Design Review for 3829 California next week: See the proposal now

Next Thursday night, the Southwest Design Review Board considers a three-story, 30-unit apartment building proposed for 3829 California SW (map), currently home to one-story multiplexes (as shown in our original report from June 5). The proposal’s graphics/background “packet” is now available via the city website. Since this is an Early Design Guidance meeting, the image above, taken from the packet, is NOT a final design proposal, but rather roughed out for “massing” – size/shape. Here’s how the packet describes the project:

The proposed development will create an urban infill apartment building with partially underground parking under the structure. Basement level provide parking for 20 cars and garbage and bike storage.

The ground level of the preferred scheme consists of a residential lobby and eight residential units with a variety of studio, one, and two bedroom units. The apartment service and utility area is located on this level.

The second and third floors house 11 residences each, with a mix of studios and one bedroom units.

The roof of the building will be accessible and act as an amenity space for tenants with opportunities for entertaining, community gardening and relaxation.

Parking is required for this project, as it does not fall within a frequent transit corridor nor an urban village overlay. One space is provided per unit via underground and surface parking, both accessed from the alley.

The Design Review meeting is scheduled for 6:30 next Thursday (June 28) at the Senior Center of West Seattle (California/Oregon in The Junction). As always, the meeting’s open to all and includes a public-comment period – as long as the comments focus on design issues – after the architects have made their presentation and been quizzed by the board members.

13 Replies to "Design Review for 3829 California next week: See the proposal now"

  • Diane June 22, 2012 (1:31 pm)

    Do you know, who is the architect? I’m not at a location currently to download the pdf; thanks

  • mightymo June 22, 2012 (1:52 pm)

    I live about a block away from this site, and I think that’s a pretty nice addition to the neighborhood if it resembles the drawing. It’s not cookie-cutter. It looks modern, in a good way. I walk up and down California a lot and a lot of the apartment buildings are pretty ugly or unfriendly.

  • Stu June 22, 2012 (2:12 pm)

    This is hideous. An almost solid brown wall facing the street. This is worse than the Capco disaster.

  • Rick June 22, 2012 (3:00 pm)

    Good. More boxes. Can’t have enough boxes.

  • LE June 22, 2012 (3:19 pm)

    The drawing is pretty, but I can’t imagine the final plan would have apartments with such few tiny windows.
    Not that I want them to build it without parking, but what is the logic that says living 4 blocks from the Junction is not considered to be in a transportation corridor?

    • WSB June 22, 2012 (3:36 pm)

      2 things:

      Again, this is a massing rendering. Meant only for size/shape, not for design colors, features, trim, etc. Some architects leave color off the massing renderings so that there’s no confusion, but for some reason, this firm didn’t. Those details are usually not brought forth till the second design review meeting – this is the first.

      Re: the transportation corridor: Specifically, the “transit oriented development” rules are currently related to a specific amount of distance from frequent/fast transportation – I don’t have a link handy but basically, RapidRide qualifies, under the definition, but the regular buses that run in this area (California/Charlestown) do not. – TR

  • Wetone June 22, 2012 (5:31 pm)

    Twenty parking stalls for thirty units some two bedroom, plus retail space. Whats wrong with this picture ? All these new developments should be required to provide one stall you can fit a car in and open your door, per unit plus parking for the retail space. They could easily put parking underground. Yes it would cost the developers more money. But that should be the price you pay for their impact to the community they are building in. The people in these neighborhoods should not be paying the price with lost parking and more traffic. Our Seattle government is the party responsible for this as they want more tax dollars. They know if they required more parking spots for these projects it would slow down the building and loss of tax $$$ they have already spent.

  • WSB June 22, 2012 (6:20 pm)

    No retail space in this building. Only apartments.

  • Christy June 23, 2012 (10:11 am)

    Is there really a shortage of apartments in West Seattle? It seems that several newer buildings are only partially / minimally occupied. Or am I imagining things again?

    • WSB June 23, 2012 (10:30 am)

      The occupancy level is actually pretty high in the newer buildings (don’t know about the older ones), according to both some checking we’ve done and some comments from tenants here, and the citywide vacancy rate is very low. – TR

  • Cole June 28, 2012 (7:28 am)

    Fremont, opps I mean West Seattle, sees another apartment/TOD/Urban Village projected plan for it’s community. We have to remember these are a permanent stamp in our community affecting how it functions with traffic, who it attracts and what their needs are as well as how it “presents” our neighborhood.
    I’m disappointed by the current projects, they lack creativity and ingenuity. Whether it’s the developers who need to get out of Seattle to check out what population dense-communities are actually doing or we, WS citizens, we need to “Think outside the box!” (In this case a ho hum albeit modern box).

  • james June 28, 2012 (9:12 am)

    I always hear complaints about “more boxes” whenever a new project is presented. Where is this land of orb-housing that everyone seems to want? Are there examples out there somewhere?

  • Mike July 3, 2012 (1:56 pm)

    30 units = 30+ cars rolling through that alley day and night.

    That big yellow apartment complex to the south has less than half that many units. This is going to create way too much noise and traffic.

    What a mess, booo on this..

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