West Seattle development: Comment time for 5414 Delridge Way project that ‘seeks to inspire’

One West Seattle project of note is in today’s edition of the city’s twice-weekly Land Use Information Bulletin:

(Artist rendering from packet by architect Lisa McNelis, page 27, with more explanation of proposed design)

COMMENT TIME FOR 5414 DELRIDGE WAY SW: We first reported in April that the project proposed to replace a house at 5414 Delridge Way [map] had changed from what went to the Southwest Design Review Board last year. Today’s bulletin brings the official notice that the new project is now in “streamlined design review,” and comments are being accepted now. You can see the design proposal in PDF format by going here. It includes the description:

The proposed project consists of a street-facing 3-story structure containing 2 commercial units and a separate 3-story structure containing 4 residential units. The owner has developed three similarly planned projects just two lots to the south. The main tenant of the commercial space will be the owner’s business, Community Care, which provides services for children with behavioral challenges. It is a design goal to build a recognizable building that incorporates San Francisco-inspired Victorian detailing similar to a historical photo from 1906 that he has long admired. It is the intent of this project to inspire future development in Delridge that takes great care in materials, detailing, and design, whatever its style may be. This project also includes four parking spaces accessed from the alley. Designated parking for the commercial space will not be provided. … At the owner’s expense, the remainder of the unpaved alley on this block will be paved. This is not a (city) requirement for this project.

“Streamlined design review” means no public meeting, so if you’re interested in commenting, the notice explains how. The deadline is June 22nd.

27 Replies to "West Seattle development: Comment time for 5414 Delridge Way project that 'seeks to inspire'"

  • Tim June 9, 2016 (9:54 am)

    Glad it doesn’t look like all the other new box houses

    • sam-c June 9, 2016 (10:21 am)

      Thanks for providing this comment that I was expecting. I was a little surprised to see that rendering, and thought “well, at least people can’t complain that it is an ugly modern dumb box”

      IMO, it is really out of context and the density of Delridge doesn’t really lend itself to this style either.  It will be interesting to see how well it is built, as contractors aren’t as good or are the craftsmen that they were in “1906” when buildings like this were built.

      it will be interesting at least.

  • Ellen June 9, 2016 (10:05 am)

     This would be a nice addition to the neighborhood.  I concur with Tim, West Seattle has more enough McModern messes. 

  • Lindsey June 9, 2016 (10:20 am)

    Now this is something I can get behind. If executed as stated, this project looks like something that other developers in the area need to take into consideration. I like that it is a local developer who wants to maintain some character in the neighborhood, even if the building does seem rather large.

  • Chemist June 9, 2016 (10:33 am)

    The commercial unit intended to be used at the front is very detailed, sure, but the housing units in the back are significantly more plain. I’d also hate to be the person trying to move a sofa in using the 4 ft space between the side fences and the front doors that are on the side.

  • mdressman June 9, 2016 (10:37 am)

    That looks quite nice!

  • Amy June 9, 2016 (10:49 am)

    I think the Victorian look is incompatible with the neighborhood and its working-class history. There are a lot of aesthetics that will work in Delridge, but this is not one of them.

  • lala June 9, 2016 (11:26 am)

    So impressed with the level of detail and design! Glad to see people investing in Delridge.

  • Sevenless June 9, 2016 (12:37 pm)

    To people saying this aesthetic will be out of character with Delridge, you do realize the existing Community Care building two doors south of this is a very similar design and layout, with a Victorian-inspired 3-story building at the front of the parcel (albeit with a brick facade at street level), and a plain 3-story building behind it that’s barely noticeable from the street? This will fit in just fine with that and the neighboring buildings, especially if the long-term vision is to similarly replace the remaining house between them.

    • WSB June 9, 2016 (12:50 pm)

      Pages 7 and 10 of the packet (“design proposal PDF” linked before the blue-block text) include photos of the entire block, aerial and street level, showing what Sevenless mentions.

    • sam-c June 9, 2016 (2:08 pm)

      Yes, I  drive by those building you speak of every day.  

    • sam-c June 9, 2016 (2:11 pm)

      I wouldn’t say that this looks a whole lot like the community care building. Hey, everyone’s entitled their own opinion.    (Maybe I should ask for a refund for 6 years of architecture school since apparently i don’t know what context is ?  yikes, with my refund,  maybe I could start developing my own lots because working in architecture sure doesn’t make you a lot of money )

  • Cherable June 9, 2016 (12:54 pm)

    A beautiful addition to the area!  So grateful it is not another ugly box like the ones on Delridge and Cloverdale—– Hideous!!!  I am still mourning the brick facades that were removed a block north of Roxbury.  All the charm was destroyed.


  • dave June 9, 2016 (1:13 pm)

    I left my heart, in San Francisco…..

  • Diane June 9, 2016 (1:30 pm)

    beautiful; fantastic; love it

  • erm June 9, 2016 (1:39 pm)

    Looks lovely!

  • sleepernw June 9, 2016 (6:45 pm)

    I like it

  • Taz June 9, 2016 (7:40 pm)

    I’m wowed that this has some serious architectural charm. Thank you to the business owner for considering curb appeal. I wish more properties took an active interest in making beautiful buildings. Kudos!!. 

  • TheKing June 9, 2016 (7:44 pm)

    It has character and it’s a start. As long as it doesn’t look like it was designed with an etch a sketch. 

  • Chris Cowman June 9, 2016 (8:29 pm)

    Only four parking spaces?  And none for commercial?

  • BJG June 10, 2016 (6:09 am)

    We in the Junction would be thrilled with any architectural detail that paid homage to our old neighborhood homes. We get cheap and square. This is a good deal for Delridge less, of course, the paltry parking.

  • Frank June 10, 2016 (8:38 am)

    I live in one of those box, mcmodern messes as some of you have described. If I didn’t, I otherwise wouldn’t be able to afford to have this amount of space in Seattle. I was only pushed out to Delridge from the prices around downtown. Nice to know what kind of neighbors I have. I’ll invite you inside to show you how energy efficient and extremely good use of space they are.

    • AMD June 10, 2016 (8:54 am)

      I can’t speak for anyone else in this thread, but I have nothing but warm, fuzzy feelings for my neighbors that live in the “box” houses despite how I personally feel about that particular style.  I love that they’re built green, I just wish that architects could find ways to build green that don’t seem so jarringly-out-of-place on some of the streets they’re added to.  Either way, welcome to the neighborhood!

      Make no mistake, there are certainly neighborhoods and streets where that style of architecture seems right at home.  But a 3-story box on a street that’s primarily turn-of-the-century ramblers is going to look out of place whether you like the style or not.  That’s my personal gripe with the boxes.  

      I like the style of this proposal and i do feel it’s echoing the style of the Community Care building (it doesn’t need to be identical to be related).  I think it’s a way of feeling new and different but also with a roof line and other choices that keep it tied into the feeling of the surrounding area.

  • BJG June 10, 2016 (10:17 am)

    Dear Frank…you are not the architecture you live in. We like you,  so don’t take others’ preferences so personally. They’ve made some choices around here that we would not. This community has a history and and we’d appreciate it if builders and developers would make an effort to blend the new builds into the old neighborhoods. They don’t even try now. That is the issue. Enjoy your new home. Bet everything works. Nice.


  • John June 11, 2016 (6:39 am)


    Why should builders and developers “blend the new builds into the old neighborhoods”?

    If you are a builder, what is wrong with accommodating current tastes and demand?  

    If you are a buyer, looking to join our community, what is wrong with choosing your ‘dreamhouse’ whether it be a West Seattle classic, a fifteen year old McMansion, or a newly fashionable Box?  

    There are elements of all styles to be appreciated and West Seattle has a liberal history of housing that emerged from our settler roots in a live and let live community.

    West Seattle is cursed with a majority of aging unremarkable, cheaply constructed, Seattle Boxes similar to the  house to be removed for this project.  Why would anyone want to rebuild or even reference such a past?

    West Seattle is also blessed with many fine aging houses of widely varying styles from Tudor Revival, Dutch Colonial, Mediterranean, Log, Craftsman to Mid-Century Modern…often on the same block.

    What is wrong with such a smorgasbord?

  • mrT June 11, 2016 (11:54 pm)

    this will be a great addition to delridge. often times while driving I have commented to my significant other on how much delridge reminds me of the early 1900’s bay area.

  • Frank June 13, 2016 (1:39 pm)

    Appreciate the dialog here and thanks for the warm comments. I like John’s approach to house diversity. Sure, the box is in right now, but is there any technical better use of space? Lots are being divided up so you go from one single family residence to 3, 4 or more and it does increase density and street parking issues. I would love light rail and subway to WSEA. Much like condos getting more expensive and smaller to fit more people in the cement and glass castles in the sky. I have no garage, I have basically no yard, but a lovely space on the roof in which other styles would allow for some ‘green/outdoor’ space. I think the box is smart and love walking through neighborhoods and seeing the variety. 

Sorry, comment time is over.