West Seattle development: 1,500-plus potential units in pipeline

This week, the crane went up for the Oregon 42 project at 42nd and Oregon in The Junction (thanks to LB for the photo). And today came the notification that 4724 California has applied for its land-use permit (here’s the notice, including a link for public comments), along with a formal announcement of the 1st Design Review meeting for 3078 SW Avalon Way, as first reported here a week and a half ago.

With these and other projects under way, there’s always a commenter or two who asks “How many units are in the works, anyway?” We have finally taken an unofficial count, while making a Google Map of the ones we know about. If all these projects are built, they together total more than 1,500 new residential units (apartments, with a smattering of “live-work”) in West Seattle over the next few years:

View Major active/upcoming West Seattle development, August 2012 in a larger map

A few caveats:

*Our list does not include a few sites for which projects were initiated a few years ago but seem to have stalled; these are the active, reactivated, or newly proposed sites on which we have reported in recent months

*There’s a chance we might have missed something, though we monitor a variety of sources, online and in the physical world. Click any marker for a short summary of what’s proposed – if you know of a major (20 units or more) project not on the map, please let us know!

*Even though it’s unlike any other project in the pipeline, we have included the DESC Delridge Supportive Housing project and its 66 units, as both the construction and operation of that facility will be significant to the community too.

As we did with a similar map in 2008 (we’re working on a “whatever happened to …” look at that), we’ll update this as things change, and revisit it as our comprehensive coverage of West Seattle development continues.

40 Replies to "West Seattle development: 1,500-plus potential units in pipeline"

  • Harry Reems August 23, 2012 (4:43 pm)

    Where are the infrastructure improvements to support the additional population?

    Since the West Seattle Bridge won’t be getting any wider, how about adding light rail and a monorail line to our transportation options?

  • Bonnie August 23, 2012 (4:50 pm)

    Interesting. My first thought is about the bridge traffic but then not all of those units are going to be kid free people, some will have children. What about the schools in that area? Will they be able to support a bunch of more children?

  • Rebecca August 23, 2012 (5:38 pm)

    Ah, developers. Throw the buildings up and then leave the neighborhoods to pay for the roads, schools, and traffic problems.

  • Eric G August 23, 2012 (5:43 pm)

    Hope they all plan to bicycle to work. :)

  • Kathi August 23, 2012 (6:01 pm)

    Just seems scarey if you ask me. That’s just far too many people. Like west Seattle becomes china.

  • Jeff August 23, 2012 (6:14 pm)

    With more population comes more property tax and more business tax. Hopefully, some of that money comes back to our community in the form of infrastructure, schools, police, etc.

  • cascadianone August 23, 2012 (6:47 pm)

    What we need is a Seattle Subway to solve our car commuting issues! seattlesubway.org

  • evergreen August 23, 2012 (7:20 pm)

    1500 to 3000 more cars.

  • transplantella August 23, 2012 (7:27 pm)

    But what about ~The Hole~


    Apartments, aquarium, parking spaces, transit, zoning, permits or no…that hole–is the pits! Now.for.nearly.FIVE.YEARS. A hole with a fence.


    It’s ghastly.

  • boy August 23, 2012 (8:03 pm)

    The hole should equal park and ride.

  • Husky August 23, 2012 (8:32 pm)

    I’m hoping it all gets re-zoned and some developer buys me out. The quality of life will eventually go down, and commuting is already bad before the tunnel.

  • Kgdlg August 23, 2012 (9:04 pm)

    I know I say the same exact thing on every one of these posts but here it is again. These buildings are built for one simple reason: supply and demand. The rental market is really really tight right now and in a City where jobs are actually being added, developers build buildings. They would not get built if people didn’t want to live in them. This doesn’t mean I think they are all good looking. But last I checked, most of us cane here from somewhere else at some point in time.

    Secondly, these buildings pay a heck of a lot of fees for permits and connections to utilities. I am planning a large building now that will pay 500k to hook up to sewer. No jokes. While we don’t have impact fees for schools or roads in Seattle, there are a lot of other fees new buildings pay.

  • dcn August 23, 2012 (9:50 pm)

    Nice work on the map, WSB. It makes it easier to get a grasp on just how much and where growth is happening in WS.

  • MK August 23, 2012 (10:07 pm)

    The 3078 Avalon project now reads:
    “a seven-story structure containing 114 residential units. Parking for 77 vehicles to be provided below grade.”

    Considerably more units and too little parking in an already congested area!!


  • Bruce Nourish August 23, 2012 (10:12 pm)

    Looks great to me. All but one of these projects are within a block of either RapidRide C or the 120 (which Metro recently got a WSDOT grant to improve and will probably get the RapidRide treatment in a few years), providing good service to downtown. Most of them are close to the (upcoming) 50 and 128, which gives them good access to other parts of the city. Definitely the smartest places to build density in West Seattle.

  • Wes August 23, 2012 (10:28 pm)

    Good for west Seattle, I’ll have to come check it out.

  • chris August 23, 2012 (11:07 pm)

    The Rapid Ride will be a valuable new transportation solution for many of these residents both old and new. The cross town route to the Beacon Hill light rail station is a great addition too.

  • Neighborly August 23, 2012 (11:41 pm)

    Would somebody please give this data to the Seattle Public Schools’ demographer?

  • Kris August 24, 2012 (12:24 am)

    All these new apartment building make it look like lake city around here. Lake city lost all it’s charater when they built all the apartment buildings now it’s west seattle turn. Kris

  • phil dirt August 24, 2012 (5:38 am)


  • alittlebirdtoldme August 24, 2012 (6:33 am)

    Great map work ! Easy, clear and up-to-date.

  • george August 24, 2012 (8:43 am)

    kddig, we may have all come here “from somewhere else”, but many of us used existing resourses (empty or for sale/sold homes), not new construction. I think there is a difference.

  • Justin August 24, 2012 (8:51 am)

    I look forward the the energy and vibrancy that more residents will bring to the junction. I like it here and I think it keeps getting better.

    Light rail to downtown sure would be nice. It seems like it would make a lot of sense.

  • Chad N August 24, 2012 (8:52 am)

    To put these 1500 units in perspective…

    West Seattle’s population (2010 census) is 83,000, up from 79,000 in the 2000 census. Assuming that 2,000 people move into these new apartments (many of them will be 1-bedrooms, I’m sure), West Seattle’s population will rise only 2.4% to 85,000. This is a tiny change.

    For West Seattle just to catch up with Seattle’s average population density, it would need to grow to 100,000. Plenty of room to grow over here.

    • WSB August 24, 2012 (9:18 am)

      Chad N – we were talking about the population # in the forum yesterday. Curious if your stat includes what we consider to be all of West Seattle (water on the north and west, city limits to the south, and the Duwamish River to the east until you get to Highland Park Way or so, where the “border” moves a bit inland). The city’s division of WS into two “districts” (Southwest and Delridge) has caused some confusion in other contexts. – Tracy

  • sun*e August 24, 2012 (9:15 am)

    “Where are the infrastructure improvements to support the additional population?

    Since the West Seattle Bridge won’t be getting any wider, how about adding light rail and a monorail line to our transportation options?”
    …what Harry Reems said…I thought it was worth repeating.

  • Amy August 24, 2012 (9:34 am)

    I think it is great. Bring on the developers!

  • Chad N August 24, 2012 (12:36 pm)

    Tracy – My boundary is based on census tracts, and includes everything in City Limits west of the Duwamish River, except south of the 1st Av bridge, where it is west of Highway 509 (i.e, excludes South Park neighborhood).

    • WSB August 24, 2012 (1:04 pm)

      Thanks. Makes sense to me. There are some who claim 100,000+ but I always thought that had to be too high.

  • Wes August 24, 2012 (1:31 pm)

    1,500 really isn’t that many greater downtown has 7,700 new units in the pipeline in a much smaller area.

  • WSratsinacage August 24, 2012 (2:45 pm)

    If you don’t like density/development/think we’re too full, then, if possible, vote out people in elected postions who are behind it.

  • Kgdlg August 24, 2012 (8:01 pm)

    To the point above, I don’t think it is possible to privilege single family dwellers over these “new” residents, simply because you got here first and used up all the land. Last I checked there is no way to stop people from moving here or growing their families, so housing will continue to be needed. In our region we have consciously decided to do this in urban verses rural areas. So this means new apartment buildings.

  • friend of west seattle August 24, 2012 (9:50 pm)

    Great job WS Blog! The comments that are so assuming are the ones where people whine about parking! Don’t you all realize that many people don’t even OWN a car, so they don’t NEED a parking place. We’re so American in our thinking the only way to get anywhere involves a car.

  • Scott August 25, 2012 (11:45 am)

    The Ballardifiction of West Seattle has begun…

  • Mike August 25, 2012 (10:50 pm)

    And the extra 1500 people will all pay property tax to support our schools and such right? No? What? Oh ya, they’re rental units…..
    ” They would not get built if people didn’t want to live in them” Actually that’s not true. Developers don’t even need to have anyone live in them to make money on these buildings. You and I suck up the dime on that pretty scheme with the banks that give them the loans and then voila, bankrupt..start new company and repeat. Not ‘all’ developers run this way but there are a ton that do. The eastside is dealing with poorly built apartment buildings created by shady developers. A few skipped out of the USA with millions in cash, one building in Redmond had to be gutted it was so bad with rot.
    So lets see, I noticed a vast amount of vacant business space and vacant dwellings in the new building next to the Admiral Safeway, I’m sure they’ll fill up right? Or maybe somebody wants to move into all those open apartments I keep passing signs for along California Ave? Oh yes, we definitely ‘need’ more apartments and condos to help with the housing crunch we DON’T HAVE.

  • Dan August 26, 2012 (6:04 pm)

    Are CityPlanners out to completely gridlock West Seattle??…..and where are these people going to park?? It shows the “stupidity” of our City Council to allow all of these developments with very minimal parking requirements per building.
    Mayor “McSchwinn” & his posse (the city council) expect Seattle people to give up their cars & either ride bikes or buses to the wonderful places & beautiful outdoors outside our city.
    They are ruining West Seattle’s total atmosphere, not to mention what this influx of rentals will do to the existing rental market & property values.
    I cannot believe West Seattle residents are not fighting mad about what is happening. Ask the business owners & residents how the new apartments, with minimal parking, have affected the areas around Jefferson Square, QFC, the Juncion, Mt. St. Vincents, YMCA, and the Grove Motel.
    Get involved, Get Active!

  • June August 28, 2012 (8:47 am)

    @George, I’m not from somewhere else. I was born, bred, and still live in WS. Long time residents (30 years here myself) are concerned about increased density and how it will affect the character and resources of our neighborhoods. I think most old timers would say it is a detriment. WS isn’t built for high density, it never has. Is there a benefit to adding 1,500 residential apartment units? We do not have the infrastructure to carry all those people. We are stretched very thin as it is. Look what happened to Ballard. It lost all it’s character with overpriced condos that nobody lives in. How about asking the community before these big land developers come in who frankly don’t give a crap about community. Were we ever asked how these buildings going up in WS are to impact our neighborhoods and resources? No. Just money mongers looking to make a profit. I’m sure most of these developers don’t even live in WA State. A big land developer doesn’t know what’s best for the community, the community of WS does! I see “Save West Seattle” stickers on the horizon!

    • WSB August 28, 2012 (9:38 am)

      June – I was going to say this to someone earlier in the thread. If the people who own the property didn’t sell it to developers, or contract with development firms to build on/redevelop the property, it wouldn’t be getting developed. And many of the property owners are or were West Seattleites. Just a datapoint. People have the right to do what they want with their land – but if you are concerned for example about a specific area, you can look up who owns which properties and share your opinion with the owners, before they either hire or sell to developers. – TR

  • Gina September 5, 2012 (12:25 pm)

    I have lived in West Seattle for 44 years. When I was young we all new most of the West Seattle Families, that’s a joke at this point. WS has become a city, not maintaining the quaint neighborhood that it used to be. There’s more crime, and big business instead of the Family owned businesses that have always been cherished. I am disgusted that McSchwinn has approved all the building in WS with having less than acceptable parking available for those new tennants. The parking situation in WS is already poor. Sorry McSchwinn but not all of us ride bikes like you, many of us have small children or elderly folks, that require a car to move them about, not a bike or bus (have you tried to get two small kids on a bus together then try to get everything done in a short period of time due to naps etc.) I think we are once again a test area here in WS and that will be to our detrament. I think this whole thing is ridiculous. Scmitz Park Elem. has 540 students this year, the playground is being taken over by portables. The school has 6 toilets for each gender the cafeteria holds less than 200 people. Can any of this be safe for our kids? The little family school in the woods is gone, it’s just a Public School that looks like a trailer park with no heart. On top of that the neiborhoods surrounding the school are gridlocked in the morning and aftenoon, god forbid they have an all school event. We can’t even park in front of our own homes if we come home “at the wrong time”. Don’t tell me we moved in next to a school and can’t be upset, because when we bought here it was a small family school with 194 students and no parking or driving issues. Basically this whole idea of growing WS’s population is killing West Seattle.

Sorry, comment time is over.