West Seattle development: Another apartment project revived

For the second consecutive day, we have an update on a West Seattle multifamily-unit project that appears to be reviving after a few years dormancy – a different one – this one’s in North Delridge at 26th/Dakota (map), last mentioned here in fall 2008 (here’s that story). Back then, it had appeared to be restarting as what was initiated around 2005 as a 154-unit building. But after a bit of activity, like so many sites when the boom went bust that year … it stalled TFN.

Today, there’s news that Legacy Partners Residential, Inc., is hoping to build an apartment building there – soon. First public word came from North Delridge Neighborhood Council chair Karrie Kohlhaas on the NDNC e-mail list this afternoon; we also have spoken to representatives for the prospective developers, who stress their plan is NOT finalized yet.

Assuming it is, Legacy says it will include 179 apartments and “eight, at-grade live/work units,” as well as 221 parking spaces, and will be five stories tall with a “partial sixth story.” The units would range in size from studio to 2 bedrooms/2 1/2 full baths/den; the building originally was planned for condos, so the units are larger than many typical current-day apartments. There also is some retail space fronting 26th SW, Legacy says.

The site still has a Master Use Permit from previous plans, plus a “nearly final set of drawings and specifications,” which would enable construction to start soon if the deal is finalized. Legacy is contracting with Barrientos LLC for development services; they say that firm is known for “developing boutique buildings in Seattle’s niche neighborhoods.”

ADDED 6:21 PM: From Legacy executive Kerry Nicholson: ““Legacy Partners has wanted to develop in West Seattle for some time and we think this site is very unique. Assuming the financing is finalized, we plan to develop under the existing building permit with some design revisions that are more sensitive to the neighborhood. Because we still don’t own the site, we are just beginning to meet with community members. So far everything we have heard is really positive. Hopefully the site will become ours and we can really roll up our sleeves and work with the neighborhood.”

We’re putting together more details about the project – look for a longer story tonight or tomorrow morning.

12 Replies to "West Seattle development: Another apartment project revived"

  • JanS August 4, 2011 (5:27 pm)

    this is right behind the dialysis center that I go to..just doesn’t seem like a likely area for this, esp. the retail…it’s pretty much residential, except for the building we’re in, and the other building with the huge flag.

    • WSB August 4, 2011 (5:30 pm)

      One of the details for the longer version – they’re thinking the retail might be, for example, a “small green grocer” – something that would serve nearby residents … and there are several groups that already have been trying to find space for something like that along Delridge…

  • patt August 4, 2011 (7:19 pm)

    “eight, at-grade live/work units,” interesting, and a good idea I had family back east that grew up above their family’s shop. Hope that comes to pass.
    :)

  • Kathy August 4, 2011 (9:21 pm)

    A green grocer would be great. We desperately need this in North Delridge. It is a little hard to imagine such a tall building right on 26th (we live a few blocks south), but I would welcome some more retail options in our area.

  • I Wonder August 4, 2011 (11:56 pm)

    So whats going on with the building at 35th & Avalon, seems to be taking forever…?

    • WSB August 5, 2011 (12:19 am)

      It’s had new owners for some months and it’s getting ever closer … noticed while driving by tonight that WINDOW GLASS is now up at street level. Will be checking on their plans for leasing, etc.

  • jonah August 5, 2011 (7:41 am)

    Interesting project – it does seem like an odd location to make a go of it but perhaps it will work.

    I am intrigued, though, that some neighbors see this as the “good” kind of density while simultaneously complaining about the DESC project because of its density, which is more than 50% fewer units. I’m not sure that’s an argument we can continue to use if we embrace this project.

    I’ve heard some neighbors say that they moved to Delridge specifically because they like the lack of density. I’m not sure we’ve ever addressed the question of: Do we want development if it increases density? It is perhaps a conversation the community should have going forward as development begins to trickle into Delridge.

  • bangles August 5, 2011 (9:09 am)

    Any news on the Charleston Cafe site?

    • WSB August 5, 2011 (10:07 am)

      Not in terms of timetable, Bangles, but we’re circling around with all the property owners/developers we can find. Haven’t talked to that one since we reported on the planned project a few months back.

  • mcbride August 5, 2011 (10:05 am)

    Jonah,
    .
    Fantastic observation. The difference, as I see it, is that where this project is located, the density “works”, it’s appropriate (or as close to appropriate as it can be). The DESC location, while still in N Delridge, is in a very different neighborhood. Honestly, if DESC had picked a location in the industrial(ish) section of N Delridge, I don’t think there’d be as much consternation (the spot DESC picked really does blow, for all kinds of reasons).
    .
    Another key difference – the relationship between the developers and the neighborhood. In this case, the developers very proactively reached out to the neighborhood to discuss the plan, the history of the site, desires of the community, and potential modifications to the plan. Not so with DESC, who came in and said (and I’m paraphrasing, here) “This is how it’s gonna be. Deal.”

  • Been There August 5, 2011 (1:07 pm)

    @ mcbride – Thank you for hitting the nail on the head in terms of distinguishing the differences in the Legacy Partners Residential apartment building at 26th and Dakota and the Downtown Emergency Services Center proposal for 5444 Delridge Way.

    IMO the market rate apartment building for 26th and Dakota is a very good use of the land as it is zoned for that type of use, and it will bring a welcome shot of human activity to that area of North Delridge and Longfellow Creek/Dragon Fly Pavilion. Imagine a large employer occupying the mostly vacant Services Group building at Andover and Delridge Way and having quality housing available for employee’s right next door. No driving, no bus, no bike ride, just walk a few hundred feet. Talk about sustainability. The residents would also help keep The Skylark, Uptown, Chelan Cafe and other North Delridge business’s supported. Note that all the parking lots to the west of the Services Group building are subject to redevelopment.

    @jonah – The Delridge Neighborhood Plan developed in the 90’s looked at your question about density. You may view it online at the link below. I would also suggest looking at the city’s zoning maps and codes for the North Delridge area. There are large swaths of land that are currently underutilized in terms of what would be allowable use under the zoning code. Over the last decade, a large number of the parcels on Delridge Way proper were redeveloped from single family homes to townhomes which was a result of their zoning. There is also a lot of land that many people mistakenly think is set aside for the public as protected ‘green belt’, or that it is in the hands of the Parks Department. Most of it is not, and is either zoned for multifamily units like townhomes, apartments or condos, or is zoned for single family homes. These ‘green’ parcels are owned by private parties who will at some point develop them. That is unless there were some effort to buy them up and set them aside as protected Park space.

    Delridge Neighborhood Plan: http://www.seattle.gov/neighborhoods/npi/plans/delridge/
    Department of Planning and Development GIS Mapping System: http://web1.seattle.gov/dpd/maps/dpdgis.aspx
    DPD Zoning Classifications: http://www.seattle.gov/DPD/static/Seattle%20Zones_LatestReleased_DPDP_020250.pdf

  • I heart Delridge August 5, 2011 (6:09 pm)

    Really impressed with the points made by mcbride and Been There. And I agree, great question brought up by jonah. I’d like to add:

    The density issues that have emerged regarding the recently proposed housing projects in North Delridge are multi-fold:

    1. Neighbors have expressed concern about the fact that North Delridge is by far the LEAST DENSE neighborhood where DESC has attempted to locate one of their supportive housing facilities.

    DESC’s projects do not have proven success in such a low density area or an area with almost nothing in walking distance.

    Part of the concern is that 75 at-risk and highly vulnerable people may not be easily absorbed and integrated into such a low-density neighborhood.

    A facility of this size locating in an extremely under-developed neighborhood with VERY FEW amenities, no major grocery store, extremely limited public transit, and very little healthy social street activity raised concerns about both the impact on DESC clients and the impact on the community. Would this be healthy for them? Healthy for existing neighbors?

    Since a failed project in North Delridge could have a very negative impact on the community and on DESC clients, neighbors are naturally concerned.

    2. The low density has been a deterrent for businesses considering locating to North Delridge. Low density combined with the low median income of N. Delridge residents multiplies the deterrent.

    The good news about adding market rate housing in North Delridge is that it will likely help to attract businesses who will see the area as more economically viable. Whereas adding 75 people who vastly REDUCE median income and only ADD to density likely will not support viability businesses look for.

    This could negatively impact and put at an even greater disadvantage the low income neighbors who are already here and who have been asking for basic amenities for decades.

    Note: North Delridge neighbors have a tremendous commitment to maintaining low income housing, as evidenced by the work of neighbors who created the DNDA, an organization that incorporated low income housing above the Delridge Library, Youngstown Cultural Arts Center and manages and maintains 144 units throughout the neighborhood.

    That really is not something at question in this neighborhood.

    But density is a very relevant issue and yes, jonah, we need to talk about this as a community.

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