Back in 2008, we got that vintage photo from Tom J, when the fate of the 1923-built Shoremont Apartments at 2464 Alki SW – the buildings seen behind Tom’s uncle and dad – was still in flux.
A year earlier, in 2007, the stately brick buildings were proposed for teardown, to be replaced by townhomes.
But then, the site was bought by architects known for their modern design projects, who proposed one instead of townhomes:
The plan never came to pass, and eventually, the site became bank-owned. Exactly two years ago today, we reported a for-sale sign going up at the site.
Then came Dennis Schilling:
We photographed him at the Shoremont yesterday afternoon. But we first talked with him more than a year ago, after he bought the by-then-very-rundown buildings because he “liked” them; he told WSB at the time he planned to fix them up.
And he has made good on that promise. Most of the work is done, and two of the eight Shoremont Apartments are rented, more applications are in the works. Schilling gave us a tour:
Great beach view, from one of the lower units – note the original clear-grain fir floor. Upstairs, while he would have liked to have kept the flooring, noise rules meant they had to be carpeted:
The stairs are original:
And there are walk-in closets – including this one upstairs with a view!
The floor plans are close to the original layouts, says Schilling, adding that the work they had to do included some foundation improvements, especially for seismic reasons (including “shear walls”), plus all-new wiring. Out front, they had to build up the area in front of the main entrance door:
There had been something in front of that blank concrete wall for a bit, and therein lies a twist to this story – which Schilling e-mailed us (and King County Executive Dow Constantine) about on Wednesday:
During the construction process we have noticed that bus patrons did not have a place to sit while waiting for the bus at the stop in front of our property. We decided to make a gesture to the city and commission a custom bus bench at our expense.
While this bench was being constructed there must have been fifty people who expressed appreciation for the bench. Today a representative of the city approached us and told us to remove it or face daily fines. Apparently while the bench is not on any part of the sidewalk it does encroach on the City’s property.
The inspector did admit that there had been no complaints but that he was just driving by and doing his job. In order not to incur any fines we removed it while he waited. We just wanted to let people know that we were trying to do something nice for the city but have run afoul of bureaucracy.
The bench is now sitting on the west side of the Shoremont site:
We haven’t figured out yet which agency to ask about the bench beef, but plan to follow up. Meantime, if you’re interested in renting one of the Shoremont Apartments, you’ll have to go take a look at the postings on the windows at the site, which have more information.