West Seattle, Washington
Two West Seattle development notes:
SOUTH DELRIDGE LOT PROPOSAL: That vacant lot at 9419 17th SW, long-ago home to a fire-damaged house that was demolished several years back, has an early-stage development proposal: “2 new mixed use buildings, consisting of 8 individual commercial/residential units.” The site is zoned for mixed-use development up to 40 feet; that would increase to 55 feet under the HALA MHA “preferred alternative.”
FIRST DESIGN REVIEW MEETING OF THE NEW YEAR: The Southwest Design Review Board‘s calendar has been empty for a while but the first meeting of 2018 has just been penciled in: 6:30 pm January 18th, the board will take its second and possibly final look at 4417 42nd SW, a 4-story, 62-unit (58 apartments plus 4 live-works), 26-underground-parking-space project. It got Early Design Guidance approval in May. (This too is zoned for 40 feet but proposed for 55′ under HALA MHA.)
11:42 AM: Seattle City Light is investigating a power outage that started about 15 minutes ago in Delridge – the map shows two spots, one on SW Holden just west of Delridge, with most of the 140+ affected customers in what appears to be the West Ridge Park complex at Delridge/Kenyon. No word yet how it started; the current restoration estimate is mid-afternoon.
12:07 PM: Ken points out in a comment that a crash appears to be to blame – the SFD 911 log does show a “wires down” call a short time earlier in the 2200 block of SW Holden – and also says the Westhaven Apartments are affected.
2:42 PM: Just checked; outage continues, and restoration is now projected for after 7 pm.
10:27 PM: Debbie reports in comments that power was restored about half an hour ago. The SCL map still shows a few customers out.
Mode Music and Performing Arts is a new nonprofit arts organization that introduced itself to the community with an open house this past Sunday – co-founded by Erin Rubin and Kristina Rowell.
Rubin is proprietor of Mode Music Studios, which is two doors south and will continue its core business of music instruction; Rowell is a veteran performing-arts instructor. MMPA will offer theater/performing-arts instruction for youth through classes, camps, and local schools. The first offerings are described in this brochure (PDF). The space also will be available for kids’ birthday parties centered on personalized drama workshops (info’s in the brochure) and event rentals – the space is 900 square feet.
9:25 PM: Thanks for the tips/questions about a police response in South Delridge. Police are investigating a report of an armed street robbery. We don’t know yet exactly where it happened – possibly near 9000 Delridge Way SW – but they’re seeking two suspects, described so far only as two Hispanic men 18-20 years old. Via scanner, we’ve heard police report finding a gun. There’s no medical dispatch, so – so far – it appears no one’s been hurt.
9:40 PM: A K-9 team is assisting with the search.
10:32 PM: Still searching. No new details – we will be seeking the report tomorrow.
3:36 PM: Per the scanner and a texter, a two-car crash at Delridge/Dakota is blocking northbound Delridge. If you have to head that way, wait a while, or find an alternative.
4:58 PM: Metro has sent an alert that buses are back to normal operation on that stretch, which indicates the scene’s been cleared. We tried to get close about half an hour ago, but NB traffic was backed up past Alaska. No medic unit was dispatched, which indicates no major injuries.
The Delridge development boom is apparently about to claim what might be our area’s most-infamous vacant house, the one at the far northeastern edge of Delridge Way itself, next to the bridge onramp, though its official address is 3804 23rd SW. After a tipster sent a photo of heavy equipment at the site, we went over for a look, and took the photo you see above. No one in view to ask, but county assessor records show it was sold again last spring (we had previously reported a tax-auction sale in 2015), and city records show that a site plan was filed in late summer for eight townhouse/rowhouses on the sloping site, 7,700 square feet, zoned Lowrise 1. The house has been the site of numerous complaints over the years, both formal and informal; it was spotlighted almost eight years ago in a “problem properties” tour organized by community leaders and attended by city councilmembers and department heads, described as a magnet for squatters. It’s also been mentioned over the years as councilmembers attempted to tweak the rules governing when owners can tear down derelict housing without having a redevelopment plan.
3:20 PM: The party is on! You are invited to Youngstown Cultural Arts Center to celebrate its centennial – performances and treats, plus a chance to tour the building, including the artist studios on the top floors:
Youngstown’s hallways feature lockers reminiscent of the building’s past as Frank B. Cooper School:
As noted in our story earlier this week previewing today’s celebration, the school building was mothballed years before the Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association formed in the mid-1990s, and then DNDA bought it from Seattle Public Schools and turned it into Youngstown Cultural Arts Center.
The party is about looking ahead as well as looking back. In our photo above are DNDA’s current executive director David Bestock, left, with Nature Consortium – now part of DNDA – founder Nancy Whitlock and current leader Yeggy Michael. Go visit Youngstown this afternoon (until 5 pm) and see who you meet! More photos to come.
ADDED 4 PM: Thanks to Clay Eals for the photo of Cooper School graduates gathered at the party:
The building closed as a school in 1989. What is now the Thelma Dewitty Theater, named for the Cooper School teacher who made history as the first African-American to teach in Seattle Public Schools, was its cafeteria, and is full of cool people for today’s event:
Back upstairs, artist Iole Alessandrini of the Civita Institute welcomed visitors to her studio home:
DNDA’s director of housing and environmental programs, Willard Brown, is at Youngstown for the party:
If you don’t make it to Youngstown today – just take one look at its calendar to see how much is going on just about any day of the week!
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Your next chance to celebrate West Seattle’s history – with an eye toward the future – is Sunday, at Youngstown 100, the party in honor of the centennial of Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, the historic former school building at 4408 Delridge Way SW.
What was Youngstown School in 1917 and became Cooper School in 1939 is by no means a relic from the past. Today, it pulses with creativity and promise, from the artist live/work studios up top, to the classrooms, performance areas, and offices below.
But its future was in doubt, not so long ago.
Youngstown is owned and managed by the Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association. So for a look back at this part of the historic schoolhouse’s history, as the 100th-birthday party approaches, we sat down for a conversation with DNDA co-founder Paul Fischburg.
(WSB video of Youngstown event, replacing what was Seattle Channel live-stream window from earlier)
4:15 PM: We’re at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center in North Delridge, where newly inaugurated Mayor Jenny Durkan will be appearing soon. Though this was the initially announced time, it’s slid a bit, and is likely to be closer to 4:45. When she appears here, the Seattle Channel live feed will be accessible via the window embedded above, or by going here. She took the oath of office at the Ethiopian Community Center in Rainier Beach about half an hour ago, and declared it was time to “get to work.” We’ll update when she arrives.
The event here, by the way, is to be emceed by West Seattle-residing County Council Chair Joe McDermott, who has already arrived.
4:50 PM: The mayor is at the podium. We count 70+ people on the side of the room, including Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole and Fire Chief Harold Scoggins. County Executive Dow Constantine just administered a ceremonial 2nd oath:
The mayor said she realizes West Seattle used to be a city all its own but she’s glad it’s part of Seattle now.
5:03 PM: Mayor Durkan wrapped up her speech and signed an executive order about rent assistance (read it here), and shortly she will be off to her next stop, in the International District. Seattle Channel also planned to stream that, so we’ll leave the video window up for a while. We recorded our own video of this stop and will add it when it’s ready to upload. The mayor, by the way, promised she would be back in West Seattle often – so often we’ll “get sick of” her. In fact she is already planning a second visit tomorrow, at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor), to talk about her plan to expand college access. More later.
7:50 PM: Our video of the Youngstown event is now atop this story. We’ve added a few more photos, too. Among the people we talked to there was the police chief:
We asked her the question she said “everybody” has been asking her – is she staying on in the Durkan administration? She said she’ll be talking with the new mayor next week about the department’s future, but for today, she was planning to go to all five events, but staying on the sidelines because “it’s (Durkan’s) day.” Other top police brass were there, and County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Satterberg, too:
Not only is the new mayor coming back tomorrow as mentioned above, she also has a transition-team member coming to West Seattle tomorrow night to listen to community members’ concerns.
When City Councilmember Lisa Herbold walked into Wednesday night’s Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting after an all-day budget session, members and attendees happened to be talking about the future conversion of Metro Route 120 to the RapidRide H Line. The discussion never did get around to any of the hot topics that had dominated the day – and some previous days – at City Hall, such as the “head tax” or encampment removals aka “sweeps.”
The RapidRide talk went on for a while, especially concerns that a lot of feedback already had been offered in previous discussions, mostly with SDOT during what was at the time referred only to the Delridge Multimodal Corridor process, but the next round of “engagement” seemed to be oblivious to that. Herbold said her office has been talking with King County/Metro and promised she personally would jump in after votes next week conclude the budget-change process – which she’s been leading as Budget Committee chair, a role gained in a domino process of sorts that began with former Mayor Ed Murray‘s resignation.
The road itself has enough trouble, one attendee said, without even the prospect of more, bigger buses, noting a big hole that we suspect was the same one called to our attention with photos on Twitter:
(Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, WSB file photo)
Two and a half weeks until our area’s next centennial celebration – “Youngstown 100,” in honor of historic Cooper School, now known as Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, opened in 2017. It’s been in our calendar a while and now, with 2 1/2 weeks to go, the Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association has sent this reminder:
Built in 1917, the Frank B. Cooper School on Delridge Way has a long and storied history of providing education to youth throughout the years, and more recently is known as the home of local nonprofits and artists alike. The historic building remains a vibrant and thriving place for youth to create, engage and participate in community activities, education, arts and culture. This year, Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, as it’s now known, celebrates its centennial on Sunday, December 3rd, 2-5 pm, 4408 Delridge Way SW.
The free, family-friendly event will feature an open house of the school, art sales from resident artists, performances from local faves including Seattle’s own Kore Ionz, interactive art for the kids, a 3D time capsule and more.
“This amazing building turns 100 years old this year,” said David Bestock, Executive Director of Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association (DNDA), the nonprofit organization that owns and operates Youngstown. “It is a center of community, a hub of arts and culture, a safe space for youth of color, queer youth, anyone, everyone.”
As part of the event’s mission to raise 100 donations of $100, people are asked to “buy a brick” in support of the next 100 years of the celebrated building. Those who attend the party will have the chance to decorate their “brick” and add it to the featured time capsule.
Tickets for the event are free, but registration is encouraged. Those who can’t attend are encouraged to donate to support the next 100 years of Youngstown.
If you are interested in donating – with or without going to the party – you can do that here.
P.S. Cooper School is historic not just because of the building, but because of some of what happened there – including the first African-American teacher to work in the Seattle school district, Thelma Dewitty, hired in 1947; Youngstown’s theater is named for her now.
Though we’re almost three years from the expected launch of the RapidRide H Line – which will be a conversion of what’s now Route 120 – the process requires that some key decisions be made soon, Metro says, so the next round of feedback is launching now.
First: A brand-new online survey for you.
Next: Community meetings are planned in White Center and Burien during the second week of December (exact dates, times, locations to come).
Just before the survey was announced today, we talked with the project manager for the H Line development, Jerry Roberson, and Metro spokesperson Jeff Switzer. Roberson, a West Seattle resident, says the new round of feedback is to “find out what issues we should be addressing” before they wrap up the “planning phase” next spring, getting ready for construction in 2019 and launch in 2020 (likely with the September service change).
We asked about a key issue that’s resurfaced repeatedly in community-group discussions about the impending conversion: Concerns that RapidRide is geared toward getting people downtown quickly, but Route 120 is used much more for point-to-point transportation on Delridge.
That’s what they hope to learn more about during this feedback process, said Roberson. And because there will be no “underlying local service,” he acknowledged, “we’re going to have to be flexible.” That means instead of the standard RapidRide half-mile spacing, stops will likely be closer together, “especially in the more urban areas of the corridor – which is much of the corridor. … There are areas where we may have as close as quarter-mile (spacing),” though he expects the average will be more like a third of a mile. “That’s one of the things we’re going to take to the public.” Your feedback, Metro insists, will be vital. “Maybe the public will point out, here’s a critical stop, and here’s the reason why.”
They also want to hear exactly how you use transit and where it falls in your transportation usage – and find out where they might need to upgrade pedestrian connections to get people to RapidRide stops from home, school, business, etc. Where you start your trip and how you connect with transit are big questions they want you to answer, “so we can understand the needs,” Switzer explains.
Speaking of “where,” the final alignment of the H Line has not yet been settled, and they are looking at some alternatives in White Center – between 17th and Roxbury and 16th/107th – and in Burien, as circled on the map above. (That’s why Metro was collecting traffic data in WC recently, as we reported two weeks ago on partner site White Center Now.)
The feedback obtained from the new survey and at December open houses will be incorporated in time for follow-up meetings early next year, and then, Roberson says, their “target date to start design” is April 30th.
P.S. The project is a partnership with SDOT in part of because of the funding the city contributes to service; here’s our report from last spring on feedback that the city collected for H Line planning. That followed this Delridge Neighborhoods District Council discussion.
10:10 AM: Police are searching in the 17th and Barton vicinity right now for one or two people wanted in what’s been described via scanner as a robbery and hit-run in which someone was reportedly dragged by a stolen car. One suspect has been described as a “possible Hispanic man, 25, heavy set, brown or black wavy hair, small mustache, black hoodie, light T-shirt.” The car’s been found but no one was inside. We’ll update with anything more we find out.
10:31 AM: The search continues, and a K-9 team will be joining. The person who was hurt did not need to be taken to the hospital, we’re told. That part of the incident apparently happened near/at a 13th/Henderson-area construction site (photo added above).
10:37 AM: Added above, a photo of the abandoned stolen car, a blue Subaru with plates starting in AYT. (We don’t know whether it was stolen in West Seattle or elsewhere – it’s not one that we’ve received a reader report about. Police eventually plan to impound it.)
Just in from Southwest Precinct crime-prevention coordinator Jennifer Burbridge, one of the occasional notifications that a Level 3 sex offender has moved into the area:
In an effort to keep you informed and to reduce future victimization, we want to let you know that recently one Level 3 registered sex offender has moved into a SW Precinct neighborhood.
Please see the below message from Michelle McRae from the Seattle Police Department Sex Offender Detail Unit.
Elijah Vincent is a level 3 registered sex offender who has recently moved to the 5600 block of Delridge Way SW in Seattle and is currently under Department of Corrections supervision.
Detective Foster is the detective responsible for verifying his address as long as he is living there.
If you have any questions please contact me. Thank you
Seattle Police Department
Sex Offender Detail Unit
ph – (206) 684-5581
(From Jennifer Burbridge:) Level 3 sex offenders pose the highest risk to re-offend. It is normal to feel upset, angry and worried about a registered sex offender living in your community. The Community Notification Act of 1990 requires sex offenders to register in the community where they live. The law also allows local law enforcement to make the public aware about Level 2 and Level 3 offenders. As all of these offenders have completed their sentence, they are free to live where they wish. Experts believe sex offenders are less likely to re-offend if they live and work in an environment free of harassment. Any actions taken against the listed sex offenders could result in arrest and prosecution, as it is against the law to use this information in any to threaten, intimidate or harass registered sex offenders. The SPD Sex Offender detectives will check on these offenders every 3 months to verify our information. You can use 9-1-1 to report any and all suspicious activity.
Please call me to schedule a Block Watch meeting if your block is interested. My office phone at the precinct is (206) 256-6820.
If you’re wondering whether this afternoon’s Longfellow Creek celebration is still happening on this snowy, chilly afternoon – yes, but at a new location. Signs at the originally announced Dragonfly Pavilion site will point you to Delridge Community Center.
Seattle Parks reps there joked that they thought they would only have to deal with the Seahawks game as competition for the event – not the Seahawks and snow. Nonetheless, they’ll be there with information about the creek, its environment, and its wildlife until 4 pm.
One year ago, Andrew Trujillo and Laurel Trujillo were celebrating the grand-opening weekend of their North Delridge taproom/beer garden, Ounces. Tonight, their first-anniversary celebration continues, with something new ahead as their second year begins:
Besides serving beer, Ounces is also known for hosting food trucks most days – see the calendar here – Cocina Buena is there right now:
Ounces hosted another truck until 6 pm, as highlighted in our West Seattle Saturday lineup – the Humane Society’s MaxMobile, with adorable kittens:
If you haven’t yet wished them “Happy Anniversary,” they’re open until 10 tonight – 3809 Delridge Way SW – and a special anniversary IPA is on tap, too.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
There’s strength in numbers.
And knowledge is power.
With those truths in mind, bringing Delridge business owners together is a logical next step now that results of a recent survey are assembled and analyzed.
The results were presented last week at a gathering inside one of Delridge’s newer businesses, the beer garden/taproom Ounces (about to celebrate its first anniversary at 3809 Delridge Way SW). Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association and the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce worked with consultant David Daw on the survey.
The questions showed optimism and opportunities as well as concerns. As DNDA’s Willard Brown explained, “A big part of it was a need to figure out what the business owners wanted, from their perspective.”
(As noted in our previous coverage, the survey area did not stretch into South Delridge, so technically, it’s the North Delridge Business Survey.)
Above (or here, in PDF) you can see the final results. Backstory and highlights were part of the recent presentation:
After a few questions about temporary traffic cameras in downtown White Center, we found out that King County is doing studies for the future conversion of Metro Route 120 into the RapidRide H Line. (Let us know if you see similar installations on this side of the line!) Details – including your next chance for feedback – are in the story we just published on partner site White Center Now.
6:26 PM MONDAY: If you’ve seen the racist graffiti vandalism at Delridge Skatepark – you’ll probably be glad to hear that Seattle Parks will have a cleanup crew out tomorrow morning. That’s according to Parks spokesperson Rachel Schulkin. Several people called our attention to the graffiti (shown in this tweet), which refers to President Trump as the “great white chief” (albeit, with several misspellings). We pointed them to the Seattle Parks graffiti hotline, 206-684-7587. One person who e-mailed us expressed concern that the hotline has a recording saying it might take two weeks to get graffiti handled, so we asked for a timeline, and that’s how we got the response that “crews are planning to deal with it first thing tomorrow.” Parks also stresses that if you see graffiti vandalism (or any other crime) as it happens, call 911.
ADDED 9:13 AM TUESDAY: Thanks to the texter who just sent this photo of the cleanup crew at the skatepark:
This culminated in an at-times-testy meeting June 1st (WSB coverage here) in which the district refused to rule out moving STEM K-8 out of Boren so the building could be used again as an “interim site” for other schools during rebuilds/remodels.
Last time we checked with the district to see where the situation stands, we were told they would come back to the community with an update “in August or September.” We’ve learned belatedly and indirectly – no district announcement was sent to the media nor to the wider community, and the meeting’s not on the district or school calendars – that this update will happen tomorrow night (Tuesday, October 24th), 6 pm at the school (5950 Delridge Way SW). We confirmed today with district spokesperson Tom Redman that the meeting is open to the public – anyone interested, regardless of whether you are a STEM K-8 family member or staffer.
4:34 PM: A day of crashes continues with one that briefly drew a Seattle Fire “rescue” response, at Delridge and Andover. The response was downgraded a few minutes ago because everyone was reported to have gotten out of the vehicle(s) OK, but the intersection is blocked northbound according to what we’re hearing via scanner.
4:50 PM: Our crew has just arrived and says this involves a car that was apparently headed downhill (westbound) on Andover and collided with a Metro bus. The bus is in the intersection, and its driver is being checked for possible shoulder injuries, we are told; the car came to a stop against the H&R Block building on the northeast corner (photo added – it actually stopped against the doorway):
Police are directing traffic, with northbound Delridge vehicles now using one of the southbound lanes.
First thing this morning, several people asked us about a loud noise heard from North Delridge to Pigeon Point in the 4 am hour, described as crashing-type sounds. Most thought it was coming from the Nucor steel mill, so we checked with them first. Environmental manager Pat Jablonski called us back this afternoon to confirm that the mill was the source of the noise, which he attributed to a “mechanical problem” in their processing. They shut the mill down to fix it, and it’s back in operation now. Nobody was hurt. He says Nucor is concerned about being a good neighbor and has done all it can to be sure this doesn’t happen again.
Thanks to the texter who sent that photo of sandbags outside Delridge Community Center, a traditional pickup spot for those who live in flood-prone areas of West Seattle – particularly along nearby Longfellow Creek (which flooded in a big way 10 years ago). Meantime, the approaching storm now looks to be the rainiest on Wednesday and Thursday, so you have a little more time to clear your storm drain(s) and take other preparatory steps.