Tonight: Your chance to speak out on Junction megaproject

Tonight could be the last Design Review session for Conner Homes‘ two-building, 7-story project at California/Alaska/42nd, and that means potentially one of the last in-person public-comment opportunities on the first major redevelopment project in the heart of The Junction. If you missed our report Tuesday, here’s the link to the presentation that’ll be shown tonight; the meeting’s at 6:30 pm at High Point Library (map). Lots of other major events tonight too – please check the WSB West Seattle-wide Events calendar for the full list.

21 Replies to "Tonight: Your chance to speak out on Junction megaproject"

  • cy10 March 12, 2009 (9:46 am)

    Does anyone know what businesses will be taken out if this development goes through? It looks like Super Supplements but are there more businesses that will be affected? I for one am not a fan of yet another faceless condo going in. Have you seen Ballard lately? Yuck!

  • Jersey Jill March 12, 2009 (9:46 am)

    This so scares the hell out of me. The character of our small community is at the hands of the money hungry developers that live some where else. I feel we are already bulging at the seams with population here. Our streets are an embarresment, our police and fire are stretched thin, our public walk ways littered and defaced, landscaping unmanacured minimual parking of any kind and yet the city keeps adding more and more of these ugly structurers when things already seem to be unmanageable. Please someone stop the madness there are multitudes of empty condo’s and apartments now do we really need any more!!!

  • WSB March 12, 2009 (10:01 am)

    Cy, we have reported extensively on this previously but, in a nutshell, it’s the entire building on the east side (CitiFinancial, for example, already has closed there; there’s also Rocksport, the city Neighborhood Services Office, the travel agency, and another store); on the west side, there’s a cell-phone store, barber shop, Funky Jane’s — which as we reported a few weeks back already has found a new home (not moved in yet) in the ex-vitamin store at California/Oregon — among others…TR

  • big gulps,eh? well, see ya later. March 12, 2009 (11:09 am)

    Infrastructure continues to be a relatively small portion of the discussion of these large multi family developments. It is just assumed every unit will have less than one car and no visitors. It is also assumed current mass transit is adequate and that the adoption level will be very high.

    It is heartbreaking to see these changes happen so quickly to our hood. At the same time I guess this is progress in America. Mongo simply pawn in game of life…

  • Linnea March 12, 2009 (11:22 am)

    I would imagine that given the state of the economy, the chances are pretty slim that the construction is imminent. Just saying. . .

  • Mike March 12, 2009 (11:30 am)

    I doubt we have to worry about them adding more cars needing parking for residents of this condo complex… they can’t sell the existing condos and townhomes along California Ave as is. Ballard has 3 condo complexes next to one another along Market St. that have 6 units lit up at night. They are going to convert those into apartments now since they are not making sales on condo units. Want to see the neighborhood tank, build condos.

  • WSB March 12, 2009 (11:40 am)

    FYI as we mentioned in our last two reports. Currently this is planned as apartments, “built to condo specs,” as the developers told me at the second-to-last Design Commission hearing for the alley-vacation component.
    But whatever the market will bear once it’s done, obviously, is the direction in which it will go. Just want to be clear that right NOW, they’re thinking “apartments.”

  • ericak March 12, 2009 (11:52 am)

    This is a link to the report from the last design review on this project so you have a sense of the community comments and the board recommendations.

    If as the community you would like to have your comments/ideas/suggestions heard, please show up tonight or email the DPD planner, Michael Dorcy,

    The current design has not responded, in my opinion, to all of the issues identified at the last review. The design review board and developers need to hear what you think.

  • Cami March 12, 2009 (2:41 pm)

    That looks terribly “out of place”.

  • Meghan March 12, 2009 (5:05 pm)

    Ugh, more negativity, small mindedness, and “clas warfare”. I’ve worked in commercial developoment for year. So can I enlighten some of you on this project (and other projects like it): 1) Developers are not all alike. Not all of them are greedy, rich out of towners who don’t care about the community. This particular development was very carefully designed for the better good of the neighborhood and to supply the type of additional housing that people will want and need in a few years; 2) You don’t build apartment or condo buildings (or any type of commercial building) to today’s market situation. If you did, you’d always be 2 or 3 years behind. You build them to economic forecasts which, though not perfect, generally hold up pretty well. That’s why the vast majority of projects are a success. 3) West Seattle is going to grow whether you like it or not, and this is the very center of the W. Seattle commercial district. So no, it is not out of place at all. In fact, it is very enhancing to the Junction. Go look at the job site. It is surrounded by 5 to 10 story building and retail centers. It fits much better than 1-story buildings from the 60’s or 70’s. 4) You don’t decide whether to build something like this based on what current tenants might be displaced. As long as the landlords are honoring the leases, any retailer can be forced to move (or may go out of business any day). Keep in mind that Super Supplements is a temporary retail tenant in an old bank building.

    I know change and progress is difficult for people who are afraid of change or simply want to keep things as they are. But if you don’t support the good new development (e.g. this project), you’ll end up getting more new bad new development (e.g. most of what was built in the 80’s and 90’s)!

  • julie March 12, 2009 (5:44 pm)

    I think this is an improvement over the last design but Meghan take a look around all of the buildings at the Alaska/California intersection are 2 stories tall. The old folks home which is not architecturally pleasing and the Lincoln Square and the new QFC are set back from what most would consider the heart of the Junction. This new project will block most of the light for the new park and will change the look of the junction. It isn’t really in scale with it’s neighbors. I’m all for increased density and new developments but within the context of the neighbors.

  • MellyMel March 12, 2009 (6:28 pm)

    “Go look at the job site. It is surrounded by 5 to 10 story building and retail centers.”
    This is only true of the Jackson Square area a few blocks east and only as of 3-5 years ago. And for myself, I hate the size of the mural project and wonder how three grocery stores in a four block radious can be feasible . . .
    My question is — for anyone — what is the most effective way to object to these kinds of projects at a design review? I dont know what I would say except to voice my opinion that it is too large scale a project for the area? That seems rather weak in the face of development dollars.
    I dont object to change — make stuff nicer — upgrade to modern buildings. But lord, gimme some height restrictions.

  • MAS March 12, 2009 (6:37 pm)

    Hmm, we want density but not height. If anyone has solved that without living like moles, I’d like to hear it.

    As for supporting three grocery stores, usually we let the free market decide that one for us. If it can’t, one of them will cease to be, and the good news is that it will be the one not as many people liked.

  • Chet March 12, 2009 (7:52 pm)

    I was concerned about development in early 2005 (prior to the forum) on this blog but didn’t have any support really. Nice to see people concerned this year and last year. Thanks.

  • concerned March 12, 2009 (8:30 pm)

    density is pro-environment. and this is density.

  • WSB March 12, 2009 (8:54 pm)

    Chet, always good to hear from you.
    For the record, we didn’t start this site till Christmas Eve 2005 and we didn’t start talking about development for maybe a little while after that so it was probably early 2006 :) – TR

  • Eilis Flynn March 13, 2009 (8:16 am)

    A couple of observations.

    First, it’s JEFFERSON Square — but am I the only one who finds it amusing that at least the inaccuracies are both US presidents, like the right name?

    Second, the way the Whole Foods project is going, I don’t think we’ll have to worry about that third supermarket for a looong time, if ever. And I was always in agreement that the WF chain would have been a little too pricy for the area, anyway.

  • swimcat March 13, 2009 (8:59 am)

    This building is on California, which only has only one and two story buildings on it. So six stories IS out of place. And I don’t think most of the dissenters here are afraid of change- they simply feel that some things are worth preserving. I like the small town feel of California- it’s like an old Main Street. I don’t want it to turn into a canyon of tall, impersonal buildings full of chain restaurant and retail shops that is a replica of Ballard, Bellevue, or Belltown.

  • yay! March 13, 2009 (10:35 am)

    I’m confused why having an attractive dense development is so anathema to the interests of West Seattle. More people in the Junction will add to the ‘eyes on the street’ thus improving the safety and vibrancy of the neighborhood. The development is conveniently located next to a pretty decent bus hub, so it won’t result in as many cars, and the development itself encourages more walking and non-auto transport (since it’s attempting to infill in a neighborhood and isn’t being built in the hinterlands of West Seattle).

    This is a smart development, it’s an attractive building (unlike some new buildings in Seattle) and good for the environment (on the whole density is better than single family residential). What’s not to like?

  • MellyMel March 13, 2009 (2:42 pm)

    Yay!, you and I differ on what constitues attractive (based on the drawings).
    Regarding density: there is much middle ground to be explored between “either” single family homes “or” a seven story complex.

  • Jigae March 15, 2009 (9:48 am)

    I totally agree with MellyMel — it’s not all or nothing. We can have density without over development and also build more environmentally-conscious single family dwellings for those who prefer it and can afford it.

    There’s good an ill to both.

Sorry, comment time is over.