While much of WSB’s development coverage in the past few years has focused on the largest projects, neighborhoods are taking a keen interest in smaller projects too. We’re watching city files more closely these days too, after hearing from residents’ concerns that the process is hard to follow and often leaves them finding out about a change for their neighborhood when it’s too late to even try to be constructively involved in the process. So we’re expanding our ongoing development coverage. First today, one West Seattle project from today’s edition of the city’s twice-weekly Land Use Information Bulletin (to which you can subscribe via e-mail – follow that link and use the sidebar box):
(3829 California rendering by Caron Architecture, from final design-review meeting)
3829 CALIFORNIA SW APARTMENTS APPROVED, BUT … The land-use approval for this 29-apartment, 29-parking-space project is in. The site, however, remains listed for sale (as first reported here in August, two months after it passed Design Review), price reduced to $1.45 million from the original $1.6m. That doesn’t necessarily affect the city process, so the clock is now ticking on the two-week window for appeals; here’s the official approval notice. (map)
Now, three projects in city files seeking boundary changes related to smaller projects:
2420 WICKSTROM PLACE SW, ALKI: Just east of the “Alki 11″ proposal that is now the subject of an appeal (reported here October 24), there’s a new filing to split one lot into three. The city file for the site shows a plan for a three-unit rowhouse and demolition of a duplex. (map)
7313 BAINBRIDGE: Another application to split one lot into three comes – as is not uncommon, depending on what other approvals are required – after construction has already begun.
The photo above is from this site just north of Lincoln Park, taken on Friday; construction is approved at this site for three single-family houses where one has been demolished. It’s yards away from the southeast border of six new single-family homes at 47th/Othello. (map)
4022 19TH SW, PIGEON POINT: A lot-boundary change has been pending here to create the sites of two new homes for which the developer is seeking construction permits, at 4022 and 4024 19th SW, on the 8,200-sf site of a century-old house at 4022. (map)
Two highly visible sites (on busy streets) where you will likely see teardown activity soon:
4101 SW OREGON, THE JUNCTION: Just east of the close-to-completion 131-unit Oregon 42 apartments, applications were filed last Wednesday to tear down an 86-year-old house and replace it with two 2-unit townhome buildings. The 4,500-square-foot lot is zoned Low-Rise 3. (map)
5457 FAUNTLEROY, FAIRMOUNT SPRINGS: The permit application is in for demolition of the 103-year-old house on this five-unit-rowhouse project with attached garages, which was approved last week, as reported here. (map)
West Seattle development updates: Special meeting for no-parking Junction project; Design Reviews confirmed; moreOctober 31, 2013 at 3:40 pm | In Development, West Seattle housing, West Seattle news | 28 Comments
Six West Seattle development updates today – starting with a special public meeting for one of the projects proposed without parking spaces:
SPECIAL MEETING FOR 4535 44TH SW: This five-story, 36-apartment building on the west side of The Junction (map) currently includes no parking. Neighbors concerned about that and other aspects of the “Lofts at The Junction” project circulated a petition last summer seeking a special public meeting to address that and other State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA)-related concerns, and that meeting has just been officially scheduled and announced. The meeting is set for 6:30 pm Tuesday, November 19th, at Hope Lutheran School (42nd/Oregon); here’s the formal notice. This is separate from the Design Review process, in which this project passed Early Design Guidance in May (WSB coverage here), with an early-stage proposal including the sketch you see above; it still has to go through at least one more Design Review meeting, and there’s no date for that yet.
Meantime, today’s edition of the city’s twice-weekly Land Use Information Bulletin also included confirmation of the next two Southwest Design Review Board sessions, both on November 21st, as reported here earlier this month:
3210 CALIFORNIA: As first reported here more than two weeks ago, this 5-story, 143-apartment, 168-parking-space mixed-use building (map) is scheduled for its next review at 6:30 pm Thursday, November 21st, at the Senior Center of West Seattle (California/Oregon). See the official notice here.
3078 AVALON WAY: As first reported here 11 days ago, this 8-story, 108-apartment, 61-parking-space residential building (map) is scheduled for its second and possibly final review at 8 pm during that same November 21st meeting; its first review was more than a year ago. Here’s the official notice.
Also in today’s bulletin:
6917 CALIFORNIA SW: This is the official published notice regarding the 30-apartment, no-parking building in Morgan Junction (map) that we’ve mentioned twice, first on October 16th; the clock is now ticking on its official comment period, through November 13th.
4522 DELRIDGE WAY SW: This four-house proposal (map) also was mentioned here back on Monday; the official notice of its land-use-permit application is in today’s bulletin, with a comment period through November 13th.
3947 SW KENYON: The city is taking comments through November 13th on an application to split one lot into two at this Gatewood location (map). Separate from this application, the city website shows applications to build two new homes on the site.
23 days after teardown work started at the two-building California/Alaska/42nd project site, crews are still clearing debris on the west side of the site, and tackling the underground level left after that building was demolished last week. Along the way, we’ve received a few requests for an aerial view, and local pilot/photographer Long Bach Nguyen has obliged, with two angles – top and bottom. For a comparison, here is the Seattle Municipal Archives 1957 aerial we’ve featured before – flipped and cropped – that’s SW Alaska at right, though the historic photo didn’t show California:
Back to the current view – here’s the aerial looking from north toward south – the tents on California are from Sunday’s Harvest Festival:
(Both views also show the crane and excavation for the 4730 California project.)
The California/Alaska/42nd demolition is the last major tearing down for at least a few months. The next one could be on the 4745 40th SW site, where a permit is pending and one tenant of the existing small office building has told us they were told to be out by the end of November.
Followup: High Point’s 35th/Graham corner still likely to get some commercial development, says Seattle Housing AuthorityOctober 29, 2013 at 6:05 pm | In Development, High Point, West Seattle news | 15 Comments
We know more tonight about the current plan for part of the highest-profile vacant site in High Point.
(Seen from the east side of 35th in today’s late-afternoon shadows/sun)
We mentioned it in yesterday’s roundup of development notes, after discovering a plan to build 9 houses and 18 duplexes on part of the site at the northeast corner of 35th/Graham. The documents in city files online raised some questions, and today we have some answers, thanks to Seattle Housing Authority spokesperson Laura Gentry.
To a point that is often raised, she says there IS a plan for some commercial development on the site:
As you know, and as was reported by WSB back in January 2011 following a community meeting, we’ve been unable to attract a mixed-use residential/retail developer for the entire parcel. The market just hasn’t supported that type of large-scale residential/retail development. However, we are still looking at options for bringing retail to 35th. SHA intends to continue to own and maintain the corner plot of that parcel (the 35th/Graham corner) and we are in the concept stages of developing a commercial building for that plot which would include retail space, office space and an open street-level plaza. Again, that building is in early concept stages, so there are no site or development plans I can share with you at this time.
Gentry says Lennar has not yet closed on the rest of the property, where the houses/duplexes – which she describes as “all market-rate for-sale housing” – are planned, but “we have a sale agreement with them and they are expected to close sometime in 2014.” And she adds:
We’re also still looking at the remainder of that land on 35th, the piece located between the corner plot I just mentioned and the neighborhood health clinic. SHA is investigating options along with Lennar for residential uses with the potential for small retail uses on the ground floor. Both portions of that strip of land (the plot we will continue to maintain and the remainder that we hope to sell), will go through the city’s Design Review process, so the public will have a say in any plans put forth for any residential or retail development done on 35th.
The 2011 reference involved a previous proposal for the site that fell through – backstory and links here.
Some development proposals that might interest you, particularly if you live nearby:
35th AND GRAHAM: This big, long-vacant High Point parcel has had development proposals fall through before – most smartingly for many community members, a once-intended mixed-use development with a grocery store – and now it appears there’s another proposal: 9 single-family houses and 18 duplexes. Online files indicate the project will seek Administrative Design Review, and that it involves Lennar Homes, which is also the residential developer for the much-scrutinized 4755 Fauntleroy Way SW apartment/Whole Foods proposal. The site plan filed this month does not appear to include a strip directly fronting 35th, though. We have a message out to the Seattle Housing Authority seeking more information about this project’s status.
6917 CALIFORNIA SW: We first reported almost two weeks ago on the proposal for a 30-unit, no-offstreet-parking apartment building here (and other adjacent development), including a “lot boundary adjustment.” A sign is up for the apartment proposal because the application has now been formally filed, which opens the comment period.
ALSO IN NORTH DELRIDGE: The ND Neighborhood Council mailing list had first word of a proposal at 4150 Delridge Way SW, which on this page mentions one 6-unit “rowhouse” building, but on the “site plan” associated with the project shows two 6-unit buildings.
Speaking of rowhouses:
5457 FAUNTLEROY WAY SW: Today’s Land Use Information Bulletin includes an announcement of approval of the five-unit rowhouse planned on the Fauntleroy/Findlay site that currently holds an century-old house (our first mention of this proposal was back in June). The deadline for appeals is November 12th. Read the full decision here.
HOW TO COMMENT ON ANY PROJECT: For any of the above – or any other that’s in progress – this DPD page explains how to comment (that includes apepals).
Didn’t get a chance to publish these photos on Thursday because of everything else that was going on; it’s another view from the California/Alaska demolition work at the future site of two 7-story apartment/retail buildings that Chicago-based Equity Residential will build over an underground parking garage. Unlike the building torn down next door at 42nd/Alaska, the one to the west had a basement, and that’s what’s shown in our photos. Some say it included a morgue back when the building included a second-floor hospital; in later years, ArtsWest used some of the space for storage. Today, the demolition equipment is pushing debris into this basement area, but yesterday at midday, it was mostly exposed:
The sidewalks around the site will be open in time for Sunday’s Harvest Festival in The Junction, which will close California and Alaska between Oregon, Edmunds, 42nd, and 44th, starting fairly early in the morning for setup, and continuing until everything is cleared after the festival ends at 2.
Another group of West Seattle neighbors is formally challenging a development plan.
This time, it’s the neighbors on 55th SW in Alki who are concerned about the effects of an 11-unit “rowhouse” development. This is the group who petitioned for a city hearing, and got that hearing in July; earlier this month, they learned the development would be approved (here’s our Oct. 17th report), and at the time, they did not believe they would be able to muster the resources required for an appeal.
Today, neighbor Marie McKinsey tells WSB they put one together after all:
Today, Alki Neighborhoods for Sensible Growth, a new association comprised of neighbors affected by the Alki 11 rowhouse project MUP 3014675, filed an appeal challenging the DPD’s decision to approve this development. … I am attaching the two documents filed today (here and here)
There’s a lot to review here, but among other interesting findings is this one: the city apparently violated its own rules by approving LBAs (lot boundary adjustments) prior to doing the SEPA review. The procedure is supposed to be SEPA review first and then LBAs are decided afterward or concurrently with the SEPA analysis. I believe the LBAs were approved August 27th. The SEPA decision was published October 10.
It is impressive that our neighborhood has been able to come together to form an association, raise money and mount an appeal in the few days we have had available to us. The city notified us on October 15th of the decision and gave us only until October 24th to appeal.
McKinsey has been chronicling the situation on her website here. She says the association will be represented by land-use lawyer Cynthia Kennedy, who also represented the Benchview neighborhood in its recent case. No hearing date(s) set yet.
What was left of the building on the southeast corner of California/Alaska in The Junction was gone by noon, midway through the third week of demolition/clearing work at the site of two future seven-story mixed-use buildings. We have a “before” photo shared a few hours earlier by King County Councilmember Joe McDermott:
In the accompanying e-mail, he shared a memory:
Foggy footage of the old People’s Bank building as the only thing left on the north end of the Junction’s southeast block. Just taken as I transferred to the Water Taxi shuttle to avoid the traffic this morning. Alyce Miller used to give me Husky bank deposits to walk over to the bank.
That’s a reference to McDermott’s days working for nearby Husky Deli. The corner building once held People’s Bank and West Seattle Hospital – and a second story, gone long before this final demolition.
Cleanup is now complete on the eastern side of the site at 42nd/Alaska and is to be finished on this side by Friday afternoon, so the debris is gone before the West Seattle Junction Harvest Festival on Sunday.
(MID-AFTERNOON UPDATE: Scroll/click ahead to bottom of story; building’s now mostly gone)
12:28 PM: As of noon, the western building on the heart-of-The-Junction development site was more than half gone. This one has far more history than the eastern building, which was torn down first; the one on the southeast corner of California/Alaska was the home of West Seattle Hospital for years, with multiple families welcoming new additions each day during the peak of the baby boom. Click ahead for photos and video from earlier this morning, when the facade started coming down (update: more images added @ 3 pm):
You won’t notice it yet if you drive by on California or Alaska, but from 42nd SW, you can see that demolition has indeed begun on the remaining building on the site of Equity Residential’s 2-building, ~200-apartment project. A closer look shows long-hidden interior brick walls:
As discussed in comments on recent WSB coverage of teardown elsewhere on the site, this building was once – when it had a second story – home to the West Seattle Hospital, which later moved to the site on SW Holden that is now home to Navos. Meantime, another reminder that sidewalks on California and Alaska are closed – temporarily, as noted here Friday – while this stage of demolition continues for several days.
A second project is now on the Southwest Design Review Board‘s agenda for November 21st, in addition to 3210 California SW: The city’s tentative schedule for that night now shows the second and potentially final review for 3078 Avalon Way SW, now described on the city project page as an 8-story, 108-apartment, 61-parking-space proposal. That’s fewer spaces than were mentioned when it passed Early Design Guidance in its first board review in September 2012, from which the image at left was taken (as noted then, this is in the zone where new construction isn’t required to have any on-site parking at all). As shown in WSB coverage of the September 2012 meeting, a sizable group of neighbors has been following the project closely, and expanded its attention to other proposals in the area; most live on 32nd SW, a single-family-home neighborhood just north of the project site. The tentative plan for the November 21st meeting is for 3210 California to be reviewed at 6:30 pm, 3078 Avalon at 8, at the Senior Center of West Seattle (California/Oregon in The Junction).
West Seattle development: Temporary sidewalk closure ahead, as Junction demolition goes to second phaseOctober 18, 2013 at 12:06 pm | In Development, West Seattle news | 21 Comments
For more than a week, we’ve been tracking demolition on the site of Equity Residential‘s two-building West Seattle Junction project. Above is the east half, at 42nd/Alaska, where final cleanup is under way. Susan Melrose of the WS Junction Association tells WSB they’ve been notified that demolition will begin Monday on the west-side building at California/Alaska:
Note the protective enclosures on the trees; Melrose also says that sidewalks around that building will be closed TEMPORARILY for next week’s demolition work.
First, she shares the notice from the general contractor, Andersen Construction:
Demolition of the West Building located at 4706 California Avenue SW will commence on Monday 10/21/13. The sidewalks and parking located along California Avenue and SW Alaska Street will be closed to pedestrians during this time. Demolition work will be complete by 10/25/13.
Next, Melrose’s update, stressing that this is a temporary closure:
The Junction Association is working with the construction company to minimize impacts to our neighborhood and to keep The Junction walkable. I would like to convey to the neighborhood that this will be the only time that the sidewalks on California Ave and Alaska St will be closed. The next 18 months might be noisy and at times inconvenient, but your loyal Junction businesses look forward to your continued patronage. The demolition of this building is a notable day in Junction history.
Some of that history was discussed in this WSB update, which included a half-century-old aerial photo of the area.
Project backstory: The Equity buildings are both planned at seven stories, totaling about 200 apartments, with more than 200 underground parking spaces and ground-floor retail (no tenants announced yet). The project went through the city approval process under its previous ownership, Bellevue-based Conner Homes, which put it up for sale in August 2011 (WSB coverage here) and closed the sale to Chicago-based Equity Residential in December 2011 (WSB coverage here). The businesses in the two buildings were cleared out in summer of last year, but construction was delayed – without explanation – until now.
(WSB photo, April 2013)
Three months after dozens of Alki neighbors voiced their concerns about a rowhouse project, they have received word that the city has approved it. That’s the word from Marie McKinsey, who along with her neighbors on 55th SW sought and received a public meeting at which they spoke out. We first wrote in April about their petition for a hearing on the proposal for 11 units in three “rowhouse” buildings on the parcels currently known as 2414, 2418, and 2424 55th SW (map). In response, the city scheduled a July hearing at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center in North Delridge, and more than 25 people attended it, with about half of them speaking. They stressed that they weren’t opposed to development, but to the density of this particular proposal, and its potential effects on wildlife, stormwater runoff, traffic, and parking, all concerns voiced under the auspices of the State Environmental Policy Act review of the project. Here’s the decision (embedded below or read it here), dated October 10th, though the neighbors did not receive written notification until October 15th. As McKinsey points out, the approval includes a few conditions:
She hasn’t heard of any neighbor prepared to appeal the decision; the deadline for that would be October 24th. The city pages for the project are here.
8:17 PM: The project is getting some discussion at the Alki Community Council meeting that’s under way right now, including a mention of McKinsey’s website and its extensive documentation on the project, as well as a suggestion that ACC members might be able to assist with a possible challenge or a longer-term look at whether zoning could be re-examined in the general area.
West Seattle development: 3 Morgan Junction houses proposed to make way for apartments, rowhouses, moreOctober 16, 2013 at 6:48 pm | In Development, West Seattle news | 103 Comments
South of Morgan Junction, development plans are on file for the sites of three houses on the west side of the 6900 block of California SW. For starters, the three lots themselves are part of a “lot-boundary adjustment” proposal.
The largest proposed structure is a 3-story, 30-unit apartment building with no parking, proposed for the southernmost site, 6917 California SW, which now holds the 102-year-old house in the photo above. Meantime, 6911 California SW, the 99-year-old house in our next photo, is proposed as the address of a 4-unit rowhouse townhouse building.
And 2 single-family homes are proposed along the alley on the west side of the sites, at the address 6915 California, currently holding this 99-year-old house:
The lots are zoned LR-2, which according to the city guide says homes can be up to 25 feet, rowhouses and apartments up to 35 feet (that’s the maximum with bonus height for a roof of a certain pitch). The developer for the rowhouses/houses sites is listed on city webpages as DL Builders, currently about to build two houses on teardown sites a few blocks uphill, in the 7300 block of California SW.
(Click image for larger view)
What could be the final Southwest Design Review Board meeting for 3210 California SW now has a (technically tentative) date: November 21st, 6:30 pm, Senior Center of West Seattle. The 5-story, ~150-apartment, ~168-parking-space project reappeared today on the city Department of Planning and Development schedule. The proposal made it through the Early Design Guidance stage of the process in two meetings, April 11th and June 27th. At least a week before the meeting, developers Intracorp and architects Nicholson Kovalchick will go public with a proposed final draft of the building’s design; we’ll publish an update when it’s available. The drawing above is from the building “massing” taken to the second EDG meeting, which the developers told WSB is similar to what they would be including in their permit application afterward.
At mid-afternoon Friday, all that was left of the building on the southwest corner of 42nd/Alaska was what we’re told was once a vault. As projected by contractor Andersen Construction, working for developer/owner Equity Residential, the building was torn down in a week. We showed the Monday start here, and an update on Thursday, before crews moved on to the Rocksport side of the building Friday. One 7-story apartment/retail building is to go up on that side of the site, another on the west side, which formerly housed businesses including Super Supplements, and long before that, the West Seattle Hospital, including an upper story that’s long gone – check it out in this aerial from the city archives, dated 1957:
Click here to see a larger view, and look closely for the street labeling. Note that Jefferson School (opened in 1912, closed in 1979) was still on the 42nd SW site now known as Jefferson Square, and look around the photo for other sites that are on the brink of change – what do you recognize that’s not there any more?
Went to The Junction to check on the teardown work that began earlier this week at the site of two future apartment/retail buildings. The eastern building is now all gone, with the former Rocksport space next to go.
Just yesterday morning, Brian Presser from TouchTech Systems a couple blocks away caught the demolition crew bringing down part of the copper-tone awning:
Today’s “after” view, looking west at that spot:
The demolition crew is working east to west and is likely to start on the California/Alaska building next week.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The city has formally gone public this week with its proposed new rules for so-called microhousing, though they won’t affect the two projects already well under way in West Seattle or two others in the works, which are:
*4548 Delridge (3 stories, 16 sleeping rooms, 2 “dwelling units,” top photo)
*3266 Avalon Way (5 stories, 56 sleeping rooms, 7 “dwelling units,” photo below)
*3050 Avalon Way (5 stories, 110 sleeping rooms, 14 “dwelling units,” not yet under construction)
*5949 California SW (4 stories, 38 sleeping rooms, 5 “dwelling units,” not yet under construction)
Those four are all on the citywide microhousing-projects list that is part of the package accompanying the proposal, which debuted in the most recent edition of the city’s twice-weekly Land Use Information Bulletin.
“Dwelling units” refers to how many shared kitchens the microhousing buildings have – up to eight “sleeping rooms” can share one. But the “dwelling unit” count is what has allowed many of these projects to move below the radar for design review among other things – it’s been difficult in some cases to comb through documentation to find that an “eight-unit” development is really a place where 80 people will live.
The backhoes that arrived last week at the Equity Residential development site in The Junction – 42nd/Alaska/California – started work today, tearing down the eastern building on the site, across 42nd from Jefferson Square. Short Instagram video clip (click here if you don’t see it below):
Once the 91-year-old eastern building is down, as reported here last week, teardown work will move to the 88-year-old western building at California/Alaska (which once housed a hospital, and had an upper story). The project is planned for two 7-story buildings with 200 apartments, ground-floor retail, and a shared underground parking garage. The businesses that used to be in the buildings were ordered out more than 14 months ago, since the owners originally had said construction would start in 2012; several closed (including Rocksport, Rubato Records, and the city’s Neighborhood Service Center) while the rest moved to new locations around West Seattle.
SIDE NOTE: This is now the fifth major development under construction in and around The Junction, after The Blake at 5020 California SW, Spruce (former “Hole”) at 3922 SW Alaska, 4730 California, and Oregon 42 (42nd/Oregon). (Scroll through the WSB development-coverage archive to see what else is on the way.)
4:16 PM UPDATE: Went back at mid-afternoon to see how far the crews had gotten:
The project itself is expected to be under construction for about a year and a half. According to related documents we found online, one crane – arriving in about 3 months – will be used for both buildings.
With eight days until the next Southwest Design Review Board meeting about the mixed-use development planned at 4435 35th SW, its new “packet” is out with renderings and other information for the board to consider, publicly viewable via the city Department of Planning and Development website. You can see it in its entirety here; above is a rendering by architects GGLO showing a feature that sparked some buzz at the previous meeting in June (WSB coverage here), a “hillclimb” on the south side of the site, going up to other parts of The Triangle and leading toward The Junction. According to the packet, the project is currently planned for ~159 residential units, 153 underground parking spaces (it’s in an area where the city does not require any parking at all because of nearby frequent transit), and more than 12,000 square feet of commercial/retail area. This site originally came to the board in 2009, then went on hold, changing architects and developers (now Trinsic) before returning with a new design proposal earlier this year. The Design Review meeting is set for 6:30 pm October 10th at the Senior Center of West Seattle (California/Oregon); as always, the meeting will include a public-comment period.
West Seattle development: New buildings planned for 4505 SW Oregon in The Junction, 1605 California SW in North AdmiralOctober 1, 2013 at 2:05 pm | In Development, West Seattle news | 59 Comments
Two new early-stage development proposals have appeared in city files:
4505 42ND SW: On the southwest corner of 42nd/Oregon, across from nearly complete Oregon 42, there’s a brand-new proposal for a seven-story mixed-use building. The 7,000-square-foot site currently holds a hedge-ringed 105-year-old house (top photo) owned by West Seattle entrepreneur Leon Capelouto, owner/developer of Capco Plaza (QFC, Petco, Altamira Apartments) one block south at 42nd and Alaska. The architects of record are ever-busier West Seattle-founded Nicholson Kovalchick. The early-stage proposal described in DPD records outlines a seven-story building with 55 residential units over two floors with 10,000 sf of retail/office space and one level of underground parking with 14 spaces. The NC3-85-zoned site is immediately north of the Junction Association‘s free-parking lot, across the alley from the Senior Center of West Seattle, and less than half a block south of the planned site of 78-unit Junction Flats at 4433 42nd SW. This project will require Design Review; no meeting date are yet – initial documentation was filed with the city just two weeks ago.
On to North Admiral:
1606 CALIFORNIA SW: The 60-year-old four-plex on the southeast corner of California/Seattle and the 111-year-old house to its south would be replaced by a 16-unit apartment building under a plan that’s also just been filed with the city in the past two weeks. Roger Cayce is listed as owner/developer, and the architecture firm is Roger Newell AIA. The site plan in city files mentions three floors and a below-grade garage, in keeping with the zoning here, which is LR (lowrise) 3.
New information today about the impending demolition at the Equity Residential development site at California/Alaska/42nd in The Junction: A notice circulated by the contractor, Andersen Construction, says demolition of the eastern building (right side of our photo) will start this Wednesday (October 2nd), and demolition of the western building (ex-Super Supplements, etc.) is set to start one week later, on Wednesday, October 9th. Full text of the notice, shared by a reader (thank you!):
Demolition of the East Building located at 4203 SW Alaska Street will commence on Wednesday 10/02/13. The sidewalks located along 42nd Avenue SW and SW Alaska Street will be closed to pedestrians during this time.
Demolition of the West Building located at 4706 California Avenue SW will commence on Wednesday 10/09/13. The sidewalks located along California Avenue and SW Alaska Street will be closed to pedestrians during this time.
Demolition work will be complete by 10/21/13.
The North end of the Alley will be closed to through traffic as needed during construction activities; however, egress will remain open as traffic will be diverted through the parking lot located south of the East Building.
The project – initiated five and a half years ago by Conner Homes, which sold the site to Equity two years ago – will include two 7-story buildings with ~200 apartments and 20,000+ square feet of retail space over a ~265-space underground parking garage shared by both buildings. Equity had originally planned to start work in summer of last year and ordered the retail tenants out by July 31, 2012, and has not commented on what led to the subsequent delay. (Its west building, by the way, is in the same block where the 4730 California project, owned by The Wolff Company, is in its fourth month of construction, with the crane going up two weeks ago. Equity’s crane is likely to be up in about three months.)
(Newest site plan for proposed development at 5911 42nd SW; click image for full-size PDF version)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The big evergreen trees are staying.
That’s one of the messages the West Seattle Church of the Nazarene wants to share with the community about its six-townhouse development proposal, first reported here back on Monday – a plan that would require a “contract rezone” and therefore City Council approval.
We sat down with Pastor Shaun Mattson and associate pastor Terry Mattson Thursday afternoon to talk about it; they shared the updated “site plan” you see atop this story.
The somewhat-sprawling site to the south of the 42nd/Juneau church and its parsonage is zoned as three potential single-family-home lots but is known as “the park,” and used like one – even outdoor movies in summertime. While some of the plan includes keeping it in a park-like condition, the church leaders say that “doing nothing was not an option” – their church’s future depends on it.
While the plan is in the early stages of the relatively long public process, the idea is not a new one.
That site north of Morgan Junction at 5911 42nd SW (map), once suggested for possible city purchase as open space, now has a development proposal in the works. County records show the site is owned by the nearby West Seattle Church of the Nazarene, and according to Department of Planning and Development online files, it’s proposed for six townhouses on the west side of the parcel, across an alley from multifamily housing and business properties that front California SW.
There’s a twist: The 18,000-square-foot site is zoned as three single-family-home lots, so rezoning to LR-1 (lowrise 1, allowing three stories) is proposed to allow the townhomes, each of which would have a 2-car garage, according to the site plan on file. The project page on the DPD website describes the project as a “contract” rezone – meaning permission would be sought for a rezone just for this purpose – and mentions that the plan would include “… PUDA agreement to provide remainder of land as public open space.” (PUDA is short for Property Use and Development Agreement, explained here along with contract rezones.)
This is a brand-new proposal; the city page also mentions a “pre-application site visit” just this past Friday. Rezone proposals require City Council approval, so this would have a ways to go in public process before final approval. We have a message out to the church in hopes of finding out more, especially about the open-space component, and will update with whatever we find out.
Just received the West Seattle Junction Association‘s periodic newsletter and there are two things of note:
NEW WEBSITE: The Junction has overhauled its website and expanded its business directory – check it out at wsjunction.org (where you will also find information about next month’s Harvest Festival).
CONSTRUCTION CONFIRMATION: Back on Tuesday, we reported that the long-delayed Equity Residential seven-story, two-building apartment/retail project at California/Alaska/42nd is finally on the verge of starting major work. That’s confirmed in the Junction newsletter, which says the project will officially start the week of September 30th – one week from Monday – adding that Andersen Construction is the general contractor.
Just in case you aren’t a devoted reader of the city’s twice-weekly Land Use Information Bulletin - this week’s editions contain these half-dozen West Seattle items of note:
‘DETERMINATION OF NON-SIGNIFICANCE’ FOR DELRIDGE SEWER-OVERFLOW PROJECTS: While you’ve heard a lot about the county projects to reduce combined-sewer overflows at pump stations at Lowman Beach and alongside the Fauntleroy ferry dock, remember that the city is doing some work too. Its upcoming Delridge-area projects – described here – have been declared to be environmentally “non-significant.”
WESTSIDE SCHOOL’S NEW SITE: Key approvals are in on the land-use application for Westside School (WSB sponsor) to create its new campus on the Hillcrest Presbyterian site at 34th and 104th. (We have a message out to the school inquiring about the project timeline.)
ALKI ROWHOUSES: An application has been filed to build a 2-unit structure and 3-unit structure, both described as “rowhouses,” at 3008 Alki Avenue SW (a lot that stretches to SW Stevens on its south side). The notice says comments will be accepted through October 18th.
FAUNTLEROY LOT-SPLITTING DECISION APPEALED: A city decision approving division of a lot in an “environmentally critical area” of Fauntleroy, in the 3900 block of SW Henderson is being challenged by a neighbor who contends the split could have environmental and view ramification if, as he expects, a house is built on the split-off lot. The city Hearing Examiner will hear the appeal on October 9th.
DESIGN REVIEW: As first reported here last week, the apartment/retail project at 4435 35th SW will return to the Southwest Design Review Board on October 10th; here’s the notice. The bulletin also mentions “streamlined design review” – no public meeting, but comments are being taken, as with all development projects – for a four-unit townhouse project at the corner of 41st and Oregon.
The terms “alley vacation” and “street vacation” come up often in development, and are difficult to explain, but vital to understand, since they involve selling publicly owned property to developers, with City Council approval required. You can read about the process here – but that might still leave you with questions, so, in hopes of expanding understanding, René Commons, who’s leading the recently relaunched Junction Neighborhood Organization, brought city-government experts to last night’s meeting, and we recorded their presentations on video. The main speakers you’ll see are Beverly Barnett, the SDOT manager who is point person for the review of these requests, and Michael Jenkins from the Seattle Design Commission, the citywide advisory group that has to sign off on street/alley vacations before SDOT and the council can render final judgment.
P.S. It was pointed out that the 4755 Fauntleroy/Whole Foods alley-vacation request – the mayor-opposed proposal that won’t go to the council any sooner than December – is still open for public comment – any proposed vacation is open for comment until it gets to the council; e-mail email@example.com if you have something to say. Here’s our original February report on that part of the project (which was approved by the Design Commission in June after four reviews – the minutes of that meeting, as mentioned in this video of JuNO’s meeting, are here).
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