West Seattle development: Groundbreaking soon for 101 apartments at 5020 California SW, now called The Blake

springhill.jpgYet another Junction-area project is getting ready for groundbreaking. It’s a site we have been tracking for more than five years – 5020 California SW, formerly known as “Spring Hill,” dating back to its time in the fold of BlueStar Development, the original developer of what became “The Hole.” When BlueStar’s West Seattle plans went awry, 5020 California SW went into foreclosure, and then was sold to a Burien-based company last year. Four months ago, we spoke with the site’s new managers, who told us nothing was likely to happen before year’s end, and that the project hadn’t changed much; today, the management company, Indigo Real Estate Services, just sent an official announcement of the site’s new name and imminent construction::

After much anticipation, groundbreaking for The Blake (formerly known as Spring Hill) at 5020 California Ave SW is slated to begin in January 2013 with a target opening of summer 2014.

Named for the most prominent island seen from the building’s expansive rooftop deck, The Blake will offer sweeping views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains for all residents to enjoy.

Just south of the Junction, The Blake is within close walking distance to the area’s popular restaurants, bars, coffee shops, shopping and many services, including Rapid Ride’s West Seattle C line.

Designed by renowned Seattle Architect David Hewitt with interiors by Mercedes Fernandez, the property is managed by Indigo Real Estate, who West Seattleites may know from the company’s previous involvement in the Mural and Link Apartments.

The Blake will be a completely residential, upscale, pet-friendly building featuring two live/work lofts and 101 apartments including two-story townhomes, studio, 1bed/1bath, and 2 bed/2 bath apartments. With secure indoor bike storage and 87 underground parking spaces, the parking to unit ratio is .8 to 1, a high percentage in comparison to other Junction developments.

“West Seattle is uniquely connected to Puget Sound; The Blake speaks to that connection,” describes Fernandez. “It’s a classic modern residence with sparkling interiors. Earthy texture and modern beach colors marry to create a sophisticated palette and restful refuge.”

A nod to nature in the city, the tree-lined entry leads to a lobby with cozy seating. An elevated East courtyard on the 4th floor offers lush landscaping providing greenscape views to residents and neighbors alike. Perhaps one of The Blake’s most inspiring features is the roof deck and alcove designed to bring the outdoors in. This area boasts a cook’s kitchen with state-of-the-art appliances and rustic farm table for community gatherings.

“The Blake will add a building of urbanistic character to the southern edge of the commercial area on California Ave. It is carefully scaled to relate well to buildings on California and to the neighboring buildings in all directions, “ explains Hewitt. “There are stunning views to the West and quiet courtyards to the East. The Blake will reinforce this great walking neighborhood with a quality project that is appealing on many levels.”

According to Indigo, The Blake plans to be deeply involved in the local community — such as West Seattle Art Walk and other Junction festivities. Visit TheBlakeApartments.com to leave your contact info and be included on construction updates and other related happenings.

Even before this announcement, we had been updating our “West Seattle developments in the works” map, last published in August. Look for the update by tomorrow, to include this new information.

33 Replies to "West Seattle development: Groundbreaking soon for 101 apartments at 5020 California SW, now called The Blake"

  • hopey December 26, 2012 (2:30 pm)

    I’m not encouraged by the fact that the development company didn’t give the neighbors priority notice. *sigh* Although I can’t say I’m surprised — I saw a guy walking the lot last week and wondered if something was up.

  • Bernd December 26, 2012 (2:56 pm)

    Does 87 parking spots mean that 101 condos only allowed to have 87 vehicles?

    • WSB December 26, 2012 (3:09 pm)

      Bernd – If you are on a transit corridor, which this project is (RapidRide), you are not required to have ANY parking.

  • K S December 26, 2012 (3:06 pm)

    Oh great! More apartments! This place is turning into Ballard.

  • Diane December 26, 2012 (3:19 pm)

    is “urbanistic” a new word?

  • librarian December 26, 2012 (3:21 pm)

    Parking is already hard to come by in this area. Now it will be impossible. On the bright side, I won’t ever have to entertain because friends will refuse to come.

  • Diane December 26, 2012 (3:28 pm)

    do you know where to get clarification on the parking requirements? I thought the “zero parking” only applied to projects that went through design review after the new code

  • JT December 26, 2012 (3:48 pm)

    Does WSB know who the builder is?

  • Flickertail December 26, 2012 (5:19 pm)

    Great looking building. The people who whine about it, of course, don’t have any children, or grand-children. Right? LOL

  • West Seattle Hipster December 26, 2012 (5:22 pm)

    That is one aesthetically challenged building.

  • wetone December 26, 2012 (5:35 pm)

    Sounds like a used car salesperson talking the place up. People of West Seattle better wake up and get some kind of commitee to put pressure on the city to stop these building practices in this area. The road infrastructure in, out, around West Seattle can not handle what is going on here now. The City and Mayor should be held accountable for these building practices as all they care about is revenue comming in. They have given no consideration to people living in the West Seattle area. Being on a Rapid Ride or bus route as one of their reasons to allow this build up is sooooo laughable, let alone not requiring proper parking. The impact to surrounding areas will be crazy and home owners will have a tough time trying to park within a block of their homes (Capitol Hill). Just think the city is allowing this from Morgan st. north along California ave. and so much more. If your thinking of moving and selling your property better do so quick. With all the building going on here in the next five years things will be an ugly mess and not what buyers want to see. Then tolls will start so We can fix and repave the road damage from all the on going construction work. On the bright side for me being on the west side of the junction having a couple solid walls of apartments up on the ave. will hopefully block some of the train horns at 4am:)

  • hopey December 26, 2012 (6:05 pm)

    So… did all of you complainers attend every Land Use and Design Review meeting for this project, so you could voice your objections? Oh, but morning-after quarterbacking is so easy on the internet, isn’t it?
    If you don’t like the rate of development in West Seattle, track the projects and attend the meetings. (WSB is a great resource for meeting information.) If you really want things to change, you need to be part of the process. Complaints on WSB don’t do much to effect change.

  • wetone December 26, 2012 (7:17 pm)

    Here is a good article. Some Green Lake neighbors have filed a lawsuit against the city of Seattle for allowing a new three-story house in the backyard of an existing bungalow. Same builder has been buying property in West Seattle and is doing the same thing here. Glad people are starting to get fed up with the city’s antics and doing something.


  • A December 26, 2012 (7:18 pm)

    WS really sucks now. Ten years of living here and I think we are ready to go.

  • steve December 26, 2012 (7:39 pm)

    @hopey, so if i was to attend one of these ‘meetings,’ i could single-handedly stop these developments in west seattle?

    I have to go to EVERY meeting and say the same thing? Can’t I go to one? Oh wait, are you telling me that going to these meetings won’t do squat because the rules that allow these developments were enacted years ago and can’t be changed?

    And stop complaining you complainers. Stop it stop it stop it I say!

    But wait… whats the difference between complaining on the internet and complaining in person in some random meeting? More people would hear your complaints posted online than in some dusty meeting all.

    But then its so easy to complain about people complaining when its so easy to go to a meeting and get your way!


  • EdSane December 27, 2012 (2:46 am)

    Seattle is a growing city. Up not out.

  • cascadianone December 27, 2012 (7:47 am)

    We can’t stop the development of land we don’t own, nor change zoning rules that were put in place over a decade ago (to promote density in the city instead of sprawl in the mountains)

    We can’t remove traffic, but we can add a subway line. When people choose to take the subway, it frees up our roadways for those who still want or need to drive. In both cases, our commute times will be faster and our homes more valuable. We can have smart growth, even smart density. Now is the time to demand it- before hundreds more apartment dwellers crowd onto the bridges!


  • JS December 27, 2012 (8:04 am)

    “The Blake will offer sweeping views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains for all residents to enjoy.” Well, at the expense of the single family homes across the alley directly to the east, which will now be in the shadow of yet another Mayor Rice apartment building. Hopey, I went to countless meetings back when Rice’s “Urban Village” concept was dropped on us in the 90’s. All for not. All those meetings were a total waste of time. Having attended the meetings, I have the right to complain! West Seattle is now reaping the “benefits” sowed by Rice’s “Urban Village” vision. Enjoy :-)

  • Peter on Fauntleroy December 27, 2012 (8:47 am)

    Fortunately, zoning and land use decisions are made by people creating a sustainable and vibrant city and not by the anti-development fringe. We live smack in the middle of the 13th largest urban area in the United States of America, and all the kvetching cannot chang that. The suburban car culture of the 20th century is dying because it never was practical or sustainable. That’s fine by me.

  • boy December 27, 2012 (10:17 am)

    Nice view of the islands from the roof top. But so much for the view for the people living behind this thing.

  • hipster! December 27, 2012 (1:09 pm)

    Do I need to remind you all that we live in a CITY?? Not the suburbs, but in the city where urban dwellings are very much appropriate. I agree with Cascadianone. We should push for better mass transit to support this kind of growth.

  • JS December 27, 2012 (4:04 pm)

    Peter and Hipster, I assume you maybe weren’t around in the early 1990’s when this whole concept was leveled on the city from Mayor Rice as the City’s response to the Growth Management Act? There was never any discussion about the plan, other than here’s the plan, live with it. (West Seattle had 5 Urban Villages, Magnolia none). The only concessions we were able to get were to add some trees and bushes here and there to soften the effect of all these bigger buildings. Also, change up the siding, add some balconies, and step back upper floors slightly. That’s it. They said that they wanted all these new buildings to fit into the neighborhood. I don’t think that concept is working very well. You are both right though – we live in the city and have to accept the growth and how our city manages it – or leave. Will we become another Hong Kong? Probably many in West Seattle would be OK with that. Those of us who’ve been here a while are a bit resistant to that.

  • Peter on Fauntleroy December 27, 2012 (5:44 pm)

    JS, just so you know, your completely baseless assumption about me is entirely false. I lived in Seattle throughout to 90s, I supported the urban village concept then, and I do now. Your comments are a ridiculous over simplifacation of urban villages and of my views. Just because you disagree with me doesn’t make your mischaracterization of me correct.

  • Victoria December 27, 2012 (7:08 pm)

    First, this proposed building does not provide adequate parking for their residents. People may wish to take public transportation to and from their jobs but they still want their cars for recreational uses, shopping etc. These developers are trying to reduce their building costs by passing this expense onto all of us. These residents will simply end up parking their cars on the streets in front of businesses and homes.
    Next, the city in currently unable to provide adequate transit options for WS residents. Ask the residents of Arbor Heights and Alki or anyone trying to commute on the C line. Unless the city is willing to financially commit to providing 24/7 bus transit not only to downtown but north, south or the east side, people will need cars to go to work. Developers need to build for our current conditions; not a transit plan that will not exist for years.
    The developers indicate that this will be pet friendly so I would like to see the pet park on this plot that will be included in their plans.
    There are a maximum number of residents that any Urban Village can absorb. WS turns into an island very quickly with bad weather, traffic accidents and, as long term resident know, earthquakes. Two years ago, our bridges were shut down for a number of hours. Add to this is that we also have over million cars traveling through our neighborhoods and using the bridge from Vashon Island and Southworth. This has to be factored into any density calculation.
    Finally, this brings me to a critical issue of WS lacking a hospital to service our community in the event of a significant emergency. Other Urban Villages have hospitals and multiple roadways to move in and out of their communities. WS does not.
    By reviewing these large complexes separately, we are failing to ensure the health and safety of our community. A more holistic approach could allow a more realistic approach to development in our community based on our limitations.

  • West Seattle Hipster December 27, 2012 (7:37 pm)

    Victoria, well stated and well presented. All great points.

    If theses buildings are going to continue to be built, the infrastructure needs to be improved.

  • K8 December 27, 2012 (8:50 pm)

    I cannot agree more with Victoria.

  • ivan December 28, 2012 (8:59 am)

    Any time I hear “sustainable” and “vibrant” in the same sentence, I reach to make sure my wallet is still there.

  • Seattlite December 28, 2012 (9:23 am)

    Victoria you hit on many of the reasons to stop the urban village concept. The only thing I would add is that the City cannot stop overdeveloping WS, Ballard, etc. If the City stops overdevelopment, the City will not be able wring out the last cent of tax revenue. It’s all about the $ for the City. The City could care less about WS’s residents or WS’s lack of infrastructure, transit, roadways, parking, etc.

  • My2Cents December 28, 2012 (2:29 pm)

    Just what we need, more ant hills. I hate the landscape of ugly boxes that are defining neighborhoods and housing loads of people on top of each other. It’s ruining the character that attracted our family to W. Seattle. Why is it happening? So we can fit in more corporate commerce? In light of all the developing going on I guess we won’t be buying a home here anytime soon. Just when I thought we found a special place, turns out it’s going to be just like every other place. Boxes to keep the people in and the same corporate businesses that line the city streets and highways all over America. It’ll be a sad day when Easy Street Records goes away. What is it about the American culture, that the people feel a need to snuff out the one thing that makes something special, just to make it like everything else?

  • WTF December 28, 2012 (8:16 pm)

    Do you guys think the developers REALLY care what we WSites think? How this housing will impact us; renter and home owners alike? What kind of horrible traffic this kind of cluster building will cause? Etc., etc. In-short, NO. They didn’t. Don’t. And, never will. Neither does a city that is so poorly managed and just needs the money. It’s allllllllll about the money. No number of meetings, public hearings or letter to the Editor will change that, until we change who runs this town and who is in the decision-making position to change the laws that “allow” such permits & building to exist in the first place.
    Maybe the creeton we fear is the one in the mirror.

  • Save ws December 31, 2012 (1:00 pm)

    Here’s the deal the rich developers are running the show. The people profiting will not have to live near or see the mess they are creating. The only thing they will see is the bigger bank account and not have to deal with the problems that a larger urban population creates. Stop drinking the kool aid and looking down on complainers. The kool aid is that this entire concept of less space and less land is good for “us.” I personally never saw a problem with the middle class west Seattle with more space and more land for the people. But like all things middle the class the dollar fueled reaper has come along and found our lifestyle yet again not profitable enough. It is unfair that we would have to go to a ton of meetings to have our opinion heard, and btw, the people running the show are not trying to hear out the common folk anyway, the best outcome of attending a meeting would be that it would give the people in charge a chance to tell us everything is going to be “ok” while they plunge the knife deeper into our back. The development is a betrayal of the people of we’d Seattle and the lifestyle we have had since the inception of our neighborhoods. Now that we have developed something good the city has decided it is time to turn the quaint town into a package product to be sold to people with more money from out of town. This is not right in the least. But unfortunately myself having limited resources and no political power there is nothing I can do about it. This would need to be a group effort amongst the people of this neighborhood who have bee here for generations. We are not cattle and we should not be forced to accept the fate pushed on us by out local politicians just because they want to make more money.

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