4755 Fauntleroy’s first design review, report #1: Try again

After compiling a long list of concerns about the megaproject proposed for 4755 Fauntleroy Way SW – and because, in the words of Southwest Design Review Board member Layne Bennion, it’s a “humongous project” – the board decided tonight to ask the project team to come back for a second round of Early Design Guidance.

That means there will be at least two more meetings before this project clears Design Review. It was agreed that the only workable alternative was #4 – outlined in the rendering above – and the project team confirmed that was closest to what it hopes to have in the project – around 370 apartments, 570 parking spaces, a grocery store and drugstore (still unnamed) and other retail. Major concerns included what the key corner at Fauntleroy and Alaska would look like, and how the drive between the project’s two buildings would work. Much more in a separate report later; we estimate 50 or so people attended, and there were some thoughtful and thorough comments (from 13 of the attendees). We have all but five minutes of the two-and-a-half-hour meeting (camera change) on video and will upload it to include with the full-length story.

Next step: The project team goes back to the drawing board to address the issues brought up tonight, and when they’re ready, a date will be set for that second EDG meeting.

15 Replies to "4755 Fauntleroy's first design review, report #1: Try again"

  • Pete September 28, 2012 (7:56 am)

    I look at the preferred alternative #4 and all I see is a huge wall that will front both major streets coming into West Seattle. Can’t we have something a bt more unique and different for our community? Just more of the same ole same ole is not working for me.

  • JoAnne September 28, 2012 (9:20 am)

    All the plans are really ugly. No character at all, just a massive, looming box. No more design in them than in a cracker box.

  • JS September 28, 2012 (10:57 am)

    I’ve participated in Design Review in the past. It seems to me that the only “power” really that the design review process holds is the equivalent of being allowed to “put lipstick on a pig”.

  • Nancy F. September 28, 2012 (11:22 am)

    It’s a shame the Triangle Study group got so bogged down in individual’s concern about their parking spaces. This is exactly the type of project we could have been addressing but that got only a minor amount of discussion. It’s also interesting that the committee included Mr. Huling who did not seem interested in sharing with the rest of us his presence, not to mention his plans. And now there is yet another auto-centered business in the area. Hardly pedestrian/neighborhood friendly. There is a reason there was quiet agitation against considering down-scaling zoning from full-on C1, and it’s not for the benefit of the residents or the current small business, but for the land owners. Can’t wait for a Costco to go in where Whole Foods was due to.

    • WSB September 28, 2012 (11:35 am)

      I know that’s a philosophical/rhetorical comment but for anyone reading this who hadn’t seen our previous coverage, the former Whole Foods space in the future Madison project at “The Hole” was sketched as an L.A. Fitness when we reviewed the revised plans this summer at the DPD. Our most recent inquiries to both them and the owner of that site have not been answered. – TR

  • old timer September 28, 2012 (12:12 pm)

    What I wonder about is the impact of this project on Jefferson Square, and the rest of the Junction.
    If there is a grocery in the new space, how will it affect Safeway, and if it is to be Safeway in the new space, what happens to the old? Will it sit empty? Will some finally get their fabric store?
    The same goes for the drugstore. It could be a Walgreens, maybe a Rite-Aid, but also a Bartells, in which case, the same concerns as with the grocery impacts.
    Walgreen’s tends to locate in low income areas, Rite-Aid has a big piece of land and just remodeled. Bartells however, could use an upgrade -have you seen their Burien store?
    Also, the Junction is getting spread pretty far with all this retail at the eastern edge. When The Hole gets filled, even more so. Spreading the retail out so far will increase the use of autos IMO. The free parking at the Junction won’t really help, all these new places will have to have their parking areas, just like Trader Joe’s does.
    Not saying the development is a bad thing, just wondering.
    Every action has a reaction, and that’s where the real fun lies.

  • Carole September 28, 2012 (12:13 pm)

    Aside from the ugly blandness of this design, we have QFC, Safeway and TJ’s, plus Bartell’s and the compounding pharmacy at California/Alaska, all within just blocks of this building. (And doesn’t QFC have a pharmacy also?) We have PCC, another Safeway and Met Market up the road. Do we REALLY need another grocery store? How about bringing back the fabric store? Or getting a Staples or Office Max or some other office supply type store in there? Heavens, even another restaurant would be better. We can never have too many restaurants.

  • Brontosaurus September 28, 2012 (12:59 pm)

    I agree with @Pete…I just see a HUGE WALL, blocking the sun and the view; creating a claustrophobic feeling. I’d take abandoned car lots over this! Is there a way to open up the front? To make it more architecturally pleasing? Add some native plantings and water feature maybe?

  • Seattlite September 28, 2012 (4:02 pm)

    Dollars drive the unattractive, uninspired design: flat roof, minimum windows, square box, etc. I’m sure an architect worth his/her money could rev up the design without breaking the bank. Hopefully, WS can somehow stall this insipid, lackluster dud of a development until someone can come up w/a new design and a list of viable tenants. One can only hope…

  • cj September 28, 2012 (5:21 pm)

    I agree its yet another monstrous wall blocking the sun. If they could at least put gaps in the continuous wall to let light though it would be better.

    Also another grocer? I don’t really get this funneling so many people into one shopping area. Wont this cause other grocer locations to be at risk of closing down?

  • Rick September 28, 2012 (11:46 pm)

    We are getting quantity over quality, which degrades the neighborhood. Bummer.

  • cici September 30, 2012 (1:05 am)

    I say don’t worry about good ol Safeway..they are filty rich..who cares if they lose a few bucks! But really, the design of these buildings are so ugly, it WOULD be nice if they added some features like above mentioned: a water feature and maybe a nice stone courtyard that opens the front of the building and gives it some style!!!! We need to tell these architects to get it right!!! Just because its going to be new does not mean it has to be ugly.

  • robert September 30, 2012 (9:58 pm)

    the building looks like the rest of the rabbit-warrens that are popping up allover west seattle to big to tall and way to ugly.do over …..

  • huski October 5, 2012 (12:59 pm)

    If all these projects start at the same time, it’s gonna be ugly. Need to build at separate times or getting home will be ugly.

    • WSB October 5, 2012 (1:02 pm)

      This one probably won’t start for two years, the project team says.
      The ones on California in The Junction are expected to start sooner.
      The wild card right now is “The Hole” – which we suspect is revving up soon.

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