Southwest Design Review Board gives its final OK to 6-story, 74-apartment 4532 42nd SW

The last major project on the drawing board right now in the heart of the West Seattle Junction passed its final test before the Southwest Design Review Board tonight.


The 6-story, 74-apartment mixed-use building at 4532 42nd SW is expected to be under construction starting next spring, according to the project team. Its site is between Capco Plaza (Altamira Apartments, QFC, Petco, etc.) and a single-family home; part of the site was cleared eight years ago, when a different project, under different ownership, was planned, then shelved.

Board members said architects Clark Design Group had succeeded in incorporating the feedback from the previous review back in April. The building is now of uniform height and has a green roof.

Some of the final concerns voiced tonight included landscaping; some trees are to moved from the south end to the north end to enhance pedestrian safety and visibility. More visibility into the proposed retail was advised, as well as more space for sidewalk seating.

In the public-comment period, Cindi Barker called attention to the official design guidelines for the Junction area. Board members focused on a few components of those guidelines including the need for more lighting along the front of the building, and the requirements to which its signage will have to confirm. Currently the project team is looking at a blade sign around three stories in height but without interior lighting. (The project is as-yet-unnamed; what you see in the rendering above is a placeholder.) Board members requested that the sign’s colors stay consistent with the building’s look

They also were pleased to see how the north side of the building now responds to the house next door, including more of a buffer – previously a major point of contention – and more “blank wall” space facing toward it. And they suggested moving the building’s “amenities room” to the top floor to reduce noise.

You can still comment on the project until it gets final city approval; that includes comments about what are considered “environmental” aspects such as traffic, noise, parking. The assigned city planner is Joshua

P.S. The “packet” used for last night’s meeting, with renderings from various angles as well as other information on the project, can be seen here.

18 Replies to "Southwest Design Review Board gives its final OK to 6-story, 74-apartment 4532 42nd SW"

  • Bonnie December 2, 2016 (7:21 am)

    Does it say how many parking spaces? I clicked on the link from last Spring and it said 50 for a 64 unit building but it is now 74 units.  Are they increasing parking?

  • D DelRio December 2, 2016 (8:44 am)

    I don’t mind the building, but why is everything painted grey? We live in such a grey dreary part of the country, and the grey, brown, and other dreary colors of these buildings just make them look boring. Occasionally, if not grey, the color scheme will go completely overboard with loud over the top colors. Can we get a happy medium?

    • 56bricks December 2, 2016 (9:15 am)

      I think the color schemes might be intentional.  Maybe we won’t notice the monster boxes taking over West Seattle.

    • Paint December 2, 2016 (9:31 am)

      Building colors are a very trendy thing.  Just like building styles (how you can tell the age of a house by looking at the roof line and profile) folks build what is “in” because buyers theoretically want what’s “in” so it will be easier to sell by going with the flow.  Right now grey seems to be in.  One of the more recent trends was the loud colors (looks great in High Point and Greenbridge where it’s the whole neighborhood, but sometimes odd when applied to a single building in a place like Belltown).  

      The next time the building’s owners need to paint it, rest assured it will be changed to whatever color scheme is trendy at the time (see Westwood Court’s effort to apply the trendy-at-the-time two-tone color scheme to a building with the same material/texture ground to roof).

  • MTS December 2, 2016 (9:05 am)

    I love that little orange house next to it. I wonder if they are going to salvage any of that little brick house that was used as construction HQ while the QFC was being built; I bet there are great mid-century touches still within. Anyone know?

    • Stephanie December 2, 2016 (2:55 pm)

      I always loved that little orange house too, super cute. I used to live on that block last year and when I did I snapped this:

    • CMT December 2, 2016 (4:34 pm)

      Our family loves the little orange house too! 

  • 98126res December 2, 2016 (9:08 am)

    The building looks okay though some nice color schemes would be welcome.  However, they all look so similar no matter where developers build them, and with so many going up all over town, they are remaking the look of Seattle.

  • captainDave December 2, 2016 (9:21 am)

    It’s interesting that a lot of these new buildings have “shipping container” metal siding.   It looks very industrial.  Maybe the idea is to blend in with the container yards at the port?  The units must be about the size of a small shipping container.  They can sure pack them in like sardines now. Don’t expect the inhabitants to buy much furniture.  I wonder what kind of profit the investors will make flipping this one when it’s full?  Has anyone calculated how many minutes each new bee hive like this adds to the commute over the bridge each morning?

    • WSB December 2, 2016 (9:39 am)

      This is owned and being developed by longtime West Seattleites, not “flippers,” fwiw. Seems to be an erroneous perception that it’s only people from elsewhere who are building projects here, but you’d be surprised. On that block, for example, while a San Diego company owns Oregon 42, longtime West Seattle entrepreneur Leon Capelouto owns and built Capco Plaza (QFC etc.) and is building the project on the southwest corner of 42nd/Oregon, while the Braseth family is building this one, taking over a site that had idled for years under what I believe was out-of-town ownership. Meantime, you seem to be under the impression this is microhousing. It’s not. You can see the floor plans in the packet, linked in the story. Studios, 1 bedrooms, and 2 bedrooms. – TR

    • Paint December 2, 2016 (9:48 am)

      Your commute will be the same whether this building is on your street or in Burien.  What makes your commute long is that there are a lot of people in single-occupancy vehicles trying to get to the same place at the same time.  Stopping development in your neighborhood so that others have to drive in from the suburbs isn’t going to ultimately change the number of cars trying to squeeze onto the viaduct or I-5.  If anything building farther out makes the traffic worse because there are fewer transit options so more are forced to drive in to work.

  • 56bricks December 2, 2016 (10:09 am)

    Hey now, locals like money too.

  • Wendell December 2, 2016 (12:39 pm)

    There’ll soon be 71 fewer parking spaces on the West Seattle Bridge

  • Diane December 2, 2016 (3:24 pm)

    remember, developers of this project, “owned and being developed by longtime West Seattleites” illegally killed/cut down a beautiful big tree, right after being told by design review board to bring back design plan including the tree; and this developer totally got away with killing the tree, with small fine, and then no one even allowed to talk about it at next DRB meeting; TR, do you have link to your shocking tree cutting story handy?

  • South Park Sassy December 2, 2016 (3:28 pm)

    Yay, more teeny tiny, overpriced studios…I mean open 1 bedrooms.  My mother, from the East Coast, asked why all the new buildings look like mental institutions.  Foreshadowing,???

  • Kravitz December 3, 2016 (7:00 pm)

    I also love the little orange house – I guess it’s like West Seattle’s version of Ballard’s Edith Macefield house. Sad.

  • WS Tiki December 8, 2016 (12:06 am)

    I love the little orange house!! I hope it stays forever, and continues to rock the orange color it wears so well. 

    I understand the need for more housing; but agree with the above commenter; it looks like a mental institution. So ugly!!!

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