New details on two major Junction projects


Those are from the “Preferred Scheme” section of the newly released Conner Homes presentation that will be made tomorrow night at the second Early Design Guidance meeting for Conner’s proposed buildings at California/Alaska/42nd in The Junction. See the presentation in its entirety here. The city Department of Planning and Development sometimes posts these presentations on the Design Review site in advance of the meetings (otherwise, they go up afterward), and that’s where we just found it. (Our coverage of the project’s first EDG meeting is here; tomorrow’s meeting is at 6:30 pm, Southwest Precinct meeting room.


We also have some new info about the groundbreaking celebration for the project that’ll soon start construction at that site, Fauntleroy Place (aka “the Whole Foods project”). Eric Radovich from development firm BlueStar says the June 12 event (first announced here) wiil start at 5:30 pm with a hosted barbecue (beer, wine, soda available). Music will be provided by local reggae band Andy O. Eric says, “You can expect a politician or two and a few of the key players to say a few words between 6:10 pm and 6:30 pm. We’ll turn a couple of shovels full of dirt and then back to the party until probably around 8 pm.” (Whole Foods and a new Hancock Fabrics store are the only two retail tenants who’ll be in the new building, which also will include hundreds of residential units.)

48 Replies to "New details on two major Junction projects"

  • Johnny Davies May 28, 2008 (4:46 pm)

    Some a**hat on this blog recently said those building designs “look good”. Right. He’s not only a supporter, he’s an employee.


    And here I am using the word “a**hat” again. The word has crept into my lexicon thanks to this blog! I’m not sure which of you coined the term, but its a keeper.

  • Aidan Hadley May 28, 2008 (5:00 pm)

    Well I’m not an employee and I’m encouraged by anything new that will replace the ugly, rundown, tired buildings that currently stand on that site.

  • JenV May 28, 2008 (5:01 pm)

    but there will be more sunlight in the alley! can’t you see how important that is? so when you’re looking for non-existant parking, it will be sunny! SUNNY!!!!

  • Wet Head May 28, 2008 (5:15 pm)

    A**hat was not coined here. It’s been around since at least 2002. Google it if you’re interested.

    Just about anything would be better than those Huling lots, but hopefully it won’t just be a new kind of ugly.

  • Jiggers May 28, 2008 (5:16 pm)

    When Whole Foods and the QFC multi-use projects are finished on Alaska, traffics going to be a nightmare trying to get up and thru the junction.

  • Asshat May 28, 2008 (5:20 pm)

    Looks fine to me.

  • pam May 28, 2008 (5:27 pm)

    I’m confused about the orientation of these images… can someone help me by naming the streets?

  • PSPS May 28, 2008 (5:44 pm)

    I always find it funny how these utopian “artist’s renderings” show little or no traffic. (The ones showing the proposed “surface street alternative” to the Alaskan Way Viaduct are truly bizarre! Maybe three cars on the street!) This one not only shows no traffic, but there are no people either. Even most of the streets themselves have magically disappeared.
    Let’s face it — this monstrosity will be floating in a permanent ocean of idling cars and trucks.

  • barmargia May 28, 2008 (5:59 pm)

    I guess I didn’t realize that what made West Seattle so special was that it was Bellevue West. I think we should tear everything down and build more condos, more and more and more condos.

  • DALYDBL May 28, 2008 (6:18 pm)

    HUNDREDS? Nooooooooooooo

  • J May 28, 2008 (6:20 pm)

    I think that stepping back from the alley is important; I also think it may not be enough. We do need density, but we need civilized density; it must have “built-in” green and open space. Room to breathe. More like this, maybe.

  • coffee geek May 28, 2008 (7:00 pm)

    Bitch and moan.

    Whole Foods in the jxn will be awesome, and the new buildings on the corner will be a vast improvement.

  • WSB May 28, 2008 (7:05 pm)

    The building shown with some brick-red tones is the one that will go from Alaska/California about a half-block south on California. The other goes from Alaska/42nd south along 42nd all the way to where Harbor Properties is building Mural (former Petco parking lot).

  • jn May 28, 2008 (7:08 pm)

    Did they even listen to the public comments at the first review? What about softening presence of a huge structure at the corner of California and Alaska? It saddens me to think of the shadows this will cast on California avenue.

  • WSB May 28, 2008 (7:18 pm)

    We haven’t read the entire document yet but if you look at the pages relating to the renderings we pulled out here, it appears the bulk of the structure is set back – instead of rising straight up from the very furthest edges of the building. Note the awning, etc. If you download the presentation, I believe this part starts around page 21.

  • Keith May 28, 2008 (7:21 pm)

    I don’t understand why the builders are putting so much emphasis on adding light and space to the alley but not doing the same for the California/Alaska Junction itself. And I hope whoever lives in those buildings enjoys the sound of buses roaring by!

  • seattle golfer May 28, 2008 (8:20 pm)

    No, the developer and the architect did not hear what the early design review committee or any of the public comments expressed on April 10. We asked for a set back of the building mass on California and Alaska, that means fewer stories, two to be exact to duplicate what we currently have…then build your “highrise”. Why all of the attention to dressing up an alley that must remain open to cars and garbage trucks…so they can build more units on California, Alaska and 42nd street. Tall, massive walls of what materials? This is a unique opportunity for Weber – Thompson, the architectural firm to do something that blends with our Junction. You won’t see the beautiful alley from you car, from three streets, you won’t see it unless you dodge cars in the alley to get to dozens of proposed businesses with alley access only. Our best corner should be inviting to anyone in a car or on foot to step into the new West Seattle, not dodge cars because they choose to put the ingress/egress into their two buildings on 42nd street, obtain a variance under the alley without paying for it and dress up the alley for their benefit, not ours. Tomorrow, Thursday at 6:30 at the SW precinct is the public comment for their 2nd early design review. Go there, write a comment to the city, speak your mind and you will at least make your peace with action before it happens instead of complaining for decades in the future.

  • grr May 28, 2008 (8:57 pm)

    As I drive around WS and see some nice and some UGLY old buildings…I can’t help but wonder what people said 30-40 years ago when they were being built.
    just take a drive sometime and look at some of the apt bldgs and homes..They SHOULD be mowed down.
    I sure as hell am tired of looking at ex-huling properties. I can’t WAIT for something new to be built. Traffic will be fine. They’ll adjust the lights accordingly. And, if they do it RIGHT, with plenty of WORK as well as living space, there’s likely to be FEWER cars during peak hours as more people actually..gasp..WALK to work.

  • Paul May 28, 2008 (9:37 pm)

    new is nice, sometimes, brown boxes are not. UPS brings me lots of brown boxes every day….

  • Jiggers May 28, 2008 (10:21 pm)

    grr… lets at least start with the ugly Hamm building which needs to be torn down and rebuilt. It makes that side of the street look runned down.

  • Lindsay May 28, 2008 (10:40 pm)

    As a homeowner close to the Junction in West Seattle, I’m always wondering what all of this construction will do to the value of our house. However, higher property values or not, the reason why I moved here in the first place seems to be getting demolished day by day. I love the small town feel I get in West Seattle while still feeling connected to the hub of Downtown – I just hope the small-town feel doesn’t get replaced with the feeling of being in any suburb across the US.

    I’m a new comer, having been here for only a year, but I can already say “I miss the days when..” I miss the days when I would read signs on the overpass over the West Seattle Bridge on my way home. I miss the days when I could find easy parking when going to Petco. And, I miss the days when buildings felt like they’d been here for a long time, and weren’t just thrown up in a frenzy, with little concern for an actual cohesive, friendly neighborhood design.

  • dv May 28, 2008 (10:55 pm)

    Looks fine to me. Certainly an improvement to what is currently there. And to all those who constantly complain about traffic……how about we think about alternate ways to travel? I walk or bike to the junction frequently without any trouble. Can be a little hilly, yes, but there’s also the bus. I’m just tired of hearing people complain about traffic. We live in a city….that’s life unless we start traveling differently.

  • flipjack May 28, 2008 (10:57 pm)

    I agree with Asshat. haha.

  • elgrego May 28, 2008 (11:26 pm)

    It’s gotta look better than what’s already there. Perfect? No, but better than the present.

  • T. De May 29, 2008 (6:11 am)

    Looks like Bellevue to me…

  • toomanyratsinacageakaWS May 29, 2008 (8:20 am)

    Well said Lindsay. Ditto.

  • TeresaP May 29, 2008 (8:46 am)

    And what will we do without the Rocksport during football season??

  • Al May 29, 2008 (8:50 am)

    “Traffic will be fine. They’ll adjust the lights accordingly. And, if they do it RIGHT, with plenty of WORK as well as living space, there’s likely to be FEWER cars during peak hours as more people actually..gasp..WALK to work.”

    Yes, please adjust the lights. And I’m sure that Microsoft, Amazon, major hospitals will be moving right over to West Seattle. Funny! Good one!

    Seriously – improved transit will be our only option.

  • Cowpie May 29, 2008 (9:41 am)

    I’m still confused on where we are. The surrounding existing buildings look nothing like what’s out there. Why didn’t they install street names. What buildings are being removed for these two new buildings? The photograph is the Alaska/Fauntleroy intersection yet people on this post are talking about California/Alaska intersection.

  • Rick May 29, 2008 (9:41 am)

    I’m going back to Rat City where they aren’t actually stuffing more rats into more rat boxes.

  • old timer May 29, 2008 (9:41 am)

    I would think that as traffic on Alaska increases, more people will try to make use of Oregon as a route to/from Fauntleroy and parts west of the junction.
    Traffic signal control and coordination might actually aid such movement, especially if the Oregon/42nd light was coordinated properly.

  • toomanyratsinacageakaWS May 29, 2008 (9:45 am)

    “We can hear the music, that’s great. Maybe if we put our noses to the door, we can smell the food!”

  • WSB May 29, 2008 (9:49 am)

    There are two items in this post. The photo below goes with the second item, about the Fauntleroy Place groundbreaking. The images at top go with the first item, which is about the California/Alaska/42nd buildings (the buildings to be torn down are those including Super Supplements to Rubato Records on the west side aka California side, Rocksport/city office/travel agency to the new development on the east, aka 42nd, side).

  • Cowpie May 29, 2008 (9:49 am)

    OH…..I get the street locations now. The green roof building is at the intersection of Alaska/California? So that building is going where the health store is?? The other building is where Rocksport is located…dah.

  • gevin booth May 29, 2008 (11:48 am)

    This is yet another misguided, opportunist idea that will continue to strip the charm and soul of West Seattle, our “small town” in a “big city.” In the past few years, we have seen major construction gutting away the heart of our community. Now, they want to destroy an area of West Seattle that, thus far, has remained basically untouched: The heart of the Junction. When will it stop??

  • miws May 29, 2008 (11:55 am)

    Cowpie, just imagine you are standing on the roof of Easy Street looking kitty-corner across the street.



  • SLK May 29, 2008 (2:38 pm)

    I don’t see much of a difference between this “preferred” scheme and what was presented at the first design review meeting. It seems like most of the public and Design Review Board’s comments were ignored. The biggest issue in my mind is that priority has been given to the alley, at the expense of California Ave. & the intersection. I hope the people who want to see something better show up at the meeting tonight, or at least contact the planner with your concerns.

  • barmargia May 29, 2008 (3:51 pm)

    so if it were up to grr, we would just tear down everything “ugly”…who is to decide what ugly is?

    I guess it doesn’t matter if someone lives there, or uses it, or whatever, but if it’s ugly lets just tear it down. We can rebuild and put something pretty and shiny and new and expensive in it’s place.

  • LB May 29, 2008 (5:13 pm)

    It’s gotta be better than whats there now

  • SAtAN May 29, 2008 (7:40 pm)

    Just wait until all these people move in and start to bitch about the traffic, parking, noise, etc. Close the WS Street Fair down and Farmers Market, too much noise and commotion. Another condo and more people is exactly what we need. People, people, people, squeeze them in anywhere you can, damn this makes me sick.

  • grr May 29, 2008 (10:12 pm)

    yup, barmargia..I’m all for tearing down the worn out, ugly, badly constructed old buildings and replacing them. Look how long it took for those hideous Green Monsters to go. The new Work Lofts there look great.
    and, Al..I’m more than willing to be that if the facilites are put in place here, you WILL see companies opening up ‘branch’ offices, if it makes financial sense. Look at what Microsoft is doing in Downtown Bellevue and Seattle, in order to keep people from having to commute to Redmond (not to mention their new Commuter bus line that take an average of 1000 cars OFF the road every day.
    it just cracks me up how much people whine about the ‘character’ of WS being lost, yet, new businesses come here and thrive (had dinner at Spring Hill tonight..YUM).
    I’ve yet to see any designs of the ‘new’ construction that are as ugly as a LOT of exisitng buildings in WS (let’s take that Round Pancake complex at Fauntlery/California, for example). New paint job still makes it look like lipstick on a pig.’s a prettier pig now. And, boy…that old Tool Rental place on Huling Property. THAT’S some award winning design. sheeesh. MOW IT DOWN.
    I joyfully embrace the possibilites of new residences, offices, retail and entertainment coming in these new buildings!
    . there ANY drawings of the new QFC anywhere??

  • grr May 29, 2008 (10:13 pm) really should just move to Vashon.

  • WSB May 29, 2008 (10:46 pm)

    grr, I’ll find one on my next break from writing up the incredibly long notes on tonight’s Design Review meeting. Just learned about the Design Review archives … where electronic copies of presentations are archived if they were available in the first place. Hopefully there’s one for this. We started attending DR meetings a little late in that one’s process.

  • WSB May 29, 2008 (10:57 pm)

    the presentation was never archived. If you have a PC, check to see if anything’s there. Their site only works with IE. (Well, I suppose you could have IE on a Mac too, but we don’t.)

  • grr May 29, 2008 (11:40 pm)

    grrrrrrrr..I HATE $**@)!! companies that are too #*))!!! lazy to properly CODE THEIR WEBPAGES FOR OTHER BROWSERS.

  • moldygreg May 30, 2008 (12:44 pm)

    West Seattle. The new Ballard.

  • grr May 30, 2008 (6:57 pm)

    I thought White Center was the new Ballard??

    The fact of the matter is that there is NO MORE LAND. We have to make the best use of what we can, and that takes PLANNING and COMPROMISE. I’ve yet to go to one of these ‘planning’ meeting s and see a developer that didn’t HONESTLY seem to care about what they were building in WS. They’re honest about the need for their buildings, and honest about caring what they look like.

    I simply see nothing wrong with a small, concentrated grown-up business district gateway on the Huling/WholeFoods area. It -COULD- be beautiful, ya know (as long as there’s no new SBUX there..hahaha)

  • bl@ster June 1, 2008 (3:04 am)

    More blah buildings. This is starting to get depressing. Is it only about the bottom line anymore. Where are the designer and architect’s sense of legacy? Do they care?

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