From the real-estate file: Morgan Junction ‘development site’

A new commercial-real-estate listing of note: A half-acre site that includes Morgan Junction’s Short Stop market and adjacent dry cleaners, immediately north of Morgan Junction Park. The $2 million listing for 6311 California SW pitches it as a “TOD site with 60+ unit potential.” (TOD stands for transit-oriented development.) That number of units is comparable to the 62-unit almost-converted-to-condos Strata on California across the street. We checked and there’s no formal development proposal on file for 6311 California, but there is a city notation that “paid land-use coaching” was sought this past January “… to verify highest/best use … fully understand zoning/setbacks, units possible, height restrictions, etc. … understand comprehensive plan for area.”

30 Replies to "From the real-estate file: Morgan Junction 'development site'"

  • Chuck & Sally's Van Man June 21, 2012 (4:56 pm)

    Oh happy day! I’m all for small biz, but those buildings have seen better days and are so in need of an upgrade. All that’s left is for Chuck & Sally’s to get retrofitted/sold/demolished/rebuilt and this little neighborhood will finally start looking respectable. Great news!

  • Pam Ford June 21, 2012 (6:20 pm)

    Just what we need more condo’s. While i agree that site is a bit of an eyesore,West Seattle is getting overrun with Apts and Condo’s, also the Bridge is already a parking lot at peak times.There are only so many people the present infastructure will support.

  • kgdlg June 21, 2012 (6:54 pm)

    I don’t think we will see new condos built anytime soon. There is no market for them still. But apartments, yes. The vacancy rate in Seattle right now is like 2%. It is crazy which is why so many new buildings are going up. So, one could argue new apartments are exactly what Seattle needs, purely based on economics.

  • Chuck & Sally's Van Man June 21, 2012 (6:56 pm)

    Pam, normally I’d agree–not a big fan of the squeeze myself (though I do feel good knowing it’s helping minimize urban sprawl, at least on some level). Maybe you don’t live in the Morgan neighborhood; one of these businesses is a magnet for the transients who come and buy cheap beer and crash in the “family” park. There is litter, there is noise–just not a benefit to the neighborhood IMHO. I feel worse for the dry cleaner as I used to do a lot of business there. Overall, I think a new building will be a plus and welcome anything besides what’s there now.

  • DW June 21, 2012 (7:03 pm)

    Better that the eyesore that’s there now

  • Pam Ford June 21, 2012 (8:01 pm)

    Chuck and sally’s van man, i live one block away from there, and yes i agree it attracts transients, but i am sure the land could be put to a better use for the community other than more apts. And the park for family’s is already placed next to two bars. Kgdig almost every apt building i pass had apts for rent i am sure the vacancy rate is much higher than 2%.

  • boy June 21, 2012 (8:52 pm)

    The thing that realy needs to be asked is are you ready for this one, What is mans natural habbitat. Where is man suposed to live? Could it be that what we as man [good or bad] is all part of coarse of nature. After all we are animals of the earth. So maybe what we do is all part of the earths evolution. Makes you kind of wonder?

  • Jacob June 21, 2012 (9:27 pm)

    Hopefully Chuck & Sally’s will be next

  • miws June 21, 2012 (9:58 pm)

    Expand Morgan Junction Park!



  • Cole June 21, 2012 (10:05 pm)

    While the area needs some change for the better, I don’t know if apartments are the answer. What I see going up in West Seattle aren’t very attractive and I question the overkill. Property owners by and large always take better care than renters.
    Perhaps my biggest concern is whether the TOD sites mean the developers don’t have to bother providing parking for their residences. I can’t seem to find a definitive answer, and am worried we are headed in the same frustrating direction as Seattle proper with cars and parking issues. West Seattle seems to be the final frontier for the free and easy-parking that is.

    • WSB June 21, 2012 (10:12 pm)

      Cole, I couldn’t find that answer either – but with this building on the RapidRide line, I’m 99% sure it means parking not required.

  • kgdlg June 21, 2012 (11:18 pm)

    Parking is not required in urban villages in Seattle. I will find out if Morgan counts as one of these. Most lenders, even with this code, require developers to build some parking at least.

    I have to boldly disagree with the statement above that “owners by and large always take better care than renters.” I think this is a complete falsehood perpetrated by the ownership, often elite, in this country and not at all based in fact. You know how many slumlords exist in this world? LOTS. And renters and neighborhoods suffer because of them.

    This is the perfect site for increased density. Next to many bus lines, shopping and food. In my opinion, if we don’t put apartments on main arterials, where should they go? In single family neighborhoods? This is what keeps our single family areas intact. As mentioned above, the numbers support this development – there are not enough apartments in Seattle right now and unless we build more, rents will continue to sky rocket. It is bad out there right now. And while I am cranky…I believe the design flaws that we all complain about so much are as much a result of capitalism than anything else. Private investors and places like pension funds build these buildings and they could care less about award winning design. Take a look at your 401k next time the statement comes, I bet some ofit is in real estate…

  • West Seattle edge June 21, 2012 (11:38 pm)

    Can’t relate to your wonder @ boy because your thoughts are not even comprehensible but I think anything in that are is a plus. Maybe the TH’s like you see North of Chuck and Sally’s, fewer then condos and nice units to draw a first time buyer crowd. The bridge is over and for us that have lived here for years we just have to realize with growth comes the unfathomable-traffic.

  • Yardvark June 22, 2012 (6:38 am)

    But where will I get my porn, knives, booze, cigarettes, and dry cleaning? It’s always been so nice to have all these amenities so close to the family park.

  • K M June 22, 2012 (8:03 am)

    @kgdlg-Thanks for a balanced and informed perspective, we need more of this moving forward as development is inevitable and there is demand for it. Hopefully it improves the area as it is built.

  • Rick June 22, 2012 (8:40 am)

    I’m all for gentrification. It helps to eliminate that holding on to the past thing we call character. More bland big box/max income buildings that I’m sure we’ll all cherish 2-3 years from now. Welcome to the new West Seattle.

  • anette June 22, 2012 (10:13 am)

    traffic has gotten horrific coming into and leaving west seattle. it seems to me that we should put up some sort of moratorium on construction of multi- unit housing, at least until we get our infrastructure figured out. density maybe great and all, but if creates misery for a majority of people. idk. it seems to me that we need proper mass transit before we bring in any more masses.
    which is NOT to say that the area in question should lay fallow(so to speak) until then.

  • JW June 22, 2012 (10:18 am)

    YES PLEASE to development and more people living on that site. We need them frequenting our small businesses, and if you want to see rotting buildings steps away improved in some way, there need to be more dollars (i.e., people) located nearby. That area is CRYING OUT for development.

  • kgdlg June 22, 2012 (10:22 am)

    @ K M thanks. I am less cranky now. Sorry if my was harsh at all. I too struggle with the traffic. I *used* to be a bus rider until my commute more than doubled with the viaduct work lately. So I really see both sides. That being said, the traffic problem is really as much about new buildings as it is about people’s choices. I kind of wish there was just more acknowledgement of that. That so many of us CHOOSE to drive alone to work every day, and this is what makes the bridge crazy. There will never be enough roads for all of us! So, it sucks, but we have to figure something else out. Too bad we lost the monorail :( I am hopeful about Rapid Ride but we will see…

  • cj June 22, 2012 (11:21 am)

    I looked up the TOD tag and it says something akin to bringing more people into a tighter area so they can patron the transit service. Most of us want transit to succeed and I agree the location is an eye soar that needs to be redone. I greatly fear however the integrity and honesty of the contractor/real estate broker/owner system that is plaguing Seattle with shoebox living, light blocking monstrosities. I am hoping by all sanity this will not be another high rise. I had a dream the other day that I woke up in the future and West Seattle was renamed the Island of Shadows and covered with grungy high rise buildings.

  • Wetone June 22, 2012 (11:35 am)

    Expect to have 100 plus cars looking for parking spots on neighborhood streets when they build this project with the TOD status. People that live in this part of W/S and along the ave really need to start standing up for this area and voicing their opinions or W/S will be a parking lot with no way to get around do to traffic. With the RapidRide up and running a lot of areas will have more traffic issues when that bus is stopping all the time as traffic will just build up behind them. Bikes and cars have no way to get around them.

  • quiz June 22, 2012 (11:43 am)

    Development of that site has been a long time coming, and welcome.

  • Chuck & Sally's Van Man June 22, 2012 (3:18 pm)

    @Wetone–No doubt, those of us living in Morgan Junction need to be more involved. As you point out, (off street) parking will be a particularly important criteria for the construction of this new housing. And your comments on the RapidRide were right on; I feel like we’ve been duped with the creation of these new bus stands jutting out into the street. Sure, the idea is that buses don’t have to wait to re-enter traffic, but if the car jams they create get too severe (and I suspect they will) it’s just more of the same–congestion. No easy answers, but RapidRide sure oversold this one, IMHO.

  • kgdlg June 22, 2012 (5:13 pm)

    Here is the thing about “shoebox living” – people are renting all these new apartments. In fact, I have seen a lot of great chatter online here about the new communities in the Junction in the 6 story buildings. If people didn’t like and rent these apartments, they wouldn’t get built. It is like everyone in Seattle complaining about townhomes when EVERY single one of my friends lives in one, because they are the most affordable, low-maintenance cost way to first time home ownership. So, while you might not like it, a lot of people apparently do.

  • Cindi Barker June 22, 2012 (10:15 pm)

    Please come to the next Morgan Community Association meeting, Weds July 18, 7:00 pm in the Community Room at The Kenney. Development, Rapid Ride, density; those are all topics we try to cover. The last time I checked, Oct 2011, the Morgan Urban Village was at 55% of the growth projected in the Comp Plan until the year 2024, 64% if you include the permitted units. (good compared to the Alaska Junction which is already at 108%). We encourage all to get involved in the discussion!

  • hey June 23, 2012 (1:29 am)

    Several weeks ago, I spoke with one of the owners of the property while he was cleaning up behind the buildings. He was one of three brothers whose grandfather purchased the site in the 30s, after which it became the local oil and coal seller. I got the impression that the brothers were tired of dealing with the property.

    He told me directly that they were looking into having plans drawn up and trying to get the permits together to sell the whole package deal. One of the factors in the design would be the widening of Eddy to allow an underground parking garage entered at from the south side.

    My understanding though is that local statute only requires a single car off street parking per unit. Considering that the average American household owns 2.28 cars, that will cause Capitol Hill style street parking if the statute is not changed, or if the neighborhood does not aggressively demand that parking be addressed.

  • WSCitizen June 25, 2012 (2:37 pm)

    The Rapid Ride bus stops make zero sense to me. They make them like that so buses dont have to wait to merge back into traffic? When has a bus ever waited to merge back into traffic? All the buses I see just pull out and make cars stop. Those Rapid Ride stops only succeed in making traffic worse.

  • miws June 29, 2012 (11:29 am)

    WSCitizen, I’ve been on many a bus, that had to wait for many a car to pass by, in each case, before the coach could pull back out into traffic.



  • Mario Sanchez June 29, 2012 (12:39 pm)

    What a great oppotunity for an investor!
    Mario Sanchez

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