Wondering about the big white boxes arriving on 26th SW? Staging for prefab modular townhouse installation next week

November 30, 2013 at 12:31 pm | In Delridge, Development, West Seattle news | 28 Comments

Almost looks like a circus or carnival coming to town in North Delridge, with semitrucks delivering big white “boxes” to the east side of 26th SW south of SW Genesee, along the west side of Delridge Community Center/Playfield/Park. It’s actually staging for a development project nearby:

What’s being delivered today is scheduled to be craned onto that site at 2816 SW Genesee next week, as part of a project installing three prefab modular townhouses. We received a news release about the impending installation (read it here in its entirety), but it didn’t mention the staging zone, so it was in queue for the next WSB roundup of development updates, accelerated now because of this!

In addition to the dozen or so modules that the trucking crew say they’re bringing from the Ferndale factory to the staging zone along 26th SW, the project also will involve intermittent closures on SW Genesee during installation, which the developers told us is currently expected to happen Tuesday and Wednesday, depending on the weather. (Added: Map with “A” marking the construction site – the staging zone outside the park is on the lower right)


View Larger Map

The company putting in the modular townhouses is called Method Homes. Company spokesperson Courtney Peterson told us via e-mail, “The homes will be installed in 12 pieces over 2 days … The project was built to near-completion in our factory, complete with windows, floors, kitchens, baths, and appliances.”

Once the modules are installed, the official news release says, finishing touches will follow: “On site work will involve joining the modules at the seams, utility connections, and installing remaining siding, which typically takes 6 to 8 weeks.” The townhouses are described as:

Designed by Method’s architect partner Chris Pardo Design: Elemental Architecture, each 1,630 square foot, 4-Star Built Green home is 3 levels with 3 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, an attached garage, and rooftop deck.

Two of the units have a shared wall and the third is a stand-alone unit. All of the townhomes share a parking court. … The townhomes were developed by RITCS Holdings, Inc. and are being listed through Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Northwest Real Estate (formerly Prudential Northwest Realty) starting at $450,000.

The city project page for this site is here.

Side note: A different company installed a prefab standalone house in Admiral last July.

28 Comments

  1. that lot is micro small for 3 homes!

    Comment by coffee — 2:33 pm November 30, 2013 #

  2. Looks like a very secure design from the two sides showing.

    Comment by dsa — 5:24 pm November 30, 2013 #

  3. This is construction of the future. I like it.
    26th Ave SW is on the west side of Delridge C.C.

    Comment by WS compass — 5:44 pm November 30, 2013 #

  4. Thanks, east side of 26th but of course west side of the park. Fixing.

    Comment by WSB — 5:54 pm November 30, 2013 #

  5. wow, 1/2 million dollars each. Is that the typical price range for that neighborhood?

    Comment by steve — 6:42 pm November 30, 2013 #

  6. WS compass, no this is a very very very very old construction idea. You might have heard of them by their other name… a double wide.
    .
    As for the design of these, they look like building B at Microsoft, only small.
    .
    If these LEGO bricks sell for $500k in that area, then my durable 1949 home is $2.5M.

    Comment by Mike — 9:35 pm November 30, 2013 #

  7. “Little boxes, on the hillside,
    Little boxes, made of ticky tacky,
    Little boxes, on the hillside,
    And they all look just the same…(etc.)”
    Let’s just say this reminds me of a song that was very popular when I was a little girl. It’s kind of scary that this type of construction is happening all over once again. I sure hope they use some creativity and good taste…otherwise, it’s just history repeating itself once again in a rather tasteless fashion!

    Comment by Candace McCutcheon — 1:01 am December 1, 2013 #

  8. agreed with mikes.

    these are trailer homes that cost one half a million dollars.

    one can only imagine who would want to spend 500k on a glorified trailer home mere seconds from a concrete plant. And glamorous delridge avenue!

    best of luck to the developers, suckers born etc etc

    Comment by s — 1:08 am December 1, 2013 #

  9. No concrete plants on this side of the ridge. Do you mean Nucor? Should also be noted it’s across the street from the golf course, down the block from the skatepark. Increasing amount of new construction happening – just found this brand-new lot-split permit nearby, and the DPD map shows others in the area. http://web1.seattle.gov/DPD/permitstatus/project.aspx?id=3016063

    Comment by WSB — 1:46 am December 1, 2013 #

  10. It is pretty tight getting by these on 26th, especially right by the traffic circle heading north in the dark. Only one car can really get through at a time on that block until these are gone. I saw a security guard posted there last night as well watching over everything.

    I think prefab housing has been proven if you look at the more modern styles out there (glide house is an example: http://www.sunset.com/home/architecture-design/meet-glidehouse-modern-prefab-00400000012460/). I am concerned about the size of the lot there. It is very small. This sort of squeezing town homes on tiny lots is going on all over the city though and this is certainly a less disruptive building method than others I’ve witnessed.

    As to the neighborhood, we’ve lived on 26th for 13 years and love it. Nucor has been a good and charitable neighbor. The golf course and parks are nice. We use the skate park and playgrounds often. There is no convincing folks who’ve historically looked down on this area literally and figuratively, but as an actual resident, we are happy to be raising our family here.

    Comment by kayo — 6:12 am December 1, 2013 #

  11. No fan am I of this Pardo guy who is the designer of the these houses as he did a lot neighborhood economic damage throughout the city during the housing scam of the mid-2000′s. He and his partners flew high, ran rough, and then crashed hard. Of course he is back, as they almost always are. However, to equate this style of factory built housing with the old flimsy and poorly built single or double wides is about as ignorant a comparison as putting a McDonald’s nasty-burger up against a Zippy’s Number 11 with Sweet Potato Fries. I hope we all agree on who woud take that contest. You could never in a zillion years get one of those old crappy double-wides approved to be installed in Seattle with the very stringent building codes that are thankfully in place.
    -
    Framing and building a house inside a controlled environment where the construction materials and carpenters are not getting soaked with rain and baked by the sun is the future and allows for a much higher level of accuracy and is significantly less materially wasteful versus framing and sheathing the house on a muddy lot in December rains with the wind blowing sideways.

    Comment by Del Martini — 7:14 am December 1, 2013 #

  12. I think they look pretty darn good.

    Comment by genesee Hill — 7:46 am December 1, 2013 #

  13. Del Martini, I have to disagree. I actually think Zippy’s burgers are ok, not great, they are ok. They are also very very slow to deliver the order. Maybe you want to go with Red Mill as a comparison?
    .
    Anyhow, prefab homes are built as a one size fits all idea. They are not designed or built with the terrain and weather in mind. As you can see, these do not have any slant to the roofline, do not have gutters, downspouts, etc. These are poorly designed for use anywhere in Western WA. Eastern WA can get away without having gutters, but even there you need a home with a slanted roof to prevent potential cave in by standing water or snow/ice. These are also not designed with adequate foundations in mind for the land they are built on. Keep in mind that the location for these is in a flood zone where the ground is not very stable and you need adequate reinforced footing to prevent a collapse if we do have an earthquake of large magnitude.

    Comment by Mike — 8:43 am December 1, 2013 #

  14. Well said Del. Modular buildings being built today are superior in almost everyway compared to building on site. As far as the design and lot usage not a fan at all. Will see in 15yrs. how these flat roofs work out here in the northwest.

    Comment by wetone — 10:38 am December 1, 2013 #

  15. wetone, I’ll let you know how my neighbors new house deals with this winter. It was built in one month and has a flat roof.

    Comment by Mike — 4:16 pm December 1, 2013 #

  16. Do you guys know for sure that the modern-style homes/rowhouses/townhouses have truly flat roofs, or just some alternate inward-sloping style of drainage? Truly curious since that is currently the predominant building style in most of the projects (Isola, Blueprint Capital’s builders network, etc.), but my reading usually ends at the exteriors, toplines, zoning, etc., not all the way into the detail-by-detail architectural plans – TR

    Comment by WSB — 4:36 pm December 1, 2013 #

  17. For those of you who are criticizing this type of construction, learn before you speak. The “traditional” construction you so cherish is gone. Antiquated ideas full of waste and expense.

    Comment by Velo_nut — 5:06 pm December 1, 2013 #

  18. WSB, as far as I can tell, they are flat. Some even have rooftop decks for BBQ and scenery viewing use. All will have some sort of drainage, but typically have minimal drainage ability and clog fast if any foliage cover throws leaves, branches, needles onto them. You see many corporate buildings with flat roofs, however, they also have property management companies that tend to the care of those buildings on a monthly basis to fix HVAC systems and clear rooftops of debris.
    .
    For Velo_nut, this ‘non traditional’ construction is actually a very old design style. Bauhaus is where it stems from, it’s nearly 100 years old. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bauhaus

    Comment by Mike — 6:39 pm December 1, 2013 #

  19. No nastiness here.

    But there are, have been, and always will be, some relatively flat roofs in Seattle.

    I would venture to guess, the folks who think they won’t work, or haven’t worked, are flat earth advocates. Or worse.

    Look around. Relatively flat roofs on ALL types of buildings, housing, in Seattle.

    Arm chair architects are a dime a dozen.

    Mind blowing….

    Comment by Genesee Hill — 8:10 pm December 1, 2013 #

  20. or we’re people who actually understand physics, keep your de-icing salts in supply Genesee Hill. Would be a cold sleep if you let ice gather in another nasty winter storm.

    Comment by Mike — 9:37 pm December 1, 2013 #

  21. Genesee Hill is dismayed when people apply historical knowledge and come up with opinions that differ from his/her own and then expresses him/herself with douche-tastic belittling arrogance. He/she/it is my opinionated hero!

    Comment by JAT — 10:06 pm December 1, 2013 #

  22. WSB, I am in Benchview and have had a great view of the roof construction. It has a gentle slope to one side of the house.

    I’m not certain how easy the underside of the deck will be for cleaning, but the rest of the roof would be easily swept.

    Comment by Civik — 11:34 am December 2, 2013 #

  23. Many mid-century homes have roofs that do not have sufficient slope for a “traditional” shingle style roof. They’re called torch down roofs. I know from personal experience that these cost a few times more to replace than a shingled roof. They also require scrupulous care to ensure that drains and downspouts are kept clear of leaves and other debris.

    Comment by West of Junction — 1:07 pm December 2, 2013 #

  24. Shame on the City of Seattle to have them stage this in our neighborhood without contacting the
    very people that live there. Bad planning and execution.

    Comment by Alphonse — 2:15 pm December 2, 2013 #

  25. @ Mike and anyone else who might care. It is a typical detail for these type of town-homes and similarly styled single-family houses to have what is called a parapet roof and behind the parapet is a multi-sloped roofline that leads to what are commonly called scuppers that lead to a drainage/downspout system as is typical on houses with externally visible gutters and downspouts. Often atop of the sloped roof system is a deck supported by tapered sleepers to support the deck on a level plane.
    -
    Torch-down roofing material was mentioned by West of Junction for use on flat to low-slope roofs, but what is more commonly used these days is what is called Thermoplastic Membrane, which is a heat welded system that doesn’t involve tar and torches and the associated fire and insurance risks during installation.
    -
    These town-homes were built upon a foundation system that consists of steel pipe-piles that were driven into the ground with a hydraulic hammer mounted on an excavator to a Geotechnical Engineers specification. Atop those pipe-piles an engineered grid of steel rebar and concrete gradebeams was constructed. Again, this is a typical practice in areas that in the past had soil or other dumping occur or where excavating down to native, undisturbed and supportive soil is cost prohibitive. The new Sherwin WIlliams paint store near the Home Cheapo was built on a similar foundation system.

    Comment by Del Martini — 8:07 pm December 2, 2013 #

  26. 2 HUGE cranes arrived on 26th Ave SW at 7am this morning.

    Comment by Lori — 8:17 am December 3, 2013 #

  27. Must be on for today, then. We haven’t gone by yet. Thank you!

    Comment by WSB — 8:19 am December 3, 2013 #

  28. Del Martini knows of what he (she) speaks. Well said.

    Comment by wscommuter — 11:29 am December 3, 2013 #

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