West Seattle development: Arbor Heights proposal for live-work units at 4220 SW 100th

(King County Assessor’s Office photo)

From the city files: A new development proposal in the area some call “downtown Arbor Heights.” It’s an early-stage plan for nine live-work units at 4220 SW 100th, the property whose ownership is listed as the West Seattle Church of Christ. It’s zoned NC1-30, which allows commercial/residential development to three stories. The preliminary “site plan” filed last week, by Lemons Architecture, shows three units fronting on California SW, six on SW 100th, with nine surface parking spaces on the north side of the 8,100-square-foot site.

32 Replies to "West Seattle development: Arbor Heights proposal for live-work units at 4220 SW 100th"

  • desertdweller April 26, 2016 (1:03 pm)

    Could we get a restaurant down here in the work space??  Pretty please??  

    • Sunuva April 26, 2016 (6:05 pm)

      I was just walking by this place a few weeks ago (as I do almost daily) thinking to myself how ugly and useless the space is currently. I was daydreaming that a restaurant would buy it someday and make it a nice local gathering spot including delivery. Sorry HelperMonkey, parking concerns didn’t occur in my daydream, but I understand what you are saying. I’d hope you could fit more than nine cars in that parking lot, which doesn’t seem that far different from Endolyne Joes parking capacity, and it would probably get much more local foot traffic in a neighborhood eager for a local restaurant.

      All that said, my daydream will likely never happen and the proposed 3-story work/live dwelling proposal sounds soooo much worse. Really, it does sound like a terrible fit for this location and I hope it doesn’t happen. I’ll keep hoping for a small restaurant here and a small organic grocer at 35th and Roxbury, even if my hopes are in vein.

  • ACG April 26, 2016 (1:29 pm)

    Desertdweller- I totally agree!! 

  • Mark schletty April 26, 2016 (1:49 pm)

    Ugly building.

  • HelperMonkey April 26, 2016 (1:51 pm)

    yeah, because a restaurant in a purely residential area with only 9 parking spaces and no sidewalks totally makes sense. bet the immediate neighbors would love that. / s

  • Alkiobserver April 26, 2016 (1:57 pm)

    I would anticipate (and hope) this proposal would get shot down by the city quickly as this building use in the neighborhood is completely out of character.  Changing it from what it is to anything other than single family use would be a negative to all in the immediate area. Just like years ago when the former doctor’s office on SW 100th was for sale.

    • WSB April 26, 2016 (2:10 pm)

      AO – I know AH is mostly single-family but as noted above, this site is not – it’s zoned NC1-30, which is neighborhood commercial/30-foot height, as is Brace Point Pottery to the east. North of this site is a “group home” per county records, though it’s zoned single-family 7200. I don’t know how long it’s been a church and don’t know the church’s status – I tried calling the number listed for them and reached only a generic voice-mail message. – TR

      P.S. Both of the commercially zoned sites apparently have histories in retail – speaking to Brace Point Pottery’s Loren Lukens last December, he mentioned a drug store and market decades ago.

  • desertdweller April 26, 2016 (2:09 pm)

    @helpermonkey: Wow.  Thanks for your constructive opinion.  I was just speaking as a nearby resident.  Arbor Heights is in a delivery vacuum as well with most restaurants stopping delivery service at Roxbury so I would anticipate that many of us would find a business of this type useful, even if this isn’t the best location.  

    Other locations in West Seattle (I’m thinking of Locol, the Westy, Endolyne Joes, etc) do a great business in a residential area.

  • HelperMonkey April 26, 2016 (2:36 pm)

     I know very well the issues surrounding AH and food delivery and nearby shopping options. I am within a block of this church, which is the only reason I chimed in, desertdweller. I honestly can’t imagine a high-volume business like a restaurant going in – can you?  California Ave SW right there where three units would be fronted is purely residential aside from that (rarely used) church – there is no extra parking and there are no sidewalks. It’s very different from the 3 examples you provided of Westy, Locol and Joes. (westy and locol both front 35th, and many park there rather than in residential area, joe’s has a huge parking lot) At any rate, I was just chiming in with my ever so constructive opinion, just like you did. Sorry they differ. Good thing neither of us will have any say about any of it, isn’t it?  

  • WP April 26, 2016 (2:58 pm)

    We moved to AH to get AWAY from all these live/work units and micro housing developments. To see this pop up is, in my opinion, simply beyond disheartening.

    • Jason April 26, 2016 (6:41 pm)

      If you moved “to AH to get AWAY from all these live/work units and micro housing developments” you should have checked zoning in the area BEFORE you moved…perhaps then this “disheartening” proposal would not be surprising…

  • Steve April 26, 2016 (3:16 pm)

    Those restaurants are on much busier streets than 100th. I have lived a few blocks from this site off and on go 40 years. Three stories would be completely out of place for this site. 

  • desertdweller April 26, 2016 (3:46 pm)

    Thanks for reminding me why I don’t respond to WSB posts anymore, Helper Monkey.  

    • HelperMonkey April 26, 2016 (4:06 pm)

      desertdweller, I’m terribly sorry if my post offended you.  I live in the immediate neighborhood and my personal opinion is that a restaurant would be terrible there. As much as I would like to have something other than a church and a pottery store within walking distance I just think it would be out of place in a residential area. You clearly disagree and that’s fine too – the great thing about the internet is it is big enough for both of our differing views and no one comments in a vacuum. If they open a restaurant there and it doesn’t totally suck for the neighborhood your first meal is on me. 

      • WSB April 26, 2016 (4:26 pm)

        Hi all, sorry I’ve been offline a few hours, not feeling so great this afternoon and had to nap. While some live-work units have had small coffee-shop/bar type uses – think Caffe Fiore in The Admiral District and Mind Unwind/Treehouse Lounge next door – the site plan for this AH proposal shows three floors with 500-600 sf per floor, which isn’t restaurant-size.

        BUT the NC1-30 zoning, if a different proposal emerged (and as you have seen if you follow our development coverage, that does happen sometimes), would allow a commercial space up to 10,000 sf on the ground floor IF it was one building, like apartments over commercial. (However, 10,000 is larger than the entire lot.) – I should link this more often when zoning is mentioned: http://www.seattle.gov/dpd/cs/groups/pan/@pan/documents/web_informational/dpds021568.pdf

  • GoGo April 26, 2016 (3:48 pm)

    Alkiobserver, was the doctors office the cute brick house on the corner of 100th and 44th?  I covet that house!!!

    • Sunuva April 26, 2016 (6:42 pm)

      That brick house really is a gem. The way it’s somewhat obscured by the trees makes it something easy to miss when driving by, but when you walk by it you realize it is very unique and beautiful.

  • JEM April 26, 2016 (4:44 pm)

    The doctors was the corner of 100th and 40th I think, and just looks like a little plain house. My friends live in the brick house at 44th. Their best guess is that it may have been a school house or dance studio – the entire upstairs is one big room.

  • JS April 26, 2016 (5:19 pm)

    Three stories seems a bit out of proportion to the rest of the dwellings in that area, although judging by the picture of the existing building, anything–well, not anything–would be an improvement. Hopefully, it will be well designed and not a giant three story box. It would be great to have little coffee shop or bakery there. Just dreamin’.

  • anonyme April 26, 2016 (5:30 pm)

    It would be so nice if Arbor Heights had any kind of amenities at all.  A small restaurant/coffee shop, a small grocery.  Something neighbors could walk to.  We got nothin’.

  • Reckoner April 26, 2016 (5:42 pm)

    AH could use a coffee shop or someplace to grab some grub. As a nearby resident I would wholeheartedly welcome this to the neighborhood and walk there regularly. 

  • CL April 26, 2016 (7:18 pm)

    A coffee shop would be nice, but what we really need out here is a small aid unit only type SFD station.  I seem to recall that being discussed at one time for this corner, or at least somewhere near there.  I live in the Arroyos, and I bet we have the worst aid response time in the city.  In fact a fireman who appraised real estate as a side job once told me, “nice neighborhood… just don’t have a heart attack.”  

    • WSB April 26, 2016 (8:07 pm)

      It’s been pointed out in recent years that if Seattle does put annexation to a vote in unincorporated North Highline, and if it were approved, the North Highline fire station at 1243 SW 112th in White Center would mean improved response time for southwesternmost West Seattle. This was noted in some of our coverage after the big 2011 AH fire.

    • Alan April 27, 2016 (10:48 am)

      Ironically, the building across the street which the Seattle Gospel Assembly is in was a KC Firestation until Arbor Heights was annexed. Until 2010, the church property was owned by the Arbor Heights Improvement Club, so there is a second irony for those that would like a neighborhood meeting place.

  • Ann April 26, 2016 (7:22 pm)

    Folks in my house would love a walk-to restaurant/bar. We were just talking about the need for same in AH last week. 

  • AH resident April 26, 2016 (9:36 pm)

    No! Please don’t change our beautiful neighborhood. There are literally 5 coffee shops options alone in Westwood Village. Do we honestly “need” another coffee shop? Don’t we want to set our neighborhood apart? Keep it clean, pristine, with less traffic, we have so many options close enough. I’m completely disheartened by this. What can we do to oppose this proposal? 

  • JS April 26, 2016 (10:34 pm)

    Calm down AH. The proposal is for nine live-work units. There are no details yet. Usually these units house a variety of artists. Seems acceptable to me. 

  • Optomistic April 27, 2016 (6:38 am)

    Reading this news made my day.  Please put a Mioposto there.  

  • desertdweller April 27, 2016 (10:21 am)

    I dunno, I feel like it would be amazing to walk over to a coffee shop on weekend mornings.  Yes, of course there are lots of coffee shops in Westwood Village, but who wants to go to Westwood Village when you could have a lovely neighborhood coffee shop.  

    Arbor Heights could use a few places where neighbors could meet and get to know each other over a cup of coffee, but it’s obvious to me that my idea of what a “neighborhood” is seems to be very different than other AH neighbors.  

  • bellwethr April 27, 2016 (11:32 am)

    Agreed, Desertdweller.  I’d love to have a neighborhood watering hole or cafe where we could meet and socialize.  AH has zero options right now.   I’d love something like Super Deli Mart in our neighborhood, Locol, or Bird on a wire.

  • AHrocks! May 1, 2016 (7:24 am)

    Also feeling a small, walk-to coffee shop/watering hole would be a blessing to our wonderful neighborhood. We have an amazing number of walkers and community-loving people in our hood. Westwood village’s 4 Starbucks locations would have nuttin’ over this, if you ask me. We live just 3 blocks from this site and I have no fears over parking issues. However, I do wonder if a business could thrive there  

    Also of note, a new market/deli/ice creamery is being planned for the old Guadalajara space in Wildwood. 

    • WSB May 1, 2016 (7:35 am)

      AHrocks – re: your last line, we first heard about that at least a month ago but have been unable to verify. Nobody working in the space when we go by (which is almost daily), no business license, remodeling permits (aside from one open since last year suggesting the building was going to create an additional apartment in at least part of that space), etc. If you know the people working on it, any hints on where to find them would be awesome, would certainly like to report on it. – TR

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