West Seattle, Washington
Multiple readers have sent us this Seattle Times link, and when that happens, it means it’s worth sharing, and worth a closer look. Business reporter Mike Rosenberg‘s report is really a two-part story – one part about an East Admiral house that sold for a surprising amount despite reportedly having been in poor condition, the other part about how real estate prices in general continue to rise, sharply.
First, about the house, which Rosenberg reports sold for $427,000 in May, twice the asking price, despite “crumbling floors and ceilings that could collapse at any moment, about five feet of standing water and toxic air not safe to breathe.” It was only 65 years old, built the year before this county-archives photo:
Though the plan for its site was a mystery at the Times story’s end, we found a “site plan” on file. It was filed for the house at 3243 Belvidere just before Tang Real Estate Investments closed the sale in May and it proposes not teardown, but adding another story and remodeling the interior. It’s a very early-stage plan, though, so it could change. One note of interest – county information shows the house is on 5,000 square feet platted as two lots, which could have been part of the perceived value.
The second part of the Times story is about real-estate prices continuing to rise. Rosenberg reports that Northwest Multiple Listing Service stats show: “In West Seattle, the median single-family house cost $506,600 in May, up 17.3 percent just in the past year, and up a whopping 83 percent in the last five years.”
(WSB photo from Summer Fest Eve 2015 – a night to just play in the street)
As West Seattle’s biggest party of the year approaches, we’re continuing to preview Summer Fest (Friday-Saturday-Sunday) and Summer Fest Eve (the pre-festival pop-up fun that starts after Junction streets close for setup at 6 pm Thursday).
Tonight – word of what’s up Thursday night at Elliott Bay Brewing Company (4720 California SW), which always throws a great party on Summer Fest Eve. Elliott Bay’s Thursday festivities will include the re-release of Alpine Lakes Pale, a benefit brew with $1 from every pint sold going to Washington Wild. That starts at 6, and Elliott Bay will have kids’ activities and entertainment on Thursday too – balloons, magic, and a Grateful Dead cover band, we hear. Clear your calendar and plan to spend Summer Fest Eve in The Junction – it’s a special early West Seattle Art Walk night (tour the murals again!), too, among other festivities we’ll be previewing. See you there!
7:26 PM: That’s the Lenora Trio, being introduced by Noel Evans just before their live performance that’s happening right now in the first of four “Music Under the Stars” events that the Seattle Chamber Music Society is presenting at Delridge Community Center Park for the first time. They’ll play until 8 – “Serenade for Strings” by Ernst von Dohnanyi and Beethoven‘s “String Trio in C minor” comprise tonight’s program – and then a concert will be streamed live from Benaroya Hall. It’s free, including refreshments (lemonade, coffee, and popcorn). Come on down – lots of room for you and your blanket/chairs on the lawn on the northwest side of DCC, along 26th SW south of SW Genesee.
P.S. If you miss tonight’s event – the series continues for the next three Mondays.
8:33 PM: As scheduled, the trio wrapped up at 8, and the (excellent) sound system switched to the broadcast from Benaroya. We recorded the trio on video and will add it to this story when it’s uploaded. (Added: Here it is!)
Ballots for the August 2nd election go out next week, and Seattle voters will be asked to decide two ballot measures, both of which will be discussed at tomorrow night’s Southwest District Council meeting. As described on the King County Elections website, Proposition 1 replaces the expiring current city levy “to fund: housing for low-income seniors, workers, and households, and the disabled and mentally ill; and homelessness prevention and reduction programs, including emergency rental assistance for at-risk families.” Initiative 123 “would establish a public development authority to build and operate an elevated park and other amenities along the waterfront integrating one block of the existing Alaskan Way Viaduct into the design.” Tomorrow’s SWDC agenda says two speakers are scheduled for the Housing Levy, but that anti-levy speakers were “unavailable for the meeting”; for I-123, one pro speaker and one con speaker are scheduled. The meeting is at 6:30 pm Wednesday at the Sisson Building/Senior Center in The Junction, California/Oregon).
Police are looking for the driver suspected in a hit-and-run that allegedly started with a suspected car prowl. They tell us the victim saw what appeared to be a car prowl in progress in the area (39th SW and SW Oregon), tried to stop it, and then was hit by the suspect making a getaway in his own car. The victim’s injuries are not life-threatening – he’s on the way to the hospital in a private ambulance. We heard only a fragment of a description of the suspect’s car – silver – but will be following up. (Added: Silver or gold older Camaro.)
(Map from July 2015 slide deck about 35th SW plan)
The long-promised meeting about what’s next for 35th Avenue SW has finally been set by SDOT. We’ve been checking the project webpage for word of the next community meeting, and today it’s been updated. So if you are interested in what’s happened with the 35th SW changes so far, and what’s ahead, get it in your calendar now – here’s the date and place:
7-9 pm Thursday, August 4th
Neighborhood House’s High Point Center (6400 Sylvan Way SW)
That’s the same place SDOT held meetings a year ago to announce Phase 1 of the rechannelization (“road diet”) plan for 35th, south of Morgan. At the time, SDOT project manager Jim Curtin said plans for north of Morgan would be discussed this year; when we most recently checked in with him a month ago, he expected the first meeting would be set for the middle of this month, but it’s been clear that plan slid again. He told WSB then that the discussion of Phase 2 would be in tandem with early discussions of the next neighborhood greenway in West Seattle, but right now the webpage just says the August 4th meeting will be “to learn more about our plans to further enhance safety on 35th Avenue SW.” More to come.
Early today, a reader tip led to our report about a gunfire arrest in the 4100 block of 25th SW late last night. This afternoon, new details, including this Seattle Police photo of the gun that officers say was involved:
Here’s what SPD’s Jonah Spangenthal-Lee just published via SPD Blotter:
Seattle police arrested a 29-year-old felon late last night after the man reportedly conducted his own 4th of July celebration by firing an assault rifle into the air in West Seattle.
Officers were patrolling near the 4100 block of 25th Avenue Southwest around 11:30 PM when they heard the sounds of gunfire. They began driving through the neighborhood and were soon flagged down by several people …
Witnesses told police a group of men had emerged from home on the block and fired a rifle into the air before going back inside the house.
Officers went to the home, contacted 10 people inside, and arrested the 29-year-old resident. He admitted he had fired his AK-47-style assault rifle in the air following a celebratory round of fireworks at his home.
Police found the gun stashed behind a washing machine in the home and booked the man – who is a convicted felon and unable to legally possess firearms – into the King County Jail for unlawful possession of a firearm. No one was injured in the incident.
Thanks to Kay and Jissy for the tip: If you’re going to a local Seattle Public Library branch, be aware the West Seattle-area branches (Delridge, High Point, Southwest, Admiral, South Park) have been having computer trouble today. We just confirmed this with SPL spokesperson Andra Addison. It’s blamed on a fire affecting fiber optic lines, and while we don’t have specifics, apparently it was last night’s fire in the 4800 block of Delridge – not near the library, but the initial burst of flame was so huge (see the reader photo added to our story) that it may well have affected utilities. We’re trying to find out more; Addison says repairs are in progress.
Our area’s biggest party of the year is just three days away! West Seattle Summer Fest starts Friday. Here’s what you need to know right now:
*Streets close to motorized-vehicle traffic starting Thursday night at 6 pm for setup and Summer Fest Eve festivities, and stay closed until breakdown and cleanup are concluded late Sunday night
*Closure zone is California SW, from just south of Genesee to just north of Edmunds, with SW Oregon open for east-west through traffic, and SW Alaska between 44th and 42nd
*Festival hours are 10 am-6 pm on Friday and Saturday, with music running later those nights, then 11 am-5 pm on Sunday
*One main stage for music, the California Stage – the lineup’s here
*You’ll also find some music among the events at GreenLife, on the west side of California just north of the south end of the festival zone – details are on the Sustainable West Seattle website
*The kids’ zone is back, with both free activities and buy-tickets/bracelets rides
*Who’s in the vendor booths this year? See the list here
*Who’s selling food and where? The list has both visiting vendors and Junction eateries with sidewalk plans
*In the heart of the festival, California/Alaska, you’ll find the Information Tent, where Team WSB is joined again by community-group volunteers to answer your Summer Fest questions, and local nonprofits helping you learn more about what they do
Our next preview, later today, will have more details about Summer Fest Eve on Thursday night!
From the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
LOW-LOW TIDE, WITH A GUIDE: 10:30 am-2:15 pm, Seattle Aquarium’s volunteer beach naturalists are at Constellation and Lincoln Parks again to answer your questions about what you’re seeing and how to explore the shore with care, during another low-low tide – which hits its lowest point, -2.7 feet, at 12:07 pm.
FREE OUTDOOR CONCERT: The new “Music Under the Stars” series in the park outside Delridge Community Center begins tonight. At 7:15 pm, a chamber ensemble will perform live; then at 8, the Seattle Chamber Music Society‘s Benaroya Hall concert will be streamed live. The series continues for the next three Mondays. Free and family-friendly! (4501 Delridge Way SW)
7:05 AM: Some are continuing their holiday weekend today, and traffic volumes are reported to be lighter than the usual weekend around the region. No incidents this morning in/from West Seattle, so far.
LOOKING AHEAD: Friday, Saturday, and Sunday bring West Seattle Summer Fest to the heart of The Junction – filling California SW between Edmunds and Genesee, SW Alaska between 44th and 42nd. Our previews resume today. Metro’s festival-related reroutes aren’t up yet but we’ll spotlight them as soon as they are.
7:15 AM – BUS CANCELLATION: Just texted and tweeted by Metro, a few minutes after the fact:
Transit Alert – The last Route 37 to downtown Seattle due to leave SW Alaska St & 35 Av SW at 7:13 AM has been canceled this morning.
— King County Metro (@kcmetrobus) July 5, 2016
ADDED: In case you wondered – SDOT confirms to WSB that the remaining Fauntleroy Expressway work is on hold because of last Friday’s incident that left one worker dead and another hurt. So no bridge closures until further notice.
2:11 AM: If you’ve heard yet another round of sirens – this time it’s a “heavy rescue” response sent to a reported rollover crash in High Point, near 30th and Graham. Scanner indicates the response is already being scaled down.
2:26 AM: The car is upside down on a block of Graham lined with townhouses. It damaged at least two parked cars, according to one car’s owner, who says two people were in the car that flipped. One person can be heard loudly sobbing that they were going home and trying to get away from someone. No life-threatening injuries apparent.
Thanks to Nicholas for the tip: Police arrested a man in North Delridge after he was reported to have been “seen firing numerous rounds from a rifle up into the air,” in the 4100 block of 25th SW, Southwest Precinct Lt. Alan Williams confirms. He says officers found the rifle and “spent shell casings … in the front yard.” No damage or injury reported; the suspect was expected to be booked into jail.
One more Independence Day event to mention before we get too far past the holiday:
Thanks to Clay Eals at the Southwest Seattle Historical Society for sharing a photo and video from the SWSHS’s 4th of July picnic at the Log House Museum. This year’s special highlight: Music from the West Seattle Community Orchestras‘ Brass Sextet. You’ll hear some of it in the clip, as well as the orchestras’ founder Toni Reineke talking about their interest in new members.
WSCO signups resume next month.