Tale of two corners: Updates from California/Charlestown

Two notes from California/Charlestown – the northeast and southeast corners, to be specific:

EX-DENTAL BUILDING FOR LEASE: On the northeast corner, the former Implant Dentistry of Washington building is for lease. Dr. R. Michael Keenan has retired “after 37 years in West Seattle,” according to a note on the door. (Thanks to Debbie for the tip!)

APPLICATION IN FOR RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT AT EX-CAFE SITE: On the southeast corner, Intracorp has officially applied for its master-use permit for 3824 California SW, according to today’s Land Use Information Bulletin. The company plans to build 28 residential and live-work units on the site of the former Charlestown Café, which closed three years ago.

(Rendering from Design Review meeting in July)
It passed the first phase of Design Review on its third try two months ago but still has at least one more meeting to go; the city has not yet set a date. The official notice of the permit application includes a link you can use for comments.

28 Replies to "Tale of two corners: Updates from California/Charlestown"

  • Almost former W. Seattle family September 8, 2014 (4:53 pm)

    Glad we are moving! Quick get the kids, let’s go! The ugly boxes are getting closer!

    • WSB September 8, 2014 (4:57 pm)

      We’ll miss your creative handles – good luck!

  • Diane September 8, 2014 (5:39 pm)

    @ Almost former W. Seattle family; if you hate these “ugly boxes”, you would have REALLY hated the first 2 versions

  • Alphonse September 8, 2014 (6:12 pm)

    Agreed! I will really miss the weeds and trash and graffiti and rats and slowly-falling-down abandoned building. Between this and the derelict, long-ago abandoned car dealership being developed, I really have no desire to live here any longer.

  • sc September 8, 2014 (6:25 pm)

    The dentist office was previously a car insurance office that you “drove through” for an accident claims appraisal.

  • Jason September 8, 2014 (7:32 pm)

    Lock the door on your way out.

  • Twobottles September 8, 2014 (7:45 pm)

    I’ve lived in WS for 27 years now (yeah, I’m a newcomer, I know). I grew up in a small, stagnant never changing town in eastern WA (Ellensburg). As a city guy that grew up in a small town, I love seeing new development. Bring it on! More people usually means more restaurants :-)

  • Mike September 8, 2014 (8:31 pm)

    Twobottles, you probably remember the stink of Ellensburg then. Most people are either too young or too new to this state to know about that history.
    I’d like to see less density in West Seattle. Keep that for the city core downtown. Adding more people here in the thousands is not helping our already overburdened transportation, sewer system and school system.

  • heather September 8, 2014 (9:27 pm)

    Geez. Bunch of grumpy butts. I look forward to living in a community where I can walk to more things.

  • David September 8, 2014 (10:56 pm)

    I agree Heather, I hate to get in the car and have to drive 5 times to do 5 little errands, density is good. And unless you pass a law saying now that YOU live here, no one else can move in, nothing you can do about it. That “it’s mine now” attitude really ruffles my feathers. The NIMBY attitude. You pushed out the native Americans, cut down the old growth forests, plowed under the original log cabin homesteads, built family plots, replaced those big farm plots with your CURRENT family mini-plot houses, but NOW it can’t change EVER EVER again…and any change will make West Seattle unlivable forever (sob). Don’t like the change here, fine, try moving to another unchanging Seattle neighborhood, you know, like South Lake Union, or Belltown, or Capital Hill, or downtown, or lower Queen Ann, or even Redmond, Kirkland or Issaquah…um, you might try Wyoming? West Seattle’s changes are GREAT and very well planned (compared to every other city I’ve lived in). They’re doing it on purpose on THE major streets where all the buses and transit exist. Where ELSE do you want them to build? Of course more density (which is more environmentally friendly) requires infrastructure upgrades (electrical, sewer, transit)..but that’s always true every where in every time.

  • carraignasplinkeen September 9, 2014 (6:11 am)

    I’m with David on this one. I have always envisioned what the Native American’s “blog” would read like once the Denny Party landed. If you live here, you are part of development. Not just the person who comes after you.

  • Mr. B September 9, 2014 (6:44 am)

    Well said David.

  • huck September 9, 2014 (7:46 am)

    Well said David!

  • Rick September 9, 2014 (8:08 am)

    Some folks should just not be allowed to express contrary opinions. It’s so un-West Seattle like. I’ll lower my nose now,thank you very much.

  • Gotb September 9, 2014 (8:45 am)

    I agree with David 100%. We’ll said.

  • Gotb September 9, 2014 (8:47 am)

    I agree with David 100%. We’ll said. Good luck to everyone who thinks they can find any place that doesn’t change.

  • clayjustsayin September 9, 2014 (9:11 am)

    Well put, David.

    However, why do the boxes have to be so ugly, and more to the point, why does every current architect seem to use the same boring design template?

  • West Seattle since 1979 September 9, 2014 (10:02 am)

    Add me to the list of people who agree with David 100%!

  • West Seattle Steve September 9, 2014 (2:41 pm)

    The massing of new construction is generally set by the developer trying to max out the buildable space within the constraints of zoning. Going with a traditional pitched roof means loosing a floor.

    There are setbacks that limit how close you can build to the property line. Some of those are almost non-existent in “zero lot line” developments like the hated auto court design.

    This has been going on for years. Even many classic buildings, the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building and Columbia Center in NYC all share the same massing, dictated by zoning.

  • wsn00b September 9, 2014 (3:55 pm)

    @clayjustsayin : That is probably because it is the same architect in most of these cases. Rather, there seem to be very few architects subscribing to a similar school of design.

    For example, see the sheer number of residential modern projects @ http://blueprintcap.com/builderprojects/ : a REIT / builder group that is building all over Seattle. The architect is mostly one guy.

    That said, I don’t consider most of them ugly. For every generation/type of architecture there are going to be some houses that are considered fugly by somebody given enough number of houses.

  • Fauntleroy fairy September 9, 2014 (4:49 pm)

    I see David got his friends to chime in…..

    Native West Seattleites are not against development or progress, but the charm and beauty that initially brought people to this quiet part of city is quickly fading.

    I’m a little tired of comments being posted that tell people that “if you don’t like it you can move”. How about if we move into your house and start rearranging the furniture and start painting the walls a color that we like and tell you to move if you don’t like it? Ridiculous right? And before anyone starts claiming that we think WS is OUR home, save your comments…..

    There’s usually a happy medium, but the city is only thinking about new tax dollars so zoning changes and developers get to do whatever they want and the people moving into these humongous compounds only seem to care that they don’t have to walk more than 2 minutes to buy groceries.

    HIGH density is not good, it’s been studied and proved over and over again and unfortunately I’m afraid we are headed in that direction.

  • Brandon September 9, 2014 (7:24 pm)

    David should remember he is also part of the problem by living here, pushing out the Native Americans, knocking down the old growth forest, creating traffic, building new restaurants for an overserved population, and lets not overlook the talking down to. You can’t point fingers without accepting your own accountability.

  • Fauntleroy fairy September 9, 2014 (10:07 pm)

    Thanks wsn00b –

    The architect is Quinn Borseno. Real classy guy, but don’t just take my word for it:


  • Brian September 10, 2014 (6:25 am)

    @Fauntleroy Fairy: Holy shnikes that is one helluva find. Nicely done.

  • Paul September 10, 2014 (6:41 am)

    Brandon, David isn’t the one complaining about the changes.

    Fauntleroy, this isn’t high density growth we are seeing here in West Seattle. It is higher density. And I don’t think it is a problem. I have been here more than 17 years and I welcome the growth.

  • Almost former W. Seattle family September 10, 2014 (10:00 am)

    I think many of you are taking my comments too personally. I am all for development and growth. I just hate these boxy designs. They look cheap, generic and all look the same. I personally feel that West Seattle’s charm erodes more every time one of these designs gets approved. Sorry if this offends so many of you. I am happy you like them – to each their own. ;)

  • WS Me September 10, 2014 (10:36 pm)

    Lifetime WS gal!! I would not mind WS growing, but why does it seem to be in such ultra modern form? Part of the beauty/charm of our area has been the mixture of middle class homes with higher end homes. I am saddened to see 100’s of multi unit apts. being built with no concern for parking!! The planners of these new buildings show no respect for the fabulous town we have!! For the first time in my life I could see myself moving on from my hometown…Thanks for ruining a good thing!

  • clayjustsayin September 11, 2014 (8:43 am)

    Some years ago, Seattle voters made it a requirement for new construction to have adequate tennant parking. It worked that way just fine for a time, then our last mayor found a way to get that requirement thrown out. So thanks to him we will see many more cars competing for curb space.

Sorry, comment time is over.