DEVELOPMENT: 10 townhouses proposed for HALA-upzoned Westwood site

(King County Assessor’s Office photo)

That house at 9256 26th SW, on the corner of Cambridge, south of Westwood Village, is proposed for demolition, to be replaced by 10 rowhouse-style townhouse units and 7 offstreet parking spaces. The block of single-family houses was upzoned to Lowrise 1 by the passage of HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability. It’s an early-stage proposal; here’s the site plan (PDF).

42 Replies to "DEVELOPMENT: 10 townhouses proposed for HALA-upzoned Westwood site"

  • NA October 11, 2019 (8:36 pm)

    No thank you.

  • JCW October 11, 2019 (9:45 pm)

    This would be great for our neighborhood! This is a good area for transit, and it would help provide an alternative to single family homes that are ridiculously expensive now.

    • ITotallyAgreeWithYou October 12, 2019 (2:50 pm)

      We are merely replacing a ridiculously-expensive-to-own single family house with  ridiculously- expensive-to-own townhouses. More housing units on the property doesn’t equate to cheaper. On my block, in the last few years, five modest houses were sold to developers for $500k each, four townhouses built on each property and sold for $600k each. That’s a trend in the opposite direction you suggest.

  • Dm October 11, 2019 (9:55 pm)

    It’s so depressing. What do you think the chances are the town houses will be “affordable” to anyone who is actually “low income”?

    • HappyCamper October 12, 2019 (8:12 am)

      Totally right. What is “affordable”? Cheaper is better though. That being said this project would require one or two “affordable” units or a payment option. At least “affordable” is a lot cheaper. And the payment option is most likely a few hundred thousand dollars but the upzone is large enough for the project to still pencil out and actually get built.The city is actively working with non-profits and surrendering/selling property for development. This project’s payments combined with what will be many more will go a long way to develop “real” “affordable” housing whatever that is.Not perfect by any means but for families with tight finances saving even a few hundred dollars a month can be huge.

  • Joe October 11, 2019 (10:04 pm)

    Let’s check back in later to see how much they cost.

  • Cbj October 11, 2019 (10:30 pm)

    Another neighborhood bits the dust with the faulty illusion that these townhouse will be affordable what you will get is increase density over priced townhouses and more traffici feel sad for west wood they will start to experience the demise of their neighborhood like the junction area 

  • Karen Crnich October 11, 2019 (10:50 pm)

    I liked it when it was less crowded..

  • Bradley October 11, 2019 (10:52 pm)

    TERRIBLE news. This is already a busy block now with subsiding concrete street squares due to the Metro buses cutting through from Roxbury/Barton. I feel sorry for the neighbors in the quiet single-family homes surrounding this new beehive.

    • Sarah October 12, 2019 (1:34 pm)

      Uh last I checked the junction was one of the most vibrant and desirable neighborhoods anywhere and increased density has helped that not hurt it.

  • Joe Z October 12, 2019 (12:03 am)

    Lots of conservatives on here! No way we are ever going to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions without increasing density.

    • Bradley October 12, 2019 (12:14 am)

      See those trees in the photo? Those will be ripped down. The shrubbery will be gone, too. Instead of one home being heated and cooled there will be ten in its place. 7+ cars in our neighborhood instead of the 2 that are currently there. No more lawn for drainage: that’ll be paved over for parking. The increased rooftop area will radiate more heat loss and increase the artificial heat dome in our area that changes our micro-climate. I see nothing environmentally-friendly about this greedy land-grab. 

      • AMD October 12, 2019 (2:25 am)

        If you imagined that those ten households were living in separate single-family dwellings rather than comparing the carbon footprint of ten households to one, you would.  There is absolutely no reason to have so many single-family homes this close to a transit hub and shopping center.  Westwood is BEGGING for density.

        • Bradley October 12, 2019 (2:04 pm)

          Uh, our single-family homes were here first, thank you. We want to preserve our green, leafy yards full of squirrels, raccoons, and countless other wildlife. We also know that there will be probably 12-14 new cars (probably 1/2 SUVs) associated with the 10 new shoeboxes. Less green yard space in our community is tragic, no matter how you try to excuse it away.

      • HappyCamper October 12, 2019 (7:33 am)

        These impacts are less than the other options. A few less acres clear cut 30 miles out from the city.  And less cars commuting from there in perpetuity. BTW the city will make them plant more trees as well.Density is the logical way to manage growth if we want to keep any trees around within 100 miles of the city, reduce impacts on the climate, etc. Aesthetic preferences aside and all of that stuff, planning out for the next 100+ years I find it hard to argue against moving in this direction.Cities with “livable” (subjective of course) density which helps to preserve all of our other beautiful land and trees.

      • KM October 12, 2019 (7:48 am)

        Someone needs to explain to Bradley how the suburbs and sprawl work. I’m exhausted.

      • Joe Z October 12, 2019 (8:23 am)

        How much carbon does one tree absorb compared with 10 households being relocated next to a bus hub and not needing to drive everywhere? You know those 10 families need to live somewhere, right? 

      • A welcoming neighbor October 12, 2019 (10:19 am)

        Nine additional households not building single family homes in the suburbs. Nine plus additional commuters potentially riding the bus or biking to work instead of adding air pollution and toxic runoff on the highways. Nine additional families helping support local businesses and making a more walkable, vibrant community for all of us. Nine additional community members advocating for better parks, more street trees, more traffic calming, better bike infrastructure, better bus service; all to make our city a more pleasant and sustainable place. Welcome new neighbors!

      • John October 12, 2019 (10:25 am)

        Factual response to Bradley’s assumptions?-The site plan does not indicate that the trees will be removed.   -Instead of one aging inefficient home being heated by  the carbon fuel gas, ten homes of high efficiency standards and energy/material saving common walls will be heated and cooled by renewable non polluting electricity. -This location is a block from a transit hub and the photos all show highly available street parking.  The photos also show this property is already paved over with its original highly un-environmental lawn slabbed over with concrete where that trailer is illegally being stored.  The property additionally has outbuildings in the back.-Pulling the Seattle Sewer and Drainage card for this property confirms it is hard lined to the Sanitary Sewer so all current runoff from roof drains and hard surfaces are going directly into the Sanitary Sewer which  leads to the sewer overflows into Puget Sound.  The new construction is required to mitigate hard surface runoff with tanks that collect and allow natural drainage into the soil before any overflow is attached to the high capacity Storm Sewer, separate from the Sanitary Sewer.   The new homes will accommodate many more people with a great increase in efficiency and less carbon impact per person than ever before.  

        • bolo October 13, 2019 (11:45 am)

          “…will be heated and cooled by renewable non polluting electricity.”

          John, is this true? How is it possible? I want!

    • Conservatives? October 12, 2019 (4:27 am)

      I am not sure you can contribute people not liking this to being conservative.  In reality this is a great conservative move. Buy a house for 700k, replace it with cheaply built townhouse that sells for 525k x 10. Capitalism!

  • chemist October 12, 2019 (12:25 am)

    Wow, a 1956 home that looks in good shape and with nice landscaping and full-size trees in the back yard being replaced with 13′ wide townhomes and what looks to be none of those trees being retained for 7 alley parking spots.

  • anonyme October 12, 2019 (6:37 am)

    For once, I agree with Bradley.  HALA/MHA is no more than a green light for developers, who are happy to decimate neighborhoods while doing nothing to address affordability.  I can’t tell which side of the street this house is on, but the trees may belong to Daystar – in which case there is currently no “alley”.  These townhouse developments will also increase property taxes for surrounding neighbors, and the construction will create yet another Metro detour mess.   All that said, the location seems somewhat appropriate for this type of housing- if only Westwood Village weren’t such a disgusting mess.  Talk about a needed renovation…

    • WSB October 12, 2019 (10:33 am)

      This is on the east side of the street. The King County Parcel Viewer shows Daystar behind the houses on the west side of the street.

  • anonyme October 12, 2019 (6:45 am)

    BTW, more humans = more greenhouse gases, regardless of urban density.  It only means more gases concentrated in and generated from a single place.  Unless the new townhouses are solar, contain no wood, none of the new residents own cars, and none of them breathe or defecate – there will be more greenhouse gases generated.

    • Matt P October 12, 2019 (11:48 am)

      Not true because those humans already live somewhere else generating more gases because of old inefficient houses and longer driving distances.  Density does not beget more humans, it just puts them closer together.

      • Rick Cook October 12, 2019 (5:07 pm)

        Just quit printing the friggin’ things. Problem solved.

  • Sunuva October 12, 2019 (7:36 am)

    This is a shame. That is a cute and perfectly good single family home with large trees on a street with many similar homes. If they were going to replace with affordable units, that may be one positive, but like the others above, I’d be willing to bet the new townhomes will be more expensive than the original house was. I watched this happen across the street from our house a couple years ago; a nice single family home with a beautiful yard with evergreens and fruit trees – All trees were removed to put up box homes where the yard once was. Once complete, each of the new homes sold for over $200k more than the original house was sold for.

    • WSB October 12, 2019 (10:28 am)

      To clarify for multiple people: The HALA MHA upzoning doesn’t mean everything built on an upzoned parcel is supposed to be “affordable.” It means that a percentage of the project is supposed to be affordable OR the builder/developer is supposed to pay a certain fee that goes into a city fund for building affordable housing. Now that things are revving up I’m going to study up on how to interpret what that is for each project because it will be an interesting aspect of coverage …

      • HappyCamper October 12, 2019 (1:11 pm)

        I did some googling.The plan shows this as LR1(M1)City MHA map shows this as a “medium” area.If I’m reading the MHA table correctly that puts the fee at $12.28 per sq ft.At 13’4” x 38 I’m assuming 3 floors and that these will be roughly 1150 sqft units. 1150 x 10 = 11500 Could be totally wrong on that just a guess.11500x 12.28 = $141,220I could be off here but that’s somewhere in the ball park of what fees would have to be paid for this project if there are no “affordable” units on site.

  • AmandaK October 12, 2019 (9:43 am)

    And so it begins….

  • Josh October 12, 2019 (10:22 am)

    Is this how we (anyone) wanted our neighborhood to grow? I understand growth will happen – this somehow just doesn’t feel right? Or is it just me…

    • AMD October 12, 2019 (1:08 pm)

      No, I wanted it to grow faster and with more density, but with democracy comes compromise.

  • J October 12, 2019 (2:59 pm)

    Westwood has potential to be a good place for density. The management at westwood village sucks. It would be nice if there were more opportunities there for local businesses like pubs, cafes, etc. It has the space and the transit to be more lively

  • Home forall? October 12, 2019 (4:03 pm)

    Reality check. A friend who is an insurance agent was telling me that we’re ALL going to be hit with huge insurance raters-accross the board. One of his clients owns a 30 unit apartment building in north Seattle. His new insurance bill:$200,000 up from $100,000 this year. Homeowners, car owners, boat owners will all be hit.  And yes, he’s planning on passing that on to the renter’s. And to add what’s been said above-“affordable” to a builder/developer has no connection to normal workers/retiree’s reality.

    • HappyCamper October 12, 2019 (6:20 pm)

      Correct, developers do not care about affordability. They are a business just like any other business. And as costs of property and labor and materials go up so does their cost to build and their risk.What this upzone does is provide a catalyst that lowers risk for lenders and builders and gets things moving. Real estate development is not an easy slam dunk business and if they want to play they have to pay into the fund.“Affordability” is tied to a percentage of the area median income (which has gone way up as we all know thanks to the tech boom here) by the city as part of the MHA legislation.

  • Cbj October 12, 2019 (4:03 pm)

    I disagree that the junction is a desirable place to livein my circle of families the junction is the last place they want to live and raise a family crime drugs has risen and folks don’t want to be there at nightperhaps single s want to be there but families absolutely not much rather raise a family in north admiral or deep genesse that is family friendly versus the crap in the junction. You’ll change your mind when you have kids trust me  we are destroying West Seattle one development at a time and if you think this will impact the suburban sprawl I have a bridge for you to buyadditionally the quality of what is going up is poor quality and give it 10-15 years versus homes in our community that many are 100+ years old  cheap crap by developers who have no motivation other than profit and  politicians who are in their pockets 

    • Bradley October 12, 2019 (5:52 pm)

      Yes, the Junction is now a crime-riddled, congested nightmare. A woman was recently sexually assaulted there. WS bloggers are incensed about that, yet many don’t seem to be concerned about those of us who don’t want that sort of Junction-type sexual attack here in the Westwood area. If one looks at a crime map of West Seattle they’ll see that Westwood Village has a very high rate of all crimes compared to the WS average. Over the years I’ve seen a man shot in the leg, one man stabbed in the abdomen near McDonald’s, and another man shot in the chest in Roxhill. More density will only make our neighborhood more anonymous and less safe, just like the Junction.

  • Calires October 12, 2019 (7:28 pm)

    For those who realize all the development isn’t creating new affordable housing, but who make the so-called environmental argument that it’s a net positive since people aren’t living in the suburbs and commuting into the city, where do you think all the displaced people are moving?  On my block, there were 3 affordable apartment complexes.  These were truly affordable for Seattle with rents between $800 and $1000 for one and two bedroom units with basements. (This was 5 years ago).  All of the mostly long-term tenants were evicted, the units were demolished and replaced with an apartment building with $1400+/month studio apartments, and two sets of the ubiquitous 8-pack townhouses which all sold for $700k+ (the investor-owned units rent for $3k+).  All of the units have parking and all the spots are filled in the evenings and not on weekdays.  This is happening all over West Seattle and I don’t see the affordability or environmental arguments playing out in reality.

  • 1994 October 12, 2019 (7:55 pm)

    Someone already mentioned there would most likely be more than 7 cars for the 10 town-homes. And most likely less than half of the new residents will opt to use public transportation. 

  • TJ October 12, 2019 (9:53 pm)

    The environmental argument and carbon footprint stuff is getting tired. People may say they care, but not in making lifestyle decisions. Climate change ranked 3rd or 4th in national polls on concerns. People will always want houses with yards and personal cars. And government is not in the housing business. All these comments about affordable housing, but trust me the city government won’t create cheap housing here. What is cheap? There will be people on here complaining about prices even if a new house of any kind was $400K. Or $300K. Developers build to market prices. Period. The bar is set. They will stop building if prices drope much. You really want cheaper housing? Build outside of the city. 

  • anonyme October 14, 2019 (8:37 am)

    And not everyone fits a stereotype.  I own a tiny, single-family home, but it is solar, I grow much of my own food, and I’ve never owned a car.  I maintain a very small carbon footprint.  This is a sustainable way to live, making the most use of a small space while also retaining a modicum of quiet, privacy and community.  Cramming multiple types of transient housing into a single-family neighborhood destroys the sense of cohesion needed to form a community.   While some areas are suitable for this kind of development, it makes no sense to completely eliminate both history and choice.  Tavel wants single-family zoning eliminated, and aside from Amazon (his top donor) most of his campaign contributions from CASE come from developers and realtors.   None of this is about improving affordable housing or preserving neighborhoods, it is ALL about the money.

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