West Seattle development: 3211 California proposal takes shape – 5 stories, 63 units; first meeting May 1st

(King County Assessor’s Office photo)
Right across the street from Admiral’s biggest current project – 3210 California SW, which heads back to Design Review this Thursday – we have new details about another proposed development right across the street, 3211 California SW. It now has an Early Design Guidance date with the SWDRB – one month from today, May 1st. And we know more about the proposal: 63 apartments, 4 live-work units, 63 parking spaces, about 2,500 square feet of commercial space, and five stories, though, like 3210, it’s in an NC2-40 zone, part of the 2010 upzoning of that block. The aforementioned toplines are all from the following early draft of the Design Review packet downloadable from the city website – one caveat, this can (and probably will) change before a final version is linked to the hearing announcement:

This proposal is a couple doors down from the 3239 California SW site where two businesses are making way for demolition and a smaller housing project. The official public notice of application isn’t in yet,

P.S. One more reminder – two big-picture development items are on the agenda tonight for the Southwest District Council, and the public’s welcome (6:30 pm, Senior Center of West Seattle); one is a city briefing on the Seattle 2035 project, looking at future zoning and growth focus, the other is discussion of the Land Use Committee that the council is forming.

22 Replies to "West Seattle development: 3211 California proposal takes shape - 5 stories, 63 units; first meeting May 1st"

  • JanS April 2, 2014 (1:53 pm)

    at least there’s parking…but…can you spell c-a-n-y-o-n? Only a RE guy could have dreamed this up :(

    and 5 stories in an NC-40 zone…love it :- (not)

  • enough April 2, 2014 (2:05 pm)

    Is this the parcel Gain wanted to get upzone approval for?

    • WSB April 2, 2014 (2:12 pm)

      Enough – the entire block (and a little beyond) between Hinds and Hanford was part of the upzone. This is a 3-parcel site. It is next to the Swinery, but that is not part of the project and is not currently proposed for re-development.

  • Diane April 2, 2014 (2:07 pm)

    and again the public/neighbors were duped when this was upzoned to NC2-40, but in reality, somehow the developer is getting away with 5 stories
    people, please come to the SWDC meeting tonight at the Senior Center where we will talk about organizing a land use committee for West Seattle

  • sam-c April 2, 2014 (2:32 pm)

    wait, is that where small clothes is located?

  • Mike April 2, 2014 (2:43 pm)

    What a shame that within 10 years California Ave will be one long canyon. All of the “funky” little business pockets will be gone and we will have no areas that are unique. It is happening in Ballard, too.

  • Chris April 2, 2014 (3:32 pm)

    Diane: We don’t need more committees, we just need the ones we have to be functional, responsive, and efficient.

    All: Density and development are the present and future of West Seattle, and all of Seattle’s neighborhoods in the years to come. Wishing we could freeze the city in time isn’t an effective strategy for influencing that development, but making appropriate and well reasoned pleas for the type of development you’d like to see bound within the zoning code and development standards are.

  • matt April 2, 2014 (3:40 pm)

    I’m only counting 4 stories…

    • WSB April 2, 2014 (3:48 pm)

      Matt, if you look closely at some of the massing in the later pages, there seems to be a lower floor (grayed out) plus the four atop it. Anyway, it’s the text on the packet itself that describes it as five-story, and I would take the developer/architect’s word for it …

  • Diane April 2, 2014 (4:52 pm)

    @Chris, WS has never had a land use committee; very much needed
    and we have many very “functional, responsive, and efficient” committees, but they’re in sub-neighborhoods; this land use committee is about uniting all of WS

  • onion April 2, 2014 (5:18 pm)

    (quoting) Only a RE guy could have dreamed this up :( (closing quote)

    Jan, I’m not sure what a ‘RE guy’ is, but I’m a guy who lives a few blocks from this site and I feel as if I and my neighborhood are being teleported to New York or Chicago. I’ll be studying this proposal.

  • WestSide45 April 2, 2014 (7:37 pm)

    Real estate developers have no interest in preserving neighborhoods, they are after money. In this parcel they saw two little businesses. Perhaps we could make a boatload of cash if we were to “develop” this little chunk of West Seattle, they say to themselves. The same reason large(ish) estates get torn down and 5 houses are crammed into the same area…it’s all about money.

  • Alphonse April 3, 2014 (12:07 am)

    My father was a land developer and, although he was a very decent human being, I knew early on that his profession was somewhere in the vicinity of pimp and dealer on the altruism scale. It is always, always about the money and nothing else.

  • WS since '66 April 3, 2014 (6:59 am)

    Waaaah waaaah waaaah I was here first and I don’t like it. What makes some people so special as to keep others out? I understand why so many are upset and emotional about more people moving into “our” West Seattle but the fact remains that YOU and your family were once the people who were scorned for having the audacity of moving into “our” home.

    This reminds me of the opposition to Urban Villages back in the 1980s. Time proved them wrong and now homes near those same Urban Villages are more desirable and more valuable because people like to walk to get a cup of coffee, go to a restaurant, shop, and walk to other services that the UVs provide.

  • Mrs T April 3, 2014 (10:03 am)

    I have no problem with more people and businesses (with the one exception that I find the designs to be generally aesthetically hideous), but there is a serious public transportation problem in this city and do not see how the city can keep allowing all this crazy dense building while at the same time cutting funds to the transit system. Perhaps we can find a way to make these developers pay a transit tax as a little reminder that their lust for profit has an actual affect on real people who are stuck living in these neighborhoods.

  • WS since '66 April 3, 2014 (3:39 pm)

    With all due respect, if you know or read the history of West Seattle transportation has ALWAYS been a problem. Read some of the Westside Story, which is a good book on the history of our area. It will give a perspective on how getting from point A to point B has always been a challenge on our peninsula.

    We had a chance to address the problem with the monorail. There were 4 yes votes and 1 no vote and the project was killed. The monorail was scheduled to be completed in November 2009 and even with a year of delays we would have been enjoying the smooth ride for the last 3-4 yrs. I wonder how many people bitching about traffic and cars voted against it.

  • sparky April 3, 2014 (8:26 pm)

    Lets just forget all this nonsense with building codes commercial high density gibberish, and just build a giant Borg Cube that encompasses the whole block. Problem solved.

  • Mrs T April 4, 2014 (10:10 am)

    I have voted for every single transportation related item on my ballot for over 20 years. Just because something has ALWAYS been a problem does not mean we should give up on it. It takes a lot of work to maintain a functioning society in a rapidly evolving world.

  • fowler April 4, 2014 (10:10 am)


    • WSB April 4, 2014 (10:14 am)

      Test what?

  • pjmanley April 4, 2014 (10:20 am)

    The issue, as always, is the impact on the neighborhood and whether the area, roads, neighbors and community can absorb the impacts of the development without substantially diminishing the quality of life of the present inhabitants. It isn’t, and never has been about excluding anyone. That’s a red herring. Quality projects that harmonize within the existing neighborhood, albeit larger in scale than what we currently have, in order to absorb our fair share of population growth that’s happening throughout the city and region, is all I see people asking for. When did that become too much to ask for, or waah, waah, waah? The downstream effects of over-sized developments create impacts far beyond where the particular development sits. Are efficiency and function now privileges or entitlements? Good developments that fit well in existing neighborhoods typically provide better ROI’s than out-of-place, out-of-character eyesores over the long term. Recognize a build-it and flip-it scheme when you see it. That’s what we’re caught up in, and will be living with for decades to come. Now is the time to speak up, and I am extremely grateful people are doing so, while rejecting the cynicism and scorn of the apathetic and indifferent. Again, no good deeds go unpunished.

  • 24601 April 12, 2014 (4:17 am)

    It’s a shame that Cayce and Gain and this city’s planning department can have no concern at all for the people who have lived and will continue to live in and around this corridor of eternal shade — it is hard not to lose faith in a city that shows such a thoughtless and unethical hunger for unchecked growth. A fifth floor on this building or on 3210 is beyond inconsiderate, it is greedy to the point of being hateful to those whose sun will be taken away for over three hours each day –The citizens who have committed time, sweat equity and dollars to making this a great community deserve better than this. I have no idea how C & G sleep at night.

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