By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
ORIGINAL 12:25 PM REPORT: In a routine check of the city’s online files, we’ve found the first new triple-digit-unit development proposal in a while. This one’s on Duwamish Head, a 120-unit proposal planned for seven parcels, five of which currently hold single-family homes.
The project address is 1250 Alki Avenue SW [map] but the early-stage “concept” shows it stretches to 1262 Alki SW.
An unusual point: This is on the drawing board as a mixed-use building, with retail space included. That area of Alki Avenue has long been strictly residential. The early-stage information also mentions underground parking, and describes the building as 120 units and 4 to 6 stories, while also saying it’ll have to go through Design Review (no date yet). However, the “conceptual site plan” on file outlines:
+/- 125 RESIDENTIAL UNITS
MIX OF STUDIO, 1BR, 2BR & 3BR TBD
PERCENTAGE OF AFFORDABLE UNITS TBD
15′-0″ GROUND FLOOR RETAIL AND SUPPORT STORY (5) 10′-0″ FLOOR-TO-FLOOR RESIDENTIAL STORIES 6 TOTAL STORIES, 65′-0″ TOTAL HEIGHT
Documents show the property as in the midrise zone, which the city says allows “limited commercial uses.”
The development team is listed as Seattle-based SolTerra and Portland-based Design for Occupancy Architecture. County property records show that Solterra bought the property from three separate owners in February and March, for a total of more than $5.3 million. It’s described on its website as a six-year-old firm that began “as a residential solar, living wall and green roofing company.”
2:11 PM UPDATE: We’ve just spoken with Melissa Milburn at SolTerra to get more information.
No rendering yet, she says, because design is in the very early stages. But SolTerra, she explained, is just starting to build sustainability-focused apartment projects – all designed to be certified as LEED Platinum, including “living roofs” and solar arrays. She says the company is “changing the way development works by hiring architects and contractors and all the Pieces under one company … everybody works together and you can build more efficiently.” Then, she explained, SolTerra will continue to own and manage the buildings.
This one, they’re planning to call Perch – “the idea is, to find your perch – to provide unique views to the tenants.” The sustainability features, she says, will help keep the units more “cost-effective and affordable.” The design features, she says, will ensure it’s a distinctive building that’s “not a box.” (The underground parking will meet the Alki code, she said – 1.5 spaces required per unit.)
As for the retail – Milburn said it’ll be “small.” A little store? Coffee shop? Restaurant? We asked. Something like that, she agreed.
Depending on how the permit process goes from here, they aren’t expecting to start construction until early 2016. While they already have a couple buildings in Portland, she said, they’re growing into the metro area here – where their Seattle offices are in SODO, near the West Seattle Bridge – by breaking ground on a building in Newcastle next month, and then one on Capitol Hill.