West Seattle development notes: Junction crane coming down; Morgan building going up; Charlestown Court vote tomorrow

August 5, 2014 at 1:03 pm | In Development, West Seattle news | 14 Comments

From the West Seattle development files:

(September 2013 WSB photo by Patrick Sand)
4730 CALIFORNIA CRANE COMING DOWN: Developers of 4730 California, the midblock project between Alaska and Edmunds, have announced the date their crane will come down – August 16th, one week from Saturday. That’ll be 11 months after it went up, drawing a crowd. Here’s the official notice:

Compass will be removing our tower crane on August 16th. Setup will start at 6:00 AM. The work will start at 7:00 AM and continue for about 8 hours. During this time the sidewalk in front of the jobsite will be closed and the parking restricted on both sides of the street. Uniformed police officers will be on site to direct traffic and pedestrians. When our crane was erected last September we drew a large crowd on the west side of California Ave SW. We invite you all to watch from the safety of the sidewalk when we take it down.

4730 California has 88 apartments and 71 parking spaces, plus retail space that is currently listed for lease.

Now to Morgan Junction:

“30 APARTMENTS, NO PARKING” PROJECT UNDER CONSTRUCTION: At 6917 California SW, construction has begun for the apartment project that drew regional attention because of neighbors protesting its lack of parking; its developer met neighbors at one point to answer questions. Site work began with demolition of the last old house on the site. Neighbors were appealing the project’s “determination of nonsignificance” but the hearing set for May was canceled after they negotiated an agreement instead; we found that document in the Hearing Examiner‘s archived files, and you can read it here. The apartment building is going into the empty space you see in our photo above; the under-construction structures to the right are townhouses and single-family homes, as mentioned here when we broke the news last fall about development plans for the site.

North to Charlestown/California:

(WSB photo from Landmark Preservation Board meeting in June)
LANDMARK OR NOT? VOTE TOMORROW: Almost two months after the city Landmarks Preservation Board agreed to consider city-landmark designation for Charlestown Court, which is again proposed for demolition and redevelopment (as first reported here in January), the board is scheduled to vote at its meeting tomorrow afternoon. The board said “no” to the designation first time it came up six years ago, when a different development proposal was pending. Then another proposal emerged that would have preserved its facade; that stalled with the recession, and an eight-townhouse plan is now in the works. The board’s meeting is open to the public, 3:30 pm Wednesday, 40th floor of the Municipal Tower downtown.

14 Comments

  1. It’d be nice if they brought the crane down starting around midnight so as not to affect traffic and businesses.

    Comment by Graham Morgan — 1:51 pm August 5, 2014 #

  2. Graham, do you realize that people live in that area too? A lot of us, actually.
    We hear enough noise in the night from delivery trucks, etc., as to not also want to be awakened by crane deconstruction too. The common noise of the Junction is a tradeoff for the benefits of living right there, but that doesn’t mean we need to add to it.

    Comment by Sue — 2:55 pm August 5, 2014 #

  3. Just as the grey hair story goes: pluck one and 3 more will sprout up.

    Comment by Rick — 2:55 pm August 5, 2014 #

  4. I would rather have them bring the crane down during the day when its safer and there is better light, and when it is less likely to wake those in the adjacent apartments from their sleep in the middle of the night.

    With regard to Charlestown Court – I honestly can’t see this building being a “landmark” by any streatch of the imagination. Really people, is this what a landmark has become? Sad.

    Comment by 33Pete — 2:55 pm August 5, 2014 #

  5. Graham Morgan: both erecting and taking a crane down is incredibly complicated and dangerous enough during daylight hours – you want people to do it in the dark so you’re not stuck in a few minutes of traffic? The danger factor aside, let’s figure in the hazard and overtime pay that would generate…not to mention the noise as mentioned by Sue above. You could simply go AROUND the junction and not be affected by it at all.

    Comment by HelperMonkey — 3:27 pm August 5, 2014 #

  6. I hadn’t thought about nearby residents, which is enough to sway me. That said, there are bright enough lights such that a lack of daylight should not be an issue. Also, the developer having to pay overtime so as not to impact businesses would seem reasonable and not my concern – some folks will opt to avoid the junction this day if they see driving there as their only good option.

    Comment by Graham Morgan — 4:27 pm August 5, 2014 #

  7. Well, with the crane coming down and the new bike rack being overwhelmed by people parking their bicycles, it seems we need another spiffy bike rack installed.

    Comment by Jeffrey — 5:22 pm August 5, 2014 #

  8. This is not the project by the bike corral. That crane won’t be coming down for a while – the project has only just started rising above grade.

    Comment by WSB — 5:24 pm August 5, 2014 #

  9. I’d be curious to hear some comments from someone from the Morgan community association about the settlement. Did they just get paid off $25k to withdrawal the appeal? Or are they actually happy with deal. What’s the likelihood of the tree actually dying to make room for additional parking. I do like the idea of the zip car spaces. What’s the chance a company will actually lease those spaces?

    Comment by Morgan — 7:53 pm August 5, 2014 #

  10. I have done a lot of event and construction work at night. It is quite different than working by daylight even when they bring in huge banks of lights. There are pretty strict safety rules when working with cranes.

    Comment by West Seattle Steve — 9:46 pm August 5, 2014 #

  11. @ Morgan – If you read the agreement, you might see that it is between a group called Morgan Neighbors and the developer.
    It looks like MOCA (Morgan Community Association) is another group that is to receive and disburse the funds to an as yet to be named charity.
    Also, it seems that, should the spaces not be rented by a Zip-Car or similar, they may be rented to people living in the new building(s).
    But, Morgan neighbors get to pick the colors!

    Comment by old timer — 8:01 am August 6, 2014 #

  12. Tracy, did you see any reports from the Genesee Hill school appeal hearing on 8/5?

    http://web1.seattle.gov/dpd/luib/Notice.aspx?BID=934&NID=17711

    Comment by brandon — 9:27 am August 7, 2014 #

  13. I apologize that I wasn’t able to cover it. Had planned on it, was re-reading the docs on Monday night, and then a morning crisis kept me from getting downtown for the 9 am start; showing up around 11 would have been pretty useless. Anyway, only report I could imagine would be if someone from the Genesee-Schmitz Neighborhood Council sat in on it; we’re on their mailing list but I haven’t seen anything. I’m watching the Hearing Examiner’s file for the ruling starting next Tuesday, considering the last Arbor Heights case was turned around in about a week’s time. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 9:33 am August 7, 2014 #

  14. I was looking at the filings also and didn’t see anything. Figured you might have some tricks up your sleeve that I don’t know of ;)
    That was a busy day and I’m sure we’ll hear something soon. Thanks!

    Comment by brandon — 9:51 am August 7, 2014 #

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