West Seattle, Washington
We’ve discovered that both of the former West Seattle City Light substations put up for sale on the open market five months ago, with “major price reductions” less than two months ago, now have sales pending and early-stage development proposals.
2100 SW ANDOVER: This 8,000-square-foot corner site in Pigeon Point was appraised at $350,000 and originally listed at $400,000, then cut in late June to $200,000 asking price. It now has a proposal for 5 rowhouse units, and the Commercial MLS website shows a sale “pending.” The city page for the site lists the “owner” as Greenstream Investments in Bothell. So does the site plan in city files, which shows three units would face onto 21st, one would be on the corner of 21st and Andover, and one west of that would face onto Andover only. The plan shows three units with “garage parking,” two as “no parking.”
8822 9TH AVENUE SW: This 13,000-square-foot site also is shown on the Commercial MLS site as having a “pending” sale.
It was originally offered to King County for its appraised value, $355,000, as a stormwater-retention site, but as explained in our March report, the county decided against it. It then went on the market for $500,000, until a “major price reduction” to $200,000 in June, concurrent with the one for the Pigeon Point site. This site’s city webpage notes a new proposal for 11 townhouses, though it’s filed under a revised address of 8822 9th SW instead of 8820. There is nothing in the files yet showing how the 11 units would be configured; the city files show the “owner” as 9th Avenue Townhomes LLC, whose owners in turn have a Puyallup address.
BACKSTORY: These are two of six ex-substations for which the City Council authorized disposition last fall; three of the other four have potential community-group purchases/projects in various stages.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Twice a week, the city’s Land Use Information Bulletin (LUIB) goes out to subscribers via e-mail, and appears online.
Much of its contents are land-use-related notices – formal applications for projects, decisions, notices of Design Review.
But you’ll also find policy changes announced in the bulletin – which technically qualifies as official public notice, so that could be the only place you’ll hear about them until and unless you happen onto the results.
One of last week’s LUIBs included a single notice that points to 65 proposed changes in the city’s land-use code, aka zoning, saying the city doesn’t think any will have environmental impact. If any of these proposed changes interest you, the notice explains, you have until August 18th to comment, or August 25th to appeal. So we decided to read the “fine print” and found 11 of potential interest – addressing topics including offstreet parking, marijuana growing, tree preservation, and more: Read More
If you’re following the plan for ~112 apartments and a new PCC Natural Markets-West Seattle (WSB sponsor) store at the site of the current store, 2749 California SW, you’ll want to know that the date is set for the Southwest Design Review Board‘s second look at the project: September 1st.
This is a second round of the first phase, known as Early Design Guidance, as requested by the SWDRB at the conclusion of its first look at the project on July 21st (WSB coverage here), so it’s still in the phase focused on “massing” – the building’s size and shape. The revised design “packet” is not available online yet, but keep watching the project page as the review gets closer. It’s set for 6:30 pm Thursday, September 1st, at the board’s usual meeting place, the Senior Center of West Seattle/Sisson Building (California/Oregon).
City files show an early-stage redevelopment proposal for 8854 Delridge Way SW, the South Delridge auto shop that’s been closed since an electrical fire in May of last year. A 4-story mixed-use building is proposed, with 30 apartments. The 8,200-foot corner lot is zoned C1-40. Notations on the city Department of Construction and Inspections website suggest this project will have to go through the Design Review process.
This area too is becoming a redevelopment hotspot; it’s less than three blocks northwest of the 32-unit building at 9021 17th SW that passed Design Review last month, and about the same distance northeast of the ~80-unit 2222 SW Barton project that has its first review on September 15th.
11:36 AM: Demolition has finally begun at the former Life Care Center at 47th/Admiral/Waite, vacant for more than 3 1/2 years. The teardown has begun on the back of the building, which will be replaced by a new Aegis Living memory care and assisted living center.
— West Seattle Blog (@westseattleblog) August 9, 2016
12:30 PM: By the way, thanks for all the tips that the teardown work had started. When last we published an update, after tips about the arrival of the construction-office trailer last month, Aegis told us they expected to start this week. The Eastside-based company got Design Review approval last February for a three-story center with 80 units – here’s a rendering by architects GGLO:
The redevelopment pace continues to intensify north of Morgan Junction. City files show two early-stage proposals on adjacent sites in the 6000 block of California Avenue SW, next to a site that already has a project in the works:
30 APARTMENTS PROPOSED FOR 6016 CALIFORNIA SW: This two-story building is currently home to businesses including the legendary Rick’s (Psychic) Barber Shop. The proposal would replace it with a 30-apartment building; the site plan shows 10 units on each of three floors, no offstreet parking (none is required because it’s on the RapidRide C Line route).
County records show this building was built in the early ’50s on a 7,500-square-foot lot currently zoned NC2-30, same as the subject of our next item:
7 UNITS PROPOSED FOR 6022 CALIFORNIA SW: This is currently home to the one-story retail building housing City Nails. The proposal is for what’s become a common mix on lots like this one – three live-work units facing California, two townhouse units behind it, and two single-family houses behind them, on the alley. Five off-street parking spaces are in this plan.
Again, these are early-stage proposals – the businesses remain open, and the permit process has a long way to go. Just to the north of them is 6010 California, which we wrote about in May. It’s proposed for three live-work units and four townhouses, replacing an almost-century-old single-family house.
By Linda Ball
Reporting for West Seattle Blog
A 6-live/work-unit project for California and Findlay and a 108-apartment building for Edmunds and Fauntleroy have both moved on to the second phase of Design Review.
Architects presented the Early Design Guidance proposals for 5458 California SW and 4754 Fauntleroy Way SW at the Southwest Design Review Board‘s Thursday night doubleheader at the Sisson Building/Senior Center. At this stage of the process, “massing” – size/shape – is the focus, rather than detailed designs.
5458 California SW was first (here’s the design “packet” and more on the city website): Read More
(“Preferred option” configuration from design packet for 2222 SW Barton, by Playhouse Design Group)
The first Design Review date is set for the four-story, 70+-apartment proposal at 2222 SW Barton [map]. It’s been three months since we first reported on this plan for that triangle of land southeast of Westwood Village. According to the Southwest Design Review Board‘s schedule, the project’s Early Design Guidance review – when size/shape (“massing”) is the focus – is set for 6:30 pm Thursday, September 15th, at the Sisson Building/Senior Center in The Junction. The first draft of the design “packet” by Playhouse Design Group is downloadable from the city website; you can get it here (16 MB PDF). It says the project could vary from 70 to 80 units, 260 to 515 square feet, depending on the final approved design. No offstreet parking is included, and none is required because of the “frequent transit” (including RapidRide) available nearby. The site currently holds a fourplex built in 1959, according to county records.
From today’s city-circulated Land Use Information Bulletin:
3601 FAUNTLEROY APPEAL SETTLEMENT: Neighbors have withdrawn their appeal of key approvals for the 14-house development planned on this east Admiral site [map] as part of a settlement with the owners/builders. While the notice in today’s bulletin doesn’t carry details, the document is in the Hearing Examiner‘s case files. It involves six points of agreement, including the builders’ promise to install speed bumps, monitor traffic and parking during construction, and monitor drainage after construction to ensure the road doesn’t flood. This cancels the appeal hearing that had been scheduled for later this month, as reported here in June.
4532 42ND SW COMMENT TIME: The developers of 4532 42nd SW [map] in The Junction – 6 stories, 74 apartments, 71 offstreet parking spaces, and ground-level office/retail space – have officially applied for a land-use permit, and that opens a new comment period. This is the project that had to go through an extra Early Design Guidance meeting because a large tree had been cut instead of being included in proposed design; that third EDG meeting was held in April (WSB coverage here), and ended with approval to advance to the next phase of Design Review. No date yet for that next meeting, but comments on the land-use application will be accepted through August 14th. The notice has a link you can follow if you’re interested in commenting.
Development updates from today’s edition of the city’s twice-weekly Land Use Information Bulletin:
4437-4439 41ST SW: Back in December, we mentioned the latest scaled-down plan for this Junction site once proposed for a 40-unit apartment building. According to today’s notices, the 7-unit plan remains; you can comment on the land-use-permit applications through August 10th. The notices are here and here.
These next projects, also announced via today’s Land Use Information Bulletin, are going through the no-meeting versions of Design Review – so your comment period starts now:
4 TOWNHOUSES AT 3032 CHARLESTOWN SW: Here’s the official notice of “administrative design review” for this proposal. It explains how you can comment, through August 10th.
5 TOWNHOUSES, 1 SINGLE-FAMILY HOUSE AT 3710 21ST SW: Here’s the official notice of “streamlined design review” for this proposal. It also explains how you can comment, through August 10th.
5 TOWNHOUSES, 1 SINGLE-FAMILY HOUSE AT 3722 21ST SW: This too is proposed for “streamlined design review”; here’s the official notice, which also has information on how to comment, through August 10th.
Also in today’s bulletin, two matters of land-use policy that you might want to take a closer look at, because they’re expected to lead to zoning changes; comment periods are now open:
POTENTIAL AMENDMENTS TO ‘MANDATORY HOUSING AFFORDABILITY’ PROPOSAL, RESIDENTIAL VERSION: Read about them here, and if you have something to say, August 15th is the deadline.
WHAT SHOULD ‘MANDATORY HOUSING AFFORDABILITY’ MULTI-FAMILY/COMMERCIAL REVIEW INCLUDE? Before the city’s environmental review of this part of the plan gets going, the city is asking what it should include. Here’s how to have a say.
After a ceremonial groundbreaking this afternoon, site-clearing work is expected to start next week at 4515 41st SW, future site of Quail Park Memory Care Residences, whose owners say it will be West Seattle’s first standalone center for people with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
It’s been almost four years since we first reported that this type of facility was being considered for the site. It’s had other proposals, including a 7-story apartment building and a park-and-ride facility with apartments, but this is the one that finally went through, passing Design Review about a year ago.
Living Care Lifestyles says that when Quail Park “opens in fall 2017, it will be the only free-standing community dedicated to the care of dementia and Alzheimer’s residents in an area encompassing 35 square miles.” It will have 48 rooms, with up to 66 residents, and a staff of about 60. The announcement also notes that “Staff at Quail Park will be the first team in the state trained in cultural competency when it comes to caring for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender seniors. Training will be through Northwest LGBT Senior Care Providers Network and SAGE National Resource Center. The community is being constructed and will operate with sustainability at the forefront. The facility will be Gold LEED Certified, and benefit-eligible employees will receive ORCA Access cards to help lessen the transportation impact on the (area).” LGC Pence is the general contractor; John Lape Architecture designed the 4-story complex. West Seattle Chamber of Commerce leaders participated in this afternoon’s ceremony.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The Southwest Design Review Board took its first look last night at the mixed-use project proposed for 2749 California SW [map], longtime site of PCC Natural Markets (WSB sponsor), which will get a bigger new space in the project.
Result: As often happens with sizable projects, this one will have to come back for a second round of Early Design Guidance, the first phase of Design Review, in which the focus is on a project’s “massing” – size and scale.
Along with four of the board’s five members plus the architects, the meeting drew more than 20 members of the public, including nearby residents whose major concerns included how trucks for a doubled-in-size PCC are going to get through the alley between Lander and Stevens. It’s already a problem now, some of them said.
For board members, the 300-foot length of the building and how its ground-level features will interact with the street was a concern, as it had been for other big projects in the area – Admiral Safeway to the north, Springline Apartments to the south.
Here’s how the review unfolded:
We’re at the Sisson Building in The Junction, where the Southwest Design Review Board – meeting for the first time in more than a month – has just recommended final approval for a proposed 4-story apartment building in South Delridge, “The Edric,” at 9021 17th SW [map]: 32 units, 32 underground vehicle-parking spaces, and 15 bicycle-parking spaces. Here’s the design “packet” with the renderings that were shown; this was the third review for the project.
“The project has come a long way,” observed SWDRB chair Todd Bronk, who had criticized the original early design last October as a “mini-fortress.” Presenters from Blue Architecture pointed out changes made in response to previous feedback include removal of some “articulation” on the building’s sides, addition of blue accents, “softening” the appearance of the retaining wall, as well as enlarging its “amenity space,” adding seating area and changing the landscaping to add some lawn area nearby. They’ve also improved visibility for the parking-garage entrance/exit. Each floor is expected to have four 1-bedroom units and four 2-bedroom units.
Without public comment or major new criticisms, this project review ended early, after barely an hour. Up next at 8 pm, the board’s first look at 2749 California SW, the mixed-use project with 112 apartments and a new PCC Natural Markets (WSB sponsor) store on the site of the current one.
P.S. Regarding 9021 17th SW – you can still comment until the permit’s issued; contact assigned city planner Tami Garrett (who was at tonight’s meeting), firstname.lastname@example.org.
(From last year’s second Early Design Guidance packet for the CVS project)
Three years after we first reported the plan to bring a CVS drugstore to 4722 Fauntleroy Way SW – we’ve learned that plan has apparently quietly died.
We found this out as a spinoff of research for Monday afternoon’s update on two developments, including 4754 Fauntleroy. The CVS plan had already gone through Early Design Guidance, first stage of the Design Review process, twice, but the second meeting was more than a year ago, and no third meeting on the schedule. So we looked deeper into the files and found a document dated in May, a note to the city from CVS’s developer representative Velmeir, saying “Our client has decided not to move forward with this project…”
We’ve tried to reach Velmeir and CVS to find out more; no replies yet. We also stopped by West Seattle Produce, which was going to have to move because of the CVS project, and staffers told us they haven’t heard anything new for a while and are still on month-to-month tenancy. And we asked the city to verify that the CVS project file is closed, and DCI spokesperson Wendy Shark said yes, it is, by request of the applicant. The project had generated some controversy because it was far less than could be built on the site, which is zoned for up to eight stories.
So will CVS surface somewhere else in West Seattle? At one point, The Whittaker across Fauntleroy was supposed to have a drugstore space; we contacted its leasing executive and were reminded that since one potential pharmacy tenant didn’t pan out, they decided to split up the south retail space into several smaller spaces – no tenants to announce yet. We’ll update with anything more we find out, meantime, about the 4722 Fauntleroy site’s future.
Two West Seattle development updates today:
UPDATE FOR 4220 SW 100TH LIVE-WORK UNITS: Back in April, we brought you first word of an early-stage proposal for nine live-work units at 4220 SW 100th in Arbor Heights, replacing a church building. The project is advancing, now with a land-use permit application number – #3025192 – and a notation that it will have to go through Design Review. Watch for a formal application notice in an upcoming Land Use Information Bulletin. The newest “site plan” still shows the same basic configuration as the one filed in April – three units fronting on California SW, six on SW 100th, with nine surface parking spaces on the north side of the 8,100-square-foot site, which is zoned for commercial/residential up to three stories.
SPEAKING OF DESIGN REVIEW – MEETING SET FOR 4754 FAUNTLEROY: We’ve reported twice since December on the mixed-use project planned for what had been the site of the Capitol Loans pawn shop (which closed two months ago). Its first session with the Southwest Design Review Board is set for what’s now the second half of a doubleheader on August 4th, and its configuration has changed again: Now it’s proposed as a “126,500 sq. ft., 7-story mixed-use building containing 108 residential units and 10 live/work units. Parking to be provided for 88 vehicles below grade.” The architecture firm has changed, too; it’s now Mithun. This project is set for the 8 pm slot on August 4th, following (as reported here last month) the review for 5458 California SW.
Four West Seattle development notes this afternoon:
QUAIL PARK: The 60+-bed memory-care center that’s long been in the works for 4515 41st SW in The Junction is about to begin construction, according to David Haack with parent company Living Care Lifestyles. If you have questions about the project, a community meet-and-greet is planned at Senior Center of West Seattle 2:30-4 pm on Wednesday, July 13th. Two weeks after that, they’re planning a groundbreaking ceremony on July 27th, time TBA. It’s been almost four years since we first found early word of the plan, which went through Design Review in 2014-2015.
Three projects covered here previously have formal notices in today’s city-circulated Land Use Information Bulletin:
DESIGN REVIEW DOUBLEHEADER FOR 9021 17TH SW & 2749 CALIFORNIA SW: We’ve already published word of both of these reviews set for a July 21st Southwest Design Review Board doubleheader – the four-story, 32-apartment building at 9021 17th SW at 6:30 pm (as reported here two weeks ago; formal notice here; and the four-story, 112-apartments-and-retail building at 2749 California SW (as reported here Monday, formal notice here) at 8 pm. If you can’t make it to the meetings, you can comment on the projects by following the instructions in the notices.
APPLICATION FOR 2116 ALKI SW: We mentioned this site back in January, when it was proposed for six condos and nine parking spaces. In today’s Land Use Information Bulletin, this notice announces its owners have applied to build a 3-story, 6-apartment, 11-offstreet-parking-space project. You have until July 29th to comment; here’s how.
Hot real-estate market? Bidding wars? Not necessarily, if the property in question is a former Seattle City Light substation.
MAJOR PRICE REDUCTION is splashed across the cover of the just-revised brochure for the city-owned former substation that’s up for sale on Pigeon Point (2100 SW Andover). We found the flyer after spotting the price cut in a routine check of local commercial-real-estate listings. The 8,000-square-foot site was originally put up for sale almost four months ago for a “minimum bid of $400,000.” It’s zoned for lowrise housing.
And while we were checking on that one, we scrolled further down the latest West Seattle commercial-real-estate listings and found the same thing has happened to the ex-substation that’s for sale in south Highland Park (8820 9th SW) – revised flyer dated yesterday, also with the big red banner MAJOR PRICE REDUCTION.
This one also has been cut to $200,000 asking price – a more-drastic slash, since its asking price in March was $500,000 – and it’s even bigger: 13,000+ square feet, zoned for lowrise housing.
This is of extra interest as the city looks at selling other “surplus” real estate such as the Myers Way Parcels (reminder: community meeting this Thursday) and also because at the time the City Council approved the sale of these two ex-substations, they also outlined conditions for community groups’ prospective purchases of others. Would those potential sales be held to the “fair market” value – aka appraised value, which in the case of these two substations is well above what they’re now being offered for? We’ll be following up with the city Finance and Administrative Services Department, which is in charge of real estate.
(UPDATED 6:12 PM with PCC statement)
(Preferred ‘massing’ rendering by Hewitt, from Early Design Guidance packet for 2749 California SW)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Three months after Madison Development Group signaled it was proceeding with a “possible project” on its recently purchased site at 2749 California SW, we have new information about what’s being planned.
The project’s first Southwest Design Review Board meeting has just been scheduled for Thursday, July 21st, and the Early Design Guidance “packet” is already in the city system – see it here.
That document still does not answer the question of whether the retail in the project will or won’t be the site’s current tenant – PCC Natural Markets (WSB sponsor). We have messages out to ask if that’s been determined yet. But in the meantime, if you’re interested in the project, here’s what the packet DOES reveal, for starters:
*4 story mixed-use structure
*2 stories of below grade parking for 40 commercial use stalls and 112 stalls for residential use; access to the parking via the alley.
*Approx 112 residential units over a podium comprised of an approximately 25,000 sf for general sales and services (retail), residential lobby and leasing functions at the ground level.
*Residential outdoor garden terraces and enclosed amenity spaces within the proposal’s three stories above the ground level.
*Existing 11,427 sf surface parking lot to the west of the alley with 31 parking stalls to
remain as an accessory use to the proposed general sales and services use (retail).
Remember that this is the “Early Design Guidance” phase and that means the renderings by the architecture firm, Hewitt, are NOT projecting how the project will look – what you see is *only* proposed size and shape (“massing”).
The Design Review meeting is set for 8 pm July 21st at the Sisson Building/Senior Center of West Seattle (California/Oregon in The Junction).
BACKSTORY: It was March of last year when we first discovered an indication that Madison was involved with the site and working on a potential redevelopment project; PCC noted at the time that they have a lease “in place … through most of this decade.” Two months after that, in May 2015, Madison announced it had closed its purchase of the site; county records showed the purchase price as $5,750,000.
Three months ago, when Madison confirmed it was proceeding with a potential project, PCC’s CEO Cate Hardy told WSB, “PCC Natural Markets has every intention of serving West Seattle for many years to come. To that end, we have been in conversations regarding several location options, including with the new owners of our current store site.”
Madison’s previous projects in West Seattle are Element 42 (east of Admiral Safeway) and Spruce (39th/Alaska/Fauntleroy in The Junction – Madison finished the project after it stalled under the original developer BlueStar).
P.S. We found early word of this today in our routine daily check of the Design Review website; the formal notice of the hearing won’t likely emerge before this Thursday’s Land Use Information Bulletin. We’ll update with anything we hear back from PCC or Madison.
ADDED 6:12 PM: PCC CEO Hardy responded to our inquiry with this statement:
PCC has been in discussions with our new landlord who, as we have known since they purchased the property, plans to redevelop the site where our West Seattle store is located. Our goal in these conversations with our landlord is to secure PCC’s long term future in West Seattle. We were aware that Madison Development Group would be filing additional documents with the city as part of their ongoing assessment and development process. As soon as we have information to share about PCC’s future in West Seattle, we will do so, first with our staff and then with the community.
Almost four years after an 18-house development proposal surfaced in the city permit system for the site above – now identified as 2768 SW Holden [map], previously 2646 SW Holden – there’s an “open-record hearing” downtown tomorrow morning. (We first mentioned it a month ago.) This has to do with splitting the site, currently on record as three lots, into 18, before the homes are built. The hearing is for anyone with something to say about the proposal and is set for the city Hearing Examiner‘s chambers starting at 9 am Monday, 40th floor of the city Municipal Tower downtown (700 5th Avenue). The project has been making its way through the city system since a “site plan” was filed in summer of 2012; the 18-house plan passed “streamlined design review” in early 2013, and other key approvals were granted in 2014.
The site stretches across more than one and a half acres between SW Holden and SW Webster, with one house remaining on the site (barely visible in our photo above). It had been on and off the market for a while and records show it sold within the past month for $2.2 million, not far below its previous asking price, to Jabooda Properties, an LLC with Mercer Island and Renton addresses. Neighbors have voiced concerns along the way including traffic, noise, and drainage effects; each house is planned with a two-car garage, and the subdivision entrance/exit will be from SW Holden. City planners’ report recommending approval is here.
From today’s city-circulated Land Use Information Bulletin, three West Seattle notes:
REVISED PLAN FOR 2626 ALKI SW: For those wondering what’s up with this mixed-use development, long slated for the corner of 59th SW and Alki Avenue SW:
(WSB file photo of future development site)
first announced at an Alki Community Council meeting three years ago – here’s an update. It went through two Design Review meetings in 2014 with at least one more required, yet, to date, not scheduled. In 2015, its official land-use application was submitted. Now, one year later, the prospective developer has turned in a revised application, according to this notice in today’s bulletin. It’s now summarized as “a 3-story structure containing restaurant, 12 apartment units and parking for 23 vehicles”; at the time of the last Design Review meeting almost two years ago (WSB coverage here), the description was “14 residential units, 5 live-work units, commercial space, and 23 parking spaces.” This opens a new comment period for the project – send comments to email@example.com by July 6th.
3601 FAUNTLEROY APPEAL: The recent approvals (reported here in May) for this proposed 14-house development in East Admiral have been appealed. Here’s the notice. A hearing is set August 23rd in the city Hearing Examiner‘s chambers downtown.
3838 59TH SW ROWHOUSE: The bulletin includes the “environmentally non-significant” decision allowing a 3-story, two-unit rowhouse building on a sloped site (“environmentally critical area”) uphill from Beach Drive. The decision is appealable, and the notice explains how, with a deadline of July 7th.
From the city’s online files, another West Seattle project has a tentative date on the Southwest Design Review Board calendar: The six live-work units planned for 5458 California SW. We first reported on this project two months ago; at the time, it was a seven-unit plan. (As also noted in that first report, the business currently renting the 107-year-old structure now on the site, Ventana Construction [WSB sponsor], has no involvement with the plan and expects to remain at the location until its lease expires in a year.) The proposed project is tentatively scheduled for a 6:30 pm SWDRB hearing on August 4th at the Senior Center of West Seattle. That’s the second SWDRB meeting on the schedule for this summer, after the one planned July 21st for a 32-apartment building at 9021 17th SW.
It’s been more than a month since the Southwest Design Review Board met – but a project has just turned up on their calendar: The third review for 9021 17th SW is tentatively set for July 21st, six months after the second one (official city report here). The plan is still for a 32-apartment building with 32 offstreet parking spaces; its new design doesn’t seem to be in the city’s online system yet.