West Seattle, Washington
Three West Seattle development notes today:
4826 40TH SW: The Fauntleroy/Edmunds development hub continues to densify. Headed for administrative design review (watch for the notice) is a 3-story, 27-apartment, no-offstreet-parking “small efficiency dwelling unit” (SEDU) building. It would replace the duplex shown in the Assessor’s Office photo above.
2821 SW YANCY: A few more details on this early-stage proposal from Transitional Resources, first reported here back in February. This too would go through administrative design review, according to notes posted online from a pre-submittal meeting with the city. It’s described as 100 percent affordable housing with 44 SEDUs, potentially in two buildings, with up to three parking spaces on site.
7001 CALIFORNIA SW: We’ve been watching this block for a while as a lot-boundary adjustment proceeds. Now there’s an early-stage redevelopment proposal for the north end, four rowhouses with no off-street parking at 7001 California SW, where there’s currently a pet-care business.
Very low-key – and low turnout, so far – city open house happening right now in the Louisa Boren STEM K-8 lunchroom. Though the headline topic is HALA upzoning for Mandatory Housing Affordability, it’s somewhat outflanked by an abundance of other city departments tabling too, like SDOT:
Other departments there if you have questions include Seattle Public Utilities, City Light, Parks, Neighborhoods, and the Office of Housing. But back to HALA upzoning – if you have questions about what’s planned for your part of West Seattle, you can wander around the room to find the map, and someone to talk with:
This is not a feedback event, so, so far as we can tell, you’re not being asked to put dots on maps. Just an FYI type of open house – the next feedback event in this area is the official public hearing on June 5th at Chief Sealth International High School.
Several community groups are here too, even the coalition that’s appealing the HALA Environmental Impact Statement (as their case continues working its way through the system, with more documents filed on the Hearing Examiner‘s site just this week). You’re welcome to drop in until 8 pm, 5950 Delridge Way SW – parking is in the big lot that stretches south of the school entrance. And of course there are snacks.
With light rail on the way to West Seattle … one local group says it’s time to talk about Transit-Oriented Development (TOD). Welcoming West Seattle has just announced “a lively discussion” about TOD and affordable housing, one week from tonight:
WEDNESDAY MAY 16 | 5:30 PM
Southwest Youth and Family Services, 4555 Delridge Way SW
Councilmember Lisa Herbold
Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda
Bill Rumpf, Mercy Housing
Marijana Cvencek, Schemata Workgroup
Edward Butterfield, Sound Transit
Bryce Yadon, Futurewise
Matt Hutchins, Welcoming West Seattle
The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be provided. Doors 5:30 pm, discussion 6:00 pm. Panelists will have a robust conversation on the ins and outs of implementing TOD, and what it will mean for further development and housing affordability; diving into the advocacy action necessary to capitalize on TOD, and how neighbors can start efforts now to be well positioned as new stations open over the next two decades. Our moderators will be asking a set of questions collected from community members and coalition partners. Please RSVP and submit any Transit Oriented Development and Affordable Housing Questions, here!
We’ve reported before on the plan to replace that old house at California/Willow with a seven-unit rowhouse building, most recently when it was approved last month. We noted then that since we first wrote about the plan last year, the plan had changed to include one offstreet-parking space instead of the original five. The notice says it’s expected to generate demand for seven to 14 spaces, but since what the city considers “frequent transit” is within 1,320 feet, it doesn’t have to include any parking. Neighbors have filed an appeal and have a pre-hearing conference with the city Hearing Examiner tomorrow. It’s not just the downsizing of the parking plan, they say in their appeal, but also they say the change wasn’t communicated. This is a block and a half north of a redevelopment plan that caused a hubbub over lack of offstreet parking four and a half years ago; that appeal was eventually settled and the 30-unit building went up.
That’s the official “administrative design review” (public comments but no meeting) packet now online for 3084 Avalon Way SW – as mentioned here last week, the project that first turned up as an early-stage proposal last year is now on the books with 7 floors, 35 apartments, and no offstreet parking spaces, replacing a 64-year-old triplex. And the two-week public review phase is now under way. The city has just overhauled its permit system, so notices and announcements don’t look quite the way they used to – here’s the one for this project. If you have comments, you can send them to the assigned planner for the project, Joseph Hurley, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tomorrow (Thursday) night, the plan for replacing the fire-destroyed building at the Lam Bow Apartments (6955 Delridge Way SW) goes before the Southwest Design Review Board. Here’s the full “packet” prepared for the meeting:
(You can also see it on the city website in PDF.) While getting ready for the meeting, project-team members visited the Delridge Neighborhoods District Council meeting in mid-April. If you’re interested in a preview before tomorrow’s review, here are our notes:
The briefing was led by Ryan Moore of the Seattle Housing Authority, which owns the Lam Bow. He said that as is required in the Early Design Guidance phase, they will be presenting three options for the new building, which will be 3 stories high, with about 50 apartments and 49 offstreet parking spaces. Their preferred option has a mix of 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom units, with a central play area, a new commons building, and an open space that might be used for a P-patch or recreation. In general, DNDC attendees had positive reactions, but they also had a lot of questions about access to the parking lot on the Delridge Way side of the building; SDOT is apparently requiring that access be closed because of the future conversion of Metro Route 120 to the RapidRide H Line. The future of that project depends on federal funding that already has been called into question, and since then, the Move Seattle levy spending situation has raised further questions about upcoming RapidRide projects’ city funding. Moore said access to the parking lot would continue via 23rd SW, which would also see improvements such as a sidewalk and gutter. Attendees said they still thought keeping both sides open would be optimal. Moore also was asked about nearby Longfellow Creek and drainage, and said they are still working with a consultant on that.
Thursday night’s hearing will be limited to design issues, and is the first of at least two times the project will be considered by the SWDRB. It starts at 6:30 pm at the Senior Center/Sisson Building (4217 SW Oregon).
No “proposed,” no “expected,” just a flat-out statement that HALA upzoning is on the way – that’s how the city Department of Construction and Inspections starts the newest post on its blog-format Building Connections website. The gist of the post is to tell developers that they can start including plan alternatives that include what would be allowed under the upzones. (To summarize quickly – the upzones, as explained here, are meant to be a tradeoff in exchange for requiring developers to include a certain percentage of “affordable” units, or to pay a fee to help fund some being built somewhere else.)
Meantime, the citywide community groups’ appeal continues making its way through the system; the document file gets ever bigger, with the newest document filed just today, a response to a city move for “partial dismissal.” The pre-hearing conference for the appeal of the Mandatory Housing Affordability Environmental Impact Statement is now set for June 11th; the hearing itself is on the schedule as starting two weeks later, on June 25th, with that entire week set aside, plus another week in late July. Then there’s also the prospect of mediation, as noted by City Councilmember Lisa Herbold when she spoke to the Morgan Community Association last month.
As also mentioned by MoCA – which is among the groups that are party to the appeal – the district-by-district open houses/public hearings have almost made their way to District 1, end of the line. The open house for one last look at the West Seattle/South Park upzone maps is one week from tomorrow, Wednesday, May 9th, 6-8 pm at Louisa Boren STEM K-8 (5950 Delridge), and the official City Council public hearing for the proposed District 1 changes is at 6 pm Tuesday, June 5th, in the auditorium at Chief Sealth International High School (2600 SW Thistle). The council’s last scheduled HALA meeting is August 6th.
P.S. If you’re still not caught up on what changes could happen in your neighborhood, the maps and other background are here.
Three quick development followups:
MORE DETAILS ON JUNCTION PROJECT: On March 30th, we brought you first word of an early-stage plan for a mixed-use project at 4508 California SW. We spoke briefly with property owner Leon Capelouto, who had no additional details to share. Since then, a document that’s appeared in city files provides a few details – a rough outline for 70 residential units, 34 parking spaces, 5,450 “commercial and back of house” square feet, which compares to the 4,690 square feet of commercial space in the buildings that would be demolished. The project remains in the early, pre-application stage.
MORE DETAILS ON AVALON PROJECT: In November, we reported on an apartment building proposed for 3084 SW Avalon Way – at the time, documents did not indicate the size or unit count. The project will be going through Administrative Design Review – no meeting, but there will be a call for public comment – and the city project page says it’s planned for 7 stories and 35 apartments, with no offstreet parking.
PROJECT AT THE KENNEY: Thanks to Mike and Colby for pointing out the signs that have gone up around the perimeter of The Kenney (7125 Fauntleroy Way SW):
It’s been a year and a half since the retirement center’s management/ownership previewed their scaled-back plans for redevelopment. The notice now is for part of the plan – five townhouses in two buildings on the south side of the site. We inquired with The Kenney to find out more; spokesperson Angela Johnston replied, “The new development will include several townhomes that will be offered to people age 62+. As part of The Kenney model, those residents will pay a one-time entrance fee and a monthly fee (similar to rent), which will include a variety of services and amenities. They will essentially have the best of both worlds – living independently in a single-family home, while reaping the benefits of community life with their peers.” And she says they expect to have a timeline and more details soon about other “renovations and programming changes that are happening throughout The Kenney campus.” Meantime, the signs’ appearance and official application for the townhouse construction indicates an official comment period should be opening soon – watch the Land Use Information Bulletin. (ADDED THURSDAY: And indeed, the notice is in today’s LUIB – the comment period is open through May 9th.)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The biggest West Seattle project currently on the drawing board has cleared Design Review.
It’s the two-building, 300+-unit, mixed-use project at 4722 Fauntleroy Way SW and 4721 38th SW, and the Southwest Design Review Board gave its final approval last night, after a presentation that drew no public comment. Here are the design “packets”:
All five members of the newly filled-out board were present; that meant some extra questions since the three new appointees – John Cheng, Matt Hutchins, Scott Rosenstock, all West Seattle residents – weren’t on the board when this project was first presented in the Early Design Guidance phase last July. (The two holdover members are Don Caffrey of Beacon Hill, now chairing the board, and Crystal Loya of West Seattle.) Also at the table, the assigned city planner for the project, Carly Guillory.
Three development notes as the week gets going:
SEE THE PACKETS FOR 2-PROJECT DESIGN REVIEW MEETING: This Thursday at 6:30 pm, the 2-building project at 4722 Fauntleroy Way SW/4721 38th SW takes up the entirety of the Southwest Design Review Board’s meeting. Above is the packet for the 7-story building (retail plus 231 apartments, 25 small efficiency dwelling units, 16 live-work units, 241 offstreet parking spaces); below, the one for the 4-story building (51 apartments, 1 live-work, 23 offstreet parking spaces) on 38th.
Both are by Encore Architects for developer Legacy Partners. The Thursday meeting at the Senior Center/Sisson Building (4217 SW Oregon) will be the second and potentially final review for the project (here’s our coverage of the first one back in July 2017).
CALIFORNIA/WILLOW ROWHOUSE APPROVAL: From today’s Land Use Information Bulletin, the decision approving a seven-rowhouse project at the site of this century-old house in south Morgan Junction, at 4300 SW Willow.
COMMENT PERIOD FOR 48TH SW ROWHOUSES: Also in today’s LUIB, the official two-week comment period has opened for the two-building Admiral rowhouse project that we reported on last week, thanks to a tip and photo from Graham.
8:47 AM: Thanks for the tips! One week later than originally scheduled, the tower crane is going up right now at 2749 California SW, past and future home of the West Seattle PCC store (WSB sponsor), which will be beneath the Luna Apartments. Because of the installation, California SW is closed between Lander and Stevens.
This is West Seattle’s third current tower crane, along with The Foundry on the northeast Fauntleroy/Edmunds corner and the YMSA project at the former Alki Tavern site in the 1300 block of Harbor SW. PCC says it’s expecting to open the new store in mid-to-late 2019 (and is delivering to West Seattle in the meantime; the new Burien store is expected to open in “late spring” this year).
P.S. Although buses are being rerouted around the closure, as Kim pointed out via e-mail, there are no Metro alerts.
ADDED 12:20 PM: Progress report – the view from about 15 minutes ago as we passed through the area again:
We’ll check back by mid-afternoon.
7:38 PM: We’ve been going back and forth to check on the status. By early evening, the crane arm was going up:
Heading back that way one more time in a few minutes.
8:16 PM: Not open yet but many of the vehicles are gone.
10:35 PM: Just went back to check. Now open.
Yet another development note today:
Almost two years have passed since we first reported on a project proposed for a small slice of commercial/multifamily-zoned property in Arbor Heights, the former church site at 4220 SW 100th. At the time, the proposal was for nine live-work units; last year, that changed to eight townhouses and one live-work unit. Today, a tentative date was set for the project’s next Southwest Design Review Board meeting, June 7th, more than a year after its second review in April 2017 (WSB coverage here). Its draft “design packet” is also now available (see it here – big PDF). The June 7th hearing is set for 6:30 pm at the Senior Center/Sisson Building (4217 SW Oregon)
Two more development notes:
13 HOUSES IN DELRIDGE, AND A RESIDENT’S REQUEST: Today’s Land Use Information Bulletin includes two notices that launch comment periods for adjacent undeveloped sites where 13 new “clustered” single-family houses are proposed. Eight of them would be at 5244 23rd SW (here’s that notice); five would be at 5232 23rd SW (here’s that notice). Each would be three stories, with parking for one vehicle. Comments are being sought on environmental impacts as well as on “allow(ing) a cluster housing development in a steep slope.” The deadline is April 25th, and you can follow the link to each notice to see how to comment.
One comment already in – and CC’d to us when sent pre-notice – is from area resident Douglas Ollerenshaw, who wrote to the city:
… I am requesting that the project include a publicly accessible stairway on the currently inaccessible Brandon St right of way on the south edge of this parcel.
A public stairway at this site would serve as a critical connection for residents of Puget Ridge to access the RapidRide H bus line that is currently being planned. It would also provide residents with access to the Delridge Library, nearby parks, and local businesses. There is currently an approximately 1 mile gap separating the closest pedestrian connections between Delridge and 23rd (at Oregon and Juneau Streets). This section of Brandon St. appears on the Feet First Trails of West Seattle map as a ‘future trail’. It is currently covered in deep shrubbery and inaccessible. …
The development site is just south of the address pinned on this map.
TEARDOWN-TO-TOWNHOUSES AT 4518 41ST SW: Three months ago, we reported on a plan to tear down a house at 4518 40th SW and replace it with five townhouses. City files now show an almost-identical plan for an almost-identical address one block west – 4518 41st SW, where this 108-year-old house will be demolished:
This five-townhouse project will go through Streamlined Design Review (public comment but no meeting), according to the city website.
A few notes on what’s planned where:
ADMIRAL TOWNHOUSES: The photo is from Graham, who says his neighborhood has long been watching to see what will happen with 2329 48th SW, where the sign has now gone up for a project that will replace a 59-year-old house with seven townhouses – one 5-unit building, one 2-unit building. The site is zoned Lowrise 1. This address hasn’t yet shown up in the city’s Land Use Information Bulletin, which is usually the announcement of a 2-week comment period.
PIGEON POINT TOWNHOUSES: A notice of application that was published today in the aforementioned LUIB opens a comment period for a 6-townhouse, 6-parking-space project at 3850 22nd SW. The notice explains how to comment by the April 23rd deadline. This is one of multiple development proposals on the block, as we mentioned last month.
MORE DESIGN REVIEW BOARD MEETINGS AHEAD: The formal notices are not out yet but here’s what’s been added to the online schedule: The Lam Bow Apartments building to replace the one demolished after the 2016 fire will go to the SW Design Review Board on May 3rd. Here’s the “design packet”:
Then on May 17th, the board is scheduled to take another look at 1250 Alki SW, the downscaled SolTerra project, where one house was moved offsite and 4 remain, facing demolition. The project is currently proposed for 40 units and 76 offstreet parking spaces; that’s fewer units and more parking than when the revised project went before the board for Early Design Guidance last May.
Delridge redevelopment continues: A new early-stage project is in the city’s online files for 4554 Delridge Way SW, proposing to replace the 83-year-old house (photo above) with a 3-story building described as 8 one-bedroom apartments, 8 “efficiency studios,” and 8 underground parking spaces. This site is across from the south end of Delridge Playfield and next door to West Seattle’s first microhousing building (4548 Delridge). Again, it’s an early-stage proposal, so no reviews or meetings are scheduled yet.
Just one month after we broke the news of the plan for a new Junction mixed-use building at 4747 California SW, we just found another major redevelopment proposal in progress for the heart of “downtown West Seattle” – longtime local entrepreneur/developer Leon Capelouto has an early-stage proposal for a 7-story mixed-use building at 4508 California SW. According to the site-plan document in the city’s online files, that would include what are/were seven business storefronts, as listed here:
The city docket describes the proposal – which again is early-stage, no formal application yet – as ” 7-story multifamily apartment building with street-level commercial space and 1 level underground parking.” This is just southwest of his newly completed AJ Apartments mixed-use building at Oregon/42nd, and northwest of his first development project built about a decade ago, CAPCO Plaza, a mixed-use building including the Altamira Apartments, QFC, Petco, and other businesses at 42nd/Alaska. We contacted Capelouto by phone and he stressed that this is a very early filing, aimed at “seeing what we can do” with the property.
Today’s city-circulated Land Use Information Bulletin includes the notice for a hearing appealing the approval of plans to build a 66-unit, no-offstreet-parking apartment complex at 2222 SW Barton, just uphill from the southeast edge of Westwood Village.
(Image from Design Review packet by Cleave Architecture)
According to documents in the online files, the appeal was filed by residents who live a block away from the site, saying they don’t believe the city adequately addressed concerns including crime, traffic, and parking, and alleging that the site is incorrectly characterized as being in an “urban village.” Lawyers for the developers have filed a request to have the appeal dismissed, showing that the site is indeed in the middle of the Westwood-Highland Park Urban Village as well as calling other concerns “without merit on their face.” Regarding the parking concerns in particular, they note that the city has no authority to require it because the project is close to “frequent transit.” They cite a traffic study as showing that the project could result in a “peak demand” for 66 parking spaces on the street, but that, they say, would still not come close to maxing out what’s available now. Unless the motion to dismiss is granted, the hearing is set for the city Hearing Examiner‘s chambers on the 40th floor of the Municipal Tower downtown at 9 am May 3rd.
9:08 PM: Thanks to Jonathan for the tip that the tower-crane base arrived this morning at the Luna Apartments/PCC project site (2749 California SW). We’re waiting to hear back from a spokesperson for Madison Development Group to find out when the rest of the crane is expected to be installed. It’ll be the third one currently in West Seattle, after The Foundry (northeast corner of Fauntleroy/Edmunds) and the YMSA site (1300 block Harbor SW).
ADDED WEDNESDAY MORNING: MDC’s spokesperson says the crane is scheduled for installation one week from Saturday, on April 7th.
Tower cranes handle many tasks – including getting portapotties to where they’re needed at construction sites. Thanks to Cathy Ingraham for catching and sharing that photo last week from the ongoing Harbor Avenue SW project we’ll forever know as the “former Alki Tavern” (now gone 5 years) site. Meantime, a few development notes from city files:
JUNCTION PROJECT UPDATE: It’s been three weeks since we first reported on the early-stage plan for a 7-story mixed-use building at 4747 California SW. One additional detail has turned up on a document that’s appeared in city files since then – the application for a “pre-submittal conference” lists an early projection of 84 residential units and 50 offstreet parking spaces.
DESIGN PROPOSAL FOR 3078 SW AVALON: Six months ago, we reported on the new 8-townhouse plan for this site, which once was proposed for an eight-story, 108-unit apartment building, and was at the heart of a neighborhood challenge. The current project is going through Streamlined Design Review (no meeting but open to public comment), and the design proposal is now online – see it here.
8823 9TH SW: Six townhouses are proposed to replace the 50-year-old duplex on this Highland Park site.
3850 22ND SW: Two 3-unit rowhouse buildings are proposed to replace the 88-year-old house on this Pigeon Point site.
ALSO ON THAT BLOCK: Two doors down from the aforementioned project, at 3842 22nd SW, there’s an application to tear down this 102-year-old house “for future construction.” (A separate site plan on file says it’s a 3-unit rowhouse building.) And inbetween, 3846 22nd SW is the address listed for a future new single-family house between the rowhouses.
Two West Seattle Junction projects totaling more than 360 residential units will go back before the Southwest Design Review Board next month:
4722 FAUNTLEROY & 4721 38TH SW: This two-building project [map] is the biggest West Seattle proposal going through Design Review right now. 6:30 pm April 19th is set for its second and possibly final review meeting; here’s our coverage of the first one last July. The Fauntleroy-fronting building is proposed for 7 stories, 241 apartments, including 24 microstudios, and 15 live-work units, with 241 offstreet parking spaces; the building across the alley behind it is proposed for 4 stories, 50 apartments, 1 live-work unit, and 23 offstreet parking spaces.
4417 42ND SW: 6:30 pm April 5th is set for the third and possibly final design review for the 4-story Junction Landing project [map], with 58 apartments, 4 live-work units, and 26 offstreet parking spaces. Here’s our coverage of the project’s second review back in January.
Both meetings will be at the SWDRB’s usual place, the Senior Center/Sisson Building at 4217 SW Oregon.
(King County Assessor’s Office photos)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
While there’s been plenty of development in The Junction in the past few years, nothing new has been proposed for California Avenue SW since the construction of the mixed-use buildings now known as Junction 47 (California/Alaska) and 4730 California.
But now, for the first time in almost six years, a major new proposal has emerged for the heart of The Junction.
City files show a new early-stage proposal for 4747 California SW, described as a “7-story mixed-use building.” While the address is for the Bikram Yoga building, the preliminary site plan shows the project would also include the land currently holding the Sleepers in Seattle building to its north (4741 California SW).
That building is co-owned by Husky Deli proprietor Jack Miller, with whom we talked this afternoon about the plan. He stresses that it is early-stage indeed – no specifics on how many apartments or parking spaces (but he says there WILL be parking). Miller also emphasized to WSB that it’s an all-local team; the development firm listed in city files, HB Management – also on record as owner of the yoga building – was founded by one of his neighbors, Ed Hewson, a friend since childhood.
Miller says, “We’re hoping to make something really nice.” He says redeveloping the furniture-store site, in particular, is unavoidable because the 79-year-old building is deteriorating, from the roof on down. He feels building in that spot also will be least disruptive to The Junction’s business mix – “We love The Junction.” A new building might even be a new home for his own business someday.
The four lots involved (this would NOT go all the way to Edmunds – the corner lot is under separate ownership) are all zoned for 85-foot development (and potentially higher if HALA upzoning goes through as proposed), so a 7-story building would not be maxing out the capacity. The preliminary site plan carries the name of the architecture firm Ankrom Moisan, which is Portland-based but has Seattle and San Francisco offices. As always with development proposals, we’ll continue to follow up on this one, which will require Design Review if it gets to that stage.
(Image from Design Review packet by Cleave Architecture)
From today’s Land Use Information Bulletin: The apartment project just uphill from the southeast edge of Westwood Village has received key land-use approval. 2222 SW Barton [map] – a project first reported here almost two years ago – is planned as a 4-story building with 39 apartments and 27 “small efficiency dwelling units” (microstudios), no offstreet-parking spaces. Southwest Design Review Board members gave their final approval at a meeting last September (here’s the city report). The decision (PDF) published today opens an appeal period – the official notice explains how to file one; March 12th is the deadline.
West Seattle development notes, all from along California SW:
SO LONG, EX-SPANKY’S: Last August, we reported that a demolition permit was being sought for the site we photographed today, 3276 California SW, a small, long-vacant commercial building to be replaced by live-work/townhouse units. Commenters noted that it was the former adult shop Spanky’s. (Our archives include a 2007 open letter from that shop’s former owner.) Today we noticed the teardown has happened since last we looked a couple days ago.
WORK ALSO HAS BEGUN … at 7002 California SW, where six rowhouse units are going up on the corner lot that previously held a century-plus-old house.
JUST UP THE BLOCK … the “design packet” for 7111 California SW is now available. As noted here last fall, instead of what was proposed when we wrote about it months earlier, it’s now going into Streamlined Design Review (no meetings required, but comments are accepted) with a three-story, five-unit, four-offstreet-parking-space plan. The design packet is linked from this Design Review page.
NORTH OF MORGAN JUNCTION … an early-stage eight-townhouse proposal is now in the system for an old apartment building at 5917 California SW that city files show has been the subject of numerous complaints.