West Seattle development: New details of Junction memory-care facility

Some site-clearing work is under way today at 4515 41st SW, the official address of three lots proposed for a memory-care facility (last updated here in November), and that led us to check the online files for new information. Indeed, new details are available: The project team, led by Nicholson Kovalchick Architects, has told the city that they’re planning a four-story building with 48 units for 66 residents and 15 underground parking spaces, to be accessible from 41st SW, since the alley to the east is 20 feet higher than the street. The city has told them that the project will require Design Review (no meeting on the schedule yet) and will have to follow the West Seattle design guidelines put into place by the city last December. It’s in a “lowrise” zone but won’t be affected by the future “lowrise code corrections,” which haven’t been finalized yet. Living Care Lifestyles‘ sign is still up at the site, though its website doesn’t mention this project yet.

12 Replies to "West Seattle development: New details of Junction memory-care facility"

  • DTK June 9, 2014 (1:09 pm)

    Site clearing work is another name for demolition, yet according to the DPD website there has been no permit issued nor fee paid for demolition work to begin. Also, being an “L3” zone one could reason that four stories is one more than allowed but in this city of insanity an upslope allows the higher building. You are getting rail-roaded people. And this paragraph says it all:

    The project team, led by Nicholson Kovalchick Architects, has told the city that they’re planning a four-story building with 48 units for 66 residents and 15 underground parking spaces, to be accessible from 41st SW.

    “…has told the city…”

    The developers are calling the shots and nobody has the gumption to do anything about it. R.I.P. West Seattle.

    • WSB June 9, 2014 (1:42 pm)

      DTK, “has told … are planning” is not a direct quote. It’s my summary. I guess I could have written “are hoping to build” or “proposing to build,” but all three phrases are accurate. That comes from a document regarding a planning meeting (it’s easily downloadable but not directly linked or else I’d hotlink it). I also noted that 4515 appears to have no demolition permits on file but past stories have shown that doesn’t necessarily mean this is not-permitted work – a different address might be filed, etc. This particular site has gone through multiple project proposals in the past, as we’ve reported before, but they’re not all listed in the file any more (such as this one we wrote about seven years ago http://westseattleblog.com/2007/04/controversial-41st-project-in-spotlight-tonight ) so I can’t make that assumption before checking with the DPD, which I haven’t had time to do yet (but will do). – TR

  • Dale June 9, 2014 (3:32 pm)

    If I recall the building that used to be on the site was an old residential garage. Hardly worth getting worked up about.

    • WSB June 9, 2014 (3:52 pm)

      All three of the sites are/were described as single-family homes/detached garages.

  • NW June 9, 2014 (6:22 pm)

    I did a native plant rescue on this site and the western sword ferns that filled the back of my pickup truck are doing very well now.

  • Diane June 9, 2014 (6:42 pm)

    fascinating to read the comments from 7 yrs ago, of people upset about “massive amounts of apartments, condos, etc going up in the last 4 years or so” and rezones, etc; now, 3,000+ apts and how many upzones later……

  • Liz H June 9, 2014 (8:29 pm)

    I live right across the street and talked to one of the guys on the crew this morning. He said the current clearing is to allow the space to be used for “overflow mail truck parking,” I guess from the Post Office branch on California. He said construction on the memory care facility advertised on the sign is still a year away. The garage that fronted on the street is down now, but not the house at the back of the lot. And a layer of gravel is down. Sad, as at least the view used to be of a green space; now just dirty and grey. Waiting for the inevitable 6-foot chain link fence to go up to ensure maximum ugliness on my street.

  • cjboffoli June 9, 2014 (11:16 pm)

    Liz: We must have spoken with the same guy as I got exactly the same story. I passed it along to the WSB editors this morning but they apparently weren’t able to corroborate it. So it will be interesting to see what actually happens. I do recall years ago that the USPS used to have an overflow lot for its trucks at the other end of the block, where the QFC is now. So it’s not totally unprecedented.
    That abandoned house at 4515 and the overall site have been an eyesore since the time I moved into the neighborhood almost 8 years ago. A flat gravel lot might be an improvement over the piles of yard waste, construction debris and dog excrement that seemed to perpetually litter the site. I just hope they don’t remove that beautiful, mature tree out front.

  • Liz H June 10, 2014 (7:25 am)

    Sorry that we disagree on this, cjboffoli, but I don’t see how a gash of dusty grey gravel and trucks is an improvement over solid green out my front window. I do heartily agree in the hope that the beautiful old hawthorn tree in the parking strip will be preserved, though I have much less hope for the big evergreen and dogwood in front of the house once the construction starts.

  • KRS June 10, 2014 (8:59 am)

    I spoke to the current owner of the three properties slated for the memory-care facility and he said that the official ownership change does not happen until February 2015. Construction to follow sometime after that. Does anyone know if there is plans for zone parking on 41st ave?

  • cjboffoli June 10, 2014 (9:13 am)

    Liz: I see your point. The greenery probably does provide a nicer view. My feeling is just that I’d like to see some order come to that cluttered, derelict site.

  • Liz H June 10, 2014 (12:44 pm)

    CJ- I understand that desire! Unfortunately what we got instead is the visual equivalent of an industrial site on a residential street, to be followed at some unknown time in the future by a major construction zone. At least if the construction were starting now, it would be over soon, with presumably some landscaping and an attractive facade. It’s hard to think about how depressing the view across the street will be once the leaves drop this fall.

    KRS–I’d also be interested to know the history of zone parking issues in the Junction area. It’s getting to feel like Capitol Hill for those of us without off-street parking, but I assumed zone parking had probably been raised before and fought off by local businesses who (understandably) want parking available for clientele.

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