Just talked with Alison Conner from Conner Homes, the company that — as we reported last night here and here — is now going forward, again, with plans to redevelop close to half the east side of California and west side of 42nd between Alaska and Edmunds in The Junction. No renderings yet – but she did supply many other details that the bare-bones city online filings don’t get into:
The two buildings will remain separated by the alley that’s currently between Rocksport and Super Supplements (etc.), but she says they plan to widen it by four feet on the north (Alaska) end and add landscaping; she also says there will be a “midblock pedestrian connection” running from 42nd to California between their buildings and Harbor Properties’ Mural (plus Talarico’s etc.).
Conner described the west building, fronting California and Alaska, as “five stories of wood frame on top of retail on the first floor, which will have 18-foot-high ceilings and lots of open spaces.” The east building, fronting 42nd and Alaska, will be “concrete and steel,” six stories over first-floor retail. The two will not be connected in any way above ground, but the two levels of parking beneath both buildings WILL be joined, so they can have just one entrance. They will be seeking a “departure” that would allow them to have that entrance off 42nd, instead of off the alley, which has been SOP for many of these projects otherwise.
She also said that the underground parking will have 100 additional spaces for retail customers, which is more spaces than will be lost on the street.
Who’ll be in the retail spaces, which will total about 30,000 square feet (6,500 sf more than the current business spaces along those blocks adds up to)? According to Conner, which will retain ownership of those spaces as the landlord, nothing is set yet, but they are “hoping for more local tenants” and will offer space to the current tenants. She also noted that they plan to use “a lot of brick, with colorful awnings” at street level so the new business spaces are not completely out of character next to the pre-existing ones nearby.
What’s next? She says she’ll be meeting with some local groups starting later this month to talk more about the project and show whatever pictures are ready then, including the West Seattle Junction Association and West Seattle Chamber of Commerce (although not JuNO, she said, even though that group has a meeting coming up next week).
Asked if the company, better known for Eastside subdivisions — Conner was in fact out at one of them, Collage in Bothell — has any history with this type of project, she said yes: For example, “The Greenlake,” finished in 2004.
The Junction project does not have a name yet. As we reported last night, the first major public meeting about it will be the “early design guidance” Southwest Design Review Board meeting at 6:30 pm April 10, location TBA.