West Seattle development: Demolition at 4122 36th SW microhousing site

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That pile of debris is all that was left late today of the 96-year-old triplex at 4122 36th SW [map], where a microhousing building that drew concerns from dozens of neighbors is set to start going up. (Thanks to AA for the tip that demolition was under way.) We first reported on the plan in July 2015, when it was described as a four-story building with an unspecified number of “small efficiency dwelling units.”

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(Rendering from design-review packet by architects Alloy Design Group)

It’s now a two-building, 4-story project, with some conflicting numbers – the official description mentions 20 units, but lines on the city docket mention wiring for “33 microunits.” (We’ll check with SDCI on Monday to confirm that’s just a mistake – the design-review packet reinforces the 20-unit count and shows floor plans.) One thing that’s remained consistent is that the project does not include offstreet parking spaces. The city file includes a generic acknowledgment of neighbors’ concerns about that, and points them to this city webpage, which says city planners are working on a citywide plan with these principles:

*Provide integrated and accessible transportation choices that are readily available for Seattle’s growing population – such as ORCA passes, car and bike sharing and shared parking.

*Support Comprehensive Plan goals to encourage growth in Urban Centers.

*Retain and enhance Seattle neighborhoods’ walkable and livable urban qualities, which are essential and preferable to automobile‐oriented public places and buildings.

*Prioritize housing affordability to preserve and enhance the ability of persons of all economic means to be able to live in Seattle. Parking is a significant cost factor for developers.

*Help ensure that racial and socio‐economic equity is a key consideration in setting parking policies.

*Manage on‐ and off‐street parking most efficiently.

*Promote designs for better quality, more secure, and more comfortable bicycle storage facilities.

*Achieve local and regional environmental objectives through sound choices to achieve air quality, climate change, and natural environmental protection goals.

To the south of 4122 36th SW, the single-family house at 4126 36th SW is set to be torn down and replaced by a two-unit rowhouse building that will have offstreet parking. The developer of that project had the lot split, and plans show that two parking spaces will go onto what is now technically a separate lot off the alley.

9 Replies to "West Seattle development: Demolition at 4122 36th SW microhousing site"

  • Rick November 12, 2016 (3:48 am)

    More rat boxes.

  • captainDave November 12, 2016 (9:30 am)

    These high-proffit micro housing units will be the slums of the future.  They look great (to some) when they are new, but when they get a little run-down, they will become flop houses. If it is the goal of our city planners to make Seattle like Detroit than these “micro housing” hives are a great way to assure pockets of future poverty. 

    • John November 13, 2016 (7:54 am)

      Hi Cap,

      Just a few facts please.

      What is the “high-profit” you claim?  Do you have any factual information? 

      What is a ‘reasonable’ profit in this city of instant milionairs and growing number of billionairs?  How many of these are apartment developers?

      The fact that these have been around for several years now and the micro apartments have not born out the dire predictions so often seen here. 

      All sorts of people live and work from them.  Not all drive cars.

      The other fact is that the council listened to ‘concerns’ and has all but eliminated micro housing.  As a result they will not become a significant  source of needed low cost housing.  

  • JW November 12, 2016 (10:28 am)

    Which just might be barely affordable to someone who would otherwise end up in one of the tents you may be averting your eyes from off the side of I-5.

  • dcn November 12, 2016 (11:03 am)

    I usually agree with the complaints about design for a lot of these new buildings, but this one looks attractive to me. If those top floor rooms with the large windows are community spaces, then I think it might be nice to live here.

    When I first moved to Seattle in my late 20’s, I lived in a shared house with 5 other people in the University district. The nice common living areas made it a decent place to live. I stayed there for 4 years while I completed my graduate degree. The only difference was that we got to choose our roommates, because it was a rental house. And 20 years ago, my rent was only $220/month for the room.

    We only had 1 off-street parking space for 6 people, and there was no parking on the street the house was on. Most of us had cars, and I remember sometimes having to park more than a block away. The neighborhood was full of shared housing, so street parking was always difficult. Not ideal, but worth it for the cheap rent.

    I wouldn’t want to go back to large shared-house living, but at the time, it was practical, often fun, and also gave me an instant social life when I first moved here and knew no one.

  • WD fundie November 12, 2016 (1:57 pm)

    Never understood the sentiment of complaining how other people park on the street when you want to. It’s the same as that joke about traffic: you’re not IN traffic, you ARE traffic.

    • KM November 12, 2016 (6:13 pm)

      Hah, exactly.

    • JanS November 12, 2016 (9:22 pm)

      until it’s you looking for the non existent spot to go home, or to eat out at the restaurant down the street.

  • anonyme November 13, 2016 (5:47 am)

    So, if these units are allowed without parking due to nearby transportation, have additional buses been pre-approved to accommodate the extra ridership – and has the developer paid for them?  

    In addition to the above requirement, I think that residents of these units should have to agree not to have a vehicle as part of the lease.  It’s not just a parking issue, it’s an environmental one.

    I don’t have a problem with the design, but agree that, like most recent construction of this type, it will begin to disintegrate in a very short time.

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