Is West Seattle ready for “flexible workspaces”? That’s what James Tjoa is trying to figure out, and he would love to know what you think. He is working on the residential side of the project that Admiral Safeway has proposed for redeveloping its site, and exploring an idea that came up in response to concerns voiced at previous Design Review Board meetings: Adding to the “density” of the residential section along 42nd (top-center of that rendering from last fall, which we use just as a reference) by turning part of that section of the building into workspace. The space in question involves about 18,000 square feet around what will be Safeway’s loading dock – Tjoa says they realized that having living units atop and alongside the loading dock wouldn’t be optimal anyway, with noise and other concerns. They took a look around West Seattle, and while there’s ActivSpace on Harbor Ave, there’s no flexible workspace of note in the business-district centers. The “flexible space” concept is very much in the roughing-out process, he explains — some of it might be small spaces for just one person (150 square feet?), some bigger (up to 700?). And he says they’re open to hearing thoughts on the concept of “shared space” too – one of those places where you pay a fee to have the right to use a desk on a drop-in basis. In addition to the density concern, Tjoa says this concept could solve another of the criticisms brought up during previous Design Review meetings – there was a “green wall” there by the loading dock, and now he says the workspace could come all the way down to the sidewalk and “activate” the area facing 42nd as a result. According to Tjoa, some additional parking would be added beyond what was previously envisioned – some underground parking on that side of the building, in addition to what’s proposed for the Safeway roof. As they continue roughing out this concept, they’re also wondering what people might want – a conference room? bike storage? or? If you’ve got some thoughts about what this kind of space would need, he would love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org or 206-726-6230 … or leave a comment on this story. As for the entire project’s official status – it’s been through two Design Review meetings (most recently in November), and the next one is not yet scheduled.
West Seattle, Washington