Development – West Seattle Blog… West Seattle news, 24/7 Mon, 25 Jun 2018 08:10:41 +0000 en-US hourly 1 DEVELOPMENT: New proposal for 7617 35th SW Mon, 18 Jun 2018 23:16:10 +0000

The future of the auto-shop site at 7617 35th SW [map] has long been in play – we noted a real-estate listing five years ago, and it was finally sold in 2016. Now there’s a new redevelopment proposal: A 4-story mixed-use building. Documents in city files say it’s proposed for 6,000 square feet of commercial space, plus 50 apartments and 20 offstreet-parking spaces. LDG Architects is designing the project. It will have to go through the Design Review process, though there’s no date set yet for the first hearing.

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DEVELOPMENT: It’s all about the rowhouses – including a project inspired by tiny houses Thu, 14 Jun 2018 21:43:04 +0000 Two rowhouse reports today:

PIGEON POINT PROJECT: The eight-unit rowhouse project on the former City Light substation site at 21st/Andover has taken shape in an eye-catching way. An inquiry into a neighbor’s question led us to look more closely at the project, and we found the site plan noting that each of the eight units would be 600 square feet – far smaller than the average for-sale project, so we sought further details from the designer, Cleave Architecture and Design, whose Justin Kliewer replied:

As you mention, they will be small units, but the slope of the site allows them to be spread over two floors and a mezzanine, each of which looks out over a maple grove and includes a small deck. The developer is planning to integrate some clever built-in storage ideas, spiral stairs, and other ways of making the small space livable. We approached the project with a similar mindset as a tiny house, and are excited to try out these smaller units as a way of providing a lower-cost home ownership option.

The project’s on-the-record address is 3855 21st SW [map]. County records show Greenstream Investments bought the 8,000-sf ex-substation site for $185,000 in October 2016; it was originally listed as seeking “a minimum bid of $400,000” until the broker selling it for the city changed that to a “major price reduction” a few months before the sale.

And from today’s Land Use Information Bulletin:

NORTH DELRIDGE ROWHOUSES: Today’s notice opens a comment period for a 9-unit rowhouse proposed to replace a 113-year-old house 4308 26th SW, in the rapidly redeveloping neighborhood north of the Delridge Community Center Park. 9 offstreet parking spaces are proposed. The notice (PDF) explains how to send a comment; the deadline is June 27th.

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What Jack Miller wants you to know about his West Seattle Junction development project, Husky Deli’s future home Sun, 03 Jun 2018 04:31:26 +0000 On Friday, we brought you an update on The Junction’s next mixed-use project, the one we discovered in city files three months ago – 4747 California SW, with an “all-West Seattle team” planning the development, including property owner Jack Miller, best known as Husky Deli‘s proprietor. As you saw in our Friday report, the packet for the upcoming Design Review meeting confirms Husky Deli will move into the new building when it’s done. And today, Jack Miller sent us this first-person explanation of his plan:

The Heart and Soul of Husky Deli and the West Seattle Junction
By Jack Miller

(WSB photo, 2017)

It’s been more than three months since the news broke about our plan to build a new building so that we can move Husky Deli four doors south in the West Seattle Junction. Since then, I’ve been truly honored to hear so many positive reactions. It’s also been a good chance to hear the questions people have about the project. I hope this little article will provide some answers and perspective for anyone who is interested.

Our goal, of course, is to keep Husky Deli going in the Junction and to give the next generations of our family a chance to shape it in their own image and make it a success.

Many people know that Husky has been around since 1932, when my grandfather, Herman Miller, bought a tiny grocery store called Edgewood Farms that operated in what is now the card section of Northwest Art & Frame. Right away, he put in an ice-cream machine in the front window, and then a soda fountain. Fresh-sliced meats and cheeses soon followed, and by the end of World War II, my dad, John, and my uncles had turned it into a full-fledged deli.

My dad moved Husky two doors north to our present location in 1969, three years after I started working here. In 1975, when he had a heart attack, I left college to fill in, and I’ve been here ever since. Just like society, Husky has evolved, and now we focus on ready-made convenience foods while still keeping the traditional deli, ice cream and specialty items. My kids have lived through all this and are grown up now, Kate (and husband Tom), John, and Tony – run a lot of the business day to day. Just like me, they love Husky, they love the Junction, and they’re the future.

But the future isn’t the exact footprint where we are now. Anyone who comes into Husky knows that we still look a lot like 1969 and that the structure needs some basic work, from the cramped restrooms to the up-and-down flooring to everything in between. My brother, Joe, who owns the building, has no plan to develop it anytime soon, and with the new Seattle minimum wage and other increasing costs, and being a small business we will be unable to shut down our business for an extended period of time to remodel. At the same time, we all agree that we need the ability to serve the ever-growing West Seattle population by updating and streamlining the Husky.

To make that happen, we are looking to move four doors south to where Sleepers furniture store and Bikram Yoga (which some of you remember was Junction Feed & Seed) are located. Those two buildings have a lot of the same big challenges that the current Husky building has. The buildings are in bad shape from top to bottom, and they are not landmark historical buildings worth saving.

So our plan is to start anew. The only way we see for us to put together enough capital for my children to create the Husky of the future and to stay in the Junction is to tear down these two buildings and construct a taller one on that combined site, with apartments on the top to help pay for the new Husky down below.

On first thought, this plan might not sound like something that would reflect the Junction’s low-scale character. We all have seen other tall buildings recently go in and start to create the feeling of a narrow corridor. That’s not what I want to create, and I don’t think it’s what most people want in the Junction. We think it’s important to keep, as much as possible, the feeling of our small-town, downtown West Seattle. So we want to create something different that really focuses on the Husky’s shop space instead of the upper levels.

The apartments above the store are set back to minimize the visual impact along California Avenue, and retain the historical retail storefront height. The project will contain a commercial kitchen and ice cream plant so we can continue to prepare our own food and make ice cream on site. (And yes, we will make sure that the beautiful Eric Grohe mural on the south side of the yoga building gets either reproduced or replaced with and updated mural on our new structure.)

We have been talking with the Junction Neighborhood Organization (JuNO) about our plan, and they want us to put together a building that sets a good example for future new buildings on that side of the Junction. That makes perfect sense to me. We are planning something with good neighborhood qualities and hopefully anything built after us will follow suit.

My biggest concern is that Husky will continue on in our family and serve the overall family of West Seattle – that we can maintain the traditions started by my grandfather 86 years ago, that we can update everything but still keep it cool, and that my kids can have the chance to feel like it’s theirs, too, so that they will put their heart and soul into it.

The Junction is all about heart and soul. It’s about actively local ownership, where you can meet the people who own and run the stores, where there’s an active business association that puts on really good activities, and easy transit (even light rail, which will come sooner than we think). It’s also about the common feeling that it’s our main neighborhood business district – the hub of our small town in the big city.

Throughout West Seattle, a lot of older folks who have lived here forever have sold their homes for huge amounts of money to younger families who moved in from all over the country. They were not originally West Seattle kids, but they really want to embrace West Seattle, and the character of the Junction, and want to be a part of it.

All of that sort of seeped into me as I grew up. My dad wanted us at Husky all the time. Even if we were running around in the backroom, he wanted us close-by. We helped make ice cream in the middle of the night. He had us running back and forth with ice-cream scoopers getting people cones because he wanted us active in it all.

We are blessed in the fact that we have been here long enough that we are a big part of the community.

When we move a few doors down the street, it might be a new building, but it’s going to be the same people. It’s become a huge comfort zone for me, being in West Seattle with all these people that we know. I know my kids agree, and I trust that West Seattle will feel the same way.

Thanks for reading this. If you have any questions or comments about our project, I would love to hear from you. Drop in the store and say hi anytime.

Again, as we reported Friday, the first Southwest Design Review Board meeting for the 4747 California SW project is now set for July 19th. The draft packet for that meeting, as linked in our Friday update, can be seen here (PDF).

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DEVELOPMENT: First Design Review date set for next West Seattle Junction mixed-use project, 4747 California SW Fri, 01 Jun 2018 23:24:56 +0000 (Preferred ‘massing’ – size and shape – option for project, from draft Design Review packet)

Thanks to Scott for the tip! He spotted the first Southwest Design Review Board meeting date for the Junction mixed-use project we first told you about back in February, at 4747 California SW, on the sites that currently hold Bikram Yoga and Sleepers in Seattle. The site’s owner/developers were described by one of them, Husky Deli‘s Jack Miller, as an “all-West Seattle team.” The review date is July 19th, 6:30 pm at the Senior Center of West Seattle, and as always with Design Review meetings, there will be a public-comment period.

The proposed project is listed as 7 stories, 82 apartments – mostly one-bedrooms, some studios – with 5,000 square feet of commercial space and 45 offstreet parking spaces. The draft Design Review “packet” in the city file confirms that Miller plans to move Husky Deli there. Two other things to note: Since this is the Early Design Guidance phase, it’s focused on the “massing” – size and shape – of the project, not design details, so don’t read too much into the imagery; second, the formal notice of this meeting isn’t out yet – it’s “tentatively” scheduled on the city’s calendar until the notice is out.

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DEVELOPMENT: 3 project notes from Junction, Luna Park, Morgan Mon, 21 May 2018 22:45:00 +0000 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.

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HAPPENING NOW: HALA upzoning – and more – open house in West Seattle Thu, 10 May 2018 01:38:02 +0000 (WSB photos)

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.

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YOU’RE INVITED: Discussion next week about Transit-Oriented Development in West Seattle Wed, 09 May 2018 21:20:26 +0000

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:

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!

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DEVELOPMENT: New parking pushback in Morgan Junction Tue, 08 May 2018 04:55:03 +0000

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.

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DEVELOPMENT: Design comment period opens for 3084 Avalon Way apartments Fri, 04 May 2018 23:31:08 +0000

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,

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LAM BOW APARTMENTS: Plan to replace fire-destroyed building goes to Southwest Design Review Board tomorrow Thu, 03 May 2018 04:05:56 +0000 jennifer2(WSB reader photo from September 2016 three-alarm fire, the cause of which was never determined)

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).

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‘Mandatory Housing Affordability upzones are coming soon!’ and other HALA status updates Tue, 01 May 2018 21:13:23 +0000 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.

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DEVELOPMENT FOLLOWUPS: 4508 California SW; 3084 Avalon Way; The Kenney Wed, 25 Apr 2018 18:59:27 +0000 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.)


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Southwest Design Review Board gives its final OK to 4722 Fauntleroy, 4721 38th SW project Fri, 20 Apr 2018 21:25:11 +0000 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.

The project is being developed by Legacy Partners, which built (and has since sold) Youngstown Flats in North Delridge. Here’s how last night’s review unfolded:

ARCHITECTS’ PRESENTATION: Derrick Overbay and Rob Deane with Encore Architects led the presentation. 4722 Fauntleroy SW was referred to as Building A, 4721 38th SW as Building B, and though they are being considered separately, they are to be built and managed as one project, Overbay said. The site, which has north-south and east-west alleys through it, is zoned for development up to 85 feet on Building A’s location, 40 feet on Building B’s location. Building A is proposed for 10,000 sf of retail space toward the north, 16 live-work units, 240 apartments, with residential parking entry off the north side, into two underground levels of parking. Building B is “being designed as more transitional” with 50 apartments and 1 live-work unit, 1 level of parking to be accessed off the alley, three levels of residences.

Deane also recapped Building A’s shipyard/port-inspired design concept that was described at last summer’s Early Design Guidance meeting. He and Overbay explained how it had evolved since then, showing how the massing and “rhythm” would include some spaces for courtyards and a “mid-block break along Fauntleroy,” and how exterior materials – including brick at the pedestrian level, with “warmer wood-type textures at the building entries” – and colors would play into that. The south side will be mostly hidden by the development going up to the south; the alley-facing east side of Building A has some stepped-down elements, as it faces smaller Building B. There’s an amenity space atop Building A, with a small roof deck. The entry on the retail side to the north will have a glass/steel canopy.

Building B will use the “same 8 x 8 x 24 stacks” as Building A, Deane picked up, plus some courtyard space. He showed how they had responded to EDG criticism that B was too much a small version of A. The building has more grade to deal with than the other one, so “we’ve used this grade to inform the composition,” he said. Metal paneling, wood composite, and fiber cement will all be used on the exterior. The two buildings’ parking is shared, “so there will be a connection off the alley.” The residential entry is on 38th, and there’s a roof deck. Deane also showed how they hope to create a buffer area because of all the activity they expect between the buildings.

They’re asking for departures – zoning exceptions. #1 involves a 10-foot-wide section of the garage facing 38th SW. Without it, the project wouldn’t look any different, “it would just have less parking,” Overbay said. The live-work unit would be 12′ high instead of the required 13′ if the departure #2 is granted.

Other elements they reviewed included the balconies – multiple types, using glass and/or steel – and signage – some building-mounted, some canopy-mounted signage. And since there’s a bus stop along the front of Building A on Fauntleroy, they have integrated “some lower canopies” at that spot.

Landscape architect Forrest Jammer from Thomas Rengstorf and Associates talked about their part of the project. Nine street trees were shown along Fauntleroy, which has a five-foot-wide planting space along with at least six feet of sidewalk width; there’ll be a more “accented pattern” of permeable pavers near the entries, the commercial one toward the north, the residential one toward the center. There’s a courtyard on Level 2 facing the alley – including a narrow strip running south of it – and one on Level 3 facing Fauntleroy. There’ll be a bioretention planter including some natural-stone boulders, he said, and “we want to take the water and drop it down from the roof onto the rocks, to create a little splash, a little interest.” The Level 3 courtyard is fronted by private patios and will have some “accent trees,” smaller conifers most likely, Jammer said. Some “modular green roofs” will be stacked to reinforce the architectural concept, and will have planters/plantings that vary in height; the green roof also will “serve a bioretention function,” he said.

He also addressed a question raised at the previous meeting – how does A interact with the new development going in to the south? He showed three ideas, the preferred one including raised planters.

Building B would have four street trees on 38th. A few private patios border the south-side courtyard. There’s also a 42″ bioretention planter on that side, “but we’re trying to step that down.” There’ll also be some green-roof area, similar to Building A.

BOARD QUESTIONS: Rosenstock wondered how the floor plan would work, circulation-wise – at the entries, and the alleys – how they imagine people coming off Fauntleroy and Alaska to get in. They think the west-east alley is how most people will enter, so that’s why the parking entries are on the north side. “But given the topography of the site, it was a challenge,” acknowledged Overbay. He added that they’re widening the alleys, as required. Rosenstock also asked about how Building A’s Fauntleroy south end will relate to the project next door (“The Foundry”). There’s a partial walkway between the two, it was noted, and that will include an entry to the other building’s bicycle garage. (Page 44, SDCI’s Guillory noted.)

Cheng asked about the change to a more-flat facade and Overbay recapped some of the EDG feedback that then-recessed massing sections were said at the time to not be helpful in the design concept. His second question was about the live-work facades, which have smaller, steel canopies. And his third question was about a blank-wall section on the north side and how long it would be. About 64 feet, was the reply. He then asked about heights and materials for some of the planters. Possibly plastic, Renner said. Cheng also asked about lighting; Overbay said it was focused around all the pedestrian areas, and for clarity on the change that made Building B a little less of a smaller clone of Building A. Cheng also wondered if the lobby was considered for northeast-corner siting; Overbay said that was in one of the EDG concepts but the current concept was considered to be better.

Loya asked about future possibilities for subdividing the ground-floor retail space; while a rendering suggests a pharmacy (perhaps a nod to the site’s scrapped previous project proposal?), there’s nothing set so far, the architects said.

Caffrey wondered about the finish for the areas with exposed concrete – “pretty much a natural sack-and-patch finish,” said Overbay. Caffrey also wondered about lighting features along Fauntleroy; “potentially backlit … halo” style, said Overbay.

PUBLIC COMMENT: There were none, but you can still comment by e-mail – send comments to planner Guillory at

BOARD DELIBERATION: Concerns listed included from Cheng, blank wall and lighting issues on the north side. Loya also had a blank-wall issue on Building B. Rosenstock voiced concerns about street-level interaction on Building A, including the bus stop and live-work entries. Hutchins also voiced concern about “the lack of consideration for what’s going on in the alley between the two buildings” and the adjacent buildings, plus the shared plaza area, and “lack of convictions with regard to the crane (concept) which got diluted and is a little weird now on Building A.” Caffrey also wondered if they’d done enough to reinforce the parti and voiced concern about the live-work interactions on Fauntleroy. He also said there’s a lot more theme consistency since EDG. Cheng added that the crane theme is “very successful.” Caffrey recalled from the EDG meeting how they wanted the crane theme connected to the ground. Hutchins suggested that Building B appeared to have a “strange inversion,” with the entry not where you would think it would be. Caffrey observed that it’s a really difficult site to access, but Hutchins thought there would be a way to “punch up” the access from the east-west alley. “I would prefer to see that be a great alley to hang out in” especially once adjacent sites are built out. “I’m just looking for that to be more of a signified entry because I think that’s the one most people are going to levitate toward.” Loya observed that the color scheme/material placement might need a little tweaking to emphasize the entries; Hutchins said bringing the wood “down to the ground” could indeed help.

Regarding the departures, board members had no major objections toward granting them.

Caffrey noted that the alleys needed to be brought into the street-level-interaction discussion, because West Seattle’s alleys are more and more falling into that category, with people using them without vehicles as well as with them. “Some simple concrete scoring in an alley can do a lot to slow down vehicles,” he observed. Overbay said they hadn’t discussed scoring the alley to the north of Building B – they “weren’t thinking about pedestrians walking along that alley.” Caffrey said some kind of treatment could make a difference. Guillory pointed out that this was more SDOT turf since it’s right-of-way and that the board might be better served just identifying concerns rather than suggesting solutions.

Next they discussed the Fauntleroy face of Building A. No objections were raised. Caffrey said the brick facade at street level is in keeping with a “long tradition,” though others were concerned that it was “watering down” the theme because the brick was only covering one story in the design proposal. Discussion focused on whether the building should have well-defined vertical “fins.”

Loya expressed concern about the “massive” retail space, 10,000 square feet – with just one entry shown – and skepticism that a tenant could be found for something that size. She thought it might end up as three or four spaces.

Cheng suggested that a 30-foot section of blank wall be broken up with some glazing.

Rosenstock again expressed concern about the bus stop area, saying people wouldn’t necessaily want to lean against the building, especially considering it’ll be windows, so maybe seating or something else would be merited.

Regarding entrances to the live-work areas, Caffrey asked for opinions between the proposed options. Option 2 won.

On to the roofs, starting with Building A: Caffrey wondered about its main gathering space being on the east side of the building, toward the single-family neighborhood, though he said that side seemed mostly garage entrances and the like, so that might not be an issue. No other major issues arose.

Everyone was OK with the signage plan, which, it was noted, didn’t include anything like a nearby sign Caffrey gestured to which is a sore spot for some (the big lit-box sign on Junction Flats, visible out the window of the meeting room at the Senior Center/Sisson Building, even through the blinds).

The board voted to let the project clear out design review and Caffrey thanked the architects and developers for “a thoughtful, well presented project.”

WHAT’S NEXT: You can still comment (as noted above) until permits are finalized. We have a followup question out to Legacy Partners regarding when, depending on how the permit process proceeds, they expect to start work on the site.

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DEVELOPMENT: Design Review previews for 4722 Fauntleroy Way SW, 4721 38th SW; updates on Morgan, Admiral rowhouses Mon, 16 Apr 2018 18:19:19 +0000 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.

(King County Assessor’s Office photo)

When we first wrote about this plan last September, it had five offstreet-parking spaces, but the notice today says that’s changed to one. The approval notice opens a two-week appeal period.

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.

The proposal for the site of that 59-year-old house has two addresses – here’s the notice for 2329 48th SW (five units) and here’s the one for 2331 48th SW (two units).

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TRAFFIC ALERT UPDATE: California SW reopens after tower crane goes up at PCC/Luna Apartments site Sat, 14 Apr 2018 15:47:49 +0000

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.

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