2 West Seattle project changes: Oregon/42nd; Denny demolition

Significant changes for two long-in-the-works West Seattle projects – one in scope, one in cost:

MORE RESIDENTIAL UNITS, LESS COMMERCIAL SPACE: The long-idled project at 42nd/Oregon in The Junction (map), replacing those three houses and a fourth that made a much-watched move last summer, has changed plans, and architects. When the project went through city review back in 2008-2009, it had 89 residential units, and 20,000 square feet of commercial space. Now the owners are asking for revisions to their master-use permit, proposing 135 residential units and 2,900 square feet of commercial space. The building would remain at 7 stories (as originally planned); the underground parking garage would increase to 137 spaces, from 121. The new architects, JBDG (which designed Arrowhead Gardens on the southeastern edge of West Seattle), are scheduled to be part of a community meeting that Junction Neighborhood Organization president Erica Karlovits announced is scheduled two weeks from tonight, 6 pm June 15th, at the Senior Center of West Seattle.

Another project with a notable change:

(CLICK IMAGE FOR FULL-SIZE VERSION: Top of the rendering is west)
DENNY PROJECT PRICE RISES: As pointed out by the Save Seattle Schools site team, previewing the agenda for tonight’s Seattle School Board meeting: Board members are being asked to approve another $1.2 million for the project to tear down the old Denny International Middle School and put in six tennis courts, a softball field, and an “informal playfield,” while leaving room for a potential future new elementary school (the sports facilities are replacing the ones torn out to build the new Denny next to Sealth). The board approved a $4.9 million contract with BNBuilders last December; now they’re being asked to raise that to $6.1 million for reasons including:

The cost of this project includes funds to address several issues identified during the preconstruction phase. A larger than expected amount of unsuitable existing soils was discovered during the … pre-construction services phase. Funds to remove and replace these soils are included in this contract amendment. Additional hazardous materials abatement work was identified and is funded in this contract amendment. Additional electrical services are also included for possible future use.

Tonight’s school-board meeting is at district HQ in SODO at 6 pm; the Denny cost change is item 10 on the list of “introduction” items. A community meeting on the demolition/construction project is set for June 14th (more details in our original preview).

43 Replies to "2 West Seattle project changes: Oregon/42nd; Denny demolition"

  • schwaggy June 1, 2011 (2:54 pm)

    Yay! Let’s just keep packing them in. Why would anybody in their right mind move to this area at this point? So much traffic, so many empty apartments already. Do they really think they can rent 135 units? Knock the houses down and create some green space. Am I wrong? It seems like this is the last thing we need in West Seattle.

  • Mike June 1, 2011 (3:11 pm)

    schwaggy, the developers typically don’t live anywhere near here and only care about $. They don’t even have to rent them out to make millions on these projects. Did you see the latest Seattle Times article http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/dannywestneat/2015198082_danny01.html

  • GoGo June 1, 2011 (4:03 pm)

    What’s wrong with leaving these cute houses alone? I’m sure whatever they build will be ugly in comparison. Sigh….

  • anonyme June 1, 2011 (4:16 pm)

    This proposal is absolutely repugnant. Three lovely little houses – as well as mature trees – are to be sacrificed to build some piece of crap apartments that will cheapen the neighborhood and snarl traffic. DISGUSTING.

  • DF June 1, 2011 (4:31 pm)

    Said it before and I’ll say it again I wish I could get around my home town with a blindfold on sometimes so I wouldn’t have to all see these cookie cutter condensed living projects. YOU ARE F*&^ING RUINING THIS PLACE!!

  • dancingcat June 1, 2011 (5:02 pm)

    What a pity that our “hometown” feel Junction is on a losing battle. Another seven story, high density project, really? Take out four houses, replace with one hundred and thirty five! Add this to the fact we will loose that feel as soon as the high rise is built on the corner of Alaska and California. Are we on the way of other communities? All high density, high crime, no parking and horrible traffic etc. Even old town Ballard has still kept a single story shopping district. Has anyone else noticed all the graffiti around the Junction lately. I don’t think the infastructure of our charming island can take much more of this kind of growth for profit….

  • Vanessa June 1, 2011 (5:13 pm)

    I do find this incredibly sad. My comments won’t be anything new, but how this ends up affecting traffic is horrendous. How can any of this be stopped? 7 stories high? Gigantic holes being gouged into terra firma. The chaos for months on end in that whole area while the construction going on, I just can’t imagine. Quick runs to the bank and post office or out to lunch and dinner will end up being total gridlock. I live just far enough away from the junction that walking there doesn’t always work timewise…..how sad for West Seattlites……..boo hoo……

  • Jackie Pierce June 1, 2011 (5:33 pm)

    How does the math work that they add 46 apartment units but only 16 additional parking spots? Why doesn’t the city make certain that each gigantic highrise can accommodate parking for ALL likely residents in their facility?! That way the rest of the residential community that owns single family homes and pays a lot in property taxes can actually find parking in front of or near their home?!

    • WSB June 1, 2011 (5:45 pm)

      Some of the previous parking would have been for the 20,000 square feet of retail that is now down to less than 3,000, so it’s not a straight-across trade “adding x spaces and x apartments.” I don’t know whether this area qualifies but you might recall recent coverage of a proposed development in the Triangle that technically did not have to have ANY parking (but will have parking), because of new city codes regarding parking and proximity to frequent-running transit lines – TR

  • Loco in W.S. June 1, 2011 (5:50 pm)

    b.s. leave us alone in W.S. we do not want any more people.no more apartments,condos or anything that brings more ######## into our city within a city.alki use to be nice, now it’s little waikiki.
    just #######.you can fill in the ######.

  • Peter on Fauntleroy June 1, 2011 (5:54 pm)

    Again with all the anti-everything nonsense. Really people, you live smack in the middle of a metropolitan area of OVER 3.5 MILLION PEOPLE. If you’re opposed to density, then you are quite clearly in the wrong place; that is a self evident fact. Move to rural eastern WA where you won’t be bothered by any more 60 foot “highrises.”

  • Loco in W.S. June 1, 2011 (6:02 pm)

    peter on fauntleroy, i’d love to build a seven story place around you. then it’s only “Up”
    watch the film.

  • cakeordeath June 1, 2011 (6:42 pm)

    I will be moving. It already is kind of a nightmare living in this area, with the noise, etc. I can only imagine what the construction noise will be like. Mostly, I don’t like the street issues now. I really do not think it’s wise to build these things with no plan for traffic. It’s insane. I drive around this block every day and it is already a PITA. I am not against development but I find the planning for all of these projects, or lack thereof, a little ridiculous.

  • Jiggers June 1, 2011 (7:08 pm)

    I already moved. I lived in W.S. for fifteen years.

  • Peter on Fauntleroy June 1, 2011 (7:09 pm)

    @Loco. I agree we should build seven stories aroun me! Thanks for your support! Unfortunately the idiots at the “SWDC” (who you’ll notice never ask what any of us think) are adamantly opposed to increasing higher limits in WS and will pressure the city into lowering highest, thus crashing our property valu.

  • Val Vashon June 1, 2011 (7:42 pm)

    “lose that feel”. It’s “lose”.

    That is all.


  • JayDee June 1, 2011 (9:08 pm)

    My concern (not having this in my front or the backyard) is: 15% of the commercial space of the prior proposal? 54 feet x 54 feet? Is this the rental office? It is right next door to the QFC which is a logical place for commercial development unless you wanna take the money and run.

    Whose money? Apparently ours:


    or this map:


    • WSB June 1, 2011 (9:18 pm)

      Just one caution because a couple of people have brought this up. I do NOT know if this project has applied for the tax breaks that the Times story mentioned. The changes in the application didn’t even come up on the land-use info bulletin – the JuNO note was the first I’d heard (and they are mentioned by the new signage on the site, but there had been an old sign there for so long, many might not have looked twice) – TR

  • Katie June 1, 2011 (9:21 pm)

    Yeah, sorry to see this happening again and again all over the west coast cities. I left W. Seattle after 10 plus years because I couldn’t stand the traffic over the bridge day after day, two times a day, and I was taking the bus a lot too. Life shouldn’t be that hard. Short-sighted, self-absorbed money-hunger developers suck the life out of communities and probably buy themselves nice homes in the country with the profits. Too bad they don’t just leave the little houses be. Sigh…

  • dawsonct June 1, 2011 (9:22 pm)

    Do we really have that many tennis players anymore? Back in the day, everybody wanted to be Ivan or Jimmy, Bjorn, Martina, or Chrissy. Who the hell wants to be Roger Federer? In the seventies, the courts would be full and people would wait in line to play. I haven’t seen that kind of fervor for the sport since those days, yet huge parcels of our parkland is paved underutilized tennis courts. I don’t get it. Two courts would be plenty.

    Even WITH the increased density.

    • WSB June 1, 2011 (10:15 pm)

      Dawson, thanks for commenting on the OTHER story in this two-parter … Interesting thing about tennis (caveat: not to say I have any idea whether they really need two courts or twenty), it is one of the sports in which students who aren’t particularly talented are allowed to participate as well as the future Williams Sisters etc. So there is a fairly large number of players. That aside, I covered all the meetings a couple years back that led up to the design of the project and I’m pretty sure an even higher number of courts was envisioned at one point, then winnowed down to this … TR

      • WSB June 1, 2011 (11:59 pm)

        Update to JayDee’s comment: Web searching reveals this is indeed a project that got the MFTE (multi-family tax exemption). Meantime, as for ownership, it has been Oregon 42 LLC for quite some time, don’t know if that is changing with the change of developer/architects on the project, but Oregon 42 members were listed here, with at least one familiar West Seattle name: http://mobile.www.secstate.wa.gov/corps/search_detail.aspx?ubi=602693964
        This San Diego development firm seems to be involved as well.

  • JayDee June 1, 2011 (9:39 pm)

    No, I don’t know if this is one of the projects in West Seattle but the map of the Junction in the Times shows three projects lined up along a street, presumably 42nd. That seems to fit with the two recent developments to the south. I am not a journalist, but am worried this could be another one of the projects the Times has discussed. That is why I mentioned it.

  • catlady June 1, 2011 (10:32 pm)

    Does anyone know who owns this property? I thought Hope Lutheran did at one time. I wouldn’t be surprised to find out that the owners still have WS ties.

  • Mary June 2, 2011 (6:02 am)

    Please no more fences. They are ugly and very bad for the neighjborhood!

  • CommonSense June 2, 2011 (8:28 am)

    Perhaps I missed this, but has the project number been provided somewhere online? Also, does anyone know when the “comment period” ends now that there has been a revision. I, for one, would like to see all of the great comments people have been posting here go into something more official to the planning board.

    This is exactly how it happened in Ballard which is now a total nightmarish mess.

  • WSB June 2, 2011 (8:44 am)

    CS, the first linked (blue) phrase in the story is a link to the DPD page for the site. It has all associated project numbers. I’m still trying to find the comment deadline. If I can’t find it online, I’ll find someone to ask by phone, if no one here happens to be a neighbor who’s already asked – TR

  • DF June 2, 2011 (9:13 am)

    What can be done on the part of those who are opposed to this project? Can we get a community gathering of like minded people to alter this project somehow? Any ideas?

  • Boom! June 2, 2011 (10:31 am)

    I wonder if any of the commenters railing against this project and urban density in general are renters living in single family houses? If so, do you realize that these multifamily developments are responsible for keeping your rents affordable? The fact is that people want to move to West Seattle, without the pressure relief that these multifamily developments provide on that demand rents on houses would increase dramatically.

    It reminds me of the single driver sitting in their car in traffic muttering to themselves about the unfairness of bus lanes, all the while totally ignoring the fact that traffic would be much worse if all those people on the bus decided to drive.

  • LOCAL YOKEL June 2, 2011 (10:41 am)

    The people who own this land, and are developing it – are local WS people. Menashe ring a bell? The architects are also local. Local people who don’t give a damn about the density and what they’re doing to our fair town.

    • WSB June 2, 2011 (10:56 am)

      To clarify, the architects are no longer “local” in terms of West Seattle. The first architect on this project was Mark Travers. Then it for a while was under the auspices of Junction-based Nicholson Kovalchick. Now, sometime before this revision was proposed, it moved over to JDBG. NK is assisting with a “transition,” according to information the Junction Neighborhood Organization received with the notice of the upcoming meeting. The new architects are based in Seattle, though, according to their website. http://www.jbdg.com/aboutus.html

  • dancingcat June 2, 2011 (10:53 am)

    Wow Val,
    Thanks for the spell check!

  • dancingcat June 2, 2011 (11:00 am)

    I own my home…

  • Boom! June 2, 2011 (11:05 am)


    Ah, I see, “I got mine, so . . . . ”

    Well, you know how the rest of that goes.

  • DF June 2, 2011 (11:09 am)


  • Boom! June 2, 2011 (11:34 am)

    If you and a cadre of peers go in to the meeting with the singular goal of reducing the size of this project, I think you will achieve nothing except frustrating yourselves. Size limits are set by zoning code, and if the code says the size is acceptable, well . . . . .

    You can however advocate for changes you would like to see to in the architectural esthetics, street interface, site access, etc. If you approach the developers with a positive, collaborative attitude you will find them much more receptive and accommodative. After all, they want a successful project, and a large part of that success depends on meeting the housing and retail needs of the neighborhood.

  • M June 2, 2011 (11:46 am)

    Where can we find a full list of West Seattle projects that have received the MFTE (multi-family tax exemption)?

  • chris June 2, 2011 (12:24 pm)

    People, this is what an Urban Village looks like. It has population density and shops to serve them. Alaska Junction was designated an Urban Village 20 years ago. The idea is to concentrate development so as to make mass transit more efficient. Growth is going to happen and should happen. This is smart growth and what we asked for. Get used to it.

  • WSB June 2, 2011 (12:48 pm)

    Update on the comment period: The revision was JUST published in today’s Land Use Information Bulletin. I am out and cannot post a link but will do so as a separate story when back at HQ. Comment deadline is June 15th.

  • Diane June 2, 2011 (1:06 pm)

    they are presenting to JUNO on June 15, 6pm; and the comment deadline is June 15; hmmmm

  • Mike June 2, 2011 (6:03 pm)

    Boom, I bought my home here to get away from the condo/apartment insaneness that is Queen Anne. I worked hard to earn the money to purchase my home, I didn’t work hard to make it easy for other people to make a quick dollar on a government subsidized development plan.

  • Todd_ June 2, 2011 (10:02 pm)


  • Eileen June 2, 2011 (11:22 pm)

    Add another person who doesn’t like the Oregon/42nd project. I’m really sad that it will take away my view of Mt. Rainier!!!

    We already have parking issues on 42nd, from California Ave businesses/employees, school traffic, and VanPools who think this street should be their park-and-ride.

    When and for how long will construction noise affect neighbors and the school right across the street?

Sorry, comment time is over.