DEVELOPMENT: Admiral District mixed-use project gets OK

(Rendering from design packet by architect for project’s second Design Review Board meeting)

From today’s city-circulated Land Use Information Bulletin, a key approval is in for the mixed-use building planned at 2715 California SW, now described as a “4-story, 49-unit apartment building (44 units and 5 small efficiency units) with retail and office. Parking for 46 vehicles proposed.” We first reported on this plan 2 1/2 years ago; it went through Design Review in 2017, under the project name Admiral Station. The decision sets an appeal deadline for May 16th; this notice (PDF) explains how to file one.

34 Replies to "DEVELOPMENT: Admiral District mixed-use project gets OK"

  • Quora May 2, 2019 (10:17 am)

    Sooooo, right down the street from the massive PCC apartment project, and right across from Hiawatha? I’m happy there will be underground parking, but one wonders, are all of these apartments going to be filled? What about the Springline apartments that are just a block south of the PCC project? That’s three big apartment complexes within two blocks of each other. Jeesh.

    • Jort May 2, 2019 (11:03 am)

      Hi Quora, just a reminder that this city’s politicians and citizens have deliberately forced all housing development to occur at this scale and in these specific locations precisely because they believe that the vast majority of residential land in the city should be preserved exclusively and entirely ONLY for single family zoning. If you don’t like tons of mega-developments in very small, concentrated areas, then you need to advocate for distributing housing growth through every block in the city.

      • Seriously? May 2, 2019 (11:19 am)

        @Jort, I totally agree. We need to stop simply complaining about these issues and wishing for change. Instead, we need come together to become a catalyst to initiate change and solve the issues we’re facing.

      • HS May 2, 2019 (11:35 am)

        Certainly you can advocate for zoning changes in single family neighborhoods. I believe detached accessory dwelling units, DADU, are part of bringing more people into a SF zone. The Urban Village Initiative, urban growth plan, I believe, was initiated in 1994. I haven’t verified via map but this area is zoned for this kind of density development as part of a West Seattle Urban Village. I too am amazed at the amount of people living and moving here. It boggles the mind.

    • Peter May 2, 2019 (11:45 am)

      New housing can only be built in very, very limited areas of the city. This clustering is intentional and is mandated by city zoning and land use rules in order to reserve the majority of the city for single family homes only. This could be prevented by opening up more of the city for development, but that’s not going to happen because the people of Seattle hate new housing too much to accept that kind of change.

      • chemist May 2, 2019 (1:09 pm)

        Urban villages were created to enable more folks to live car-free and provide services (like access to transit, libraries, dedicated bike lanes) most efficiently to support that.  It’s on pg 3 of this.                                 “Urban villages are community resources that enable the City to: deliver services more equitably, pursue a development pattern that is environmentally and economically sound, and provide a better means of managing growth and change through collaboration with the community in planning for the future of these areas.  The urban village strategy is a comprehensive approach to planning for a sustainable future.  This approach is intended to maximize the benefit of public investment in infrastructure and services and promote collaboration with private interests and the community, to achieve mutual benefits.Locating more residents, jobs, stores and services in close proximity can reduce the reliance on cars for shopping and other daily trips and decrease the amount of fossil fuels burned and the amount of greenhouse gases emitted. Increasing residential and employment densities in key locations makes transit and other public services convenient for more people and therefore makes these services more efficient.”

  • chemist May 2, 2019 (12:14 pm)

    They’re only providing the minimum required bike parking meeting the pre-2019 standards.  The council has since passed a requirement for 1 bike parking space per unit in multifamily buildings.  Here’s the breakdown of bike parking and the types of units/number/area devoted to those units (I can’t find a good way to link to the design plans, but they’re filed under 3025941 .”BIKE PARKING: TOTAL SPACES PROVIDED: 17″1-BR 20 11,703 SF2-BR 4 3,639 SFCIRCULATION 5 756 SFSEDU 5 1,736 SFSTUDIO 4 1,840 SFURBAN 1-BR 16 8,592 SFUNIT TOTAL 54 28,266 SF 

    • John May 2, 2019 (1:35 pm)

      There are established regulations allowing the Codes followed at time of submittal be allowed to remain.   Without this, it would be impossible to accomplish any construction at all, as the permitting times stretch out to years.

      • chemist May 3, 2019 (10:42 am)

        The minimum required bike parking is now nearly four times larger than this plan.  Sure, the codes have changed, but doesn’t that mean this building either should have a lot more bike parking or the new codes significantly overshoot current demand?

  • Truely May 2, 2019 (2:00 pm)

    Jort;Chemist. Putting dense housing in neighborhoods where you could be a MILE from transit? Who benefits from that??(other than the developer) Car’s.  EVERYBODY USES A CAR. Weather you own one or rent one or use a ride service cars need somewhere to park. I would LOVE to have residents of these “carless” unit sign an affidavit that they don’t own a car-and won’t have a visitor come by car.  “pretending” that nobody uses a car hasn’t worked so far. My view is that all of us car drivers are waiting for real world option’s. Your “pie in the sky” has been empty calories so far. 

    • John May 2, 2019 (2:40 pm)

      Despite your claim, no where in West Seattle are people a mile from transit. Fact.Not everybody uses cars. Fact.I would love for ALL residents sign an affidavit that they only park on their legal residence, not in the public streetNobody is pretending that “nobody uses a car.”  Everyone is reacting to too many cars and suggesting our car problem is the result of not parking them in apartments ignores the real issue… the the fact that our streets’ traffic is beyond capacity and we  can’t increase our street infrastructure.I suggest monetizing all on street parking that levels the field for all.Your criticism is is strong but I would like to hear of the ‘real world options’ you fail to elaborate?

    • KM May 2, 2019 (3:12 pm)

      I would like; everyone who type’s online……sign an affidavit that they use apostrophe’s ; and punctuation correctly”.

    • Peter May 2, 2019 (4:41 pm)

      OK, that’s fair as long as single family house dwellers have to sign the same affidavits if they don’t have off street parking for themselves and their guests. I just know you don’t want to create a double standard.

  • Huck May 2, 2019 (2:48 pm)

    This is great news! That whole block needs to be raised to the ground due to ugliness. Bring on the new!

  • Onion May 2, 2019 (4:10 pm)

    On the plus side, more residents supports the cost benefit analysis for better transit service to and from Admiral, notably extended 56 service.

    • NH May 3, 2019 (5:46 am)

      If they’d expand 56/57 that would be great, but they seem to favor increasing the 50 instead.

  • Seriously? May 2, 2019 (4:22 pm)

    @Truely, you make a good point. It simply is not feasible for a lot of people to go “car free.” We need to strike a balance and stop, for lack of a better word, “punishing” people who do have cars. Cars are necessary, true, and it should be a given that if you pay rent, or a mortgage (or pay for a place to live at all) you get a parking spot.

    • Ice May 2, 2019 (6:29 pm)

      Letting people and developers choose to not include parking in their buildings is not “punishing” people who use parking. Parking sucks up a considerable amount of resources, and giving it away for free causes all kinds of unpleasant externalities. If you want to talk about “punishing” people, then I would point out that minimum parking requirements cause people who don’t own cars to subsidize those who do own cars, as the people who don’t own cars end up paying for parking through higher housing prices, higher cost of buying anything at a store, etc. One way or another, someone always pays for parking, and the way our society is currently set up, it’s almost never the driver.I own a car, but I don’t believe that the government or a developer are responsible for providing me with an 8×9 rectangle, free of charge, in which to park my vehicle. If you’ve set your life up in such a way that you need a car, then you are responsible for making sure you have a place to store it.

  • Chris May 2, 2019 (5:38 pm)

    In terms of population density we have it so good here. Density is coming no matter what. We will be forced to build higher and higher if we want to preserve any kind of green space in urban areas. I read about similar plans for Husky Deli and Alki Lumber on WSB. Love it. 

  • Tired May 2, 2019 (5:47 pm)

    Any and all new complex should be held accountable for parking 2 cars per unit. They should be all under the building so as not to clog streets. Lets face it, most people have a car. If the spots are not used they could be rented out to other familys with no parking.  Make the developers pay for unclogging the streets.

    • Peter May 2, 2019 (6:35 pm)

      Developers don’t pay that cost, renters do. Your demands would force the cost of housing much, much higher. 

    • heartless May 2, 2019 (7:45 pm)

      I love the absolute irony here. 

      A person writes about requiring 2 parking spots for every apartment unit, then supports it by framing it as “unclogging the streets.”

      There are straight-faced people out there saying 2 parking spaces per unit should be required in the interest of unclogging the streets!

      If we can’t laugh at this then all is lost.  

      • KM May 2, 2019 (8:55 pm)

        I’m laughing (while shaking my head)!

      • chemist May 2, 2019 (9:01 pm)

        How long has the Alki Parking Overlay with its 1.5 spaces per unit parking requirement been around and has parking in Alki been getting better or worse since then?

        • Ice May 3, 2019 (7:36 am)

          I think what the poster ‘Heartless’ is alluding to is that there is a bit of research that shows that the more available parking there is, the more people will drive their car and thus, the more traffic there is (and vice-versa, less parking = less traffic).here is one such study:

  • MJ May 2, 2019 (5:53 pm)

    Focussing dense development along Arterials near transit and retail makes sense.Also allowing ADU’s in single family zones is reasonable with a caveat that each ADU has a parking spot.  Transit and retail are less accessible in many single family areas.  Walking shed distance is a quarter to a half mile, not a mile as suggested in a comment by John

  • Quora May 3, 2019 (7:11 am)

    A point in my original post was: are these apartments going to be 1) affordable and 2) occupied? This city as a massive surplus of apartments right now, and some of the newer high-rises are planning to be converted to condominiums. Does anyone know of Springline is at capacity? Honest question since I don’t know.

    • CAM May 3, 2019 (7:50 am)

      I don’t know that there is a massive surplus of apartments in Seattle currently. There have been reports that the vacancy rates are increasing but that is specific to particular neighborhoods. In other neighborhoods the vacancy rates remain too low making the market too competitive and driving rent costs up. I’d also assume that no apartment on California centrally located to any of the urban villages is going to be affordable. If you want affordable units you should look a few blocks off California in either direction or at something in between the neighborhood cores. 

      • sam-c May 3, 2019 (4:57 pm)

        to Cam’s point- Youngstown’s been advertising vacancy with sandwich boards and balloons around N. Delridge for a couple weeks.

    • HS May 3, 2019 (8:37 am)

      @Quora, I don’t think anybody can really answer your question with surety. However, of note, apartments are not being converted to condos due to a lack of renters. Legislation regarding developer liability for condo construction changed; so apartments are being converted to condos. Condos are another owner occupied type of housing so, I personally, think it’s a good thing. Yes, many apartments are hitting the market but it’s incredibly expensive to develop apartment buildings so I would imagine that costs have included growth projections per neighborhood. We should all anticipate density growth around the five WS Urban Villages.

  • MJ May 3, 2019 (9:06 am)

    Quora if there is a massive surplus of apartment units as you indicated then rents will start to decrease as owners try to get the units leased.  An unoccupied unit generates zero income!

  • me May 3, 2019 (11:36 am)

    Most people don’t need a car in West Seattle.I used to think I needed a car, but I just thought that, it’s not really true.Try it for the weekend or a week, you can walk almost everywhere in West Seattle. It’s 3 miles? That’s okay, I’m a grandmother and I can easily walk 3 or 4 miles a day, more if necessary, and you should see my legs, they look fantastic for being so old.Anything you can’t carry home with you can be delivered. I don’t pay for parking, gas, car insurance, etc. and I can drink as much as I want when I go out. 

  • Alki Tom May 4, 2019 (7:59 pm)

    Before most of you arrived in Wonderland, Norm Rice (former Mayor) and the boys and girls on the city council forced Urban Villages down our throats without any community input, We are now living their brilliant  decisions about refining our communities and giving the green light to developers to sort out the spoils.Before most of us over fifty die, cars are part of  our reality , we also walk a lot , but need a place to park our car safely at  our residence or apartment we are renting. Sorry I sound like a forty year resident of West Seattle of the Dark Age.

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