Almost four years have elapsed since the Alki Tavern closed, with its former building and others in the 1300 block of Harbor Avenue SW deteriorating behind a construction fence. The mixed-use project planned for the site got final Design Review approval almost a full year ago. You might be wondering what’s taking so long before work gets going at the site.
There is progress to report – today’s city-circulated Land Use Information Bulletin included this notice of two more approvals for the project, currently described on the city website as “a 6-story structure containing 15 residential units above retail, restaurant, office and custom and craft work in an environmentally critical area,” with offstreet parking for 27 vehicles. (The “craft work” was described during the Design Review process as “design prototyping … (for a) garment manufacturer.”)
But city notices don’t answer the question of “when will work start?” – so, after seeing today’s notice, we contacted a member of the project team, West Seattle architect Tim Rhodes, to ask about the project status. His reply:
The Master Use Permit has been published and we are in the process of getting final permit forms from/to the City of Seattle. We hope to start construction once the final building permits and utility and street use permits are issued.
The process is slow due to on-going construction volume in Seattle. Our client very much wants to have permission to demolish the existing structures and clean up the site to eliminate the old structures, graffiti and remove the illegal occupants who continue to occupy the structures despite all measures taken to make the existing building off-limits.
His firm Rhodes Architecture and Light and Miller Hull Partnership have been working together on the project. We first reported the project site’s sale to Korea-based YMSA Co. Ltd. in January 2013, months before the project proposal itself appeared in city files.