First Design Review for 4745 40th SW on Thursday

May 22, 2013 at 10:37 pm | In Development, West Seattle news | 22 Comments

Tomorrow (Thursday) night, the Southwest Design Review Board takes its first look at 4745 40th SW, an apartment complex planned right across the street from the Masonic Temple and the southwest edge of the 4755 Fauntleroy Way megaproject.

Its design packet for the meeting is available online – you can see it here. We spoke recently with Suzi Morris from Phoenix-headquartered Alliance Residential, which is buying the property and developing the site, to find out more about the project in advance of the Early Design Guidance meeting.

The site is “split-zoned,” which means the two buildings comprising the project will be different heights:

Six (south building) and seven (north building) stories are what’s currently planned. Depending on how design review goes, they are expecting it to have 145 to 150 units, ranging from 400 square feet to 1000 square feet. Parking will be in the range that most recent projects have planned – .8 or .9 per unit. Encore Architects, a new firm formed by veteran local architects, is working on the project.

Another current trend that includes this project – planning “live-work” space rather than outright commercial. Morris says they feel that will suit 40th SW well.

Alliance has three other Seattle projects right now – one in Ballard, 166 units, completed this past February and 50 percent leased; the other two are in Capitol Hill, one with 105 units and the other with 248 units, breaking ground this July.

Morris stresses that they “try to build to the context of the neighborhood and who’s living in it.” Some of the units will have decks facing out to the forthcoming city park in the center of that block on 40th.

This is considered a “great location” and the 150-unit building size, “a great size.” Alliance has “had West Seattle on our list for a while” and in fact almost bought a different building site here last year but “that didn’t work out” – they’re not disclosing what site it was, though.

Alliance manages its own properties, and expects this building to have amenities including a second-story courtyard, outdoor entertainment area, roof deck, two entertainment spaces, community events to connect residents, plus bicycle storage.

If the process moves at the pace they’re hoping for, they hope to break ground for the project next spring, and like most projects of this size, it should take about a year and a half to be built. There are no alley or street vacations involved in this project, which will have an alley entrance for the garage. The two-story office building on the site now, though only 24 years old, will be torn down – it’s “not the highest and best use of the site,” is how Morris put it. The project is not yet named, though you will see “Broadstone” on the design packet – that’s a brand of sorts for Alliance, it was explained.

They believe “the market is still strong; the vacancy rate (in the city) is still low. From a national perspective, Seattle is still one of the strongest cities to invest in. The job growth here is stronger than most markets.”

Tomorrow night’s Design Review meeting is at 6:30 pm upstairs at the Senior Center of West Seattle (California/Oregon). As always, public comment is welcome.

22 Comments

  1. Has there been any neighborhood outreach for this project? Were the neighborhoods surrounding the site notified of the early design review meeting tonight?

    Comment by Triangle Neighbor — 9:28 am May 23, 2013 #

  2. All I know is that it showed up on the schedule May 6th.
    .
    http://westseattleblog.com/2013/05/design-review-date-set-for-159-unit-building-at-4745-40th-sw

    Comment by WSB — 9:35 am May 23, 2013 #

  3. Obviously we are going to have to buy residential parking permits to park near our own homes.
    .
    But I guess that’s just another revenue source for the city-=-along with the expanding tax base and federal kickbacks they get by pushing unlimited development.

    Comment by JoAnne — 9:50 am May 23, 2013 #

  4. People want density here you go. Around 700+ new units close to 100,000 sqft of mixed use, retail and now the new catch phrase live-work space in a 3 block area (the hole and Hulings property). Units are 1-2 bedroom, so that means a minimum of 725 to more than 1400+ people living in these buildings. Add workers,truck deliveries and people using the new retail, mixed-use and live-work spaces in one of the busiest intersections in West Seattle. I guess that is why there looking for some good art work for that intersection because you will be spending a lot of time trying to get through it. Parking of less than 1 spot per unit says it all, thanks city of Seattle for that one. I think anyone that lives with in a 1/4 mile of these projects will have a hard time parking by their house and what that does for your property values we will find out soon. Don’t forget the 4700 block of California (old rock sport and petco)300+ units, same story as above and there is so much more in the works. I’m not against growth in the right areas that have good ingress, egress along with proper infrastructure. West Seattle has none of the above and the impact to the residential neighborhoods will be everlasting. The city and project investors are getting real sneaky on things so pay attention go to meetings on these projects ask ? voice your opinions or write letter or email ? to the city so you have a record.

    Comment by wetone — 10:19 am May 23, 2013 #

  5. While the zoning allows for 65-80 ft buildings, the proposed height should be limited to the same height as the Whole Foods project across the street.
    Even the preferred Massing Scheme C seems too tall, especially the north building.
    The future park directly north of the site will be dwarfed by the tall buildings an parts of the park may be in perpetual shadow. Will this be inviting?
    How about the park and this proposed building swap sites, putting the park on the corner at 40th and Edmunds? This will increase sun exposure for the park and also act as a great transition between the residential neighbors south of Edmunds and the high density buildings.
    Also, the residents in the existing buildings directly across the alley will have limited light and sun due to the tall buildings only a few feet away. Maybe the alley side can be stepped back away from the alley on the upper floors.

    Comment by WGA — 10:49 am May 23, 2013 #

  6. OMG those are going to be monster buildings. Going to miss the big hole. Sniff sniff

    Comment by themightyrabbit — 10:56 am May 23, 2013 #

  7. The DPD does not care what you have to say. They are directed to accept whatever will bring in the most revenue. The DPD blindly approves horrible projects regardless of neighborhood outrage. They don’t have to live next door to it.

    Comment by DTK — 11:06 am May 23, 2013 #

  8. People want density here you go. Around 700+ new units close to 100,000 sqft of mixed use, retail and now the new catch phrase live-work space in a 3 block area (the hole and Hulings property). Units are 1-2 bedroom, so that means a minimum of 725 to more than 1400+ people living in these buildings. Add workers,truck deliveries and people using the new retail, mixed-use and live-work spaces in one of the busiest intersections in West Seattle. I guess that is why there looking for some good art work for that intersection because you will be spending a lot of time trying to get through it. Parking of less than 1 spot per unit says it all, thanks city of Seattle for that one. I think anyone that lives with in a 1/4 mile of these projects will have a hard time parking by their house and what that does for your property values we will find out soon. Don’t forget the 4700 block of California (old rock sport and petco)300+ units, same story as above and there is so much more in the works. I’m not against growth in the right areas that have good ingress, egress along with proper infrastructure. West Seattle has none of the above and the impact to the residential neighborhoods will be everlasting. The city and project investors are getting real sneaky on things so pay attention go to meetings on these projects ask ? voice your opinions or write letter or email ? to the city so you have a record.

    Comment by wetone — 11:08 am May 23, 2013 #

  9. Because trying to discourage turnout is a bad thing: Yes, projects get approved. But when there is public participation, there can be dramatic changes. If there’s no public participation, what’s originally proposed might sail right through. So if you care, show up, or send comments, especially if there’s a particular feature you support or oppose. “Don’t build anything more” isn’t anything a Design Review Board or even the DPD has power over. “Don’t have a blank wall along a sidewalk,” among other things, is. – Tracy

    Comment by WSB — 12:03 pm May 23, 2013 #

  10. I don’t mind development, but man, we’re screwed. All these new units and still only two lanes in and two lanes out.

    Comment by schwaggy — 12:04 pm May 23, 2013 #

  11. ” I’m not against growth in the right areas”

    Er, that’s this. Dude, it’s in an industrial zone, a block from the busiest intersection in West Seattle, with access to MANY buses including the Rapid Ride. What ELSE do you want? If you can’t build a puny little 6 story apartment building (not a 15/20/30 like Capital Hill/First Hill) HERE in this super busy industrial corridor, where CAN we grow?

    This all reminds me of the folks who live next to the airport and then complain about the noise. Yeah, that housing was 1/2 price of everywhere else BECAUSE it was next to the airport. The noise is WHY it’s cheaper, because it’s less desirable. Same here, the new density is GOING to be along the busy industrial corridors in West Seattle. That’s where we WANT growth. Not on tiny side streets, but ON the main corridors where you have transit. It seems common sense.

    Comment by Alki Area — 12:35 pm May 23, 2013 #

  12. my predictions confirmed; based on top pic, “City Watch” apts will no longer have a view of the city to watch; wonder if they’ll change their name
    ~
    perhaps these apts will not have the hefty price tag of so many others, if the only view apts are looking out at the pocket park to be developed; any views to east will be blocked by humongous WF apt project
    ~
    and by my count, including this project, the new Whole Foods apt project, and the old WF/Hole/new LA Fitness apt project, that’s about 1,000 new apts in that tiny area, that will be using the one little Rapid Ride bus stop on the corner; so we need 10 more RR buses to accommodate, or there will be a ton more people left standing at the bus stop, and crossing the bridge in cars
    ~
    I keep saying, developers need to be contributing to transit in a big way, buying Rapid Ride buses; the new Amazon towers downtown will be buying an extra SLU streetcar, and funding it for 10 yrs; we need the same type of developer contribution/public benefit from all these West Seattle projects; the huge apt project to the east of this is still going through design review, still time to ask
    ~
    for anyone who doesn’t know yet, the city changed their parking rules a couple years ago, to require zero parking in new apt projects that are within transit corridors, so most developers are now only doing .8 parking spots per apt, instead of what used to be 1.5 per apt; at every design review, people show up asking about this, so be forewarned; but what is important to know re this, developers are saving a ton of money by having their parking requirement now about ½ of what it was; that savings should be given back to the community in contributions to transit, buying buses, and helping pay for bus operations; of course, if we don’t ask, we won’t get anything; it is a very rare developer who offers significant community benefit just because it’s the right thing to do; unfortunately these parking/transit questions/comments are not part of the design review meeting; so be sure to get name and contact info for the city planner in charge of this project (is it the same as the WF next door?) and send in written comments
    ~
    so show up at the meeting tonight, and the next meeting for the giant Whole Foods apt project, and participate, make comments, ask questions; this is all of our community; changes are made by the people who show up; like TR said, if you really care, show up

    Comment by Diane — 1:09 pm May 23, 2013 #

  13. The design for this new building will make the adjoining proposed park completely unappealing. If you scroll down through the architecture plans, you can see the park almost in complete shadow in their plans.

    Comment by dgmob — 1:37 pm May 23, 2013 #

  14. well said, Diane

    Comment by JanS — 2:02 pm May 23, 2013 #

  15. Alki Area, they were all tiny streets at one time. I think you better go back and study the history and zoning of West Seattle along with how people will get to and from this area. Road design is limited and expensive in West Seattle as we are surrounded by water. Build as quick and much is the cities motto right now and we worry about the problems and impacts later. Great but get ready to pay for it with building a new bridge to handle the severe traffic along with tolls. But then you will probably just move along leaving the people here to pay.

    Comment by wetone — 2:04 pm May 23, 2013 #

  16. Well put Diane. I can’t wait until they build a wider bridge and charge us tolls to come and go from our neighborhood. If we had developers funding a new light rail to WS we’d be well on our way with all the new development.

    Comment by asj — 2:41 pm May 23, 2013 #

  17. How many more toilets is that flushing each day? Me thinks we need to expand our sewage and waste water runoff plans to be ready for this, we are already over extended as is.

    Comment by Mike — 2:43 pm May 23, 2013 #

  18. I meant to mention earlier: When the 34th District Democrats had their candidates forum earlier this month, developer-impact fees was one of the questions. Let current reps and candidates know if you think those are warranted.

    Comment by WSB — 2:43 pm May 23, 2013 #

  19. “I can’t wait until they build a wider bridge and charge us tolls to come and go from our neighborhood” Comment by asj
    ~
    yes, another great point; and this is why I went over to Mercer Island for public meetings to oppose I-90 tolling (to pay for 520); aside from the fact that tolling I-90 would be hardship to working poor who have to drive over to Bellevue or MI for jobs, it would set a precedent, and next in line would be tolling on our West Seattle Bridge; does anyone really want that?

    Comment by Diane — 4:09 pm May 23, 2013 #

  20. A lot of interesting comments here. Lets not forget that it was the City that rezoned these parcels not long ago and effectively invited new development in materially the manner in which the building appears to be designed. Shoot the planne, not the developer.

    Locating high density housing on top of strong transit corridors and directly across from a major grocer is exactly where it should go. Standard urban planning really.

    It’s ok to vent a little as things are definitely changing, but Seattle has one of the most highly educated populations in the United Sates. so please leave your anger at the door, do some research and understand how good community growth occurs – just like it is happening right now in West Seattle.

    Comment by Sam Flot — 6:22 pm May 23, 2013 #

  21. If you don’t like WS, then leave. We can sit here and complain, or talk with our representatives, local council members, and neighborhood groups to make a difference. Your choice.

    Comment by MK — 12:16 am May 24, 2013 #

  22. This really does seem like the right place for high density housing. Walk to everything, and we can get more good restaurants and keep the local shop owners in business. I love the density and vibrancy of the Junction. I’m excited for the energy that our local streets will have in the future.

    Rapid Ride needs to be improved for this to all to work out. Better yet, get us light rail!

    Comment by JVP — 10:14 am May 27, 2013 #

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