We’ve been reporting a lot recently about big development proposals – like the one we mentioned the other day, the early-stage proposal for a site including the former Huling Chevrolet showroom at 4755 Fauntleroy Way, and Junction plans including the soon-to-start Equity Residential two-building project at California/Alaska/42nd. But smaller development – such as what we dubbed “teardowns-to-townhomes” back in the 2007-2008 boom – is intensifying too. Case in point, two three-story 5-unit townhome projects starting soon in two of West Seattle’s “junctions.” The demolition permit has just been granted for one site, the house above at 4503 SW Oregon in The Junction (city project page here); the other one, on the current site of a 60-year-old brick duplex at California/Myrtle in south Morgan Junction, is a few months out:
We talked to the developer of both, a company called Isola Homes. We had actually only asked about the Morgan Junction site, which is fairly high-profile since it’s right across from the Caffé Ladro (etc.) business pod, but when Isola vice president Tim O’Shea answered our e-mail inquiry with a phone call, he told us about the other one too:
In keeping with the city’s Multi-Family Code changes and attempts (since the aforementioned boom) to encourage improved townhome design, O’Shea says neither of these is a “cookie-cutter” project: “We try to do things that nobody else is really doing, that we’re going to be proud of, that are a contribution to the community.”
For example – they’ll have kitchenettes on the third floor, so you can make coffee and go out on the view deck (rooftop or off the master bedroom) without padding down to the ground floor and back up again. They are also aiming to make the townhomes family-friendly, while also of interest to singles/couples too, with “a lot of emphasis on the architecture … we try to find places with good views and a lot of windows.” The latter actually dings them a little in the green-building score, O’Shea explains, because there’s a “window restriction” to get to the maximum “built green” score, but he said the views from each site had so much potential, they decided to go ahead and maximize the windows.
He says each site will hold five townhomes with “five different roof lines …the walls are connected, but the roofs overlap each other.” They’ll be called the Junction 5 and the Morgan 5.
As noted above, work at the SW Oregon site is starting now; our photo was taken yesterday, but we noticed a salvage/deconstruction crew while passing by today. O’Shea says they are hoping to start work on the Morgan site – whose official address is 4250 SW Myrtle, since the townhomes will face Myrtle, though the existing duplex’s address is on California – around October.
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