West Seattle development: Oregon 42 construction to begin

(Tuesday evening photo by WSB’s Patrick Sand)
One year after a new plan was circulated for Oregon 42 – the mixed-use building at 42nd SW/SW Oregon in The Junction that’s been in the works for four and a half years – construction is about to begin. We confirmed that this morning with Mike Mahoney from ConAm, the San Diego company that is developing the 131-unit building; we called for an update after getting word that the construction fence had gone up around the site (photo above).

It’s a four-lot site; three houses will be demolished, probably starting next week, according to Mahoney. The fourth lot formerly held the house that was moved to another site in an operation that created something of a spectacle in summer 2010. (The site also made news here in March when one of the remaining houses was used for SWAT-team training.) Here’s one of the Oregon 42 renderings circulated last year, when the number of apartments was increased and the amount of retail decreased (now 3,000 square feet):

(That’s Hope Lutheran at the lower left, Capco Plaza – QFC & Altamira – at upper right.) Mahoney says the plan hasn’t changed since the revised version was made public last year. But now they’re ready to proceed. Once demolition begins, he says, “that’s really going to kick off the full construction – we will move right into excavation and shoring work.” He expects the construction crane to go up in about two months, and the project to be complete after about 16 months of work – which would mean fall of next year. SD Deacon is the general contractor; Junction-based Nicholson Kovalchick Architects joined the project before last year’s round of publicized changes, but was not involved when the project was first proposed back in 2008. This project, by the way, is among those in West Seattle granted the city’s Multi-Family Tax Exemption (see the agreement, finalized by the City Council last year, here), for agreeing that 20 percent of the units will have what the city deems “affordable rents” accessible to people slightly below the median income.

Two other major apartment projects are under construction in West Seattle right now – Youngstown Flats in North Delridge, and Harbor/Urban’s 62-unit Nova in The Triangle – and others are on the drawing board, including two within just a few blocks, the Equity Residential project at California/Alaska, and 4724 California, which has its first Design Review Board meeting one week from tomorrow.

55 Replies to "West Seattle development: Oregon 42 construction to begin"

  • bsmomma May 16, 2012 (12:44 pm)

    It’s a sad shame to see those beautiful houses be torn down. :(

  • west seattlite May 16, 2012 (12:49 pm)

    forgive me but another building with units? enough.

  • patt May 16, 2012 (12:50 pm)

    We pass by this house on our walks, Was glad to see that much of the plantings were dug up over the last little while. There were still some vine roses left. Sad to see them go. If I had a place to put those California poppies……

  • patt May 16, 2012 (12:57 pm)

    “Oregon 42 renderings circulated last year, when the number of apartments was increased and the amount of retail decreased”

    Do changes in building plans go through as much public input as the original planing process for that building?

  • Ripper May 16, 2012 (1:05 pm)

    Oh great. More houses with character demolished so we can make way for another piece of crap condo that’ll look like s**t in 10 years.

  • Bruce Nourish May 16, 2012 (1:10 pm)

    Waaaah… why can’t West Seattle stay the same forever???

  • Positive Peter May 16, 2012 (1:21 pm)

    I would like to welcome our new neighbors in advance. It’s good to see something beneficial for the neighborhood being done with these run down properties. This will be a huge boost for Junction businesses, first from patronage by construction workers, to be followed by new friends and neighbors. Welcome to the west side!

  • Sadie May 16, 2012 (1:29 pm)

    I don’t think this is a case of wanting West Seattle to stay the same forever. I think it is a case of wishing some of the new development had a little character. So much of the new buildings, these past few years, have been large condo/apartment buildings with boring or useless street level business space.

  • ohthehorror May 16, 2012 (2:00 pm)

    Anyone know the status of the project right across the alley, fronting 41st Avenue? Back in ’07/’08 it was supposed to be something like an 5 story mixed use project with the mixed use being a park and ride on bottom. So glad I don’t have to make the rush hour commute in/out of WS while the city is planning to plan mass transit solutions in the aftermath of all these new units being built.

  • CB May 16, 2012 (2:02 pm)

    Always great fun to read the “hater” comments on this site. Makes you wonder how we made it this far?

  • ohthehorror May 16, 2012 (2:17 pm)

    @Positive Peter – the reason these houses on 42nd and 41st are rundown is because developers bought them with plans to tear them down before the economy tanked and then rented them to people who neglected or actively trashed them. Most likely, all of those houses would have been bought as single family residences and fixed up.

    @CB – being sad to see the character of your neighborhood change doesn’t make you a hater, it may just mean that you have concerns about how 200-300 people living in a space where 6-10 people once lived will affect the quality of life in your neighborhood.

  • Elle May 16, 2012 (2:18 pm)

    As a renter, I appreciate that W. Seattle will have more rental options in the near-future. Let’s just hope that the color scheme is not tacky as most of the apartment buildings around the Puget Sound tend to be.

  • Claudia May 16, 2012 (2:27 pm)

    I’m just sick over what’s happened to my lovely West Seattle. More high rises, more traffic, more pollution, with no roads. They’re turning us into Bellevue with all these tall buildings not to mention driving up the cost of living here. I’m very sad about it all.

  • Marley May 16, 2012 (2:29 pm)

    So just wondering if those who commented above about “boring or useless street level business space” see Chaco Canyon, Breathe Hot Yoga, or Bright Horizons in the new Link building as fitting this description? All those businesses seem to be doing just fine from what I can tell…

  • JoAnne May 16, 2012 (2:31 pm)

    Lots of us liked living in smaller community and do not wish to live cheek-to-jowl with our neighbors.
    The city is selling out neighborhoods to developers in exchange for cash they want for their pet projects, like low-income housing for drug addicts (which they also want to build in the neighborhoods).
    This is drastically changing the character of West Seattle, and not for the benefit of residents here. Anyone with common sense can see that.
    And why should residents give a damn about business who only moved here only to exploit our growth problems?

  • pie May 16, 2012 (2:49 pm)

    Only one of those houses was run-downish before they were abandoned. It looks all ghetto because no one’s lived in those houses for a while, and they recycled a lot of the materials (windows, etc) just a little bit ago. Not looking forward to even more people trying to get on the bridge in the morning. Ugh.

  • WSratsinacage May 16, 2012 (3:00 pm)

    Thoroughly disgusted with where WS is headed, from the nightmare commutes in and out of the neighborhood (no snarky cycler comments, not everyone can ride a bike to and from .. plus I’ll take my chances in a car vs a bike/motorcycle any day) to drunks and druggies using new development areas like QFC or the park across the street to vomit and loiter.
    I know, if it’s zoned for xyz, then there is nothing the average person can do about it. I guess it’s nice to see some like minded comments in various threads on the wsb.. I wish it wasn’t just words on the screen.
    How do other areas fight developers?

  • Bonnie May 16, 2012 (3:17 pm)

    Are they going to have parking for all these units?

    • WSB May 16, 2012 (3:18 pm)

      The plan circulated last year had approximately 1 space per unit. – TR

  • godofthebasement May 16, 2012 (3:19 pm)

    Sadie and JoAnne: What’s with the hostility towards local businesses? Do you want our economy to continue to be stagnant? Economic growth requires the creation of new businesses as well as supporting existing businesses. Economic growth also requires population growth. Businesses need places to do business just like people need places to live, and projects like this provide both.

  • cjboffoli May 16, 2012 (3:27 pm)

    ohthehorror: The 41st Ave SW project was scuttled by the developer (after pushback from the Junction neighborhood organization) and the property was put back on the market, apparently with no takers.

  • A concerned citizen May 16, 2012 (3:32 pm)

    So what I gather from those that are against this project is I have mine so leave us alone attitude. What would have happened if this was the case before you moved to WS? Sorry, but life does not work like that.

  • SJoy May 16, 2012 (3:42 pm)

    I don’t mind the apartments much, except for the added traffic. I also wish that rent for these apartments was reasonable. I would love for my son to be able to move back to West Seattle, but rent is just too high… I really don’t know how anyone can afford rent in these places. You can pretty much pay a mortgage instead of renting.

  • Cranky Westie May 16, 2012 (3:47 pm)

    It is a open sore on the face of West Seattle. This city should be ashamed and rend it’s garment in lamentation! Yea Verily a pox upon them that have brung us so low….I had asked the city to create a coyote preserve with a water slide and frozen yogurt stand on this property and got no response. Why have we been so forsaken Mayor McBeard? I guess we got a Trader Joe’s and a the cool new soft drink dispenser at Taco Time, I just wish it could go back to the old times when grown men stole totem poles from public property and the monorail condemned all the good property in order to provide the commoners with space age transportation, eventually leading to worse traffic and a profit for somebody I am sure. I weep.

  • Mongo May 16, 2012 (3:49 pm)

    I often wonder how many of those who are complaining about increased density in West Seattle are also supporters of the Growth Management Act and the resulting implementation regulations. Cause guess what — if you have rules limiting growth by sprawl, you’re going to get growth by density. Oh, wait I forgot — that growth by density should always be in someone else’s neighborhood, not yours…

  • Cascadianone May 16, 2012 (4:01 pm)

    This isn’t a museum, folks. Remember that Manhattan Island was once an untamed forest with a sleepy little Dutch enclave called New Amsterdam huddled on its southern tip. Now it is one of the densest population areas on the planet with astronomical land values. There are almost inexorable socio-economic forces at work here. Really imagine what the consequences would be even if you COULD stop those forces…

  • burglarbustindad May 16, 2012 (4:13 pm)

    Well said Mongo

  • Common Sense May 16, 2012 (4:16 pm)

    Don’t like living in the city? Move out of the city!

  • Wetone May 16, 2012 (4:22 pm)

    Just can’t wait till they build the triangle area up and a few other areas here in w/sea. From what I have heard it will be adding about 5000 new residents to this area in the next 5 years. Should be fun trying to get around with the roads we have here. They should be making the builders (investors) pay for a bigger part of the road infrastructure since they pack 100’s of people into an area that originally had single family homes. Good thing is maybe my property taxes will go down do to lower home values since no one will want to live around here do to the traffic congestion.

  • Herman May 16, 2012 (4:39 pm)

    I’m a supporter of the growth management act, but I defy you to find another neighborhood that has been zoned with such great density as the WS triangle-junction area. Fremont is NC40, Queen Anne is NC40 and LR3, Greenwood, Wallingford are the same. and none with such great area coverage. The only place I could find was Northgate, which sits on I5 and is a preposterous comparison.
    Add to that near-zero local employment which makes it a massive commuting exercise, and poor architectural interest in the buildings.
    You built a desirable community, and it is now a cash-extraction area for developers. Their dollars and ROI are shaping this area, not your voices and values. If you want to care, join JuNO and support their down-zoning propositions, and get involved at each and every project design review.

  • DTK May 16, 2012 (4:53 pm)

    The concern is having a 300 percent increase in density. The 41st/42nd Ave region is a residential zone, yet somehow mega projects with commercial tenants are allowed onto an infrastructure that will be unable to handle the load. Simi trucks were never meant to travel 41st Ave SW to the QFC loading dock and the concrete is proving that.

  • Deep In the Heart of Delridge May 16, 2012 (4:56 pm)

    I’ll trade you one DESC facility for Oregon 42, Link, Capco Plaza, Nova, 4724 California, Mural and anything else you want to toss my way. But I won’t let you have Longfellow Creek or Nucor.

  • datamuse May 16, 2012 (5:26 pm)

    Come on down to Highland Park, y’all. We’re still mostly single-family housing down here, and there’s no shortage of places to park on the street. And I haven’t had to deal with traffic on the West Seattle Bridge in years.
    Plus, you’ll be that much closer to Zippy’s.

  • Sonic May 16, 2012 (5:58 pm)

    CrankyWestie…. hillllarious!! Loving it…

  • Dizzle May 16, 2012 (7:02 pm)

    Maybe all the haters should have put their money together to buy up all these properties so no one else can move to W. Seattle!!

    It’s the same comments everytime; get over it! If you don’t like it move out to a less dense area. If it makes you feel any better, I am moving out of state, so that will be 2 less people and 3 less dogs for you to complain about.

    PS- anyone want to rent a house…plenty of parking :)

  • Marcus M May 16, 2012 (8:17 pm)

    I for one welcome our alien overlords

  • WTF May 16, 2012 (8:24 pm)

    @west seattlite, I’m with you.

  • Lee May 16, 2012 (8:33 pm)

    C’mon, it isn’t about hating new development, it is concern about the infrastructure not being able to support it. Increasing the density at a time when our roads are full of detours and closures doesn’t make a lot of sense. I work out of my home but once a week commute to a college to teach. I dread the 45 minutes or more it takes to go about 12 miles. And the class starts at 10 a.m.!

  • Lee May 16, 2012 (8:38 pm)

    Hey Herman, could you put up a link to JuNo please?

    • WSB May 16, 2012 (9:04 pm)

      JuNO hasn’t met in a while but their website is http://wsjuno.com – TR

  • A J R May 16, 2012 (10:49 pm)

    How many more Yoga studios and nail places do we need??

  • Wes May 16, 2012 (11:38 pm)

    Really? There are tens of thousands of single family homes like these In Seattle. You’re not losing any character. No west Seattle is not the densest part of Seattle. I like how all these people move to Seattle and then get mad when other people move here. Honestly I live in one of the fastest growing neighborhoods in Seattle and I love it. I constantly have more restaurants to chose from yes some chains but mostly independently owned ones. Also some of the ones I already love are staying open later and later. I have 8 grocery stores within a 12 minute walking distance.

  • JoAnne May 17, 2012 (5:18 am)

    I did not support the Growth Management planning. It was supposed to prevent urban sprawl, and we knew it would do no such thing. Of course it was a total failure, and we have massive urban sprawl in all our formerly rural areas.
    Our public facilities like parks and stores in WS are already filled to capacity. We can’t have friends or family visit us anymore since they can’t park, and we can’t park in front of our own homes. Neighbors are fighting over street parking–calling the police on each other.
    So NO, we DO NOT need or want any more density here.
    As for you who moved here and are feeling smug about increasing our density and displacing older residents, you are seriously self-absorbed to a point that is disordered.
    Many existing residents are here because we have families (i.e. actual children and parents) or jobs that we can’t just walk away from. We’re not here to fulfill our own narcissistic and utopian fantasies about high density. So why don’t YOU get out?


  • Chris May 17, 2012 (6:52 am)

    These apartment projects are happening so it is time to follow Fremont’s lead and start building Class A office buildings near The Junction. The Triangle (including the Huling Brothers empty lots) would be an ideal location for office space. Fremont built and is still building Class A office buildings, and is now home to Google, Adobe, Getty, Impinj, Blue Flavor, and many other tech companies. Fremont will also soon be home to the new world headquarters of the Brooks Running Company which is relocating from Bothell. There are many people who live in Fremont/Ballard/Phinney Ridge/Wallingford that work for the companies in Fremont and have a short walk/bike/bus ride to work. West Seattle needs to create the same opportunity for more of its residents to work close to home. If you build it companies will come Ray.

  • Boy May 17, 2012 (9:21 am)

    It is funny to hear humans telling other humans where you can or can’t live. You can’t live in the woods because of the animals. You can’t live next to me because your crowding my space. The question schould be and I’m hoping someone has the answer, Where is mans natural habbitat? Where are we humans soposed to live? After all we are also part of the animal kingdom.

  • I Wonder May 17, 2012 (10:24 am)

    How many grocery store options to you seriously need?

  • I Wonder May 17, 2012 (10:30 am)

    I won’t say I’m opposed to reasonable growth and development, and the Triange is a good place for that. But the pillaging, destruction of character and charm of the roots to the community of West Seattle without passion and understanding is destroying the soul that brought us to this area. You shouldn’t build just for the sake of building. Lets respect what the people before us created and fostered.

  • bp May 17, 2012 (11:30 am)

    I lived in that house. I am sad to see it go. Oh, well though.

  • patt May 17, 2012 (11:30 am)

    Development isn’t the real problem, Development happens.

    What is the problem is after the community works hard with developers on a project and it is built, there turn out to be so many things that change from the org. that would have been deal breakers.

    The changes are usually thinks that were “unforeseen” or things that legally didn’t have to be mention. (roof furniture? who knew?)

    These changes always seen to benefit the builder/owner and not the community.

    The best question to ask might be “Is there anything that is going to really p#%s me off at the end of all this.” and start from there.
    Oh, it just make me tired.

  • DB Coop May 17, 2012 (11:34 am)

    Great not only another behemith oversized building and even more traffic congestion getting in and out of west seattle! I can’t wait!

    I wonder if the people that are pro-over-building our area even live in our area. Go live in Ballard for a couple of years and come back and tell me you want more condos here in WS. No thank you, I live in the city because I enjoy the architectural character and differences of older homes, not the ‘build the same thing a million times over’ chique that only developers love.

  • datamuse May 17, 2012 (12:17 pm)

    West Seattle != the Junction, y’all. “Filled to capacity”? News to me.

  • Wes May 17, 2012 (12:33 pm)

    Um we’re not chasing anybody out. Just asking that you allow space for us. Oh and my family is here along with my job I can’t walk away from. You are the entitled ones living probably one or two people on 2,500 or 5,000 square foot lots yelling no no no you can’t move here you’re destroying our neighborhood. 65% of Seattle is zoned single family. You have enough space! Let people move to the 35% of land that isn’t single family. No I don’t need 8 grocery stores but it is convenient no matter where I go I can easily pick up a few things when I walk back home.

  • higgins May 17, 2012 (2:07 pm)

    JoAnne, where do you think the smug, narcissistic density-lovers should go if not West Seattle? I’m sure the single-family housing residents of Ballard and Fremont don’t want them either. Banish them all to Rainier Beach so they drive up rent in a lower-income area? Make them go all the way down to Renton so they can clog I-5? Your arguments about maintaining low density in West Seattle don’t mean much unless you have a good solution to the problem.

  • Kara May 17, 2012 (7:39 pm)

    My family has lived here for three generations and no matter what happens to my hood I’m not going anywhere. I know things will change and maybe I won’t agree with all of it, but I still see familiar faces everytime I go to the grocery store and to my favorite restaurant. Neighbors still say hi when I walk down the street and no one treats me like I don’t belong here. If it’s worth it you’ll stay…you might complain, but you’ll stay…and if not hopefully you’ll find a place that feels like home.

  • West Seattle edge May 17, 2012 (11:12 pm)

    Sorry WS but too many apt’s for our future, I would rather see these as condos. Not really liking the design, would like to see sustainable roof top gardens as you will see the city and water from all angles and this is one thing condos would take advantage of, not sure I am sad we moved from living near by or thankful at this point.

Sorry, comment time is over.