26th/Dakota development: Construction update; art plan

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Unless you live, or drive, by it, you might not know that West Seattle’s next major development is well into the first phase of construction. It’s at 26th and Dakota in North Delridge (map), right behind the Kidney Center building. Its original owners went all the way into the permit phase before the project was put on hold and then sold. Unlike the infamous “Hole,” no work was done on this site before it stalled – but its new owners are working fast now.

We first wrote about the revived project three months ago. It’s being built with 193 units, including 11 described as live-work (here’s the project page on the city website), being developed by Legacy Partners Residential, Inc.,and Barrientos LLC.

We met this morning with representatives from the project partners at Uptown Espresso in Delridge, not far from the project site. They will be at the North Delridge Neighborhood Council meeting tonight, but even if you can’t be there, they wanted to get out new information about the project, including an extensive plan to procure art for the building. Read on for the updates:

CONSTRUCTION: Most of the excavation is complete; the tallest piece of equipment you are seeing on site now is “helping with the piles for shoring,” according to the developers. They’ll continue shoring up around the edges over the next few weeks, and pouring concrete for the garage, which will hold 243 parking spaces. Then in about two weeks, they’re expecting to bring in the construction crane. The work should take about a year and a half. If you wondered about the trees that used to ring the site and were torn down before excavation began – Barrientos says they couldn’t be kept because they were in the way of the utilities and shoring, but that they will be replaced, and she hopes a lusher landscape on the site is the eventual result.

RIGHT-OF-WAY IMPROVEMENTS: Since the earliest community conversations, the developers have been talking about improving the unused “right of way” that leads to Longfellow Creek. They are planning to present revised plans to NDNC tonight, and to ask for feedback, before taking the plans to the Seattle Design Commission, which has jurisdiction over projects involving right-of-way. (This is NOT a street/alley vacation, however, just an unused street end, and they would seek the rights to it through an “annual permit sort of thing.”)

Barrientos said that community members’ feedback already has been incorporated into the plan, for example, toning down the size of a curb bulb to reduce the lost parking. They also supported curb bulbs on both sides for a traffic-calming effect, she said, adding that SDOT has given initial blessing, but they want one more round of comments before taking the proposal to the Design Commission. (After tonight’s meeting, we’ll also have information on how you can comment online, including via the project’s Facebook page.)

ART PROCUREMENT: Like some of the bigger apartment complexes built in West Seattle in the past few years, this one will incorporate art. The developers have hired Sara Everett to make it happen – but in an unusual way: They’re not just going to wait till the building is almost finished in a year and a half, and go out to buy some art to hang on the walls, but, as Everett put it, they want to commission “some really beautiful art that’s part of the building,” since, as Barrientos described it, it will be “a place where people live,” not just a building, where they are hoping for long-term tenant retention.

Everett is an artist as well as a project assistant who has worked with Barrientos for years. She says the goal is to work directly with artists, in some cases commissioning pieces to be incorporated into the project – handrails, for example. They plan to pay artists full price rather than dealing with a middleperson or gallery. They’ve met with the interior designer and landscape architect to talk about the themes they hope to incorporate – local history/nature, for example – and about how the materials for art can complement the industrial materials with which the building is being built.

She plans to put out a request for proposals next February, but before then, is trying to get out the word, starting now, that they plan an extensive amount of procurement. E-mail her at sara@mbarrientos.com if you have questions, and/or if you want to get on the contact list she’s building for news about the art-procurement process.

Meantime, here’s an FAQ from the development team with more details about the art-procurement plan (see it here).

WHAT’S IN A NAME? You might recall that the project was to be named Cooper at Youngstown, a nod to the area’s history. When reaching out to artists regarding the aforementioned procurement project, they discovered there’s already Cooper Artist Housing at Youngstown (Cultural Arts Center) – so to avoid confusion, they’re working on a new name.

BUSINESS IN THE BUILDING: No tenants locked in for the commercial space in the building at this point, they say, but it’s too early anyway – they expect to start trying to finalize that in a year or so, when the project is much closer to completion. They report they are still “intrigued” by the idea of a green-grocer, however.

11 Replies to "26th/Dakota development: Construction update; art plan"

  • Patrick November 14, 2011 (4:37 pm)

    Oh, I am completely AWARE of this project.

    I was shocked to see the abandoned parking lot worked over one day with a construction trailer and a week later ( BAM ) a hole started appearing and talked to the site foreman and was informed of the project.

    Should be the second tallest building in the neighborhood when complete.

  • JanS November 14, 2011 (7:44 pm)

    I do dialysis three times a week right next to this site..in that building where that big white van is. This is going to be a huge building.Living across the street from Admiral Safeway, and the apartment building that is still being built, I have sympathy for the people in that neighborhood…the noise will drive them crazy…

  • Al November 14, 2011 (8:02 pm)

    I have met the owners and they are very nice, and very aware of their impact on the neighborhood as a whole. I was impressed!

  • Jack Hammer November 14, 2011 (10:42 pm)

    I always enjoy the irony when people complain about construction noise from their homes, as if theirs were somehow constructed silently.

    I heard the owners of this new huge building have bent over backward to address neighbor’s concerns about noise. They apparently sent a specialty contracting crew home to Tacoma because they were working last Friday. Yes, Friday was Veterans day with most government offices closed, but that has never kept the garbage, recycling and composting trucks from their loud pick up rumblings.
    There are limitations on when construction and garbage pick up is allowed i.e. after 7AM on weekdays.
    I am aware of no holiday ban on construction, just like our refuse pick up.
    Reacting to neighbors’ complaints in this manner is not required and likely cost the owners or contractors in the thousands of dollars.

  • NorDel November 15, 2011 (12:02 am)

    My daughter (2yrs) begs me to take her across the street to watch all of the machines working. We have had many fun hours sitting, eating snacks, cheering, and waving as progress continues. Just trying to make the most of the changing scenery….

  • Kelly November 15, 2011 (6:50 am)

    I can’t make it to any meetings, but I’d like to know what kind of green features their building will have (not just a “possible” green grocery). With their proximity to Longfellow they have a real opportunity to go above-and-beyond in stormwater and installing native plants.

  • DF November 15, 2011 (8:16 am)

    These projects like this just make me mad I really dislike seeing the neighborhood I grew up in transformed and overall more congestion. It really sucks. Change, have to accept it I guess.

  • todd_ November 15, 2011 (8:58 am)

    You are not alone DF :)

  • ZS November 15, 2011 (9:22 am)

    Speaking of green, I walked by the this morning at 7:00 AM and was bothered by the fact that two individual workers were sitting in two separate, large trucks (one was a Dosge Ram 2500) that were idling. Since they start at 7:30 I assume they would stay in their until then to keep warm.

    I understand it was cold but either wait elsewhere like Uptown Espresso or get there closer to starting time. I’d actually like to let the developers know. Who should I contact?

    • WSB November 15, 2011 (9:26 am)

      ZS – they said they definitely want to hear about concerns – I will ask their communications coordinator for the best e-mail/phone for that, and will add to this comment when I get it. I have to ping them for a followup on the NDNC meeting before I finish that story anyway – TR
      Steffenie Evans
      Project Manager

  • Jack Hammer November 15, 2011 (6:02 pm)

    ZS’s comment is incredible and appalling.
    What kind of valid “concern” is this?
    These workers may have commuted from Tacoma or anywhere across town and left early enough to get to work on time. They may be unfamiliar with the neighborhood and Cafe Ladro. They may pack a thermos of coffee and be unable to spend $3.50 for a large cup of drip.
    If ZS is so concerned, why doesn’t he or she invite them into their home to keep warm and share a cup of coffee?
    If ZS is really so concerned about idling cars, ZS should be spending every day at the Fauntleroy Ferry Dock line where hundreds of cars idle for much longer periods. ZS should go car to car, knocking on windows asking people to shut their engines off and freeze.
    ZS’s “concern” and interest in “letting the developers know” is prime example of going too far and abusing a developer that is bending over backward for the neighbors. There is nothing illegal about showing up for work on time and staying warm in your vehicle.
    I pity Steffenie Evans’ job to deal with such people, kiss ZS’s ass and approach the “offending” workers.
    In anticipation, no I do not work for, own any interest, know anyone or have any connection with this project.
    I am just disgusted by such behavior.

Sorry, comment time is over.