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.
(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 email@example.com.