DEVELOPMENT: Comment time for 5616 California, 9224 20th, 9020 15th SW projects

From the city’s twice-weekly bulletin, applications are in for three West Seattle projects, opening two-week comment periods:

(Rendering by Cone Architecture)

5616 CALIFORNIA SW: This is the site immediately south of C & P Coffee (WSB sponsor). 8 townhouses are planned, in 3 buildings, with 5 offstreet-parking spaces. The notice, linked here, explains how to comment. It’s not the first public-comment period for this proposal.

9224 20th SW: The city describes this as a “cottage-housing development,” five 2-story houses with six offstreet-parking spaces. Here’s the location. The notice is linked here.

(corrected address) 9020 15th SW: This too is planned as a group of single-family houses, six 2-story houses with six offstreet-parking spaces. Here’s the location. The notice is linked here.

21 Replies to "DEVELOPMENT: Comment time for 5616 California, 9224 20th, 9020 15th SW projects"

  • Alex January 9, 2020 (9:22 am)

    Pretty crazy to think, the movement to save CP Coffee from redevelopment on this blog is the only reason that site isn’t twice as large. If it weren’t for WSB, this would likely be a much larger project (large apartment building?) than just 8 townhouses… for better or worse

    • john January 9, 2020 (12:22 pm)

      CP Coffee property was always owned by different  owners than the property next door at 5616, so the megabox scenario  was unlikely.The community’s response as well as WSB’s support and coverage are  worthy alone for the remarkable CP Coffee story.   No need to falsely enhance such a wonderful true narrative.

      • WSB January 9, 2020 (12:26 pm)

        Yeah, all we did was write about it. However, we have certainly covered many a project on sites that previously had multiple owners. That said, there was no proposal at the time – at least not that we heard of – to combine the sites.

  • Mike January 9, 2020 (10:54 am)

    At least they’re doing 6 off street parking spots..

    • john January 9, 2020 (12:30 pm)

      Auto storage requirements  and demands are rapidly becoming anachronistic.  Ironically, no one is carping about CP Coffee’s tiny limited alleyway parking lot.  Considering how many  people drive to CP and rely on street parking they are more of a parking burden than if every one in the new residences had several cars.  At least they won’t be driving to CP Coffee like I do!

  • Frog January 9, 2020 (1:11 pm)

    One thing I honestly wonder (not just being snarky) is — how durable are these uglyboxes, and what will they look like in 30 years.Uglybox has become the almost mandatory architectural style in Seattle, and they are taking over the city.  I assume it’s because they are cheapest to build.  Sometimes they are labeled “greenbuild,” but green is just a throw-away marketing term now days without much credibility.  (If you wanted to sell herpes, probably you would call it “green bumps.”)Everyone in Seattle is main-lining Prozac (if not something stronger), so the dreary look of uglybox neighborhoods does not seem to bother.  Heck, if you can afford to live inside, you don’t have to look at the outside (except the one across the street is probably the same).But will these things actually last, or in 30 years will Seattle be a slum of disintegrating uglyboxes?  It wouldn’t be the first time that modernist “architecture” made of space-age materials was hauled to the dump.

    • Kram January 9, 2020 (2:22 pm)

      You are of course being snarky. What is so different about this structure compared to one built 100 years ago? It’s still a concrete foundation although better insulated and stronger. They are still wood framed construction throughout but better engineering and seismic abilities. The interior walls even today are caulk, paper and spackle. The windows are still glass, just more energy efficient. A ‘square box’ as you put it is constructed nearly the exact same way as 100 years ago it’s just a much more efficient design. Pitched roofs provide an inefficient interior space. Rooftop amenity spaces maximize useful square footage. The siding is still wood although many of these also have a majority of cementitious siding. Maybe that’s what you don’t like? It’s just a concrete panel but what in the world are you talking about when you say ‘space-age’ materials going to the dump? It’s all the same as your home. In 30 years they’ll likely just reside but the structure itself will last much longer then you or me and the house built 100 ago.

      • HappyCamper January 9, 2020 (9:49 pm)

        Advances in building materials have allowed for longer unsupported spans, etc allowing for better utilization of space. I’d personally rather have a big ugly box than a house that has “old world” charm but leaks cold air, is full of lead and asbestos and has a bunch of little rooms walled off from one another but that’s just me. That being said a nice old house that’s had some updates is pretty amazing.

    • DB January 10, 2020 (1:29 pm)

      Built green is a specific standard, not just green washing like products being called natural.

  • john January 9, 2020 (2:12 pm)

    No accounting for a frog’s taste, but such an incredible claim about modernist “architecture” made of space -age materials being hauled to the dump?Perhaps FROG could educate us with a few examples?And I would truly love to hear what FROG considers “architecture”?

    • Frog January 9, 2020 (4:32 pm)

      Thanks for the fat pitch.  You can start with this: or, the West Seattle uglybox is not a brutalist masterpiece.  Just a box.  Or just do a google image search for abandoned modernist buildings, abandoned housing projects etc. and you can spend the whole afternoon.

      • Kram January 9, 2020 (5:09 pm)

        Now you are talking about style, which is subjective. Your first link looks nothing like the modern town homes being built or really anything being built. Your second link doesn’t work but I’m going to guess it also has nothing to do with this town home.

        • WSB January 9, 2020 (5:28 pm)

          This is such a side note but while doing a ton of research for a story I may never find time to write, I was reminded about the townhouse design dithering a decade-plus ago … with modern design at the time NOT what was prevalent at all.

          • john January 9, 2020 (6:28 pm)

            Correct you are Tracy.  Your archival piece shows just how bad the designs that preceded the ‘ugly box’ were and still are.  They looked cheap to start and are aging poorly.I believe the most remarkable elements driving the box style were relatively new.The first was development and long term proven reliability and use in Europe of membrane roofing for low slope roofs.  These roofs are absolutely waterproof, do not leach chemicals and last for 50+ years  thereby saving costs and re-roofing debris disposal.The second was a few architects realizing they could exploit loopholes in Seattle codes to convert that flat roof to the ‘back yard’ that the first generation of conventional peaked roof houses lacked.

  • mem January 9, 2020 (2:23 pm)

    Who’s the developer on 20th Ave SW?

    • Kram January 9, 2020 (2:43 pm)

      The homeowner

    • Doug January 9, 2020 (3:36 pm)

      Private owner…

  • Foot January 9, 2020 (3:39 pm)

    I agree with John. People just don’t need car’s. With public transportation/walking/bikeing you don’t need anything else.  i’m also sure that  all careing people will also work to get Uber and Lyft phased out also!!.  1 person aimlessly driveing around  in their car looking to pick up someone up to drive them a short distance then drive aroud alone is DUMB. 

    • chemist January 9, 2020 (5:59 pm)

      And, thanks to our city council’s modifications to the building codes, one long term bike parking spot is required for every unit in a multifamily structure.  I think that also includes the townhomes.  Nothing is required at single family homes, yet.

  • Beverly J. Alger January 10, 2020 (5:25 pm)

    I live at California and Hudson St.  The traffic is backed up  to Rite-Aid and further South.  The traffic is terrible in West Seattle and yet we are building more apartments.   It doesn’t make sense to me.   Where do people park.  The lots are full! I think we need to elect a new city council!!  let’s stop this travesty!

    • heartless January 10, 2020 (6:42 pm)


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