By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Will the PCC Natural Markets (WSB sponsor) location in West Seattle be the next Admiral District supermarket site to be redeveloped?
Making a routine check of city permit applications, we discovered a very-early-stage plan suggesting a new building is being contemplated for much if not all of the 2749 California SW site, where the current store and its main parking lot are.
But what it will be is too soon to say, as well as how/whether it will proceed.
One of the two documents in the public city online files so far suggests that the proposal is coming from Madison Development Group, the developer that is currently finishing Spruce at the Fauntleroy/Alaska corner once known as, when it stalled under previous ownership, “The Hole.” Kirkland-based Madison bought that site at auction and is completing a project with about 200 apartments plus an LA Fitness gym. Madison also built Element 42, the mixed-use building on the east side of the redeveloped Admiral Safeway property.
As for the PCC site:
We’ve been researching this for several days now. Before we found the document listing Madison as the prospective applicant, we inquired with PCC’s media-relations department, asking whether an expansion might be in store for the market, which opened in 1989 and underwent interior remodeling four years ago.
The reply came from Cate Hardy, the West Seattleite named CEO of PCC back in January. “We recently became aware that our landlord is in discussions about the possibility of selling the site where our store is located. We do have a current lease that is in effect for the next several years.”
We hadn’t realized that PCC didn’t own the property at California/Stevens; records show the landlord is Development Services of America, another of the companies owned by the late Tom Stewart, who had been headquartered in the West Seattle Corporate Center before moving to Arizona.
We continued rooting around for info and contacted PCC CEO Hardy again to clarify that whatever is in the works so far, it wasn’t a PCC-proposed project. She subsequently told us, “At this time, we have not been brought in to any conversations with the potential future owner, so do not have any real insight in to their plans or timing. Our lease is in place through most of this decade, and we would certainly hope and expect to be part of West Seattle well beyond that. We anticipate an introduction to the new owner in the near future, and will look forward to conversations with them about how best to ensure that West Seattle is well-served by PCC Natural Markets for years to come.”
We’ve reached out to Madison’s principals for comment; no reply yet. The “site plan” page in the online file shows only the most rudimentary of outlines for a possible new building covering the footprint of the current one plus most of the parking lot; Hewitt Architects is the firm listed as applicant, and the online file carries notations about a request for “paid zoning coaching” plus an expectation that any resulting project would require Design Review. The site is zoned NC2-40, mixed-use development with a four-story height maximum.
We’ll continue to keep watch.
(‘Character rendering’ of design option 3 – in the full-size version, the red lines point to text boxes)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The first West Seattle microhousing project to go through Design Review made it out of the first stage of the process in its first try on Thursday night.
Most of the concerns voiced about the 44th SW Studios project at 4528 44th SW in The Junction had to do with whether the building could be shrunk a bit in order to more creatively inhabit its site. (See the design “packet” here.)
In the end, the board voted unanimously to let it advance out of the Early Design Guidance stage:
Design Review Board doubleheader, report #1: West Seattle CVS sent back for second round of Early Design GuidanceMarch 19, 2015 at 8:11 pm | In Development, West Seattle news | 13 Comments
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
In the first of two Southwest Design Review Board sessions tonight, the early-stage plan for the proposed West Seattle CVS drugstore at 4722 Fauntleroy Way SW was sent back, with the project team told to try again.
Key concerns included the fact that the project team hadn’t brought three truly distinct shape/size/siting options for the board to review, as required, and the fact that the one siting option would appear from the Fauntleroy/Alaska gateway nearby as if it were floating in “a sea of parking.” The entirety of the discussion, from public comment to board discussion, was underscored by the awkwardness of this 1-story building being on the drawing board for an urban, rapidly densifying area and a site zoned for much more than this project would bring – even though the early design does include some “plaza” area and could accommodate a food truck as community members had hoped. Pedestrian safety all around the site was also a key concern. (See the design proposal in the “packet,” here.)
Here’s how the meeting unfolded on the way to the “try again” decision:
Neighborhood Conservation Districts to honor history? Next step includes 3 meetings, one in West SeattleMarch 19, 2015 at 4:32 pm | In Development, West Seattle history, West Seattle news | 4 Comments
(From the Seattle Municipal Archives, 1900 photo of store in 1600 block 44th SW)
Last fall, we reported on Councilmember Tom Rasmussen‘s study of whether Neighborhood Conservation Districts might help some areas work to keep some of their character, even in a time of growth and change. Now, he’s taking the next step – public meetings to find out if neighborhoods are interested in the idea. One of those meetings will be in West Seattle next month. Here’s the announcement:
Does your neighborhood have strong character that should be preserved, but isn’t eligible or appropriate for historic district status?
Councilmember Tom Rasmussen is holding a series of Neighborhood Conservation District (NCD) public meetings to gather resident input about establishing a program in Seattle. NCDs can be best described as a hybrid between Seattle’s Landmark Review Districts and our Design Review Program where unique neighborhoods can help dictate architectural style, square footage requirements, or other design elements.
Learn more & share your perspective:
· West Seattle, April 7, 6:00 p.m., High Point Center, 6920 34th Ave SW
Wondering how this relates to yesterday’s announcement about a “historical character survey” of The Junction? That *could* be a preface to a special district, although, as Southwest Seattle Historical Society executive director Clay Eals replied when we asked a related question during yesterday’s briefing, creating a district would mean going through a “political” process – while the survey, for starters, has no strings attached.
West Seattle development: Preview Thursday Design Review projects – Junction microhousing, CVS – & other updatesMarch 18, 2015 at 10:00 pm | In Development, West Seattle news | 14 Comments
We start this roundup with a preview of tomorrow (Thursday) night’s Southwest Design Review Board doubleheader at the Senior Center of West Seattle:
WEST SEATTLE CVS, 6:30 PM AT DESIGN REVIEW: First up will be the Design Review debut of 4722 Fauntleroy Way SW, the proposed CVS drugstore that turned up in city files in summer 2013. It’s a one-story, 12,200-square-foot building proposed with a drive-through and 49 parking spaces; the “packet” prepared for the meeting notes that the land is being leased with a stipulation that it not be developed to the full zoned height (8 stories). Above, the “preferred” massing (size and shape) – looking southeastward over the site – shown by the architect, Schemata Workshop. See the full packet here.
44TH SW STUDIOS, 8 PM AT DESIGN REVIEW: This project – first noted here in November – is also debuting at Design Review, and the “packet” prepared for the meeting shows it’s being designed as microhousing: 6 stories, 58 units, described with the city’s new term, “small efficiency dwelling units,” replacing a two-story eight-Since it’s the Early Design Guidance stage of the process, the board will be focused on its massing (size and shape); below is the “preferred option” as listed by the architect, Alloy Design Group.
See the full packet here.
Now, from reader tips and permit files, among other sources:
3829 CALIFORNIA SW: Thanks to Ted for the tip – a fence (the type that usually precedes demolition) is now up around these brick multiplexes. This site hadn’t been on our radar for a while because the apartment building proposed here seemed to have stalled; the site had gone up for sale shortly after passing Design Review in summer 2013. The planned 29-apartment, 29-parking-space project still has open demolition/building permits, through next year.
6315 42ND SW: This single-family house in Morgan Junction has been proposed for demolition for a while, but its replacement plan has changed a bit. Now six townhouses are proposed. It’s expected to go through the “streamlined Design Review” process – no public meetings, but there will be a chance for public comment.
3310 HARBOR AVENUE SW: An old industrial building at 3310 Harbor SW just north of the West Seattle Bridge has an early-stage land-use proposal described as demolition and replacement with a new three-story self-storage building.
While Junction leaders were gathered at Husky Deli to launch a survey of the area’s historical character, another development project was ramping up just blocks away. Thanks to Sally and Carl for sending photos from 42nd SW in The Junction, just north of SW Oregon, where three houses are coming down at the Junction Flats site, weeks after the demolition equipment was brought in and parked in the houses’ front yards. This is right across the street from Hope Lutheran School, which has provided an audience of sorts:
It’s been more than a year since Junction Flats finished going through Design Review.
The 4-story building is planned for 80 units (all apartments except for two live-work units) and 52 off-street parking spaces.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Mayor Murray promised today that his office will review the proposed development-rule change regarding transit availability and offstreet-parking requirements, formally known as Department of Planning and Development Director’s Rule 6-2015, before it takes effect.
We wrote about this week before last, before the comment period closed. First, here’s the proposed rule:
We asked the mayor about this during a wide-ranging conversation at City Hall today, his first in a series of planned meetings with “neighborhood press” (the invitation was sent widely; along with WSB, journalists from CapitolHillSeattle.com and the Capitol Hill Times were there – photo above – we’ll have a full report on the entire event tonight).
The West Seattle-based group SeattleNERD. (Neighbors Encouraging Reasonable Development) contends the proposed rule runs counter to what city Hearing Examiner Sue Tanner said in her ruling last year on their appeal related to an on-the-drawing-board development at 3078 Avalon Way SW. SeattleNERD’s official comment is in this letter:
Note Tanner’s observation (see section 15 in her conclusions) that the distinction would have to be changed by legislation – in other words, by a new action the City Council. But Director’s Rules don’t go through the Council; the mayor noted in our conversation this morning, however, that the buck stops with him, since departments such as the DPD report to him, and so that’s why it won’t go forward without mayoral review.
This also is becoming a campaign issue; City Council District 1 (West Seattle/South Park) candidate Lisa Herbold sent a news release saying she also has sent a letter to the DPD, saying in part:
I believe that the City Council did not intend for the DPD to interpret the Land Use Code in this way, and that the department should instead follow the Hearing Examiner’s December 1, 2014 decision. Further, the proposed rule will unnecessarily and unjustifiably reduce parking availability as West Seattle moves towards finding ways to make transit service more reliable, frequent, and consistent.
Read her letter in full here:
That is the point many have made here – while the ultimate goal of less car use and more transit use is supported by most, this area does not currently have the volume and range of transit, even with what Proposition 1 funding is about to pay for, to enable car users to renounce private-vehicle use en masse and eliminate the need for new parking to accompany new residential units.
So what are the next steps on deciding all this? We asked DPD that on Friday, and spokesperson Wendy Shark replied, “We will take the range of comments we received into consideration as we make final edits to the Director’s Rule. Then the Director will sign the final rule, it will be published on our website, and filed with the City Clerk.” (As for a timeline – we’re still waiting for the answer to our followup question about that.)
The “urban villages” neighborhood-planning strategy from the ’90s paved the way for much of the development you see today. As part of the city’s process to map the next 20 years, former City Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck and his consulting firm presented a study in January looking at how the plans have played out, closely examining some of the designated urban villages around the city, including The Junction and vicinity, as well as Westwood-Highland Park. If you couldn’t make it to the downtown presentation but are interested in the topic, tomorrow night you get a chance to find out about it without leaving West Seattle, as Steinbrueck is a guest at the Junction Neighborhood Organization meeting – 6:30 pm Tuesday at the Senior Center of West Seattle (Oregon/California), all welcome.
(Rendering from final Design Review meeting, 11/2014, by Johnston Architects)
One West Seattle project on this morning’s city Land Use Information Bulletin: Land-use-permit approval is in for 3824 California SW, site of the four-years-closed Charlestown Café, where 27 townhouse/live-work units are planned. You can read the decision here, including conditions the project will have to meet, and a parking assessment (26 spaces are planned along the alley on the site’s east side; the study projects the townhouses and live-work units will generate nightly demand for 20+ more spaces, which are expected to be available on the streets alongside the site).
Publication starts the clock on a two-week window for anyone who wants to appeal the decision – the official notice links to this page explaining how. We’ll be asking developer Intracorp if they have a date yet for demolition of the four-years-closed café. Checking county records, we note the sale of the site closed last month, in two parts (different owners), just under $1.8 million for the half-acre on the north side, just over $1 million for the quarter-acre on the south side.
SIDE NOTE: This was not the first redevelopment proposal for the site; a 2006-2007 proposal to build a standalone Petco on the site had big trouble in Design Review and was finally scrapped in 2008; a mixed-use proposal emerged shortly after the café’s closure in spring 2011, but had fallen through within a year; the townhouse proposal was first reported here in June 2013.
(Rendering by NK Architects)
From last night’s Southwest Design Review Board meeting: The proposed 66-bed Living Care Lifestyles memory-care facility at 4515 41st SW passed Early Design Guidance on the second try, after addressing issues brought up at the first review in December. This means the project will get at least one more look (the process is explained in the notice that preceded this meeting).
Board members and meeting attendees were generally in support of Option #4, observing that it had lost the “suburban” aspects that were criticized in the December review. Steve Fischer from NK Architects said the building had been turned around, with administrative offices, kitchen, and in-house hair salon at the front of the building instead of the back. The courtyard has been redone to start on the second floor. Public comment centered on two points: having the entry at street level rather than sunken, and parking. (Regarding the latter, questions involve what will happen on the street when the project is built with one curb cut where there are now three, and whether a short-term space might be available for family/caregivers/friends dropping off residents; the project itself will have 11 offstreet spaces.)
Board members’ guidance for the project focused on weather protection, especially around the entrance; exterior and street lighting; planned signage; facade materials (the project team says there’ll be brick on all sides); window design to ensure privacy for neighbors on all sides of the 4-story building; landscaping for privacy; how the alley side will be configured. When the project is ready for its next review, the city will post a meeting date; meantime, comments about the project can still be sent to the assigned planner, BreAnne McConkle, at email@example.com until the final decision is issued, which won’t be until some time after the next meeting.
What constitutes ‘frequent transit,’ when it’s time to decide how much parking a development needs or doesn’t need?March 4, 2015 at 2:44 pm | In Development, West Seattle news | 30 Comments
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Back in December, we reported that the city was planning to rewrite its rule about what kind of transit availability is required before development projects to be built without parking. That was part of the fallout from a ruling by the city Hearing Examiner on a West Seattle group’s challenge to issues including a project’s use of multiple bus routes/stops to contend “frequent transit service” was available nearby.
That group, Seattle NERD, says the proposed “director’s rule” runs counter to the ruling in their appeal (we covered the appeal hearing – here, here, and here – and the ruling, last fall). This is all unfolding as the deadline for comment on the rule rushes up – it’s tomorrow (March 5th).
If you blinked, you might have missed the notice that the rewrite was ready for review and comment (we did, until Seattle NERD pointed it out) – it was linked from this notice in a recent edition of the city’s Land Use Information Bulletin, and lumped in with an unrelated proposed rule change, as per the screengrab below:
The overview of the proposed rule:
The purpose of this rule is to define the Department’s requirements for demonstrating that a development site is eligible to be developed without parking (pursuant to 23.54.015 Table A, Row J or Table B, Row M) or qualifies for a 50% reduction in amount of required parking (pursuant to 23.54.020.F) due to the site’s location within walking distance of frequent transit service (FTS).
To promote environmental and transportation policies of the Comprehensive Plan and support alternatives to driving, either no parking is required, or a reduction in the required amount is allowed for residential uses in multifamily and commercial zones in areas of the city where transit service is adequate to serve commute and non-work related trips.
The full text of the proposed rule is here. (Note that its example involves 35th/Avalon.)
It would, as Seattle NERD alleges, allow combination of bus routes and stops to arrive at a determination of “frequent transit” availability. The group points this out, including color-coded comparisons, in detail on the home page of its website. It’s pointed this out to City Councilmembers, and at least one, West Seattle-residing Tom Rasmussen, has promised to check it out.
This isn’t just an abstract process; the future of at least a few development projects awaits the decision – for example, the microhousing project planned at 3050 SW Avalon Way (with no offstreet parking) has been corresponding with the city on the issue.
If you have any comment on the proposed rule, e-mail Mike Podowski, whose address is on the notice – and again, tomorrow is the deadline.
(WSB photo from November 17, 2008)
At 4532 42nd SW in The Junction, that house with history – a long-ago hospital, WSB’ers told us – came down in fall of 2008. At the time, a 35-residential-unit, 54-parking-space development was in the works. As happened to some other projects right around that time, it got shelved. Now a brand-new proposal has emerged, a mixed-use building with 84 apartments and 70 underground parking spaces. The project would also include the site of the small brick house-turned-office at 4536 42nd SW, placing the building immediately north of Capco Plaza (QFC/Altamira).
(WSB photo, taken this morning)
According to the early-stage site plan that just turned up in city files, the building’s parking garage would have an entry on the same alley used for the Capco Plaza garage, and the residential entry on 42nd would be just north of the alley. This will require Design Review – no date yet. It’s an NK Architects project, as are the two noted below:
SIDE NOTE: This proposal’s emergence means three projects are now in the works for the two-block stretch of 42nd between Genesee and Alaska in the heart of The Junction. Construction equipment has been parked for a while outside two of the three houses scheduled to come down for 80-apartment Junction Flats on the west side of 42nd just north of Oregon; just south of Oregon, 4505 42nd SW, with 41 apartments and 9 “lodging” units, won Design Review approval earlier this year.
West Seattle development notes today include this demolition work:
TEARDOWN TO … ? That 1911-built house has just been torn down at 37th/Hinds; thanks to Diane for the tip.
What’s on file online with the city mentions both demolition and “additions and alterations to existing single family residence including attached garage,” rather than a teardown/rebuild, so we’re not sure exactly what’s going to follow.
OTHER DEMOLITION NOTES: A permit is granted for tearing down a duplex at 5917 Fauntleroy Way SW, one of two neighboring sites with rowhouses ahead … a permit application is in to demolish a house and commercial building at 4038 California SW, where the city notes say 7 units are planned, two of them live-works.
DESIGN REVIEW NOTICES: We’ve already published word of both of these reviews scheduled for March 19th, but in case you missed it, the formal notices are in today’s Land Use Information Bulletin:
****CVS drugstore project: This is filed at two addresses, 4722 Fauntleroy Way for the building and 4721 38th SW for additional parking, and both reviews will be held at 6:30 pm March 19th at the Senior Center of West Seattle. (Our most-recent story is here.)
Though by nature and zoning it hasn’t drawn triple-digit-unit developments, Delridge Way has seen plenty of building the past few years, and we have two more notes from city files:
MIXED USE AT 5414 DELRIDGE: A few doors north of DESC’s Cottage Grove Commons, 5414 Delridge Way has an early-stage proposal for a mixed-use building to replace the 85-year-old cottage in this photo:
Four stories, 7 residential units and 1,000 square feet for retail/office. A “site plan” just filed last Thursday shows the ownership as Christianson Development, same as the townhouses-over-office space units that start one door down; architect for this project is listed as Nicholson Kovalchick. According to the DPD website, this will go through Design Review.
The newest proposal is for four 2-unit, 4-story rowhouses. Ownership is a Burien company; architect, David Neiman.
DEMOLITION OF THE DAY: The teardown work did indeed start this morning at 3210 California SW, the future 136-unit Admiral East Apartments. Thanks to contractor Exxel Pacific‘s superintendent Scott Weston for the photo.
2ND DESIGN REVIEW MEETING FOR 4515 41ST SW: Now on the Southwest Design Review Board calendar for 6:30 pm March 5th, the second review of the proposed 66-bed memory-care center in The Junction at 4515 41st SW. Here’s our report on its first review back in December.
1ST DESIGN REVIEW MEETING FOR 4528 44TH SW: Also new on the SWDRB calendar, the first review is set at 8 pm March 19th for 4528 44th SW, the 60-unit apartment proposal first reported here two months ago. It will replace an eight-unit building built in 1952.
LAST THURSDAY’S DESIGN REVIEW MEETING: We weren’t able to get a reporter to the doubleheader meeting last Thursday for 4505 42nd SW and 4106 Delridge Way SW, but we have the results courtesy of Deb Barker, a former SWDRB chair who attends most local project reviews: 4505 42nd SW got final board approval; 4106 Delridge, making its second appearance 6 years after its first, was sent back for revisions. Both are mixed-use projects.
(WSB photo by Katie Meyer)
The equipment has arrived, but the teardown hasn’t started just yet at the block of buildings about to be demolished – as announced last Friday – for the block-long 3210 California SW project. It’s now known as Admiral East Apartments, mixed use with 136 units and 152 off-street-parking spaces, part 4 stories high, part 5 stories. In case you missed our previous report, here’s the notice shared by contractor Exxel Pacific (see it here as a PDF, and embedded below):
It’s been ten months since the Intracorp-developed project received a final Southwest Design Review Board approval vote. Construction is expected to last a year and a half.
(November 2014 WSB photo)
Demolition starts Tuesday for the block-long 3210 California SW project, as just announced by contractor Exxel Pacific. Fencing has been up for more than two months, and tree protection went up a few days ago, so this has been expected for some time. The official flyer (see it here as a PDF, and embedded below) also gives a nod to what developer Intracorp is calling the project, Admiral East Apartments:
The 136-unit, 152-offstreet-parking-space project gained final Design Review Board signoff ten months ago. Intracorp had at one point also planned a 60-unit apartment building across the street at 3211 California SW, but as noted here (final item) last month, those plans have changed.
West Seattle development: First look at proposed CVS drugstore, with Design Review debut set next monthFebruary 5, 2015 at 2:46 pm | In Development, West Seattle news | 59 Comments
The first Design Review date is set for the CVS drugstore project at 4722 Fauntleroy Way SW. We broke the news of the proposal a year and a half ago; after the initial “site plan” filing, it sat dormant for a while. Then back in December, we talked to a CVS rep who said the project was proceeding but not expected to open this year. Now, it’s on the way to Design Review – tentatively set for a March 19th meeting – and the packet just turned up online. Above is the site layout described as the one preferred by the project team (while not labeled as such, the top square labeled “parking” is the Les Schwab lot, not part of the CVS plan). The project now has two numbers and addresses in the city system, one for the building and west parking at 4722 Fauntleroy Way, one for additional parking off the alley, at 4721 38th SW. Here’s the packet currently in the city system (keep in mind, it might be revised before the meeting next month):
The packet put together by architects Schemata Workshop describes the proposal as “a single-story CVS retail building with a pharmacy and a loading mezzanine. The project will include parking and a drive-through for the pharmacy. Loading will be accommodated in the alley.” That’s the alley east of the 4700 block of Fauntleroy, where the drugstore is planned to replace the building that currently houses West Seattle Produce and the consignment store Suite Arrangements. While the site is primarily zoned for development up to 85 feet high, the packet notes that there is a covenant for no building higher than 30 feet. It also notes that the land is being leased, not bought. The Design Review schedule says this project will take up both potential meeting slots on March 19th, starting at 6:30 pm.
SIDE NOTE: If you missed the earlier coverage, the West Seattle plan is part of CVS’s expansion into this state; it has stores open now in Burien and Renton, and others planned in Seattle including Wallingford and lower Queen Anne – some of those designs are shown in the packet you can browse above.
DEMOLITION OF THE DAY: The 99-year-old house at 6540 Fauntleroy Way SW is being torn down, three months after the demolition permit was issued. A new house will replace it – with a different address, 6501 44th SW.
SPEAKING OF FAUNTLEROY: Tomorrow is your last chance to comment with “early guidance” for the streamlined design review process under way regarding four townhouses proposed to replace a house at 5917 Fauntleroy Way SW. Here’s the “packet.” (Updated: A nearby resident points out a rowhouse planned to replace the house next door, 5915 Fauntleroy Way, is separate.)
AND SPEAKING OF DESIGN REVIEW: Reminder that the Southwest Design Review Board has a doubleheader public meeting on Thursday night at the Senior Center of West Seattle, for two mixed-use projects – 6:30 pm, the fourth review of 4505 42nd SW, see the “packet” here; 8 pm, the second review of 4106 Delridge Way SW (with a 6-year gap between reviews), see the “packet” here.
From our latest check of the city Department of Planning and Development files:
THREE HOUSES ON ADMIRAL WAY HILL: An undeveloped 12,350-square-foot parcel between the east side of Admiral Way and the west side of 31st SW, north of the bridge, is proposed for three 3-story houses. The proposal is on file with the address 3116 SW Admiral Way.
SW HOLDEN SUBDIVISION: While the 18-house subdivision between Holden and Webster has already received key approvals, three parcels still have to be split into 18 for the individual houses that are planned, and the comment period has opened for that application – here’s the official notice from today’s Land Use Information Bulletin.
CHANGE OF USE: Also from today’s LUIB, comments are open on a proposal to change the use of a house at 9248 25th SW to a “community center.” The notice doesn’t specify what that means, but in a document in the online files, the applicants list religious uses as their plans for the building. The notice includes information on how to comment.
DEMOLITION PLANS: A 61-year-old house at 11825 Seola Beach Drive would be demolished as part of a new-construction approval that also was announced in today’s LUIB; also, at 8443 12th SW, a house is proposed to be demolished, with at least one new one to be built (there’s also a lot-split proposal at the address).
LOT-SPLIT: Early-stage application to split one parcel at 3617 SW Holden into two.
How did we get here and how are ‘urban villages’ doing after 20 years? Review to be presented WednesdayJanuary 26, 2015 at 6:51 pm | In Development, West Seattle news | 70 Comments
For some, the intensive redevelopment in the heart of West Seattle – particularly The Junction – might seem to be relatively sudden, just the past few years. The groundwork was laid 20 years ago, when the city Comprehensive Plan designated some areas as “urban villages.” West Seattle has four:
Some were bitterly opposed to what they saw as a plan forcing West Seattle to bear an unfair share of future growth, with a legal challenge and secession movement resulting. The urban villages went forward, and much of the potential redevelopment is only just now coming to pass. Meantime, the city is getting ready to revise the Comprehensive Plan to look ahead another 20 years, to 2035, and as part of that, former City Councilmember Peter Steinbrueck is presenting this Wednesday “a study that measures results and achievements of the urban-village strategy.” The presentation is not in West Seattle, but some community activists here are so interested in attending that the next meeting of the West Seattle Land Use Committee (usually on the fourth Wednesday) has been canceled so members can attend this instead. It’s fully previewed here, happening Wednesday night (January 28th) in the Bertha Knight Landes Room on the ground floor of City Hall downtown, open house at 5:30 pm, presentation 6-7 pm, all welcome.
9:10 AM: Thanks to Kyle for the tip: 42nd SW is closed from the main Jefferson Square entrance north to Alaska as the contractor for Equity Residential takes down the tower crane for its two-building Junction 47 project after almost 11 months. More to come.
10:03 AM: Photos added. The crew on scene told us they expect to finish sometime this afternoon – it’s gone a little faster than expected because of the size of the portable crane that was available to lift the sections over the eastern building and down onto 42nd so they can be trucked away.
This leaves two West Seattle projects with tower cranes right now – 4435 35th SW and 4745 40th SW. The next tower-crane installation will likely be at The Whittaker (4755 Fauntleroy Way SW), whose project team told us at the November groundbreaking that it will have two cranes, arriving sometime this quarter.
West Seattle development: 2nd local mixed-use project for Lennar; updates on Holden subdivision, Y expansion, moreJanuary 21, 2015 at 4:10 pm | In Development, West Seattle news | 6 Comments
Here’s what’s new and interesting in the development files:
LENNAR’S SECOND WEST SEATTLE PROJECT – 2501 HARBOR: Seven months ago, we mentioned this one-acre parcel with three industrial/storage buildings was listed for sale. Among the possibilities touted in the listing: “Excellent potential for apartment, office or mixed-use redevelopment.” The latter is what’s on the drawing board now. According to an early site plan in the city’s online files, Lennar Multi-Family (residential developer for The Whittaker in The Junction) is proposing a 142-unit, 117-parking-space mixed-use building with 4,500 square feet of commercial space, to replace the three existing buildings. The zoning is C1-40 but the site plan proposes a building rising 48′ above grade. Parking would be entered from SW Florida, on the west side of the site. This will require Design Review; no date set yet. We’ll be following up on questions such as timeline and the future of the businesses currently on site.
YMCA EXPANSION GETS KEY APPROVALS: This week’s first Land Use Information Bulletin from the city includes the notice of key land-use approvals for the West Seattle YMCA (WSB sponsor) expansion/remodel. The approval notice includes a link to information on how to appeal. The expansion plan was announced last September.
2646 SW HOLDEN, 1 HOUSE GOING, 18 COMING: A demolition permit is now being sought for the one old, vacant house on this site stretching between Holden and Webster:
One land-use permit has been issued for the 18-house subdivision planned here, and another one is being sought for other aspects of the planned development.
OTHER DEMOLITION-PERMIT FILINGS: 10037 39th SW in Arbor Heights, except for the foundation; 3402 SW Morgan in High Point, to be replaced by two duplex townhouses; 3031 59th SW in Alki, to be replaced by two single-family houses and a two-unit townhouse.
320O BLOCK OF CALIFORNIA SIDE NOTE: We mentioned earlier this month that two addresses here are going to Streamlined Design Review with a mix of townhouses and live-works. What we didn’t notice, until some neighbors pointed it out, is that the sites were part of the location proposed for a 60-unit building at 3211 California SW. So it appears that project – which had made its Design Review debut last spring – is apparently no longer in the works.
West Seattle development: 4106 Delridge Way design review postponed, added to February 5th slate with 4505 42nd SWJanuary 12, 2015 at 4:03 pm | In Development, West Seattle news | 7 Comments
(Design Packet for 4106 Delridge, as found on city website in December)
The Southwest Design Review Board‘s first meeting of 2015 is now postponed to February 5th, with the review for 4106 Delridge Way SW (5 stories, mixed use, last reviewed in 2008) moved to 8 pm that night, instead of its original date this Thursday. According to the city website, February 5th also will feature the board’s fourth look at 4505 42nd SW (seven stories, mixed use, last reviewed in December), with that review starting at 6:30 pm.
West Seattle’s Year of the Busy Backhoes continues. Today’s demolition is at 4400 SW Alaska, kitty-corner from the Junction parking lot that is home to the West Seattle Farmers’ Market each week. As first reported here in May 2013, the 74-year-old brick multiplex is making way for 36 apartments and 4 live-work units in a building that won final Design Review approval last February (follow that link to see a “before” photo and a rendering of “after”). It’s two doors down from an under-construction apartment building of similar size, though very-different design, at 4535 44th SW, and as first reported here in November, yet another apartment building is proposed on the block, 60 units to replace 8 at 4528 44th SW.
P.S. Thanks to tipster LB, who sent word Monday that “no parking” signs had gone up outside 4400 SW Alaska – that’s what led us to go by this afternoon, discovering the backhoe at work.
P.P.S. You can catch up on our development/demolition/construction coverage any time by scrolling through this archive (newest-to-oldest).
Less than 24 hours after our last development roundup, we have more to tell you about. First, another example of the premise for our headline on Sunday’s story: Thanks to Jonathan French for the photo of today’s teardown, the 72-year-old multiplexes on the northwest corner of California/Andover. We’ve written about them before, most recently last July, when the demolition-permit application turned up; the city’s online files indicate they are to be replaced with a 4-unit rowhouse, 2-unit townhouse, and 3 single-family homes.
ALSO ON CALIFORNIA SW: As formally announced in today’s city-circulated Land Use Information Bulletin, “streamlined design review” is ahead for two smaller-scale projects to replace 60+-year-old commercial buildings on the west side of the “upzoned” block of California SW between Hanford and Hinds. This means public comment is allowed but there won’t be public meetings. The first notice is for a “4-story building with 2 live/work units and 4 residential units [2, 2-unit townhouses] with 4 parking spaces” at 3219 California SW; the second notice, for 3221 California SW next door, is for “2, 4-story buildings, 1 containing 2 live/work units and 2 residential townhouse units and the other structure containing 4 residential townhouse units. Parking for 4 vehicles to be provided at grade.” Deadline for comments on either or both: January 18th.
LOT-SPLIT PROPOSED IN ARBOR HEIGHTS: This also is from the LUIB – 10030 31st SW is proposed to be split into two lots, with the city notation that the existing house will remain.
HOUSE PLANNED BY THISTLE STAIRWAY: A sloping lot on the south side of the top of the fabled SW Thistle stairway – second-longest in the city – has a new development proposal for a single-family house.
The plan for 4355 SW Thistle just emerged in the city system over the past week, with site photos added today. Those who exercise on the stairway might find it a busy spot at some point this year, since, as reported here back in October, there’s also a proposal right across the street to tear down one house and build two at 4316 SW Thistle, both with “accessory dwelling units.”
City files show the lot split enabling that proposal was approved a month ago. (Thistle photos added 4 pm)
NEXT PHASE FOR THE WHITTAKER: A quick note on West Seattle’s biggest development project – a spokesperson for The Whittaker says “mass excavation and drilling for the shoring piles will begin” at the 4755 Fauntleroy Way SW site this week.
With demolition expected soon at already-approved project sites such as the block-long 3210 California SW and numerous smaller projects, this is likely to be the Year of the Busy Backhoes in West Seattle development, more than another Year of the Crane. Here are recent filings we found in the city permit system:
CHARLESTOWN COURT TEARDOWN: After two rejected landmark nominations, it looks like Charlestown Court, the brick fourplex at 3811 California SW (map), is coming down this time at age 88. To be demolished and replaced by four 2-unit townhouses.
NOT FAR SOUTH OF THERE, ANOTHER CALIFORNIA SW TEARDOWN: 4031 California SW (map), 97-year-old house. One 4-unit rowhouse, one 2-unit townhouse, and one single-family house are planned to replace it after demolition, per the city files, following a lot-boundary adjustment.
BEACH DRIVE TEARDOWN: 6021 Beach Drive SW (map), 89-year-old house. To be demolished and replaced with new single-family house, following recent lot-boundary adjustment that turned three parcels into two.
FAUNTLEROY WAY TEARDOWN: 5008 Fauntleroy Way SW (map), 73-year-old house. We’ve written about this before – but the demolition permit hadn’t been formally applied for at the time. To be demolished and replaced with what’s described as a rowhouse proposal, though only two units are mentioned; this one also follows a lot-boundary adjustment.
SIDE NOTE: One teardown of note just outside West Seattle – the eight-years-vacant ex-Wendy’s/ex-Ezell’s/ex-El Chalan on 16th SW south of the White Center business district was demolished on Friday; a 42-unit apartment building is planned for the site.
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