DEVELOPMENT: Townhouse plans for two corners of SW Brandon

Two townhouse projects in development news this morning, both on corner lots along SW Brandon:

TOWNHOUSES FOR THAITAN CORNER? An early-stage site plan has appeared in city files for 5258 California SW, current home of The Thaitan. 9 rowhouse (townhouse) units are proposed, two facing California, seven facing Brandon, with nine underground parking spaces. What’s particularly interesting is that while the adjacent, recently vacated Papa John’s site has had the same ownership, there’s no proposal in the files for that site – yet – though the site north has an 18-townhouse plan. Meantime, since the corner site is an early-stage proposal, not yet to the formal application stage, there’s no official comment period open yet either, but if you have anything you want to tell the city, you can contact and refer to #3030600. As for the restaurant’s future, we’ll be checking on that. (Photo: County Assessor’s Office)

(1:19 PM UPDATE: As Scott points out in comments, since we published this, a similar plan has turned up in online files for the ex-Papa John’s site – 9 townhouses, in this case, 3 fronting California, and three rows of two each behind it.)

And about four blocks directly east …

TOWNHOUSES AT FAUNTLEROY/BRANDON: A project much further along in the pipeline has received a key approval, per this notice in the city-circulated Land Use Information Bulletin. Six rowhouse-style townhouses have been approved for the northwest corner of Fauntleroy/Brandon, at 3914 SW Brandon, with six offstreet-parking spaces; today’s notice is the determination of environmental non-significance, and opens a two-week period for anyone interested in filing an appeal.

31 Replies to "DEVELOPMENT: Townhouse plans for two corners of SW Brandon"

  • heyalki January 4, 2018 (11:10 am)

    Just what we need, more townhouses. 

    • WSB January 4, 2018 (11:13 am)

      Well, somebody needs them. They seem to sell fast. These types of projects are turning up more often now in spots that could hold a larger number of rental units if developed that way instead.

      • Thomas January 4, 2018 (11:47 am)

        Yup, I’d rather have a row of townhouses over a high-density
        apartment building here. Additionally, townhouses are really the only other
        option for home ownership since condominium construction has been drastically
        cut in the area. 

        • Question Authority January 4, 2018 (12:11 pm)

          Wouldn’t living in a condominium or a townhouse be somewhat of the same thing when it comes to setting aside money through some sort of shared responsibility to cover the up keep of the entire building? As it’s all encompassing when it comes to the grounds to the roof and you all share it as a common building it’s going to need upkeep.

          • Peter January 4, 2018 (2:56 pm)

            Actually, no. Modern townhouses are in fact individual structures on individual lots, they’re just built side by side. Some older ones have more shared elements, such as roofs and siding, but newer ones are usually completely separate. Having an HOA is another matter, some do some don’t. 

      • heyalki January 5, 2018 (7:29 am)

        Good point WSB, I too would rather have that than an apartment with MORE capacity. I just miss my old West Seattle. Sigh.

    • AJP January 4, 2018 (1:28 pm)

      Yes, it is what we need. More people want to work and live in Seattle. They want to stop driving so much and live in walkable neighborhoods close to their workplace, hopefully with good public transportation. They don’t want to live in the suburbs where they have to drive everywhere and have long commutes. 

  • Vanessa January 4, 2018 (11:29 am)

    Better get some good Thai food for lunch while they’re still around.  GOOD FOOD THERE!

  • CapHill Res January 4, 2018 (12:03 pm)

    More condos more people- Just what WS needs! That is one clogged neighborhood with a long long awful bridge.  Hopefully you folks will have a light rail in the next 15 years to help reduce all the misery that is the WS bridge.

  • dawson January 4, 2018 (12:20 pm)

    It would be great if they left the old ‘Taco Bell’ building. Then it could be called “Taco Bell Townhouses”.

  • Scott A January 4, 2018 (12:58 pm)

    There is this recent 9-townhouse site plan for 5252 California (site just north of rowhouse project in this post) in the city’s EDMS.

    • WSB January 4, 2018 (1:11 pm)

      Seriously, despite the 12/29 stamp in EDMS, that has to have just been added this morning – I looked in all variants, multiple times, and it’s still not in the view where I originally found this one. Anyway, thanks, adding.

      • Scott A January 4, 2018 (1:18 pm)

        I agree that filing system does seem to sometimes do weird things like posting on Sundays or holidays when I’m pretty sure no human admin staff were working.  :)

        • Scott A January 4, 2018 (1:29 pm)

          and the “water” review in the permit database was just assigned today for 5252.

        • WSB January 4, 2018 (2:06 pm)

          I even waited a day after finding this yesterday, expecting that 5252 might follow. The view that I favor, in (sorted for SW and then reverse chronology), usually gets updated the next day, so this might turn up there tomorrow.

  • Michael Waldo January 4, 2018 (1:05 pm)

    I’ll miss the The Thaitan. Really good, affordable Thai food with very nice folks running it. Townhouses are better than apartments with retail on the ground floor. Have you drove down California and seen how many empty retail spaces there are under the apartments?

    • Peter January 4, 2018 (3:19 pm)

      The problem is way too many “live-work” spaces, that are so trendy these days, instead of traditional retail space. Even in the rare cases where live-work units actually house a business, it will almost always be all opaque blinds and “by appointment only” signs on locked doors. Live-work units kill street life and neighborhood vibrancy, but our ridiculous zoning code actually encourages them over traditional retail.

  • WSlite January 4, 2018 (1:17 pm)

      The Thaitan is a wonderful restaurant with great service and food. Its a shame that MORE townhomes are going in.  I agree with Michael…have you seen how many vacant townhomes there are an the retail spaces? I understand Seattle is growing… however….it would be nice to see WS preserved a little instead of condos and townhomes everywhere taking away the “home” feel of WS. I will continue to support the Thaitan as long as its still there!

  • coffeedude January 4, 2018 (2:18 pm)

    All of the townhouses that go up are butt ugly and built cheap and fast.  I have 2 friends in townhouses 3 years old or less and having issues.  When looked at the issues, I can tell fast construction on the cheap.  And of course there is no warranty to cover the damages that are now popping up.  Seattle is really getting ugly with the fast cheap slap them together boxes.

    • T January 4, 2018 (2:45 pm)

      I agree. Also,  in a lot of cases these condos cost as much or more than a single family home.

    • Swede. January 4, 2018 (2:58 pm)

      Quantity before quality, that’s how you get rich in a construction and housing bubble like Seattle. And like you said, the ‘warranty’ on a house is pretty much a joke. Which is insane considering how massively overpriced they are. Like paying twice as much for a car just so you can have it without warranty! 

  • TreeHouse January 4, 2018 (5:10 pm)

    Jesus, they want to demolish an ugly dated fast food building on one side and a chain fast food place on the other side to build housing and people still complain! There is no winning with some people. This will most definitely improve the character of these street corners.

    Maybe the next anti-HALA candidate can start a “Build A Wall” chant. It seems like that would be popular for a small group of people here. 

    • WS Guy January 5, 2018 (12:28 am)

      I’m one of the large group of anti-HALA upzones people.  I think this is a reasonable growth project.  It is on a major arterial and utilizes existing zoning capacity which is more than adequate.

      Better still if it could be coupled with impact fees to fund local street/school/park improvements.  I hope the architects do a good job.

      I do not like being stereotyped and implied to be a racist.  I request that you retract the above statement. 

  • D Del Rio January 4, 2018 (7:00 pm)

    I hope these aren’t ugly boring townhouses. Most of this new construction has been cheap and ugly, but I have seen some that I actually like. Hopefully these will be the exception to the ugly townhouse rule.

  • SueY January 4, 2018 (9:52 pm)

    Can I ask a dumb question?  These condos/townhouses/etc. call themselves “Live/Work” right?  What does that mean?  Does that mean the person living in the condo is (in an Utopian society) supposed to work in the retail space below his/her unit?  I’ve never understood that.

  • WSneighbor January 4, 2018 (9:54 pm)

    MOD Pizza plans to finally open in Feb, not June. 

  • MJ January 4, 2018 (10:44 pm)

    Live work units could be a barber, an attorney, architect, engineer that sets up shop at their home.  

    • WSB January 4, 2018 (10:55 pm)

      Some live-work units’ commercial spaces are leased out. It’s not required that the person who “lives” in a unit is the same one who “works.” But there has been serious concern over the years that they are not all utilized the way they’re supposed to be; this 2015 note from then-City Councilmember Nick Licata addresses some of that concern.

  • YIMBY January 5, 2018 (8:57 am)

    Good riddance to both of these places. This is a good outcome for the neighborhood. Townhouses will bring more density, but not dramatically more and, presumably, without the 5-6 story structures of a much bigger apartment development.    

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