Morgan Junction development: Short Stop site = park? Plus, another ‘row’

September 10, 2012 at 10:58 am | In Development, West Seattle news, West Seattle parks | 35 Comments

Two Morgan Junction development-related notes this morning:

(WSB photo from this past June)
SHORT STOP SITE: Though it’s still on the market as a “development site” – as first reported here in June – there’s a chance the Short Stop/cleaners property at 6311 California SW might be purchased by Seattle Parks. It’s immediately north of Morgan Junction Park, and the city had long been “looking to purchase property in the Morgan Junction Urban Village with funds allocated through the Neighborhood Park Acquisition program,” according to the Morgan Community Association. This Thursday (September 13), 6-8 pm, interested community members are welcome to join MoCA and Parks’ Chip Nevins for a meeting that’ll start in the back room of Feedback Lounge (WSB sponsor; 6451 California SW) and head over to the site. MoCA’s announcement also notes that in case this purchase is made, “Input from neighbors is sought on what should be done with the property in between purchase and the actual development of the park space, which may be several years in the future.” (11:23 am P.S.: Parks confirms it’s in negotiations for the site.)

ANOTHER ‘ROW’ PROJECT: In July, we reported on two “row house” townhouse developments in the works in West Seattle, including Morgan 5 in Morgan Junction, at California/Myrtle. Those are being developed by Isola; now, JBC Real Estate has sent word of one in Morgan Junction for which they have just broken ground, right behind the McDonald’s at California/Holly. It’s a six-unit project called “Holly Row.” JBC’s Jon Coombes also has a 4-unit Alki project on the drawing board, at 60th and Stevens.

35 Comments

  1. Oh, man. I have really mixed feelings about a park in this spot. I live just around the block and have not been at all pleased with the “night life” the present park has attracted. Morgan Junction Park is intended to attract families and be a positive element, but I’m afraid the vagrants that it draws will only increase with added green space. In fact, I’m sure of it. I would much rather see this site developed for housing and with people who have a vested interested in keeping this area clean and safe. And the idea of letting the property in question lie fallow for a couple of years is ridiculous. We already have the blight that is Chuck and Sally’s making this area an eyesore. Enough!

    Comment by Chuck & Sally's Van Man — 11:25 am September 10, 2012 #

  2. “It’s a six-unit project called “Holly Row.”"

    I note, without comment, that holly is an invasive pest in the Pacific Northwest.

    Comment by KatherineL — 11:39 am September 10, 2012 #

  3. I always wonder who chose the plant/tree names for the Gatewood east-west streets. Holly, Rose, Thistle among them … somebody in a thorny mood.

    Comment by WSB — 11:51 am September 10, 2012 #

  4. How about purchasing that eye sore formerly known as Chuck & Sally’s? Ugh! It should be illegal to allow property to sit in such a state – it’s not fair to the rest of the neighborhood.

    Comment by B-squared — 12:05 pm September 10, 2012 #

  5. I agree with Van Man. Just yesterday, around 4ish, a guy was there with an open container. I didn’t have my phone to call the non-emergency number but its not the first time I’ve seen it.
    If they are determined to make it a park, we need to discuss how we can stop such uses. I know as a mom I avoid the park. With the traffic on California and its “current uses” it’s not very inviting. I know other activities would discourage the drinking and what not, but how do you switch it over to a nice place to be?
    Come to the meeting Van Man!

    Comment by dc — 12:30 pm September 10, 2012 #

  6. I know that there have been some issues with the Morgan Junction park, but something to keep in mind… Many of the “vagrants” I’ve seen drinking in the park have actually purchased their drink of choice at the Short Stop mini mart, at least from what I have witnessed. Although there are many other places nearby to purchase their wares, perhaps cutting out the nearest supply store will help clean the area up. I’m all for anything new to go in that lot, it just needs to be maintained. As for Chuck and Sally’s, by husband and I walk by every week hoping to see that it has been leased out, fingers crossed that will happen someday soon!

    Comment by Lindsey — 1:29 pm September 10, 2012 #

  7. Awwright. Another place to drink and pee! Dogs too. I used to take my granddaughter to what we call the “chalk park” but not so much anymore.

    Comment by 56bricks — 1:38 pm September 10, 2012 #

  8. We worked so hard on the plans for the little pocket park behind Beveridge place only to have to constantly occupied by riff raff, to point that no one uses it, and yes they drink and do drugs there as well without a regard to who see’s them doing it. So my vote as a neighbor is a huge NO PARK!

    Comment by SillyGoose — 1:41 pm September 10, 2012 #

  9. I agree with the comments about bad elements in the park. I’m not sure how much of this is due to “night life” as much as the presence of the SHA Cal-Mor Circle building across the street. Don’t want to stereotype, but I would guess that the majority of the open container violations are coming from there and not from patrons of Zeek’s or the BPP.

    Comment by DW — 1:51 pm September 10, 2012 #

  10. Yes, VanMan has an excellent point. It makes me sad every time I go by the current Morgan park. Sad to see such a nice space made un-inviting by its occupants.

    Strange to say it, but Retail/Housing would be a better idea than a park in this case.

    Comment by quiz — 2:15 pm September 10, 2012 #

  11. one reason the current postage stamp park at that location is so awful is that it seems to be suitable for no user OTHER than someone who wants to lounge around near a busy road and a trashy convenience store. there’s no off-leash area, no children’s play structure, no meaningful separation from the noise and fumes of an arterial roadway.
    .
    i’m not a dog owner and i don’t especially like dog-run reas, but i’d FAR rather have that than what’s there now – at least dog owners might take responsibility for the space and make good use of it.
    .
    in an ideal world it would be possible to construct a park that serves the major populations of the area, which i would guess are kidless 20- and 30-somethings, retired folks, families with kids, and dog owners. i have a hard time seeing how a park like the current one serves any of these populations, but add a dog run, a kids’ climbing structure (even a small one), lawn bowling/bocce – then you might see more of the neighborhood use and enjoy the park.

    Comment by Ben — 2:36 pm September 10, 2012 #

  12. If you don’t like the current denizens of the park then you should make the active community effort to change that by occupying the park yourself when you see fit. By organizing a clean-up crew. By using the park.

    The entire mentality of “The current park is a crap-hole so I say NO to more parks!” is so completely backwards.

    Comment by brian — 2:42 pm September 10, 2012 #

  13. DC–I would attend but have a previous engagement I cannot get out of. I’m hoping my neighbor can attend and share our many concerns. @Brian: I get where you’re coming from; the IDEA of a greenspace in the city is nice. I’m behind it in theory. However, in practice I just don’t hold much hope that the good guys can win. As this thread shows, parents and grandmothers are already avoiding the Junction park. Yes, getting rid of the nearby booze supply will help. But here’s the biggest issue: the COPS look the other way when they see the open containers. They drive by all the time and do nothing. There has to be an “event” such as the drunk who ended across the street from me a month or two ago, yelling obscenities at passers-by. Guess where he got his drink on? So if the cops don’t care until someone crosses the line, then open containers and worse will go on. The idea of citizens like you and me either shooing away the vagrants or edging them out by frequent use is not very practical or appealing. Build it and they will come. I say not build it at all and keep them away. And I say that as a neighbor just a steps away from the proposed new park. Guessing you don’t live quite as close? And yes, it does matter.

    Comment by Chuck & Sally's Van Man — 3:16 pm September 10, 2012 #

  14. brian, it’s not backwards at all. If a community doesn’t have a vested interest in the current park and we don’t change the current uses, why make it bigger? I remember going to planning meetings for the park and due to budget constraints, we have a park basically just for lounging. I suspect it would be a similar situation for purchase of this property (I will go to the meeting and see if I’m wrong).
    As for “occupying it”, my toddler can only run around in the grass and walls so many times. We opt for Lincoln and other West Seattle Parks.
    If they want to expand the current park, they need a plan to attract other users. I will go to the meeting and see. For now, my vote is No Park…

    Comment by dc — 4:15 pm September 10, 2012 #

  15. Seems like off- leash could be problematic so lose to a very busy street!

    Comment by Anne — 5:34 pm September 10, 2012 #

  16. I think many of the criticisms here of the current park are valid, but I think if the parks department really wants to purchase more land in Morgan Junction for a park, this property would really be the most logical choice. Adding the short stop property would more than triple the size of the current park giving us a lot more green space, and hopefully more opportunities for recreation. Where else in the next several decades will we have an opportunity to get that much green space so close to the core of the junction? For that reason I’m 100% for the acquisition of the property. We can worry about the development details, and how to discourage the drunks later.

    Comment by Jacob — 5:36 pm September 10, 2012 #

  17. I tried to do a proof of concept that worked and didn’t work.

    I ran over to the park at Morgan Junction with a dog and let him roll around in the grass as I did some calisthenics to support my strict training regimen of made up proportions.

    There wasn’t a soul in the park but me and this demure Pomeranian I borrowed from my brother-in-law. I doubt he has a soul, so we’ll say it was just me.

    I got about 35 push-ups into what I call “do push ups until you can’t do anymore push ups, man.” when I realized there was a person in a truck parked on Eddy who was either filming me or taking many pictures of whatever it was they found interesting about a guy doing push ups.

    The truck was marked with decals that said “LEGACY” in green and is part of a pair currently parked across from the Short Stop. I didn’t stay around long enough to continue the pro bono peep show so I left.

    So there you go. Two anecdotes that probably just go to prove that everywhere you go in Seattle there is a creepster.

    Comment by Brian — 5:52 pm September 10, 2012 #

  18. All who comment must realize that objections, suggestions, and other comments to the Blog will most probably not be registered with the decision makers.
    You must pay attention to the meetings and open discussion opportunities offered, and ATTEND.
    Sitting around grousing to the cyber-space will not achieve your ends.
    Yes, it’s a PITA, but it’s Seattle Process.

    Comment by old timer — 5:58 pm September 10, 2012 #

  19. Hey Brian: Was that before or after the rain? Guessing the rain MIGHT have thinned out the local band of “loungers.” But good on you for trying. Now do it a hundred times and chart your averages. And to DC and/or WSB: Do we GET a “vote”??? I’m guessing that unless we stage a “Go Ape-esque”caliber intervention that the city is just going to do whatever the feel like. Wheee….

    Comment by Chuck & Sally's Van Man — 6:02 pm September 10, 2012 #

  20. @ Ben – You nailed it. Many complaints offered and few solutions given. Thank you!

    Comment by Cajony — 6:08 pm September 10, 2012 #

  21. I think the main issue with the Morgan junction park is that there isn’t really much draw for legitimate users. If it were to expand, it would be nice if they added a playground and and spraypark. Those additions would be a true asset to the community and would encourage families to come and use the playground and spraypark and then eat at Morgan Junction restaurants.

    Comment by AIDM — 8:09 pm September 10, 2012 #

  22. The last thing we need is another Seattle parks in the Morgan Junction for homeless to camp out in and smoke 24/7. I’d seriously rather see anything but a park go in that space. Why can’t Seattle get it right?

    Comment by Thd — 9:46 pm September 10, 2012 #

  23. I think there are enough plans for big ugly condo/apt multi use buildings in the works. I like the idea of more open space. Not sure what it should be.

    Comment by denbol — 10:10 pm September 10, 2012 #

  24. What would Portland do?

    Comment by BettytheYeti — 7:22 am September 11, 2012 #

  25. @Thd: Anything? Really? What about, say, a medical marijuana dispensary? Or a hookah lounge? Or a store that sells every kind of sex toy imaginable? How about an adult bookstore? Low-income housing?

    Are these things you would rather see in that space than an open green space in the area where you live?

    Comment by brian — 7:56 am September 11, 2012 #

  26. Ben, it’s nice to meet you .. The other person in WS that does not own a dog.

    Comment by Todd — 11:55 am September 11, 2012 #

  27. There are several influences in the hood that seem to be taking the charm out of our little park. But the park isn’t the problem. We use to frequently visit before and after dinner at Zeek’s or other, but with lack of activity for kids and increased sketchiness we stop much less. However, I’m pro park, and agree that more legit activity could drive down crime, etc. Other parks with similar problems have introduced off leash areas for dogs with positive impact on community. http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2016707306_dogparks07m.html

    Additionally, I’ve always thought that a play structure (even a set of swings) was a missed opportunity for the MJ Park. For folks in Seaview, it’s a mile walk at minimum to a play structure (gatewood, lincoln park, ercolini). Which is fine if you’ve got time and lots of snacks. I’d love to bounce down to the junction for 30 minutes with the kids after school, no drive required.

    I can’t attend the meeting this week, but this issue is def. spurring me to be more involved (generally). There’s a great opportunity here to influence the space to fit our needs.

    Comment by OnGraham — 12:12 pm September 11, 2012 #

  28. Todd – we don’t have a dog in the house either. Two 12-year-old house cats rescued as adults.

    Comment by WSB — 12:37 pm September 11, 2012 #

  29. Oh, and since I can’t make the meeting, sharing a couple of ideas. How about a coffee kiosk concession? Run by C&P? I’m sure I’m not the only parent that would be happy to spend a couple of bucks to grab a coffee and watch the kids play. We’re not a dog family, but would imagine the same of dog owners. Or, a spot for a food truck? Seems we have a shortage since the food truck pod closed at uptown. I can envision a lot of public/private combos that would increase positive foot traffic here to create useful/enjoyable public space.

    Comment by OnGraham — 12:50 pm September 11, 2012 #

  30. There is a food truck (A Lunch In Hand) that parks on Eddy on Thursdays. Perhaps after the public meeting we can all go have some grub? :)

    Comment by Brian — 7:13 pm September 11, 2012 #

  31. i plan to attend this meeting if at all possible. (non-dog-owners, represent!) grub at the food truck afterward sounds good.

    Comment by Ben — 2:20 pm September 12, 2012 #

  32. I will be at the meeting this evening for sure. Hope we get a decent turnout!

    Comment by brian — 8:33 am September 13, 2012 #

  33. I look at park across street daily.Have called 9-11 non emergency to no avail. Can not go to meeting.The same people everyday with those black bags. Families say they will not go with their children.Would love to see more park area but not unless we take care of problem.Police were to give Morgan Junction officer.

    Comment by demetra — 4:27 pm September 13, 2012 #

  34. Public Notice published this AM, pg 4 of the sports section. “Notice of Final Action Authorizing Condemnation”. Council Bill 117586. Parks committee public hearing Sept 20. Anticipated city council action is Sept 24.

    I could use a recommendation for good cleaners in the MJ neighborhood. (Apparently sooner than I thought!)

    Comment by Tom — 8:49 am September 16, 2012 #

  35. Actually, don’t expect the businesses to be going out immediately. We’re following up on Monday, since that is indeed related to a surprise agenda item for a council committee meeting this week related to the property. (The agenda came out on Friday, but too late for us to call Parks and ask for clarification on the “condemnation” aspect.) P.S. They’re in The Junction, but we are fans of Q Cleaners :)

    Comment by WSB — 8:51 am September 16, 2012 #

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