Conner Homes’ Junction property sold to Equity Residential for $11 million

December 22, 2011 at 5:45 pm | In Development, West Seattle news | 40 Comments

(WSB June 2011 photo looking at Conner site from QFC steps – it’s on Alaska’s south side, 42nd to California)
Four months after we first told you that Conner Homes was selling its property in the heart of The Junction – planned for a two-building mixed-use megaproject – the site has a new owner. Equity Residential has purchased the property, according to documents filed this week with King County. The company already owns more than 30 apartment complexes around the Puget Sound metro area, though none of the others are in West Seattle, and it’s just started building the Market Street Landing project in Ballard, with almost 300 apartments. Equity’s corporate headquarters are in Chicago. In the letter Conner shared with WSB when he announced the plan to sell the site, he said he didn’t expect construction to start any sooner than next summer. The online documents list the sale price as $11,400,000; Conner and partners bought the site for $1.4 million more than a decade ago, and finalized land-use permits for the two-building project earlier this year.

40 Comments

  1. Wow. More apartments. Great. (sarcasm implied)

    Comment by EmmaPeel — 6:07 pm December 22, 2011 #

  2. Apartments ;( That makes me sad…

    Comment by MB — 6:54 pm December 22, 2011 #

  3. Oh wow! We could use more apartments!

    No, not really.

    Comment by DJ Allyn — 7:38 pm December 22, 2011 #

  4. Emma, where’s Steed when you need him?

    Comment by chas redmond — 8:21 pm December 22, 2011 #

  5. Apartments are the wave of the future. That’s all us middle classers will be able to afford. Besides, it’s a great location for walking or bussing to anything you could ever imagine.

    Comment by Lorelee — 8:48 pm December 22, 2011 #

  6. Equity builds really ugly, cheap buildings. Will look like crap in a few years, guaranteed. Really, really sad. The classic face of the Junction will be lost.

    Comment by 4thGenWestSide — 8:58 pm December 22, 2011 #

  7. Oh joy! Maybe someday the junction will have all the character that belltown has now…

    Comment by Tbone — 9:04 pm December 22, 2011 #

  8. That’s gonna be a big whole (hole) :-)

    Comment by NotMe — 9:14 pm December 22, 2011 #

  9. I think apartments per se are fine. High-rise buildings that block the sun aren’t so neighborhood friendly. Then there are the additional cars that don’t have parking spaces in the new buildings’ garages, because code doesn’t require it. And, unfortunately, to make an apartment project profitable, they are sun blocking.

    Sigh.

    Comment by 3rd Gen WS — 9:15 pm December 22, 2011 #

  10. Isn’t that where the Beer Junction is located? What will happen to businesses there?

    Comment by Brontosaurus — 9:19 pm December 22, 2011 #

  11. Bronto – Beer Junction is renovating a new location in The Junction spot that used to be home to the liquor store/train shop (VAIN is already partly open in part of that space). That’s the one move I know of for sure. We also had asked AAA a while back, and they were still looking.

    Comment by WSB — 10:11 pm December 22, 2011 #

  12. Thank you Mr. Conner for sharing your architectural legacy with those of us in West Seattle. When this glorious block is finished, I will view it with pride and no sense of what it used to be. We have needed the sunlight blocked out of this area for quite some time.

    It’s wonderful when someone comes into our little burg, buys up prime property, does all the paperwork, then hands it off to an experienced behemoth known for its inspiring projects elsewhere in our fine city. It shows you really care about our community more than just making a profit.

    Some will be critical of this project, but pay them no mind, they just live here.

    Comment by Deeno — 11:02 pm December 22, 2011 #

  13. This sucks. I’m really getting sick of this kind of thing.

    Comment by Westside J. — 1:43 am December 23, 2011 #

  14. Deeno – :)

    Comment by monroe1200 — 7:01 am December 23, 2011 #

  15. Yaaaaay for corporate companies. I welcome them with open arms.I want bigger buildings and more corporate businesses in W.S. Either you join them or be a pion! Better start figuering it out people. This isn’t sarcasm either..

    Comment by jiggers — 7:09 am December 23, 2011 #

  16. @Deeno, couldn’t agree more…

    Comment by Mandy — 7:32 am December 23, 2011 #

  17. Say goodbye to the sky. By the way, Keith and Julie from the Classic Barber Shop will be moving into the Alki Barber Shop location,opening on Jan. 3rd.

    Comment by Rick — 7:39 am December 23, 2011 #

  18. What is this sunlight you speak of?

    Comment by Melissa — 8:16 am December 23, 2011 #

  19. According to the project description from City Council Transportation Committee on April 2011:
    Total # of units 198
    Total # of parking stalls 271
    Total # of parking REQUIRED is 209…
    How come the other new apartments in the area don’t have the same parking requirement ratio?
    ie, the new Harbor Properties Nova site with 62 new apts and only 36 parking stalls

    Comment by WS. Junk-Son — 8:25 am December 23, 2011 #

  20. So, what are the chances that the structure so carefully negotiated with all stakeholders in order to secure the permits will be the thing the neighborhood actually gets?

    Comment by old timer — 9:52 am December 23, 2011 #

  21. BARF!!

    Comment by Undefeated Coug Fan — 10:00 am December 23, 2011 #

  22. Re: the parking – this development has been in the works for almost four years (we first discovered it in the DPD online files in March 2008: http://westseattleblog.com/2008/03/new-6-story-apartmentretail-building-proposed-in-the-junction … its final Design Review meeting was in 2009 http://westseattleblog.com/2009/04/bulletin-conner-homes-junction-project-done-with-design-review … the rules for parking changed after that. The Harbor Properties Triangle project (Nova), which has NOT been in the works for long, is considered by the city to be so close to “rapid transit” – the RapidRide bus line that starts next fall – that its parking requirements are minimal if any. Nova actually has MORE parking than the city requires. http://westseattleblog.com/2011/03/nova-passes-1st-design-review-but-city-parking-policy-puzzles
    .
    OldTimer – As noted in the story linked in this one, Conner addressed the agreement in his letter announcing the intent to sell: “Once ownership changes we will facilitate an introductory and transition meeting of new owners and signatories to the community agreement.” Here is our first report on that agreement: http://westseattleblog.com/2011/04/conners-junction-project-proceeding-after-neighborhood-deal … The actual text of the agreement, which you will find toward the end here: http://westseattleblog.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/connerrevision.pdf says that the agreement would become part of any agreement to sell the property.
    .
    We have messages out to Equity, though not much hope of reaching them given the fact this is a 4-day weekend (if not longer) for many people. The online documents we found last night while researching this story do not represent the entirety of the sale document so we can’t check that way to be sure that the aforementioned clause actually happened. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 10:10 am December 23, 2011 #

  23. For all of you that are complaining about more housing/apartments, I hope you are the type of parent that wants your children to live with you well into their old age. If not…remember they need to move and and live somewhere. If growth bothers you then stop having children.

    Comment by Cowpie — 10:19 am December 23, 2011 #

  24. As a renter I don’t mind having apartments around, but most of the apartments going in now are *way* expensive – the ones at Link cost more than the house I rent 3 blocks away, which is also twice the size of the Link apt.
    I actually lived in an Equity property when I first moved to Washington 7 years ago (up in Lynnwood). It was really great, until the manager (who lived there and cared about the place) had to move away and they replaced her with someone who really didn’t give a crap about anything, and the development went downhill. That’s why I now live in West Seattle.

    Comment by Sue — 10:20 am December 23, 2011 #

  25. Boo! All these new, “luxurious” apartments are an eye sore and are ruining the aesthetically pleasing atmosphere that is West Seattle. They are expensive and take away from the greatness that is our community. Aren’t there 3 relatively new apt/condo complexes that aren’t fully occupied already? To add another one that will be expensive and vacant is ridiculous.
    @ Cowpie-not all of us have kids but like the small town feel and close community that West Seattle has offered for years and years. Some of us would like it to stay that way as long as possible.

    Comment by SammaJamma — 10:35 am December 23, 2011 #

  26. If the complexes were going vacant, the developers would not be building them … and the banks would not be financing them. Link, for example, (Fauntleroy/Alaska/38th) is almost fully occupied. Just a datapoint. Every so often someone brings up the erroneous claim/rumor that new complexes have a lot of vacancies. (If anyone has a specific one to cite – we have not checked on them all – please do, so I can verify, because that would be interesting.) Also to be clear, EVERYTHING proposed for construction these days is apartments, not condos, though back in the 2008 boom when first proposed, many of them – including the former-Conner property – were proposed/envisioned as condos, as were the units in the building now under construction at 26th/Dakota in North Delridge (which got its permits under a prior ownership, even before we started doing news on WSB four years ago) … TR

    Comment by WSB — 11:11 am December 23, 2011 #

  27. The same people who complain about urban sprawl, whine about projects like this one. You can’t have a growing population without more housing. The only way to create more density is to go up.

    Comment by CB — 11:48 am December 23, 2011 #

  28. Oh no. It’s the end of the world. I’ll never visit West Seattle again.

    Comment by Bruce Nourish — 12:13 pm December 23, 2011 #

  29. Ok, little reality. That “classic” corner is junk building. Not a particularly great example of mid century architecture. No loss. Just like the PetCo building. Not everything is magically great architecture, most of it was junk. The new building may be no better (who knows) but will be more useful. I know the folks on here endlessly whine about “apartments” and the extra density, but grow up. That’s life. Go talk to the natives Americans about how you pine for the way things “used to be”, bet they’d like their land back. Look, growth happens. Reality whether you like it or not, even if you’d like to live in some time bubble where West Seattle never changes. Not going to happen. Since we ARE going to grow, I LIKE (a lot) seeing it happen sensibly in the dense corridors and not off on the side streets. Growth on a major route, major junction, with transit available, is GOOD. Seriously. As for how “pretty” the new building will be? Seriously…MOST of the junction is bad junk buildings now, with a handful of exceptions (Easy Street). How beautiful is the Radio Shack, or PetCo, or Be’s Restaurant, or the 7-11? It’s not like we’re ripping down a historic Victorian house, this corner is crap mid-50′s uninspired generic retail store frontage. Yawn.

    Growth and change isn’t bad. EVERYTHING you love, your house, the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, your favorite beautiful buildings, ALL replaced something else (other buildings, or natural landscape/forests). It’s such a funny bit of human nature, once you have YOUR stuff, once a forest was plowed down to build YOUR house, now you don’t want it to happen for anyone else. Funny.

    Comment by Dave — 12:37 pm December 23, 2011 #

  30. Wow, lots of comments on this one. I agree apartments are the wave of the future. A quick search shows that buildings in the past from this company have been environmentally friendly and keep the community in mind.

    Here’s an article about a recent development by Equity Residential…Red 160

    http://www.multihousingpro.com/print.php?AID=646

    Comment by Urban28 — 12:52 pm December 23, 2011 #

  31. We definitely need more apartments and other high density housing in WS. Currently, it only takes 30 minutes to get across the West Seattle bridge in the morning. If we’re going to get that over an hour, we need to keep building, building, building …

    Comment by DW — 4:45 pm December 23, 2011 #

  32. Dave ftw

    Comment by bridge to somewhere — 9:40 pm December 23, 2011 #

  33. Ditto Dave!

    Comment by Mel — 8:39 am December 24, 2011 #

  34. The west Seattle bridge definitely needs two hundred more cars on it every day, yay.

    Comment by Rosanne — 4:41 pm December 24, 2011 #

  35. Folks, you can’t have jobs and growth without sprawl and traffic. It’s as simple as that. Personally I prefer a sustainable Seattle, but I understand that means FEWER jobs and lower population. Growing up means understanding that and picking only 1.

    Comment by mark — 9:10 am December 25, 2011 #

  36. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2017096149_apartments26.html

    .

    Banks will continue to fund these projects, there is a lot of money to be made by banks for these projects. Just because they don’t get filled does not mean the banks don’t make money. Our government provides deep tax cuts and incentives for developers, especially when they propose they’ll add in ‘green’ and ‘low income’ dwellings to the project. Some low income apartments in Seattle are so cheap, they only cost $1200 / month……

    .

    Expect more traffic, expect more projects like Lowman’s overflow upgrade. The impact developers have on the area is far greater than some people want to recognize and most of the developer do not live close if even in this state.

    Comment by Mike — 7:26 am December 26, 2011 #

  37. I have to agree with “Dave” above but having said that about how the existing buildings are not that great to look at with the exception of a few, and I don’t really see anything wrong with creating more apartments because it is a sign of our evolving lives… however, I REALLY DON’T WANT TO SEE A BUNCH OF UGLY CHEAP LOOKING buildings going up either.

    Comment by greeter — 12:47 pm December 27, 2011 #

  38. I like this “Dave” commenter. A lot. Well done and said, sir.

    Comment by OP — 12:12 am January 5, 2012 #

  39. I have to agree with Dave. My only concern is with the parking and retail space. I really hope the retail space will be utilized by fun busineses like cafes, restaurants, boutiques, etc.

    There’s nothing more boring than a new mixed-use building full of insurance agencies and nail salons. Not really a reason for me to go to the junction :-/ But then again I know the developer may not have a whole lot of control over the businesses that occupy these retail spaces.

    Comment by Rene — 1:17 pm January 5, 2012 #

  40. Several commenter complained about the high rent of new apartment (such as Link). While this is true, it is advantageous to West Seattle, because it provides housing for the well-off renter. If these new units were not available these same new renter would simply out-bid current renters for current units and prices of existing units would rise substatially. The more units added to the area the more prices (overall) are constrained. This is supply and demand in action. This increases affordability for the middle and lower income renter–particularly since few to none existing units are being lost by these projects. Restrict development in desirable areas and only the moneyed will be left. Our children will live in White Center or Burien. We should be so thankful that 200 quality apartments and moneyed renters are coming to the Junction and not a housing project. This will add positive energy to our community.

    Comment by Rob — 10:31 pm January 7, 2012 #

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