of the four options shown: They want the retail facade along the southwest street-front of the project to be two stories instead of one story, in no small part to “mask” the higher stories from those passing by on the street. And they’re calling for some sort of strong element at the California/Alaska corner – maybe a vertical sign or some other “supergraphic” element, as board member Vlad Oustimovitch put it – to give the project some of the “quirky” West Seattle flavor to which Commons had alluded during her presentation.