6053 California project moves forward



Full disclosure, we are sentimentally attached to that 84-year-old building at California/Graham, as we mentioned when the redevelopment plan for that corner first came up almost exactly one year ago (first posted here, including historical reminiscences in the comments; there’s more history here). WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli subsequently went out and took photos of the building for posterity’s sake, including the two you see above. Over the course of the past year, the project has proceeded, as such things tend to do, and then came this morning’s city Land Use Information Bulletin, with only one item — this decision regarding environmental and design review. Next step, final permits for demolition and construction (what will be built there, you ask? 3-story live/work units and townhouses; here’s our coverage of the site’s last Design Review Board meeting, including a design photo).

17 Replies to "6053 California project moves forward"

  • Jerald April 14, 2008 (12:56 pm)


  • toomanyratsinacageakaWS April 14, 2008 (2:03 pm)

    Oh Joy, just what we need .. more condos and more of the birthplace of Seatle’s history slipping away forever.

    Ben Dover

  • toomanyratsinacageakaWS April 14, 2008 (2:03 pm)


  • lala April 14, 2008 (2:41 pm)

    What? A unique historical building? Quici, demolish it and put in another bland boring condo unit with a nail salon or investment brokerage in the retail space.

  • WSB April 14, 2008 (2:52 pm)

    It should be noted, as is required in these cases, this building was reviewed by the city’s landmarks-preservation staff earlier this year, who determined it didn’t meet the criteria for further review.

  • Jiggers April 14, 2008 (3:49 pm)

    Another doonut and coffee house please…

  • Rhonda Porter April 14, 2008 (3:54 pm)

    I wish developers would retain the base of buildings like this and then “build around it”.

  • old timer April 15, 2008 (7:34 am)

    It was the architect, I think, who brought a model of this project to a neighborhood meeting. The live/work units seemed to be a bit more than the typical townhouse stuff we’ve been seeing built.
    They seem to offer a good place for someone who wants to work at a business from home.
    They will of course be built to current earthquake and energy use standards, something that would probably be expensive to retrofit into the empty shell we’ve been looking at for so long.
    Let’s hope the new space provides a place for new ideas to take root..

  • Holly April 15, 2008 (8:30 am)

    Inside the current building, there is an old west seattle newspaper that is pretty cool. It is framed and right by the window. Take a peek next time you stroll by. I hope someone gets it out before the demolition.

  • Eric April 15, 2008 (9:25 am)

    “what will be built there, you ask?”

    No, we never have to ask anymore. The answer is always the same: these mythical “live-work” spaces. Really these are just condos. “Running a business” out of these means someone sitting at their computer sending emails for money instead of for no money like the rest of us. They’re never business that anyone in the neighborhood will patronize or even know about, no clothing stores, toy shops, musical instrument stores, bookshops, hardware stores, or printers. Oh right: we do have that stupid mobile phone and broadband shop over there, that’s a real neighborhood hub.

    My god, I never thought that I’d be jealous of the gentrification in Ballard, but I am. Why can’t we have a few nice small restaurants on that stretch of California?

  • WSB April 15, 2008 (10:36 am)

    Funny you mention toy shops. That is the one shop we have noticed that Ballard’s changes have driven away … they used to have a toy store a lot like Curious Kidstuff, full of whimsy and fun, and every time we went to Ballard for some reason, we would wander in to see what was new. Now it’s gone. Whatever replaced it is so forgettable, I can’t recall its name or even specialty.

  • Quiz April 15, 2008 (10:56 am)

    stop complaining. maybe this will spurr development of the ex chuck & sally’s corner…and the short stop. ugh.

  • JW April 15, 2008 (4:14 pm)

    As someone who types emails from my house near there and gets paid for it…yes, guilty as charged. My business isn’t creating a neighborhood hub. But some of the examples you mentioned don’t really pay the rent anymore, unfortunately. Putting up an enormous Home Depot and having the world of e-commerce at your fingertips does have its consequences.

    BUT…I would so very very gladly spend some of that pay at any decent restaurants that popped up there. I dearly love Kokoras and go there lots, but variety is the spice of life, and sometimes there’s a wait at K’s. Restaurateurs, are you listening? I’d gladly duck into a neighboring place if it were there.

  • SLK April 15, 2008 (7:24 pm)

    I have nothing against more restaurants, but people like JW who work from their homes are doing a lot more than most of us to cut down on traffic congestion. I think we should encourage more of the type of development that allows this to happen.

  • Jaime Gummer April 15, 2008 (9:17 pm)

    Keep the restaurants. Just give me a Pinkberry!

  • Debbie April 16, 2008 (9:06 am)

    I’m fairly new to WS Blog and haven’t dug around much. Does anyone know what happened to Chuck & Sallys across the street from this beautiful building? It’s been vacant for quite a few months. Is it also going to be developed? I live in the Morgan Junction area and would love to see more locally owned restaurants and shops.

  • WSB April 16, 2008 (9:23 am)

    We check the city website every few days for signs of an application to develop. So far as of last check (haven’t gone in yet today tho) nothing.

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