The big picture: Junction/”Triangle” development at a glance

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With BlueStar‘s announcement today of Gateway Center (earlier WSB coverage here), seemed like a good excuse to put together a clickable map of what’s been announced in the area so far. Each spot on the map will click to a brief description of what’s happening there plus a link to our most recent report about it, if applicable. We added some of the real estate that’s up for sale in the area. Certainly more parcels than this are in play (lots more ex-Huling/Gee land, for example), but this is a start. We’ll add to it as it goes and find it a home of its own soon, but here’s version 1.0.

37 Replies to "The big picture: Junction/"Triangle" development at a glance"

  • flowerpetal March 26, 2008 (4:46 pm)

    You guys “rock” more than grandma’s rocking chair! This map is a very useful tool for me. My head was swimming with all of the proposed development plans.
    Thanks 1,000 times!

  • PSPS March 26, 2008 (5:35 pm)

    Kind of puts a different light on the term “Ballard-ize,” doesn’t it? Even at the zenith of its construction, Ballard didn’t have this much going on.
    Of course, having plans and carrying them out are two different things. And as these projects pop up with announced starting dates sometimes over a year away, some of these will never materialize. The projects will be upside down on their financing before ground is even broken.
    Or, as appropriately put on an earlier reposted blurb from a developer seeking tenants before their plans are even approved: “Subject to change.”

  • JenV March 26, 2008 (5:43 pm)

    yeah, we’ll see how much new development happens when the viaduct comes down….

  • Ceejay March 26, 2008 (6:18 pm)

    You are the best. Wow! thanks for keeping us all informed. We need to be sure there is enough parking built to accommodate all these new folks and their vehicles.
    Will rents go up or down with competition?

  • Sarah March 26, 2008 (6:40 pm)

    West Seattle is headed for sure destruction. Isn’t it the smallness, the community feeling and the ‘island’ feel that we have that makes West Seattle so special? I’m not against progress or building per sey-but oh my goodness, this is just way too much. Empty lots I can deal with but lovely old buildings that are habitable, beautiful and just a joy to see-it’s just too sad. Destroying these buildings is NOT progress-it’s GREED.

  • add March 26, 2008 (7:40 pm)

    Wow. Ouch.

  • add March 26, 2008 (7:40 pm)

    Wow. Ouch.

  • cleat March 26, 2008 (8:04 pm)

    Amazing map work!!!! You are GOOD!!!! Thanks!! It’s interesting to poke to dots and see what the projects are … Good on ya!!!!

  • Bob Loblaw March 26, 2008 (8:44 pm)

    Not sure it’s greed, Sarah. Just supply and demand. We all have a right to put food on the table. Developers do it by developing. Only way to escape it along the I-5 cooridor is to escape the I-5 cooridor. Personally, the more development we have, the better. With development comes convenience and better infrastructure (Present city mostly excluded, unfortunately). We all benefit from those two items.

  • old timer March 26, 2008 (9:19 pm)

    It will be interesting to see if adequate financing will be available to complete these projects.
    In some ways, having a lot of new space come on stream just as we lose the viaduct might be just the kick West Seattle needs to become more self sufficient.
    With space for jobs and shops, we might find that we don’t need as much from the ‘outside’ as we think we do.
    We will still have roads open to the south, and we may forge a better integration with White Center and Burien and Tukwila while Seattle dithers about transit vs tunnel vs Sonics vs (pick some more).
    In every change there is opportunity. I hope West Seattle can maximize it’s chances over the next few years.

  • chas redmond March 26, 2008 (9:40 pm)

    Old Timer…
    I’m listening. Got any good ideas?

  • old timer March 26, 2008 (11:57 pm)

    “Good” ideas, I don’t know.
    Things have a way of becoming relative and in the eyes of the beholder.
    We tend to view West Seattle as an adjunct to Seattle, and I think that the times and the economic situation that is unfolding will be a great chance to reexamine that self-definition.

    If you consider our population, we are about the same size as Kennewick or Bellingham, and about 1/3 again larger than Olympia.
    These cities no doubt have their problems, but they are cities unto themselves and provide for their citizens.

    Here, we are truly blessed on our peninsula, with it’s better weather than the north end (Edmonds, Everett, Woodinville), and it’s large public access to saltwater.
    We have great infrastructure; schools, libraries, fire department, police station, good power and water supply, etc.
    Sure, these come about through the City of Seattle, but once in place, they are here to serve our community.
    So, given that we have a good little city here, what could make it better?

    How about a West Seattle centered transit service, one that would link Alki, Admiral, The Junction, Morgan, Delridge, Westwood, White Center, Burien. We have the rudiments of that, but nothing that is solely devoted to those destinations.
    If it takes Metro a decade to come up with a plan to provide this service, maybe some entrepreneurs could build out such a service more quickly, using some different transportation/business model than the one that drives Metro.

    How about a nice hotel?
    With our beaches and restaurants, we could become a weekend destination for tourists and other Washington State residents. We tend to take our parks for granted, but for those who don’t live here, being able to ‘go to the beach’ is a treat. We could offer a lower cost lodging just a Water Taxi ride away from Seattle’s art and cultural offerings. It would also be nice for WS residents to have a place to house overflow guests.

    Maybe some businesses could locate here rather than in the high rent and high congestion areas that are being built up in the downtown area, and on the eastside. New office space here will probably not have the same high sticker as SLU or Redmond, and we’re closer to the airport.

    People can still afford to buy homes here, we have a great farmer’s market, and the other above listed amenities for workers who might choose to live here.

    I’m sure there are a lot of things we could do to make this a better place for all. I’m certainly not the person to devise a master plan. Indeed, a master plan is probably never a good idea.

    I just wanted to provide a bit of a counterpoint to the chicken littles who see doom behind every change.

    Change is good, it is what happens when you allow life.
    The trick is to try to ride the change and direct it a bit.

  • JenV March 27, 2008 (7:31 am)

    people can still afford to buy homes here? AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! ooh, that’s a good one. oh, my sides.

  • me too March 27, 2008 (7:51 am)

    Old Timer, those are very thoughtful and constructive ideas and I hope someone will be able to build on them. Thank you for being positive about the future.

  • Todd March 27, 2008 (9:11 am)

    Amen Sarah

  • Aural Enhancer March 27, 2008 (9:36 am)

    Right on Old Timer.

  • chas redmond March 27, 2008 (9:50 am)

    Old Timer,
    Those are great ideas. I know that the WS Chamber of Commerce is also working on several of those – the local jobs and the hotel angle – as well as trying to vision a West Seattle which is more green, even including efforts in a new category – eco-tourism. I also know that Metro is considering re-route of the West Seattle buses to better serve the peninsula. Look for a round of community meetings sometime next year when Metro will be asking everyone here how they could take the existing bus routes and make a better West Seattle system out of them. This, of course, is predicated on the arrival of the new RapidRide service, which would free up a number of bus routes presently serving WS-to-downtown, and which could be re-routed to better serve WS-to-WS destinations.

    We still need emergency medical services, though. There are presently two areas where WS is lacking – a hospital and a hotel (or perhaps, a more useful hotel).

  • MSW March 27, 2008 (12:06 pm)

    What good is Rapidride if the buses are stuck on the West Seattle Bridge because the Spokane Street Viaduct doesn’t do the job of getting people in and out of West Seattle. Until the city seriously addresses this problem, more development in our area will only make the traffic mobility and congestion worst. We still need roads for commerce, transpiration and mass transit.

  • MSW March 27, 2008 (12:34 pm)

    Oops that should be Transportation and not Transpiration. Well, perhaps the evaporation of cars into the atmosphere might be a way to relieve congestion.

  • kevinakjunction March 27, 2008 (1:17 pm)

    Can you make this map a easy to reach fixure of the site? maybe give it it’s own tab at the top and keep updating it. The rapid development of WS should be given more attention. Rapidride is only a part of the mass transit needs here. We need a true MASS rapid transit system to reach WS!

  • WSB March 27, 2008 (1:25 pm)

    KevinAKJ, that’s our intent. We just have to consolidate a couple other pages to make room (probably about/contact). We’re working on maps of development elsewhere too since heaven knows it’s not just The Junction.

  • barmargia March 27, 2008 (4:08 pm)

    So if I’m not mistaken everyone wants more development, they want to tear down the ugly stuff and put up pretty stuff, people think that we will then become this perfect little self-sufficient suburb where we never have to go across the bridge. But like JenV says, who can afford to buy a home here, even those many many many condos/townhomes are above most people’s means. One minute everyone is for the development because “we can’t live in the past” or “all the other areas are changing, we should change to keep up”, then another minute everyone is up in arms because we are starting to look like Bellevue. Maybe if we are all super lucky we can have everything we know and may or may not love torn down and we could get all new stuff because well we don’t look enough like Bellevue.

  • SLK March 27, 2008 (4:18 pm)

    I agree with old timer and chas – let’s push for change that makes West Seattle more self-sufficient. It’s the only long term solution I can think of to ease traffic/viaduct congestion between WS and downtown. More offices, shopping, entertainment options (another movie theater?), and other businesses in the neighorhood could reduce commuting. And I would really love to see a hospital built here. Our lack of one is a major difference between us and Ballard. And whether you like Ballard or not, we will be gaining residential density – so why not fight for the neighborhood amenities that should go with it?

  • Jen V. March 27, 2008 (4:55 pm)

    but SLK, all this development is actually pushing people OUT of West Seattle. If I had wanted to live in a high-density area, I would have moved to Ballard or Capital Hill. Now, alas, the high-density has found me. I am damn near priced out of everything rental wise in WS, and god forbid I wanted to join the ranks of homeowners. All that development around Huling? What do you think that will do to the entertainment options like the bowling alley?

  • barmargia March 27, 2008 (4:58 pm)

    Very true Jen V., I lived in Ballard years ago (about 13) moved away because of work, moved back didn’t recognize most of Ballard and most certainly couldn’t afford anything there, so we moved to West Seattle, which was like the Ballard I remembered, now every year my rent goes up to the point where I won’t be able to live here either, oh and I certainly couldn’t buy anything here.

  • JenV March 27, 2008 (5:41 pm)

    barmargia, it sounds like we will be neighbors in Burien soon!

  • barmargia March 27, 2008 (5:55 pm)

    JenV exactly, until all the development starts there

  • Sarah March 27, 2008 (7:10 pm)

    I think West Seattle IS self sufficient. I don’t ever have to leave the ‘island’ And since when does being against development mean your negative about change? In case you didn’t hear me the first time, I am not against progress, or development-but how is a condo on each corner progress? How is more people and less transportation progress? How is removing all aspects of the past best for the future?
    Old Timer I think you have fantastic ideas-I love the transportation plan, a Hotel (not with an M) is long overdue, but you are SO wrong about affordable. I’m sorry, since when is $350,000+ affordable? But hey-we could all move into a condo on top of each other? Yeah that would be fun :)

  • chas redmond March 27, 2008 (8:09 pm)

    In some ways Seattle IS growing up. In nearly every other “major” city in the country, a single family home within 6 miles of downtown would be priced at the top end of the scale. Only here in West Seattle is that not really true – yet. It’s becoming true for all the right reasons but that doesn’t give not-yet-homeowners much of a break. My first house was a brand new Pace home on the way west side of Houston (1976) and it cost me and my wife $60K the down-payment of which we borrowed from my wife’s father – a banker who made me sign a real note with real interest.

    My next home was way easier to buy and my West Seattle home, my 4th in my home-buying career, was easier still. I was lucky, I’d bought a house with few amenities right between what were going to be two new Red Line stations in Upper Northwest (Tenley/Friendship Hghts – Belt Road and 39th). When we sold that house, 23 years later, the neighborhood around us had dramatically grown up, and we were still in a single family house neighborhood (sandwiched between Wisconsin and Connecticut Avenues). We made out like bandits. So we weren’t totally pressed for the down payment. And, we bought in Seattle when everything was in alignment – a stroke of pure luck, actually.

    There’s no easy way to get the house you really want as your first house. But, I will say that the DC and Seattle houses were/are super – views, convenience, great house, great neighborhood, – all of that. Neither was “cheap” for the area when we bought it, either.

    by the way, Central and Beacon are still somewhat affordable, as are parts of the far north (the 125s).

  • chas redmond March 27, 2008 (8:15 pm)

    Another by the way – my wife and I bought here rather than somewhere like – say – Roosevelt, because at the time I was banking on SMP more than I was banking on ST. Obviously I banked on the wrong proposed transit system and am now somewhat chagrinned that I’ve got to navigate a single-choke-point thoroughfare to get anywhere else in the city. Alas, that’s life. I still love it here, as does my wife. I actually can’t imagine myself living in Roosevelt, much as I visit that area and its parks and shops and cafes. I feel somewhat claustrophobic when I’m there after living on the Peninsula.

    What I really love about West Seattle is that it’s like Astoria, which is one of the coolest places on the west coast, but West Seattle, unlike Astoria, is actually in the center of a huge metropolitan area with all that goes with it. Astoria is perfect, though – hills, houses, river and ocean. A view a minute. Same here. Plus the weather in both places is great if you’re an inclement weather fan, as I am.

  • SLK March 27, 2008 (10:03 pm)

    JenV & barmargia – I agree that the days of “affordable” single family houses and townhouses in West Seattle are over. But I think/hope that the lack of affordable apartments is temporary. There’s a severe shortage of rental units all over Seattle, due in part to so many being converted to condo units. But the laws of supply and demand should apply – with so many new apartments being built, there should be more reasonably priced options available. I suppose if more people move here than can be accommodated by the new construction, prices would continue to climb. But given the quantity and size of the proposed projects, along with the currently inadequate infrastructure & amenities for that density, I doubt there will be an enormous influx of people to West Seattle.

  • Jen V. March 28, 2008 (8:49 am)

    SLK – So they are building all these new units – whether they are condos or apartments- and you don’t think there will be an influx of people? Are they building them with the intention that they stay empty? The building that will go up when they tear down 1/2 the junction has living space for more than 100 people. the place behind Petco has room for over 100 people. There will be units above the QFC, and above the Whole Foods. It looks like there will be units above the spot planned for the Huling Bros property. This is not even taking into account all the townhouses still going up along California Ave. To say that all this new development will not result in a huge influx of new residents to West Seattle is just plain ridiculous. But, I guess, you own a house in a nice neighborhood far, far away from all this development- so what do you care?

  • SLK March 28, 2008 (10:48 am)

    Jen V – if I didn’t care, why would I bother posting? The point I was trying to make is that there are well over 1000 (!!) new residential units, mostly apartments, planned for the Junction area. Of course the developers hope more people than that will move to West Seattle to pay their high rents. But if it turns out they have built more expensive apartments here than there is really a demand for (and I believe this will be the case), the prices will start to drop until they can rent the units. Eventually they will be occupied, whether the tenants come from other parts of West Seattle or are new to the neighborhood. So, yes, there WILL be a lot more people living in the Junction, but if the influx of people doesn’t keep up with the rate of construction, it will result in more affordable options.

    You seem to think that higher densities lead to higher prices, but I think that higher densities may actually reduce prices. Time will tell.

  • barmargia March 28, 2008 (3:57 pm)

    SLK, I hope you are right that higher density will lead to reducing prices, but I have my doubts, and they come from what I’ve seen all over Seattle. I don’t know about Jen V, but I know for myself that I worry everyday that the wonderful apartment I live in ,and barely afford, will one day be sold to make for condos that people that want more density will say is just part of growth. I can’t afford a 600 sq foot condo for $300,000 dollars. Sorry

  • JenV March 28, 2008 (4:33 pm)

    my problem is not so much with the prices- I mean, I too can barely afford my place, and certainly cannot afford to buy – and like barmargia I hope my landlords don’t want to turn my unit into a condo/townhouse. What bothers me the most is the density itself. Sure, cram a bunch of people in my backyard- I don’t think that is going to affect my rent much. What it is going to do is piss me off when I am stuck in traffic just trying to get to the junction, trying to find parking to eat or see a movie. When the roads here are already in disrepair- what do you think putting 1000 more cars on the road is going to do? We simply do not have the infrastructure here to deal with a glut of new people. There are only two lanes on the WS Bridge – and right now at rush hour it is crowded- put more people on that bridge and your commute just extended an hour. The only thing we will have enough of, sadly, is grocery stores..!

  • chas redmond March 28, 2008 (4:59 pm)


    wait – we still don’t have a Trader Joe’s and an Albertsons (not that we really want one) or a Big Apple – so maybe more grocery stores are in our future. I’d love to see a Big Apple down somewhere on Delridge, or even an Albertsons. And why isn’t there something else where the Home Depot is? There ought to be a Fred Meyer’s there as well.

  • Sue Scharff April 4, 2008 (12:37 pm)

    another aspect of this development is the fact that we are going to see more and more taller and taller buildlings. the mural will be 85′. connors homes wants to build two buildlings that height. cayce/gain want to raise the height limit between hines and hanford on cal ave. taller, taller, taller. if any of you have ever been in s.f. or n.y. (which nickels promised to turn seattle into – yep, he said that), you know that there is NOTHING GOOD ABOUT THAT. i was born in n.y., grew up in a suburb just outside, lived in s.f. for 3 years, and turning seattle into a city just like them is simply not progress. spend a day in the canyons where you never see sunshine and can barely see the sky, and think about how much you’d like that to happen to the place you live.
    the junction is being overdeveloped, plain and simple. too many buildings allowed to be built too tall at prices too few people can afford. mural is calling their apartments “affordable” at $900 for a studio and $1800 for a two bedroom. wake up! the ONLY thing driving this development is greed. the developers and the mayor have no interest at all in saving what we love about our community. they are not in the least bit invested in maintaining what was here; they are interested only in making a profit. and all the green claims? i’m laughing as hard as at the thought of affordable real estate. the only green building is to stop building and use what we already have, and when we must build, it’s not at the rate of 1000 square feet per person.
    (for the record, i rent a 950 square foot house and live in it with my 86 year old father and 13 year old son. and live in fear that my landlady will decide to sell, at which point two 3000+ sq ft homes priced at $800,000+ will surely be built on the property – as happened this past year on my street.)

Sorry, comment time is over.