West Seattle development: New Design Review dates for projects at Alki Tavern, Charlestown Café sites, & 4505 42nd SW

If you’re tracking local development projects – one or more of these might be of note for your calendar. Newly added to the list of upcoming Southwest Design Review Board meetings (all of which are scheduled to happen at the Senior Center of West Seattle at Oregon/California):

(One of three early ‘massing’ – just height, shape, etc. – options proposed for 1307 Harbor)
1307 HARBOR AVENUE SW (FORMER ALKI TAVERN SITE), APRIL 3: We’ve been watching for signs of activity ever since the tavern closed a year ago (you’ll recall, its closing party was on St. Patrick’s Day of 2013). Finally, a project description has turned up on the city website:

… 6-story, 19-unit residential structure with 3,400 for restaurant and 7,000 sq.ft. of retail at ground floor. 12,000 sq.ft. of office will be located at the south end of the building. Parking for 40 vehicles to located below grade. Existing structures (residential and retail) to be demolished.

This project is tentatively set for its first SW Design Review Board meeting at 8 pm April 3rd, after the already-announced 6:30 pm fifth review of 3210 California SW.

3824 CALIFORNIA SW (FORMER CHARLESTOWN CAFE SITE), APRIL 17: When this 30-unit (townhouses and live/work) project went before the board a month ago for its first Early Design Guidance session, they asked the project team to try again (WSB coverage here). Now the date for the second presentation is set – 6:30 pm April 17th.

4505 42ND SW, APRIL 17: A second project is set for that night too – and it’s also a second round of Early Design Guidance (here’s our coverage of its first review in January). It’s 4505 42nd SW, on the southwest corner of 42nd and Oregon, 7 stories and 50 residential units.

34 Replies to "West Seattle development: New Design Review dates for projects at Alki Tavern, Charlestown Café sites, & 4505 42nd SW"

  • Meaks March 3, 2014 (3:43 pm)

    Why are the developers insistent in putting up monstrosities of buildings that don’t even remotely fit the concept of our neighborhood. West Seattle is starting to feel like Ballard Jr. Thank God Husky Deli is profitable because it along with NW Art and Frame are the ONLY businesses that are still around from my youth. So disappointing.

  • Francine March 3, 2014 (3:55 pm)

    That is just plain ugly.

  • Ashley March 3, 2014 (4:15 pm)

    It’s really sad West Seattle is being completely over populated and destroyed with all of these enormous condos. It’s already bad enough with the over crowding, I dread what it will be like a year from now when it’s literally impossible to get down California ave in less than 30 minutes. Sickening.

  • Angelique McClellan March 3, 2014 (4:23 pm)

    I love west Seattle but the views that made this town special are disappearing. I moved here from Utah and they over developed everything and it’s crowded with smog and a lot of crime I would hate for that too happen here in our town where everybody knows everybody that’s what makes us special.

  • sna March 3, 2014 (4:28 pm)

    The project at Alki Tavern site is big, but it will be nice to have more retail there.

  • AN March 3, 2014 (4:29 pm)

    What the heck is it???
    It looks like legos

    • WSB March 3, 2014 (4:31 pm)

      The early design phase is for “massing” – size and shape only – that’s what this is, as noted. Three options are proposed for size/shape. Then they get to the phase where windows, materials, colors, etc. are proposed.

  • themightrabbit March 3, 2014 (5:11 pm)

    Looks like the monolith from 2001 A Space Odyysey

  • helridge March 3, 2014 (5:34 pm)

    Well this massing looks hideous. So generic, no charm at all.

  • Bob Anderton March 3, 2014 (6:07 pm)

    I would love to see more restaurants and retail on Alki. This is how it’s done. What we don’t need is more condo and parking garage buildings.

    It won’t look like the image, you can be sure of that.

  • Dale March 3, 2014 (9:56 pm)

    I know this sounds bad but that looks like a JockStrap…lets rename it that!

  • w.s. maverick March 4, 2014 (5:49 am)

    sad very very sad the people that make these designs for buildings

  • Kim March 4, 2014 (8:20 am)

    To be clear: there hasn’t been a new CONDO building (possibly aside from condominiumized townhomes), built in West Seattle since before the recession. These are apartments. Condo = for sale. Apartment = for rent.

  • AM March 4, 2014 (8:44 am)

    Yikes! Even adding windows and stuff, that is still really ugly!! Perhaps we should all make it a point to go to the design review and try to do something about it?

  • Matt March 4, 2014 (10:10 am)

    People, this is just massing. You can’t tell much about the building design from this (and it’s only 1 of 3 options). Put down your NIMBY pitchforks for now.

  • wetone March 4, 2014 (11:14 am)

    “19-unit residential structure with 3,400 for restaurant and 7,000 sq.ft. of retail at ground floor. 12,000 sq.ft. of office will be located at the south end of the building. Parking for 40 vehicles to located below grade”

    What’s wrong with that statement ? lets see 19 units how many 2bd. having more than one car ? 3400 sqft for restaurant, parking/employees ? 7000 sqft of retail, parking/employees ? 12,000 sqft of office space, parking/employees ? all this will require delivery/truck services. I have no problem with a project such as this if and only if this City required proper parking for such a project. Should have more than double the parking at a minimum. This area has zero parking available now and in the summer is a cluster…. Our great mayor and city officials really need to go around to where their allowing their great building practices to really see the impacts of their poor decisions. They need to change parking requirements for these type of projects so they have little on street parking impact where built instead of just letting it flow into surrounding neighborhoods. 40 parking spots for this type of project is laughable. I guess the city officials are not too worried about the new foot ferries being built as allowing this project to be built with their parking requirements will have huge impacts on use……. There is no reason the city can not raise parking requirements for these type of projects. They say it will cause investors to build elsewhere ? I say good, but I really think most investors would still build, it’s just our city government rolls over for the investors and $$$$$$$.

  • by and by March 4, 2014 (11:14 am)

    The Alki Tavern location is prone to mudslides. Seattle archives have photos of previous slides dating back to the early 1900’s if not earlier. Is it the smartest place to build a massive apartment complex? Who wants mud flooding their back bedrooms?

  • JJ March 4, 2014 (11:22 am)

    To the overcrowding complainers…People keep having kids and the kids gotta live somewhere….

  • helridge March 4, 2014 (11:48 am)

    This design, this massing, shouldn’t even be an option. It looks like a big-box store.

  • KG March 4, 2014 (12:11 pm)

    I invite the retail, restaurant, etc… we could use that on this side. All we have its Saltys and Marination which is Closed on Mondays. I am concerned about the parking. The water taxi commuters already eat up most of the parking by the Seacrest Pier. Leaving their cars along Harbor ave All day long. I love West Seattle, but we need to concentrate on parking. Not only for Harbor ave, but the triangle, Calif ave and the beach!

  • Kara March 4, 2014 (1:33 pm)

    What’s great is that you all have a say in this! Go to the design review and demand more parking! Talk about the structure and the color and everything! I know change is hard, but we still have power here as long as we are active participants instead of complaining bystanders.

  • A. March 4, 2014 (1:41 pm)

    I think it is ridiculous that you people get to give your opinions on what these buildings look like. All that happens is that if there is any interesting architecture planned on the site, one of you people will find is offensive, and it will be removed and we are left with all of these plain boring building that all look the same. Let them build what they want. You can bet people were complaining about the building boom in the 50’s as well and you know what was probably said? You don’t own the property, you do not get a say.

  • Shirley March 4, 2014 (3:45 pm)

    Where is all the retail coming from to fill all these new buildings? Sadly, a lot of these will probably end up vacant.

  • sunset March 4, 2014 (3:47 pm)

    The actual design is done by one of the best firms in town, tough to tell because at this stage they don’t show the detail as all the city wants is the massing picture. The land is zoned for mixed use, apartments, commercial, retail and restaurants. and guess what? That is what was there before it burned down or was neglected and looks like it does today. Remember the Embers? You can google it. It was a jazz bar…. and there use to be “the shack” which sold burgers. And there are houses there. So the new “use” is actually the old use. And thanks to city codes, there will be trees and plants and public amenity required to be included. the worst thing we could do is make it difficult for anyone to build there since it will mean that it will stay as a decaying mud hole that none of us get any benefit from. And thank goodness they are including 40 spots of parking. There is a POD apartment building going up in the junction that doesn’t have any parking at all… so the glass could be half full if you view depending on what we could be thankful for.

  • sunset1966 March 4, 2014 (4:03 pm)

    Maybe it’s only me, but I go past that site daily and it is an eyesore. The land is zoned, and has been used for residential/commercial/retail and restaurants which is why it was sold as mixed use. Thank god someone is going to develop it, and BTW it happens to be a premier and home grown architecture firm that usually doesnt design for these kinds of projects. the picture shown is called a massing model, that is how the city reviews on the first go around. but back to what was behind that fenced off area which is now a mud hole and decaying buildings. At one time the Embers was there (Jazz club) and The Shack (burgers) and The Alki Tavern, and houses…so it has been a mixed use site for residential & commercial and retail effectively for decades.

  • wetone March 4, 2014 (4:14 pm)

    Kara, most people I know and that have lived in this area for a long time quit wasting their time going to design review meetings as they do very very little/nothing for the parking, traffic, height,lot line adjustments/usage the city is allowing and so much more…. now if you don’t like the way it looks maybe they will listen to you and not just say we our not here for those issues. If people don’t like how these new buildings look, well the DRB are the ones that OK them….. aren’t they ? at the rate there building here I don’t give it 5yrs. before you can’t get out or around here due to the increased population with ZERO improvements to the infrastructure. I-5 traffic doesn’t move neither do we and the tunnel is a joke that will handle less traffic than what we have today. Medical emergencies that requires a quick trip over to a hospital…. good luck maybe we need a multi purpose helicopter pad in junction for commuting/emergencies : )

  • dawsonct March 4, 2014 (5:25 pm)

    DAMN YOU JEANETTE WILLIAMS!! Such privations you have unknowingly wrought on our dear Westside!
    These recent years on the peninsular,
    have been rough indeed for the insular.

  • Kara March 5, 2014 (5:44 pm)

    I guess I’m just trying to go with the positive angle. I’m a third generation West Seattleite so I know no matter what I’m not going anywhere. I could focus on the negative, but it doesn’t make me feel better. So I want to be the change I want to see in the world instead.

  • Rational Thought March 5, 2014 (9:30 pm)

    Whether or not you want to “look at the positive” it does not change the reality. And the reality is that traffic in WS has gotten to be horrific! Even in the middle of the day, you can barely move around this peninsula because the City of Seattle has made a choice not to do anything that will help us here in WS. And much of this includes building properties that have no parking at all because of the DELUSION that people will not drive cars. While this might well be an appropriate use of that space and the building will likely turn out better than this depiction, but that does not change the fact that this building does not have anything even remotely close to enough parking and that will have a very negative impact on everyone else who lives nearby and those who want to park to access buildings and areas nearby. This is consistent with the near constant stream of idiotic building decisions that keep being made by people at the City who apparently do not have to deal with the ramifications of any of the decisions they have made. I love WS. I made a choice to buy a house here and never even looked at any other area of Seattle, but I question how long I can continue to live here and still go to work every day downtown. I am NOT going to pay property taxes and a mortgage so I can spend an hour or more driving 9 miles to downtown twice a day and when I cannot get around my neighborhood in any sort of efficient manner. The City is destroying WS and no amount of positive thinking is going to change that.

  • Cassandra Conyers March 6, 2014 (5:57 pm)

    I agree with “Rational Thought” comments completely.
    And I will add this other: the city mass transportation and king county metro systems are not conducive to the overcrowding in West Seattle. All the new residents will not just give up their cars to get around by bus. That is a reality and no positive thinking will change that!

  • dawsonct March 6, 2014 (9:59 pm)

    If a location were not conducive to ones auto-centric lifestyle, why would they choose to move to that location in the first place?

  • Kara March 7, 2014 (12:00 pm)

    No matter what I still choose to be the change…I was a part of neighborhood activism before when I lived in Ballard for four years. We stopped a condo conversion so I know we have power. I’ve noticed more and more people attending meetings, the West Seattle Transporation Coalition has been born, we have a group to look over design reviews…and an amazing blog! You have people fighting for you. I don’t know why I feel compelled to even say anything cause my words won’t matter, but oh, well I guess I’m just me.

  • Kaly March 8, 2014 (10:07 am)

    The massing model has a lovely sculptural look to it. To those who think it is ugly, attempt to create your own mass design within the same constraining parameters. You may very well change your mind. Yes, the area is prone to mud slides as is most Seattle hillsides, making them more expensive to develop, but resulting in, stability of the hillside For all the complainers about cars, parking, and congestion, keep in mind that you are also part of the problem. Personally I liked the area when I could moor my boat at the now non-existing Seacrest Marina and walk across the street without waiting for a car free moment. Those days are long gone.

  • Caroline Feiss March 10, 2014 (5:05 pm)

    I am horrified by the size of the office space being proposed. Not only is the building mass excessive but the whole concept of office space. Alki should be residential with some commercial. With Metro ending bus service, all those office workers will have to drive unless the water taxi meets their needs, which is doubtful for that much space. Why not a combo of condos and rental residential? With views like that, this should be residential!


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