First development proposal for upzoned South Admiral site: 166 apartments at 3210 California SW

January 31, 2013 at 2:27 am | In Development, West Seattle news | 23 Comments

A February 28th March 14th* Southwest Design Review Board meeting is scheduled for the newest major project proposed in West Seattle – 166 units at 3210 California SW (map). We confirmed the meeting plan via the city website after seeing the project mentioned by the Daily Journal of Commerce (subscription needed to read the story). This is part of the property upzoned two years ago when the City Council gave final approval to an application filed by local entrepreneurs Roger Cayce and Mike Gain three years before that (WSB 2007-2010 coverage archive here). The project is described on the city website as five stories, 166 apartments, 166 parking spaces, and 1,000 feet of live-work space. (The 2010 rezone was for a 40-foot limit, which usually means four stories, so we’ll be checking on that.) The application says demolition is planned for the structures at 3206, 3210, 3220, 3228, 3234 California SW. The developer is listed as Intracorp, the architect as Runberg, whose online portfolio includes two projects in The Triangle – Nova and Merrill Gardens-West Seattle (both WSB sponsors). We plan a full story with more details as we get them.

*Updated date – since we published this story, the date has changed to March 14th on the “Design Review/Upcoming” page.*

23 Comments

  1. Wow! At least they will have as many parking spaces as apartments! That is a good thing!

    Comment by ME — 7:07 am January 31, 2013 #

  2. Once they include light rail in the deal, I will accept the plans. When will the city planners admit that we have a transportation capacity issue? Maybe it will take another 10,000 units before that to happen. Maybe never. Oh yeah, I forgot that we have rapid ride that solved the commute issues.

    Comment by wsea — 8:31 am January 31, 2013 #

  3. The parking spaces are a good but not really enough because those people will want to have guests. I hope there’s some allowance for that because otherwise there will be an added unpleasant impact on the surrounding neighborhood.

    Comment by Norma — 9:22 am January 31, 2013 #

  4. Rapid ride only solves the commute issues for those who live within walking distance of the line!

    Comment by Norma — 9:24 am January 31, 2013 #

  5. This is a horrible idea
    We are clogged enough with the overpopulation, stupid emty bikelanes and now rapid ride
    Its about to take an hour to get to the other side of west seattle

    Comment by Jeff platt — 9:57 am January 31, 2013 #

  6. Please make it asthetically pleasing. Since Cayce and Gain do business in WS, I hope they design something interesting and fitting, and not just a box of people.

    Comment by WTF — 11:09 am January 31, 2013 #

  7. They actually do not own this property, but their original business has long had an office there and they own other property in the upzone area, which is why they pursued it – TR

    Comment by WSB — 11:23 am January 31, 2013 #

  8. The zoning allows for a 40-foot height limit from the highest point on the property. When the land has a slope in the back, like this one, the effective street height will be well over 40 feet. In this case, 5 stories.
    .
    This was pointed out by upzone opponents during the review process, then dutifully ignored.

    Comment by JustMe — 11:56 am January 31, 2013 #

  9. I actually like the NOVA building a lot. I think part of my feeling is about the materials used, which are attractive and part of it is the site itself, maybe because it is on a hillside it just seems like it “fits” the area really well.

    I still feel so underwhelmed by the 35th and Avalon project – what a colossal disappointment. Such a big bland building. Their lease up must be going really slowly as I have only seen one unit with a light on since they started.

    Comment by kgdlg — 12:03 pm January 31, 2013 #

  10. Eek. That many units, that many more cars and people on an already busy corner – especially before and after school. It’s so crazy around there when Madison and WSHS get out of school. Not crazy about this plan.

    Comment by N.A. Neighbor — 12:09 pm January 31, 2013 #

  11. Cayce and Gain were very nasty in pursuing the proposal. They ignored all input by the neighbors on 42nd right behind them who will lose their views. I doubt they care about what is aesthetically pleasing.

    I’m with wsea–until we get light rail, all they are doing is adding more congestion to the WS Bridge. Only so many people can take the bus–during the morning commuting hours they tend to be full already!

    Comment by lala2mom — 2:39 pm January 31, 2013 #

  12. I am very curious to hear more about the 40 foot/50 foot issue, if anyone finds out additional information. I live in one of the roughly six homes on 42nd right behind this proposed development. They will build this 166 unit complex eight feet from our back fence; there is no alley. Four stories was bad enough. Now maybe five?

    Comment by Resident of 42nd — 10:52 pm January 31, 2013 #

  13. And one more thought. This is EXACTLY why the school levies need to pass. 166 units replacing space where there used to be much less. You can be certain there will be school aged kids in those units and guess where their neighborhood school will be? Already-busting-at-the-seams Schmitz Park. Developers do not care about overcrowding schools with higher density developments. They won’t quit building if we don’t pass these levies and the schools will get even more crowded and even more decayed. Pass the levies because this kind of thing won’t stop happening even if you think you’re sending the school district or tax man some sort of message.

    Comment by N.A. Neighbor — 8:26 am February 1, 2013 #

  14. How can five stories be allowed in a 40 foot zone?? Where is this project listed in the Land Use Information Bulletin?? I have not seen it. The meeting date has been changed to March 4th.

    Comment by dwar — 11:30 am February 1, 2013 #

  15. Thanks, Dwar. Actually March 14th. The first place to find Design Review meeting dates is always here:
    .
    http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/Planning/Design_Review_Program/Project_Reviews/Upcoming/default.asp
    .
    Since the Land Use Information Bulletin only publishes on Mondays and Thursdays, the meetings don’t usually turn up there for some days after we first spot them on the above link. That’s still technically a “tentative” date so there’s always a chance it will change again. I’ll update the story, since I don’t have enough to write the promised followup yet. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 12:41 pm February 1, 2013 #

  16. Height guidelines for NC2-40 zone:
    http://clerk.ci.seattle.wa.us/~scripts/nph-brs.exe?d=CODE&s1=23.47A.012.snum.&Sect5=CODE&Sect6=HITOFF&l=20&p=1&u=/~public/code1.htm&r=1&f=G
    Depending on the arrangement of the building, they can have an additional 4 to 7 feet over the 40 foot zoning. They could fit five stories within the height limit and still have a 9 foot-to-floor height, very typical for residential buildings.

    Comment by Peter on Fauntleroy — 2:22 pm February 1, 2013 #

  17. Any idea what the timeline will be to start demolition? Living in the tear-down zone and want to know when we’ll need to plan a move! I imagine they’ll wait as long as legally possible to tell us so we don’t vacate and leave them rent-less.

    Comment by About to be Homeless — 5:58 pm February 2, 2013 #

  18. ATBH – we haven’t reached the developers yet (trying multiple paths to reach them) so we haven’t heard their timeline yet. A commenter on our Facebook page posted a comment that seemed to say she had been given the deadline of November 1st to be out. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 7:42 pm February 2, 2013 #

  19. Thanks! Please keep us posted if you learn anything further.

    Comment by About to be Homeless — 8:59 am February 3, 2013 #

  20. The City sees more $, the developer sees more $, and local businesses see more $ too. That, I expect. It’s the chorus of sheep who laud the almighty, supposedly *green* density without giving an ounce of thought to its impacts on the surrounding neighborhood that I will never understand. Scale or proportion anyone?

    I grew up near a once delightful small town surrounded by nice neighborhoods, horse farms, and woods, which was taken over by large scale apartment developments, now has the worst traffic in the state, and like West Seattle now, has constant gridlock, stoplights every 1/2 block, and is the proverbial butt of every joke about the worst places in Washington. That place is called Lynnwood. I would’ve never dreamed our congestion would be as bad, but we are well on our way toward it with such extreme developments.

    Comment by pjmanley — 10:46 am February 3, 2013 #

  21. Having a 5 story apartment building built 8 feet from ones previously zoned single family back yard has to impact resale values of such homes. Do homeowners have any recourse in this matter? What ever happened to the Neighborhood Management Act?

    Cayce&Gayne, I don’t like what you did and I will not be doing any kind of business with you.

    When it comes time to vote for a new mayor and city council members I’ll be looking for those candidates willing to use some common sense.

    Comment by JLWS83 — 7:35 pm February 6, 2013 #

  22. JLWS83, I am trying very hard not to think about how many tens of thousands of dollars our home of 10 years will lose as a result of this development. It kills me. If we do have any recourse, I would love to know about it, but I think the loss of value would be measured by the difference between a fully-developed building under the NC30 zoning and what they plan to build now under the NC40. (In other words, they could have built something 30 feet tall even before the upzone, but no one did because evidently it wouldn’t have been profitable.) Sigh. I’m trying not to be a whiner, but it’s tough not to feel completely screwed by the city. Changes in zoning are supposed to advance the best interests of the community, but the costs of those “advancements” should not be borne by private individuals.

    Comment by Resident of 42nd — 3:53 pm February 7, 2013 #

  23. FYI, you can go to the “Permit and Property Records Search” on DPD’s site and see what documents have been submitted for EDG.

    http://web1.seattle.gov/dpd/edms/
    Search for project #: 3014176

    Comment by JWang — 9:17 am February 12, 2013 #

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