Two and a half years after fire destroyed a building at the Seattle Housing Authority‘s Lam Bow Apartments (6935 Delridge Way SW), the process of replacing it has taken a turn. SHA has a new design for the replacement building – which will also replace the building that wasn’t involved in the fire. This is a big change from the plan that went before the Southwest Design Review Board in May of last yar. The changes are in part enabled by expected HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability upzoning, which will allow this to go up to four floors, with 80 units in the new building (up from the 51 total in the original complex – 21 in the fire-gutted building, 30 in the remaining building). SHA’s Ryan Moore tells WSB that they expect this process to go faster because the project is “using the administrative design review process this time, since the rules for design review changed last year and now allow this option for affordable housing. Our hope is that this translates into a faster approval, allowing us to get started with construction sooner.”
Cost of the project is estimated at around $35 million; Moore explains, “The existing building will cost at least as much to rehabilitate as a new building and likely more. We were planning on saving it until we conducted all the necessary analysis to determine how much rehab was needed.” Another change along with the increased number of apartments: “Due to costs, we won’t be building the underground parking as we had originally planned, but we will be providing one parking space for each unit on a surface parking lot” – 80 spaces for 80 apartments. Most of the new units, Moore says, will be 2- and 3-bedroom apartments, and they’re already working with current tenants regarding pre-demolition relocation. The full early-design proposal should be on the city website soon (here’s a flyer in the meantime); the change in process means no Design Review Board meeting, but public comments will be sought and accepted.