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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.