Your first look at what’s planned for the Redline (etc.) site

We first told you on Halloween about a project that’s emerged for the Triangle-area site on 35th south of Avalon that now holds Redline Music and Sports and a vacant lot. Today, one week before the Southwest Design Review Board is scheduled to take a look, the early-design proposal for the project is available online – it’s the source for the sketch you see above. The perspective is roughly the same one in this Google Street View of the site:

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The proposal packet outlines the plan so far as: “100-150 dwelling units on five floors over a ground level floor of commercial and parking with a below grade basement parking structure. Parking for approximately 158 vehicles would be available to support the 100-150 dwelling units and 12,250 sf of street level commercial space” and says developers are looking at building to the maximum height allowed by current zoning, 65 feet. More details to come when the Design Review Board looks at the project, 6:30 pm next Thursday at the Senior Center of West Seattle in The Junction; the city’s project-status page is here.

38 Replies to "Your first look at what's planned for the Redline (etc.) site"

  • Eddie November 12, 2009 (9:31 am)

    Trader Joes

    Seriously, 158 parking spaces for 150 dwelling units? How can any business (or 12,250 sq ft of business) survive in that area with no parking? Where do they think that walk up traffic is going to come from? Employees at KFC? Good luck with that.

  • Lisa McNelis November 12, 2009 (10:15 am)

    That location, at the 35th/Avalon bus hub could use some retail serving the “coming home from work and need a couple items for dinner” crowd. But, my first take on that building…The top appears to be a riff on Phillip Johnson’s famously postmodern ATT&T building in Manhattan. Is West Seattle really ready to bring back the early 80’s?

  • walkability please November 12, 2009 (10:41 am)

    Wow–it’s like they are begging for a large national chain. What an uninspired, monolithic 1970’s design. I am all for less parking, but Eddie has a point–no one is going to walk to this boring eyesore.

  • JenV November 12, 2009 (10:47 am)

    awesome. so they’ll tear down the Redline, make a big hole in the ground and then abandon it. Or, like the place directly across the street, it will lose funding and sit half-completed for a few years. yay, progress.

  • celeste17 November 12, 2009 (11:10 am)

    We already have one unfinished building across the street from this proposed build. Why don’t we get that one finished before we yet again start to build something. I think there are too many projects that are going to be happening in this area that we really need to look at what is planned and really question the need for more.

  • MellyMel November 12, 2009 (11:16 am)

    By all means, pack more people in. Density, density and no where to go.

  • Jiggers November 12, 2009 (11:22 am)

    I prefer a gentlemens club instead of more high end priced condos.:(

  • sw November 12, 2009 (11:31 am)

    Welcome to Ballard.

  • flowerpetal November 12, 2009 (11:40 am)

    Do these developers ever consider the roadway and winter driving. That incline can be challenging enough but once you begin to block out sunlight, the road will be frosty longer. Other examples? Avalon Way between 35th and Andover; California just south of the junction; others?

  • austin November 12, 2009 (11:59 am)

    The redline is the one spot is West seattle that would actually be improved by being replaced with a giant abandoned hole.

    Seriously though the reality of the situation is that there is no desire or need for this. Developers, if you want to gamble your money away do it at the casino.

  • WSB November 12, 2009 (12:17 pm)

    Flowerpetal – I’m not sure if it fully addresses that question but if you get a chance to follow the link to the “packet” for the Design Review meeting, there is a page that discusses solar exposure. It does come up at the meetings, although I don’t think I’ve seen it discussed in that exact context, more like whether nearby homes/fields would be entirely shaded, etc. – TR

  • 4thGenWestSide November 12, 2009 (12:24 pm)

    That building already looks tired before it is even built! Are these plans from 25 years ago? Horrid! I prefer the shack that is there to that awful design. PLEASE re design from ground up!

  • Kayleigh November 12, 2009 (12:34 pm)

    Anything is better than what’s there now.

  • sam November 12, 2009 (12:37 pm)

    I’d agree that the design is (thus far- from what’ visible on image above)


    Please !! go to the design review meeting to express your comments there, as well as here on WSB.

  • GenHillOne November 12, 2009 (12:53 pm)

    I know we love to bash density and “canyons” here in WS, but if anywhere, that seems like a decent spot to put it. I do always marvel at parking space math though. FWIW, has anyone else noticed activity at the unfinished 35th/Avalon building? I’ve seen trucks & people inside (what I guess would be) the parking garage entrance a few times this last week.

  • Brendan November 12, 2009 (1:10 pm)

    that is quite a retro look, but not really in a good way.

  • T-Rex November 12, 2009 (1:19 pm)

    Please stop building!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • westy cares November 12, 2009 (1:43 pm)

    i thought that was a drawing of Jefferson Square.

    seriously… did these developers even talk to an architect? That “design” is an insult to architects everywhere

  • Alki Area November 12, 2009 (1:53 pm)

    LOL. It’s a pencil sketch of a general building, not an actual architects submitted design. CALM DOWN!

    As for “stop building”. Never gonna happen. I’m sure the native Americans wanted us to stop building about 1870, but we stole their land and built a city. I’m sure folks in 1920 thought it was crowded enough…and in 1950…and in 1980. And folks in 2065 will say we should slow down. Sorry. The only constant in the universe is change (and irony). If you expect to move somewhere and have your surroundings never change, you’re in for a disappointing life. You can move to a very rural area and it will change slower, but if you want to be ‘near the action’ and live near baseball games, movie theaters, shopping malls…but don’t want the city to change NOW that all those things are built, sorry. Whatever your favorite restaurant is…that space used to be open land or forest 200 years ago. You don’t mind the restaurant now, but don’t want it to change any MORE? Silly.

  • westy cares November 12, 2009 (2:11 pm)


    Nobody thinks that that rendering is the final design, BUT presumably that rendering is illustrative of what they intend to build since there is a DESIGN REVIEW MEETING next week.

    Maybe we should all just assume that they are “low-balling” us with the worst design they could come up with, so that we can all feel good when they actually build something that is merely mediocre.

    I for one am in favor of density, and I agree that it is inevitable. In fact, all of these buildings going up around The Junction are setting the precedent for what will be built in the coming years, and that is precisely why we need to set the standards fairly high.

    Seattle is blessed with many many very good architecture firms, there is no reason for something as schlocky as what is shown on the rendering to get built.

  • jiggers November 12, 2009 (2:47 pm)

    I don’t care it looks, it’s not going to be affordable by any means.

  • Donn November 12, 2009 (3:50 pm)

    Unfortunately, it looks like all the bad buildings they have built on Alki over the past 10 years. Sorry Alki. Really curved glass windows?

  • Donn November 12, 2009 (3:56 pm)

    I prefer Scheme 3 in the proposal packet.

  • JenV November 12, 2009 (4:11 pm)

    it’s not “stop building”’s “how about you finish the projects you’ve started before starting another one”

  • Mickymse November 12, 2009 (4:12 pm)

    Of course this is a good spot for a dense development… It has a major bus stop sitting right in front of it, and plenty of potential customers all down Avalon.
    I have to heartily concur, though, that they need to be smacked around in Design Review if anyone behind this project thinks that rough sketch is how it should look.
    And, can anyone tell me why it is so hard for developers to have a few 3BR or even 4BR units available? Is it really that unaffordable? Or do they really think there is no demand anywhere for a single-family condo or apartment in the City any more? I would think cutting down on parking would help to pencil things out…

  • sgs November 12, 2009 (8:23 pm)

    Dear Alki Area,

    Some of the most desirable and pleasant cities to live in the world are so because they have taken steps to retain their personality and character. Being anti-condo-everywhere development in West Seattle’s case is not being anti-progess in my opinion.

    Having said that, I realize Seattle has made it’s decision to increase density here (for many good reasons), I only wish the transportation infrastructure would be taken care of first.

  • LAP November 12, 2009 (9:33 pm)

    There goes the do-it-yourself park n’ ride for those of us that catch the bus at 35th and Avalon! The formal one under Spokane is not safe for people or cars…and the express buses don’t use the stop there under the bridge….so its a pretty big waste.

  • Herman November 12, 2009 (11:17 pm)


  • austin November 13, 2009 (9:02 am)

    “And, can anyone tell me why it is so hard for developers to have a few 3BR or even 4BR units available? Is it really that unaffordable?”

    With the two bedroom units at Mural going for around $1900 / month and adding another 500/month per bedroom, I’d say yes, it really is that unaffordable. Who would pay $3000 / month to live in an apartment is beyond me. You could rent one house for yourself and one for your kids for that.

  • Diane November 13, 2009 (11:56 am)

    thanks Donn for the note “I prefer Scheme 3 in the proposal packet”; so after searching through pdf design packet, agree, I also prefer #3, like the setbacks
    I really like the design; love the curves; love the curved windows; I’m so bored with seeing most apt/condos all look the same, very few make me stop to look and say “wow, cool !!!”
    if you look at some international designs, there is so much potential for beautiful, innovative, creative buildings; why do most domestic buildings have to be so boring? Please be more daring!
    of course there is much more to learn in the details at the design reviews; so show up and participate!!!

  • Buddsmom November 13, 2009 (12:00 pm)

    Two words….UG- LY.

  • Alki Area November 13, 2009 (1:17 pm)

    Dear Sgs,

    Calm down. For GODS sake people, we’re talking about a half dozen new condo buildings, the most new ones built in years…over dozens and dozens of square miles. Don’t act like your neighborhood is “suddenly” being overwhelmed and bulldozed overnight. The ‘triangle’ area hasn’t been significantly changed in 50 years. If this is too fast for you, too much crazy change, I don’t know what to say. Adding 200 or 1,000 condo’s or apartments in an area of 50,000 people over a decade is NOT crazy out of control change. Relax. :)

    And yes the sketch is UGLY! Looks like a bad version of the Jefferson Square mess in terms of tasteless architecture. But it’s way way too early to start bitching. That starts when they ACTUALLY submit a design…not just a pencil sketch that’s leaked online…LOL.

    Just trying to inject some reality into the hype.

  • dawsonct November 14, 2009 (11:24 am)

    Increased density is a-ok, and this part of our community is one of those area that will and should absorb much of the new construction. Despite that, if this building comes in looking ANYTHING like this sketch (why would you draw it if this wasn’t one of the “design” ideas?), it would be a bland, uninspired shame, the only thing redeeming it will be that it is kind of tucked into a hole and won’t be a major visual focal point.

    If it DOES get built like this, at least we will get more coverage in Seattle’s favorite architectural criticism site:

  • dawsonct November 14, 2009 (11:29 am)

    I’m thinking about opening a paint store in W. Seattle. It will stock ONLY gallons and gallons of various shades of beige, a little less gray, and a few gallons of white so folks who want to live dangerously can paint their trim in a “contrasting” color.

    Talk about a “get rich quick” scheme!

  • wseye November 14, 2009 (11:37 am)

    Did they pick up these plans from an Ebay liquidation sale of some Florida developer? I see nothing that tells me I am in West Seattle, or even the Pacific Northwest in this design.

  • Deeno November 15, 2009 (12:34 am)

    I so admire the way the curved concrete meanders its sleepy way across the multi-faceted facade and speaks so softly to the day. Obviously the architectural students who are proposing this have done their homework with such fundamental incorporation of perspective and experimental beauty. Just as so much of the old fashioned and out dated apartments are dying out, along comes this agonizing reminder of a time gone by. Only the beauty of the new multi-colored yet so inexpensively-built condos that grace so much of West Seattle can match the possibilities inherent within these graceful lines to ectasy. I can only anticipate with wonder what will be taking place inside the extruded windows on the ground floor. I hope we can get at least one coffee shop in here somewhere as they are so desperately needed and in such short supply. I also hope that the obviously erudite developers can figure out a way to get more units onto this property before the final plan is unveiled, it doesn’t look as if they are trying very hard to raise the density level of this under populated area. A big thank you to them for showing us what’s possible here and for bringing such a breath of fresh air to this architecturally starved community. This will be a great gateway to West Seattle, much better than family businesses and restaurants taking up all the space in which we could have several of these personality-laden structures.

  • r November 25, 2009 (6:41 am)

    Isn’t it strange what happens when you visit the redline web site? (LINK DELETED BY EDITOR)

  • WSB November 25, 2009 (6:53 am)

    This is an old post so no one but me is likely to see it but if anyone does, we deleted the Redline’s link from previous comment. It’s been identified for several weeks as some sort of possibly malware-infested site. We have a Mac so no effect but I don’t know what it would do to a PC.

Sorry, comment time is over.