West Seattle development: Equity Residential announces art-commission program, other details for Junction 47 project

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The two-building Equity Residential project in the heart of The Junction, at California/Alaska/42nd, is “on schedule,” according to an ER executive, and expecting its first tenants to move in next summer.

Today, ER has just announced a plan to commission local artists for work inside and outside the project. This, though the company’s first vice president of development, Bradley Karvasek, says the original mandate for an art project no longer exists – the project has “abandoned” the underground alley vacation that was approved for the original development after a community agreement contingent on public benefits including art.

Karvasek talked with WSB today for the first official update on the project in almost two years; it’s now been under construction for one year, since demolition began in October 2013.

(added) We’ve also learned the project has a name: Junction 47.

(back to original report) The current numbers for the project: 206 apartments, 202 parking spaces (25 “prioritized” for retail); Karvasek says they expect to lease units in the west building, fronting California/Alaska, in June of 2015. That building is topped out and getting its roof (“as weather allows”), with the east building, fronting 42nd/Alaska, a few months behind; its garage (with a dedicated elevator for retail) will have an entrance on 42nd, while the west building will be entered from the alley.

No retail leases to announce yet for its nearly 20,000 square feet of space, but that could be as close as a month away, Karvasek said, describing “fantastic” interest from “a lot” of prospective tenants.

Now, more about the art program. “We install public art in a lot of our buildings” but never quite like this, Karvasek said. The local artist who curated a wide-scale art program for Youngstown Flats (WSB sponsor) in North Delridge, Sara Everett, is on board as a consultant to manage what’s in the works for the Equity Residential project.

ER currently has a Request For Proposals (RFP) for its Artist Engagement Program, which today’s announcement says “will incorporate art into the architecture and design of both interior common spaces and exterior walkways of the project … Equity’s goal is to source locally focused, site-specific artwork that will be directly purchased or commissioned from West Seattle artists, without a curatorial commission percentage.”

The first RFP, continues the announcement, “will address art for the building’s 20 exterior support columns, each given a specific art niche. Two artists will likely be chosen for exteriors, and separate calls for submissions will be issued in the next few months for the project’s interior spaces. The focus of the work will reflect the idea of a ‘junction’ as a transition, or a boundary between two places, things or ideas – such as between city and quiet, water and land, or neighborhood and industry, according to Everett. The program will pursue visual representations of industrial contemporary, or those which span between nature and man-made.”

Interested artists can see details on Everett’s website and/or e-mail her at info@saraeverett.com.

22 Replies to "West Seattle development: Equity Residential announces art-commission program, other details for Junction 47 project"

  • Torvo October 28, 2014 (4:32 pm)

    Unless they bring back the Rocksport, any retail will be underwhelming – to say the least. West Seattle nightlife hasn’t been the same since.

  • MorgN October 28, 2014 (7:19 pm)

    Need some more high quality restaurants to fill that space

  • NW October 28, 2014 (7:35 pm)

    Give locals back the junction!

  • Amy October 28, 2014 (8:21 pm)

    Will they bury the power lines at that intersection?

  • seaopgal October 28, 2014 (8:22 pm)

    No manner — or amount — of art will make up for this blot on the Junction. It is ugly, massive, and soulless.

  • Vanessa October 28, 2014 (11:37 pm)

    Ugly block of cubes.

  • Wsgal October 29, 2014 (5:00 am)

    Junction 47?? Yikes . This is the company that also named a project in Ballard Urbana. So I guess it could have been worse! They should strongly consider working with Tracy the owner twilight who has a small business across the street from this!! Jus sayin’

  • WS Since 66 October 29, 2014 (6:58 am)

    Some people can’t deal with change. I get that. There is a whole, albeit small, book “Who Moved My Cheese?” dedicated to helping cope with change. This is a vast improvement compared to the Hole,
    previous parking lot and old unsightly building. The same is true where the Whitaker will be built. The vacated car dealership was an eyesore. What a much improved “Gateway” to welcome people to our home here in West Seattle!

  • JVP October 29, 2014 (9:03 am)

    I really like what they’re doing with the exterior of this building. Brick, lots of modulation, timeless colors. I think it’ll feel good from the street.

    I was a bit skeptical about the new building that replaced PetCo when peeping at it behind the scaffolding. But now that you can see it, I also think it looks good.

    I’m excited for the new energy in the Junction next year.

  • Peter October 29, 2014 (9:36 am)

    @NW, OK, what part do you want back first? The old Petco’s blank wall on California? The hole? The abandoned car lots? Super Suplements and their snake oil?
    No, thank you.
    All these developments are huge improvements over what was there before.

  • CMT October 29, 2014 (9:53 am)

    Agree with Peter and JVP. People complain about WS becoming like Ballard. I’m very glad I live in W. Seattle (10+ years) but I love a LOT of things about Ballard, particularly all of the awesome restaurants. I say bring it!

  • SLD October 29, 2014 (11:32 am)

    Not sure why turning into Ballard is a bad thing – desirable area with great restaurants. I am ready for the evolution of WS and welcome the change!!!

  • Mike October 29, 2014 (11:38 am)

    Agreed ^^. Bring on the change. If you miss the ‘old’ West Seattle, you can always go hang out in Burien.

  • Cmt October 29, 2014 (12:02 pm)

    Hey now, no need to diss Burien ;). In fact, Burien has some pretty good restaurants and revitalization in its downtown!

  • West Sea Neighbor October 29, 2014 (12:46 pm)

    I think this, and the building at former petco, look great. The setbacks help diminish the effect of the height of the buildings. I’m very happy that they are engaging the local art community as well. Looking forward to hearing about the retail spaces…

  • Diane October 29, 2014 (1:00 pm)

    what does “Junction 47” mean?

  • ryan October 29, 2014 (1:03 pm)

    I heard that one of Starbucks somewhat newer concepts with wine/beer etc is going in on this corner. You heard it here first.

  • Sue October 29, 2014 (1:56 pm)

    My guess on the meaning of “Junction 47” is that it’s the 4700 block of California.

  • NW October 29, 2014 (4:51 pm)

    This area has been our livelihood for decades ,all of our lives and unfortunately it’s been discovered.

  • West Seattle Fan October 29, 2014 (5:54 pm)

    I am thrilled about this new development and all the others in West Seattle. I’ve lived in W Seattle a long time for a reason, like everyone else. But our Junction is in dire need of an upgrade and this is just the thing for it. New retail and restaurants, new people to West Seattle, plenty of parking…bring it on! Also excited to say goodbye to the old dealership buildings and look forward to seeing the new properties too. Progress!

  • Thomas M. October 29, 2014 (7:03 pm)

    I’d rather have back the old A&P and the New Luck Toy (yeah, I know, I am OLD). That building is just another stack of blocks. I hope the merchants are at least locals and not nationals.
    Although I could go for a Carl’s Jr. Their turkey burgers are good.

  • leefy October 31, 2014 (8:34 pm)

    heard a good radio program where well known architects were criticizing the lack of good architecture these days and how almost every bldg. is put up fast and without thought or soul. The lack of beauty really DOES affect our mood and gives us nothing of real creativity and art to look atand that Most of the time it is just pure greed to house the masses.I couldn’t agree more.For such a prominent location you’d think they could have come up with something better. Shame Shame.Progress? nooooooooooo…

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