Here’s what emerged at (very) ‘Early Outreach’ meeting about the Junction 7-11 site project

(Roughed-out footprint for future project at Junction 7-11 site, as shown at “Early Outreach” meeting)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The city’s new-ish Early Outreach for Design Review” process has launched extremely early in the case of one West Seattle project.

Architects for the future redevelopment of the West Seattle Junction 7-11 site confirmed at this week’s “Early Outreach” community chat that the mixed-use project is still 4 years away – the store has a lease until then.

And after the project’s built, the architects revealed, the 7-11 may have a new home in its ground-floor commercial space – they’re talking about it right now.

A trio from Cone Architecture was at the Senior Center of West Seattle for the “Early Outreach” meeting Monday evening. That made it a one-to-one ratio between presenters and attendees with ample time for Q&A and everyone sitting at the same table.

The project is on record at 4800 Erskine Way, sold to an entity of the investment/development firm Blueprint for $1.1 million in November. Almost all the presenting Monday was by Cone principal Tim Carter. The parcel is “a little tricky to design,” he explained. It’s about 7,000 square feet and if they cover more than 5,000 of that with building and paved surfaces, a water main on California would have to be replaced and enlarged, so they’re working to stay below that.

The parcel was previously zoned for 65′ height, upzoned to 75′ under HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability, and they’re going for that maximum allowable height.

Most if not all of the ~66 apartments are planned as Small Efficiency Dwelling Units; Cone explained the difference between that and the previously prevalent type of microapartments – rather than multiple units sharing a kitchen (“congregate housing”), these all have their own kitchens as well as bathrooms. The average unit size will be 300 to 350 square feet.

Since they’re not planning parking in the project, they hope to fill in the existing driveway curb cuts, which is expected to create a few on-street parking spots. Parking was the subject of the first few questions; the architects said they had worked on another little-or-no-offstreet-parking project in The Junction and that 90 percent of its residents did not own cars.

Another question – intersection safety, with street trees planned around the site after redevelopment, and one tree of size intended to be kept on the southwest corner if possible.

Will the bus stop on the southeast side of the site remain? Yes.

How many elevators? One, and two stairwells.

Other details: The building is envisioned with a “pretty stellar roof deck” to take advantage of the westward views toward Puget Sound … kitchens are planned to have induction cooktops and microwaves, while each unit will have its own washer/dryer rather than one or more central laundry rooms for the building … Construction will likely take a little over a year.

COMMENTS? A short survey is online through the end of this month – you can answer it here. There’ll be a public notice when the project officially enters the Design Review process. The assigned city planner is Tami Garrett,

17 Replies to "Here's what emerged at (very) 'Early Outreach' meeting about the Junction 7-11 site project"

  • WS Guy April 19, 2019 (8:57 pm)

    Are you kidding?  The one bit of benefit from this project would be getting that crime magnet 7-11 out of there.  And they might bring it back. 

    • ttt April 20, 2019 (8:10 am)

      Exactly what I thought.

  • Neighbor April 20, 2019 (7:26 am)

    Concern that the grassy void / cut out to the south west on Erskine will be a place for people to hide / hang out not in plain sight. Hoping the designers plan to keep this from occuring.

  • JVP April 20, 2019 (9:33 am)

    I really wish our city took enforcing opiates seriously. There’s way too often zombified junkies stumbling around this block. Must be a dealer or three right around the 7-11. I don’t blame the business owners for this. You can always tell when a new “shipment” of hard drugs arrives. Some people in my family won’t walk up that way alone after dark, which is a shame in such a nice a walking neighborhood. 

    • heartless April 20, 2019 (12:45 pm)

      I wish Seattle took enforcing most anything more seriously.  I’ve never figure out why Seattle (West Seattle?) is just so bad at enforcing laws already on the books.

  • VoteHerboldOut April 20, 2019 (9:54 am)

    Another apartment building with NO PARKING. The City continues to make life harder for small businesses and existing tenants in the Junction. The other building going up on 42nd and Oregon also lacks parking and recent builds also lack adequate parking. It’s already a nightmare to try to live here as a resident and when brought up with City officials and Lisa Herbold, they SIMPLY DO NOT CARE. There is no cohesive vision for urban planning that centers residents only developers, whose singular priority is only to take as much as they can, build it cheaply and dump it on the market. West Seattle is turning into a giant strip mall and no one seems to be concerned. 

    • chemist April 20, 2019 (11:49 am)

      Lisa tried to introduce an amendment that would restore some SEPA authority to mitigate parking impacts at developments in urban villages/where there’s frequent transit and parking isn’t required by current codes.  Among the list of mitigations was reducing the number of RPZs a place would be eligible for.  Her amendment didn’t get support from others and she was put on blast as “removing RPZs for renters”.  Currently, if the RPZ gets enacted in the junction, this building with 66 units would be eligible for 264 RPZ passes plus additional guest passes.

    • heartless April 20, 2019 (12:39 pm)

      West Seattle is turning into a giant strip mall and no one seems to be concerned.”

      Funny, when I think of strip malls I tend to picture great swaths of parking lots. 

      As for it being a “…nightmare to try to live here as a resident,” I guess we disagree.  I have a car and I drive to the junction at least once a week (I also walk there a couple times a week, and bus occasionally) and never have I had a problem with parking. 

      So, yeah, I guess we disagree on the “nightmare” that is living in West Seattle.    

    • ParknPay April 20, 2019 (8:10 pm)

      Another example of the obvious need and solution of monetizing all public parking,

  • Swede. April 20, 2019 (10:57 am)

    With their own experience and estimates there will be a need for 6-7 parking spots (at least) and parking on Erskine way is impossible (even though you see people do it quite often and block all traffic!) Looks like there is 3-4 street spots on the drawing on California Ave. but to get those they’ll have to get Metro to move the bus stop…

    • Swede. April 20, 2019 (11:35 am)

      After looking closer on the drawing I saw those lines aren’t parking, just extended measurement for the building…

    • chemist April 20, 2019 (1:33 pm)

      The 2014 bike master plan had paint-separated bike lanes going down Erskine to 48th.  Not that the bike master plan is set in stone, but we might only have a few years before parking on one or both sides of Erskine is removed to do that.  The roadway is already pretty narrow for its arterial designation but there’s no way to add bike lanes with minor separation without removal of parking.  I’m pretty sure the center through lanes on the diagonal section of Erskine are under the 11 ft modern standard as is.

  • Alex April 20, 2019 (11:50 am)

    Would be interested in learning whether the developer expects to pay the MHA HALA fee or instead of the fee, how many units will be set aside for low income tenants.   Even if the developer included off-street parking, last years City Council’s agenda included requiring the off-street parking spot to be priced separately from the apartment rental.  Most apartment dwellers will want to save a buck and look to the neighborhood to provide free on-street parking. 

    • geographer April 20, 2019 (6:46 pm)

      I work in consulting and on the few projects around Seattle I’ve done in the past few months, the analysis has shown that the payment option makes more sense than the performance option from a financial standpoint. There’s other considerations at play for why you likely aren’t going to see many developers opt for the performance option – it lasts for essentially the entire economic life of the building, developers don’t want to have the City as a de facto partner on their buildings, etc. 

  • Hilarious and Tragic April 22, 2019 (11:29 am)

    Money. Money. Money. 66 units without parking equals more parking tickets equals more money to the city. Eventually the City will say, “we need parking meters to ensure there is enough parking for customers” which equals more money. The developers say, “I can’t pencil this building out if I need two floors for parking spaces and not rentable units” so the City will say, fine, then it will cost more, and please fix the water mains and redo the sidewalks… but you have to use The City of Seattle to do that work.  MORE MONEY. 

  • Junction Lady April 23, 2019 (5:44 am)

    Big bad bummer about 7-11 as a potential future tenant🙄  One of the upsides of construction on this site was NO MORE 7-11!  Unfortunately, this store is a magnet for creepy people who hang around by the back dumpster.  Store employees seem disinterested in keeping up a nice establishment.  HQ are in Texas-blah

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