West Seattle development updates: Footprints; Junction Flats; more

Three development updates in our continuing coverage of what’s being built/planned:

WEST SEATTLE’S SECOND FOOTPRINT: The second “microhousing” – studio apartments clustered around shared kitchens/gathering spaces – complex to open in West Seattle apparently will carry the same brand as the first. This weekend, 3266 Avalon Way SW – the tall skinny building one door east of the 35th/Avalon 7-11 – appeared online as Footprint Avalon I (the corresponding webpage has been gutted since we saw it Saturday night). That would make it a sibling to Footprint Delridge, the two buildings that started renting recently across from Southwest Youth and Family Services, now now advertised as renting for $855 (with the footnote, “Not aPodments”). To the Avalon I name – that could mean 3050 Avalon Way SW, the only other microhousing project on the drawing board for that apartment-lined street, will turn up as Footprint Avalon II (it’s still in the permit process). Footprint also is behind the microhousing building in the works for 5949 California SW.

JUNCTION FLATS DESIGN: Another doubleheader when the Southwest Design Review Board meets this Thursday night – 3078 Avalon Way at 6:30 pm (as previewed here a week ago), 4433 42nd SW at 8 pm. The latter project, Junction Flats, now has its design packet available for public preview; it’s proposed for 78 apartments, two live-work units, and 52 parking spaces, on the site of three old houses across 42nd from Hope Lutheran.

See the full packet here; public comment is welcome at the meeting, which will be steps away from the project site, Senior Center of West Seattle (California/Oregon).

FROM THE LAND USE INFORMATION BULLETIN: Two decision in on smaller projects previously mentioned here – a four-house project has won land-use approval at 4522 Delridge Way SW; here’s the decision. And the lot split at 3947 SW Kenyon, where two homes are proposed to replace one, has been approved; here’s that decision.

P.S. After a break, work resumes tomorrow (Monday, January 13th) on the California/Alaska/42nd Equity Residential project. There’s still a lot of excavating to do, so the tower crane for that site isn’t due until March.

35 Replies to "West Seattle development updates: Footprints; Junction Flats; more"

  • Out for a walk January 12, 2014 (11:19 pm)

    How ugly!!! Please submit something with a bit more class!

  • Diane January 12, 2014 (11:27 pm)

    so what did the now gutted Footprint Avalon I page show last night? how weird that they would pull it

    • WSB January 12, 2014 (11:55 pm)

      It was just an image of the building, an invitation to contact them for pre-leasing information, and typical marketing language extolling the benefits of West Seattle life. Nothing revelatory or surprising – not even a rent $. Maybe they were doing some weekend testing at a time they thought no one would be looking; while the page title was grabbed by Google, it doesn’t have an image cached, so it may not have been up for long. At the time, the building also was listed on the “properties” pages, and now is not. I’m sorry I didn’t take a screengrab!

  • JanS January 13, 2014 (12:04 am)

    $855? Seriously? For not even a kitchen to cook in? I pay less than that for 2 bedrooms, my own washer/dryer, etc…and I’m in the Admiral District. Wow !

    And, I agree…it’s pretty ugly….

    • WSB January 13, 2014 (12:57 am)

      Also from Craigslist, for a few dollars more, a full-fledged studio is up for pre-leasing almost directly across Avalon at almost-complete Vue.
      Will be interesting to watch how this all goes in the next few years as thousands more units enter the market.

  • Diane January 13, 2014 (2:00 am)

    I met with the VUE prop mgr last month; the VUE $886 ad is a hook; those are the MFTE “affordable” qualified units; though your point about being across the street from Footprint Avalon is still valid; if someone would be considering an apodment, they would likely qualify for the MFTE; but the VUE charges extra for water/sewer (individual meters) garbage, and tenant pays extra for utilities that would be included in apodments; parking spaces are renting special deal for 1st year, I think he said $65; then there’s pet fees, pet rents, etc; developers/prop mgrs are looking for every way possible to add fees on top of rents

  • WestofJunction January 13, 2014 (6:09 am)

    Yuck. I agree with all of the comments regarding shared kitchens. What’s next – shared baths? Next time we have a downturn (and there are always downturns) these could end up as halfway houses or worse – many of those U-District rooming houses that used to house students are now populated with registered sex offenders, the mentally ill, etc.

  • Jp January 13, 2014 (6:54 am)

    I don’t think they have parking spots either. $855 or so per month could be outrageous :/

  • Peggie Griffith January 13, 2014 (7:18 am)

    It’s frustrating that the zoning allowed the builder to get away with no parking in the building, then the ad mentions “free on street parking” and talks about Alki park a “short drive away”. So much for how everyone will just take the bus.

  • Neighbor January 13, 2014 (7:20 am)

    Exorbitant rents go along with the $15Now argument. While a lot of people are focused on a living wage, what about the cost of living in general? These rents are crazy! We are truly headed backwards to a serfdom existence.

  • Seattlite January 13, 2014 (7:28 am)

    Hideous. There’s no accounting for what greed will do for $. What are the details? How many poders to one kitchen? Rooming houses have shared kitchens and bathrooms.

    WestofJunction — I agree. Apodments (appropriate terminology) will be attractive to transients.

  • heather January 13, 2014 (9:15 am)

    Well, I’m going against the grain here. I actually like the aPodment idea and as a single working person am totally comfortable with a smaller private space and a social communal kitchen. I do think the rent is high for the square footage and location…I believe the rent is the same as Cap Hill. When I finish remodeling my duplex and get it fully rented I was considering a smaller condo for myself. I’d prefer to buy but this floorplan appeals to me. I think it may appeal to single babyboomers whose children are grown, find themselves single and are tired of maintaining a house. It’s also a cool concept that could offer the rare living situation of having both significantly older and younger neighbors – something lacking in the US.

    Also, I believe it is one kitchen per floor per 4 units – so that’s 4 people per kitchen. Everyone has a private full bath in their apartment.

  • heather January 13, 2014 (9:39 am)

    JanS you have an unusual rental amount. Studios in WS are currently renting for $900-1200…for a studio.

  • SA January 13, 2014 (9:44 am)

    Development and change is inevitable, and so that is why it is so important for us to show up to reviews, etc., but for the life of me I simply don’t understand why architects/developers in this city don’t create something more appealing than fake balconies on a box; awful and permanent. Come on guys, where’s your creativity?

    In addition, why are we allowing new construction to be created without the parking to support it? Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. WS is one of the last communities where I can easily find a place to park and not have to pay anything; a saving grace from driving around for half an hour to go have coffee in Capital Hill.

    West Seattle deserves development that reflects our aesthetic charm and distinguishes WS from the rest of Seattle’s “boxed-in” communities.

  • Gatewooder January 13, 2014 (11:25 am)

    There is no reason why Seattle shouldn’t have good development that fits in with the community instead of some truly pathetic projects getting permitted. The problem is a city administration disconnected from the people who live here.

  • tickingtimebags January 13, 2014 (11:44 am)

    Well yes, why spend a few bucks updating and tidying the perfectly decent, humble family home with a real yard and a real 2-car garage on 39th when instead you could spend hundreds of thousands to cram in another pair of silly, view-blocking wannabe modern mansions instead?

    You know, I’m theoretically right in the target market for these types of homes – pushing 40, like living near the city but not too near, professional, in the design industry. I even like many aspects of modern design – and I just don’t get it at all. There’s another new pair of block houses up the street in the other direction – they replaced an all-but-condemned house on at least two lots, so practically they make a bit more sense, but each is exactly the same as the other and they’re asking $750,000 each in a $400,000 neighborhood. I’m so curious about who’s in the market to drop 3/4 of a million bucks to have a house twice the size of any of the neighbors’ that looks exactly like the one next door. Different strokes I guess, and it does beat suburban sprawl with CC&Rs, but still. I recently moved back home from 10 years in Southern California and I had hoped this weird push to replace everything older and humble with everything giant and flashy was more confined to that area. Seattle’s got its own style but the push is equally disturbing.

    At least that ho-hum gray monolith next door to the new project will have company now…very, very close company. Hopefully they get more creative than THAT.

  • JanS January 13, 2014 (12:28 pm)

    @Heather…yes, you’re right. I live in a bldg. that is 26 years old. I fully expect the rents to increase, as they increase around me.

    I equate these new “share the kitchen” places with college dorms, frankly, except for the private bath. You don’t get a choice of who to share said kitchen with, who will eat your leftovers in the fridge, who will make a mess of the common areas, who will want to use the oven when you do, where everyone’s individual pots and pans, dishes, etc. will be stored, and on and on. We don’t all eat out. At my age (66)I cook at home mostly. And I like my privacy, even when I’m cooking. But that’s just me. If I’m lounging in my pj’s, I can’t run to the kitchen for something in these places, can I, for fear of running into another renter. What if there’s antagonism between 2 of the 4 renters in your cozy little foursome? What about company for dinner?

    I can see sharing arrangements if the people sharing all know each other and decide to do it. I foresee that happening in the future as rents increase and increase. But there you get to decide you want to live together to save on rent, not because you’re thrown in with strangers, who may or may not get along with you. And there certainly ain’t any money saved, for sure…not at those prices…

  • Seattlite January 13, 2014 (1:13 pm)

    JanS — Right on. There are so many negatives to this type of “pod” living using a communal kitchen. Most people do like privacy and would like to prepare their meals in peace. Consequently, food will be stored in the podapts, perhaps hotplates will be used for tea, coffee, and on and on. Thus creating fire hazards, pest problems, and on and on. New York tenement living comes to mind — too many people per sqft creating unhealthy living conditions.

  • Mike D. January 13, 2014 (2:23 pm)

    Watching the North Delridge apodment/footprint project from the start I had hoped it would be a decent building providing a reasonably priced, pleasant place to live and add something to the neighborhood in terms of aesthetics and architectural interest. Sadly, from my perspective, it is just another example of extraction of revenue from the North Delridge neighborhood and giving nothing back to it in return.

    Next time you walk, drive or ride the bus by take a look at the ghastly, and I mean, GHASTLY asphalt entry ‘garden’ with the dumpster(s) placed in it and the complete lack of any substantial landscape trees, including zero planting strip street tree’s. The buildings themselves appear so out of scale with their wimpy little entry columns and tall facades. The developer simply took the plans of a cookie cutter mid-2000’s townhome, duplicated it twice over, and divided each towhome into 6-8 units each.

    When the project started the owners/developers were from WS. They ought to be ashamed, but they probably are not as they have 12+ units that they are hoping to get $800+ per month. 12 X 800 = $9,600 p month vs what would have been two townhome rentals at around $1,500-1700 each per month. 2 x 1,500 = $3,000 p month.

  • hj January 13, 2014 (2:52 pm)

    An entirely non-transient friend of mine is seriously considering an “apodment” in Belltown. Why? Because of the nature of her job, she never eats at home. The refrigerator is (literally) empty and the oventop is used to store wine. So why pay for it? For every comment above that says “not everyone eats out all the time” then someone else can just as well respond “well, not everyone eats IN.” We should be careful not to project our individual middle-age lifestyles onto the rest of the population.

  • WestofJunction January 13, 2014 (3:34 pm)

    TickingTimeBags – That is the nature of a desireable city neighborhood – go look at other neighborhoods – you see a real mix of styles and time periods. Look at Laurelhurst, Queen Anne, etc in Seattle, and this also happens in other cities. The areas that don’t change seen to eventually get more and more run down, property values decline, more and more homes are rentals etc. There is a real market for new homes, they may not be what you want, but they bolster your proprty values. and most peoples largest asset is still their home. I like seeing that craftsman next to a tudor next to a mid-century modern.

  • Seattlite January 13, 2014 (3:42 pm)

    hj — How presumptuous of you — “middle-age lifestyles.” Most of the young folks I know just out of college with starter jobs live within their means. They live in moderately priced rentals with kitchens and cook their own meals to save $. Regardless of age, living within the means of one’s income is the only way to pay the rent, put food on the table, and save the future.

  • Thomas January 13, 2014 (4:43 pm)

    I rent a full house (~900 sq ft) for only a few hundred dollars more than that a month only a few blocks from where that Delridge thing is, including off-street, covered parking.

  • Lindsey January 13, 2014 (4:58 pm)

    I’ll add my voice to the many saying this rent is crazy. I like the idea of an apodment – kinda like a dorm room with a bathroom – but not for $900 a month! Before I bought a house this year, my one-bedroom apartment right in the Junction was only $825, and that included utilities, garbage and off-street parking.

  • hj January 13, 2014 (5:48 pm)

    Seattlite, I gave a concrete example of someone for whom the assumptions being made here don’t apply. “Most of the young folks I know”. Well, it looks like you don’t know everybody.

  • JoAnne January 13, 2014 (5:50 pm)

    If you want to live in a tiny place with no kitchen, that is none of my business.
    Just don’t bring a car unless you have a place to park it. Our street is not an “amenity” for developers to sell to apartment dwellers.

  • wetone January 13, 2014 (6:21 pm)

    This place on Avalon is scary to me many ways, the biggest is fire as it has very limited ingress egress. How about being ADA compliant ? Seems like they really limit the types of renters by not having a elevator. Some funny stuff going on with these places and our city for allowing them. You can thank the city for higher rents, by allowing these places.

  • buckwheat January 13, 2014 (8:19 pm)

    Wait until they build the two others (apodments) on Avalon. What crappy developement the city is permitting. It is only going to get worse with this crappy development. Hopefully with the districting of city council positions West Seattle will have someone working for West Seattle.

    • WSB January 13, 2014 (8:36 pm)

      Buckwheat, there is one in the works at 3050. What other site do you think is planned for microhousing?

  • Jcws January 13, 2014 (9:59 pm)

    I love the way JanS and Seattlite project their desires for total privacy and a specific living style onto the population at large. There are plenty of people who will enjoy the lifestyle these units will offer or they wouldn’t be built. This is no different than people who live in a standard apartment with roommates with the exception that these units guarantee a private bathroom for everyone.

  • Rick January 14, 2014 (4:52 am)

    You really wouldn’t to bump into me doing a nekked beer run to the fridge at 4 AM. College dorm room mentality. We’re going down the tubes.

  • WestofJunction January 14, 2014 (6:14 am)

    Jcws, no it is very different. In that situation, you pick your roomates, and have way fewer. These Apodments are more like beehives. Again, if you want to see this kind of arrangement in action, go look at U-District rooming houses. These apodments are definately a step down and detract from a neighborhood.

  • CE January 14, 2014 (6:24 am)

    @jcws: Just like sharing an apartment with roommates, except paying the whole rent yourself.

  • Kara January 14, 2014 (6:29 pm)

    The best thing would be if every single person here who has commented on this would go to the meetings…

    The more proactive we are about attending meetings and standing up for our neighborhood the better it will be…be the change.

  • Jc January 16, 2014 (10:45 pm)

    Westofjunction, I’m not sure when the last time you were in a dorm was, but you don’t get to pick your roommates or dormmates at any decent sized school. They are assigned unless you are in the small percentage of people who went to college with a close high school friend and decided to request, and were granted, a dorm room together.

Sorry, comment time is over.

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