DEVELOPMENT: Falconridge Farm update; 3084 Avalon apartments; 1250 Alki comments; Fauntleroy upzone discussion

Four development-related notes:

FALCONRIDGE FARM PROPERTY: For those watching the fate of the Highland Park horse farm that’s for sale and could either be preserved or redeveloped into a housing subdivision (which is what the site is zoned for), we noticed over the weekend that an early-stage “preliminary site plan” has been filed with the city for the latter, showing 26 potential home sites. So we checked this morning with farm owner Dr. Jean Nokes, who states emphatically that she hasn’t signed a deal with anyone and is still talking with a multitude of potential buyers, including Pulte Homes, which is who filed the site plan (which is news to her, she told us), four other potential developers, and others who would preserve the farm.

3084 AVALON APARTMENTS: Another “preliminary site plan” in the city system proposes an apartment building at 3084 SW Avalon Way. Avalon of course is awash in apartments but this is notable because it’s just north/west of 3078 SW Avalon, where a long fight over a proposed 100+-unit building ended with the plan being traded for townhouses. This site has the same owner. Nothing publicly visible shows the proposed height or unit count, though it is mentioned that no parking is planned.

NEXT ROUND OF COMMENTS FOR DOWNSIZED 1250 ALKI: When we first reported on the plan for 1250 Alki SW in 2015, it was proposed for 125 apartments. Neighbors argued it was out of scale for the area. Now it’s a six-story, 40-unit project, with 74 offstreet parking spaces, and today’s Land Use Information Bulletin has the official notice of its “shoreline substantial development” permit. This opens a comment period until December 13th; here’s how to comment. The downsized project still is making its way through Design Review.

FAUNTLEROY COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION TO DISCUSS REZONE: Two weeks ago, we reported on an early-stage proposal to rezone 9250 45th SW – a somewhat triangular site in Fauntleroy’s Endolyne business district – for a 5-story mixed-use redevelopment. The Fauntleroy Community Association board will talk about it at its Tuesday meeting (7 pm, Fauntleroy Schoolhouse, public welcome). P.S. As pointed out in comments previously, this site would be upzoned from 30′ to 40′ under the new HALA MHA proposal.

3 Replies to "DEVELOPMENT: Falconridge Farm update; 3084 Avalon apartments; 1250 Alki comments; Fauntleroy upzone discussion"

  • Wonderer November 13, 2017 (3:40 pm)

    Question for the commenters here that are pro developer.  The city will require parking for the 1250 Alki apartment. Enlighten me as to why a developer would build if there’s no money to be made. My take is that there IS profit to be made and that the reason they’re happy to provide no parking is so that there’s more units and even MORE profit.

    • Jethro Marx November 13, 2017 (5:05 pm)

      I don’t know if I can break myself, much less all of humanity, into either pro-developer or anti-developer, but sure, you’re probably right. Alki ain’t Avalon, though, and it’s no surprise that the profit, quality, and amenities contained in one may not match the other.

       I’m kinda tired of hearing about parking and traffic. It’s a city; it’s going to be a little ugly, and there’ll be more people and cars than there is room for them. Patience, while not generally prized in our time, goes a long way when you dwell in the city.

    • geographer November 13, 2017 (7:51 pm)

      You’re correct, there is profit to be made. What it comes down to essentially is how the development is configured. When a proposed deal is going through its due diligence and underwriting, the lender will determine their requirements in terms of cash flow and how much money needs to be made on the deal. The initial developer’s profit, in and of itself, is usually factored into the overall cost of construction. 

      It really is a trade-off at the end of the day. 125 units and no parking can generate the necessary cash flow to satisfy the lender’s requirements. 40 units and 74 parking spaces, which will most likely be below grade, can also satisfy these requirements. The trade-off is that these units will likely be larger and command a higher rent, and parking spaces will be an additional fee on top of those rents. The cost of building parking below grade adds significantly to overall project costs. 

      So yes, the developer will profit. But the inclusion of parking at a ratio of greater than 1:1, combined with the loss of 80 potential units, means this development won’t do much in the way of helping alleviate a market that is under supplied and struggling to keep rent growth in check.

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