DEVELOPMENT: 12-townhouse project for HALA-upzoned site

(King County Assessor’s Office photo)

That century-old house is on one of two parcels that have a just-filed two-part early-stage proposal for 12 townhouses. The parcels are at 9442 and 9446 20th SW, immediately north of a parking lot that’s across SW Roxbury from Holy Family Church. They were upzoned to Lowrise 2 (M1) under HALA-Mandatory Housing Affordability. The initial site plans show 8 offstreet-parking spaces for the 12 units, to be built in four 3-unit buildings.

29 Replies to "DEVELOPMENT: 12-townhouse project for HALA-upzoned site"

  • Airwolf November 12, 2019 (12:27 pm)

    Discussion that will follow:-Why only 8 parking spots? should be 24. Oh but its close to transit so no need for parking at all.-such a beautiful house how dare it’s being replaced with ugly boxes.-these are probably going to be super  expensive and why isnt more affordable housing available-finally some sort of negative comments on the developers

    • HappyCamper November 12, 2019 (1:38 pm)

      Ha ha. Thanks for the summary!

    • Bradley November 12, 2019 (2:06 pm)

      So, basically, you’re saying nobody should have an opinion on this project and be taken seriously.

    • Jethro Marx November 12, 2019 (5:23 pm)

      Also someone at some point will be called “Trumpian” if the comment count gets high enough.

  • HS November 12, 2019 (1:59 pm)

    A reminder that Nickels Bros will move homes slated for demolition. This could be your home.

  • kram November 12, 2019 (2:05 pm)

    Why only 8 parking spots? Sometimes people park in the public street in front of my house and it upsets me. Should be at least 24!

  • Quora November 12, 2019 (3:03 pm)

    Well, these undoubtedly will be super expensive considering what you get, so yeah, I hope elected officials and developers don’t get to lump this into the “see, we promote affordable housing” line of BS.

    • HappyCamper November 12, 2019 (7:23 pm)

      Here is a link to tips on how in lieu fees are calculated for MHA. project will most likely produce six figure MHA fees that will go into the city pot to be combined with charitable contributions, non profits, etc to create more affordable housing. 

      • CMT November 13, 2019 (8:59 am)

        The “in lieu” (pay to avoid having to include affordable housing in actual project in desirable area near amenities) fee is depressingly low and will ensure that the majority of any affordable housing will (maybe) someday be built by the city where land is cheap.  

        • HappyCamper November 13, 2019 (9:59 am)

          That is unfortunate for sure. Fingers crossed that how it was sold that bonding, pooling and leveraging money will produce amplified results. Hopefully (emphasis on hopefully, lol) rather than one or two slightly cheaper places per project it can be pooled and property secured still near amenities but with more units and bang for the buck. I know, it’s probably just wishful thinking. However, it is hard for me to believe that there aren’t any smart people with good intentions working for the city or other entities on things like this.

          • CMT November 13, 2019 (10:29 am)

            I share your hopes.  

        • Peter November 13, 2019 (11:12 am)

          I think the fees are too high. The many excessive fees the city heaps on home builders force up the cost of housing because those costs will be recouped from the renters/buyers of these units, but they don’t actually produce much affordable housing. These city policies are contributing to a housing market where only the very rich and very poor can live, and contribute to the middle class being forced out to Everett, Bremerton, and Tacoma.

          • CMT November 13, 2019 (12:42 pm)

            Do you believe that developers would charge a penny less than they would be able to get for the properties if the fees imposed by the city were less?   I don’t.

  • dhg November 12, 2019 (6:53 pm)

    I’ll start it: 8 parking spots?  Shouldn’t it be 24?  Mass transit is limited and useful for going downtown but otherwise you will want a car.    

    • Matt P November 12, 2019 (9:38 pm)

      I can understand 1, but why 24?  My wife has a car because she works at several different places making the bus impractical but she eagerly awaits the train.  I on the other hand take transit every day.  If there are so many people working so far from West Seattle then maybe they should consider moving somewhere closer to their job.

      • Matt P November 12, 2019 (11:06 pm)

        Sorry, meant understand 12, not 1.

  • JRR November 12, 2019 (7:18 pm)

    I’ve lived nearby for 11 and a half years and our 2003 hatchback only has 83k miles. You can walk or quickly take a bus to every amenity from here.

  • 1994 November 12, 2019 (9:10 pm)

    immediately north of a parking lot that’s across SW Roxbury from Holy Family Church.Is that parking lot the little park and ride lot? I thought at one time it had one of the official park and ride signs. 

  • anonyme November 13, 2019 (6:12 am)

    Sometimes comments are oft-repeated because they’re true, and obvious to a lot of people.  Predictability does not (necessarily) equal falsehood or a lack of understanding.   Many are justifiably concerned that the character of their neighborhoods is being compromised as nice old buildings are razed to make way for poorly designed and constructed transient housing.  There should be room for these concerns instead of the extreme adversarial positions that seem to permeate every aspect of American life these days.

    • Lagartija Nick November 13, 2019 (8:48 am)

      Anonyme, the irony of you using the phrase “transient housing” while decrying political divisiveness is priceless.

    • Peter November 13, 2019 (11:17 am)

      Ah the good old “neighborhood character” argument. Sorry, but anyone who expects that their city/neighborhood will never change and never grow has irrational expectations. Then it’s always followed by the totally unsupported claim that all new housing is poorly built. 

    • HappyCamper November 13, 2019 (3:33 pm)

      Nice old buildings like random older single family homes? No offense intended to anyone but this design, character stuff is totally subjective. decides what “nice” is? The person or people willing to pay price x for thing x. If the market has anything to say about it new boxy townhomes are nice because they sell before they’re even done being built.

  • JRR November 13, 2019 (8:13 am)

    Townhomes costing probably more than 600k each is not “transient housing.”

  • John November 13, 2019 (8:57 am)

    “Poorly designed and constructed transient housing”  is neither true nor obvious.   I enjoy your extreme adversarial position, though.

  • Local Landlord November 13, 2019 (10:57 am)

    Does anyone in this conversation know if the MHA fees go to building units for home ownership? My understanding is these fees go to building low income rental housing that will be owned and operated by Seattle Housing Authority or an approved non-profit housing providers. If so, these builders would not be able to include the percentage of required low income housing in this project as they are town homes, not multi-family units. Thus they could only pay into the fund.

  • I. Ponder November 13, 2019 (12:34 pm)

    “People move here because of the neighborhood character and then want to change it to suit their personal preferences they brought from elsewhere”. — famous Duwamish Tribe saying

  • Local Landlord November 13, 2019 (4:06 pm)

    Our housing problem is a simple supply and demand issue. The more housing available causes prices to go down.

    In an effort to control rental prices in high demand, low inventory environments,  governments often choose to impose renter protections that end up favoring renters, at the expense of the landlord. Sadly, this reduces the very thing the community needs – more non-government run rental housing. If renter protections put the owner at too much risk, they just sell – its happening all over Seattle.

    If rent control comes in it’s all but guaranteed the only new construction will be town homes – no new multi family housing. Seattle will have housing for the rich, and everyone else will live in government housing. We’ll join the ranks of San Francisco, New York and LA.  All these cities have had rent control in some form since the 70s.

    Each generation moans and groans about growth in their town. Change is going to happen – it’s a fact of life. Chief Sealth understood this fact. We have to grow smart. Seattle has made a good attempt with the up zoning, but is getting it all wrong with the anti-landlord rental laws. So sad Seattle opted for business as usual at city hall.

    Winston Churchill said, “The best argument against democracy is a 10 minute conversation with the average voter”.

    • HappyCamper November 13, 2019 (9:59 pm)

      Agreed. As a small time landlord with an ADU I think added risk to landlords is not the answer. We have a great deal of risk. It does not take much damage at all to go beyond a full deposit’s worth of damage. Then what? Sue a tenant and spend more on lawyers than the damage? Use insurance at a 1% of house value deductible? Nope! Probably just eat it as a small time person who is more likely to rent below market.How does any business react to increased risk and costs? Mitigate it right? There’s only a few options for a typical landlord big or small. Higher rent, higher deposits, tighter requirements, etc. Adding more restrictions to landlords will backfire because it will be harder to make new projects worth the risk and old projects will be so profitable to turn and burn for townhouses it creates a loop that gobbles up affordable rental housing.

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