DEVELOPMENT: Upper Luna Park-area plan pivots from townhouses to apartments

(WSB photo of project site, September 2018)

Doing some followup work in city files, we discovered a West Seattle development site with a significant plan change since we last reported on it. In September 2018, we noted an early-stage proposal for 30 townhouses at 3101 SW Bradford [map], a site in the upper Luna Park area, bordering the West Seattle Bridge. The file shows a new site plan (PDF) submitted this past November, for an 8-story building with approximately 100 apartments. 55 offstreet-parking spaces for cars, 88 for bicycles. The architect of record on the site plan is Studio 19.

30 Replies to "DEVELOPMENT: Upper Luna Park-area plan pivots from townhouses to apartments"

  • Cbj January 1, 2020 (9:23 pm)

    Wow that is a huge difference clearly more money to be made8 stories is there any building higher in West Seattle god I hate what developers are doing 

    • WSB January 1, 2020 (10:05 pm)

      I believe Alaska House in The Junction is 10 stories.

    • Kram January 2, 2020 (7:10 am)

      Town homes are very expensive per square foot. Most make very little profit. Many more lose money. Privately owned places for people to live do not get built unless they make a profit. I’m sure there is a huge difference from a business standpoint but all private business works this way. I never understood why someone building a place for people to live is so hated by people who in turn go to work for a private company doing whatever it does to make a profit too. What’s the difference? Most importantly; where else are the influx of people moving to the region suppose to live?

      • Cbj January 2, 2020 (9:29 am)

        Quality of life and the quality of the community is important to many of us and not chasing profit at every opportunity I for one have worked in non profit human services for 30 years so be cautious of making generalization that everyone is chasing the almighty dollar. ;Quality of life in this city has been deterating and over development has a lot to do with it

        • Ice January 2, 2020 (10:50 pm)

          Can you please specify what quality of life is?

      • Elton January 2, 2020 (10:25 am)

        ^ ThisA lot of people get up-in-arms about the homelessness  crisis and the poor response from the city and then simultaneously really upset that developers are bringing new housing capacity online so that people have places to live. Rental prices will never go down if supply stays fixed while demand continues to increase (even if these units are expensive, more supply will naturally force down pricing on older units). If you don’t want to live in an urban area that’s becoming more dense, move  to an area not zoned for such development. People have to live somewhere.

        • Canton January 2, 2020 (10:16 pm)

          How exactly does this new structure help the homeless? Guess I didn’t realize they were a few bucks short for a luxury townhouse. Maybe a few bucks short of a luxury junction apmt? The supply that is being built is nowhere near affordable to most. Sure, with what’s being built, it should level off in 30 yrs or so. Great way to help the homeless now.

  • dsa January 1, 2020 (10:05 pm)

    Their new site plan has the WS Bridge at the top and marked zoned as SF5000.  Their north arrow at the bottom would place the  WS Bridge on the top side of the site plan.  It is not making sense to me, especially when their “Project Information” shows differently, that is the northerly  side zoning is identified as C1-55 (M) I think, hard to read fine print.  I only looked at this as it seemed the building was quite close to the WS Bridge R/W, but maybe the Bridge is misslocated.

    • WSB January 1, 2020 (11:36 pm)

      Yes, the zoning is 55′ but it’s a steeply sloped site and that could mean 55′ above the highest elevation of the site while the 8 stories rise from the lowest point – we’ve covered other projects laid out that way.

    • Kram January 2, 2020 (6:56 am)

      The height limit is set by ‘average grade’ not the highest or lowest point. This would be shown in the elevations which are not currently available.

  • WS Guy January 2, 2020 (2:03 am)

    I assume this will block the view of the city from the WS Freeway?

    • WSB January 2, 2020 (7:43 am)

      You can use the Google Street View function of the map and try to guess. There are already multifamily buildings in that area. This is more on the east side of the NB stretch of the EB bridge.

    • John January 2, 2020 (11:58 am)

      No the view of the city is not compromised due to the direction  of downtown.      These units will be just east of the massive wall blackberries as shown in the photo.

  • RT January 2, 2020 (8:20 am)

    Spillover of cars in this area is already crippling. The C line is often filled to capacity by the time it stops here. Will Metro add capacity to serve the increasing density of riders “at the end of the line”?     And a bigger question…..why keep increasing density in peripheral areas of the city that already suffer from inhibited access to Seattle when bridges and arterials are compromised (West Seattle/Ballard) rather than opting to use SODO and South? ……..even if formerly industrial, mitigation of these sites is possible prior to construction and access to main north and south routes is already there. 

    • Elton January 2, 2020 (10:31 am)

      I’m guessing that the long-term plan is light rail, but I would hope that Metro makes decisions on routes based on population density and would continue to invest in West Seattle routes as the number of people living here continues to increase. Of course, it doesn’t help that I-976 took away a major source of funding for transit (pending the State Supreme Court permanently throwing it in the trash bin). If I were a developer (which I’m definitely not), I’d probably be more inclined to make safe bets in established neighborhoods. Even though transit is congested, it’s certainly there in  the Junction area as is a lot of grocery stores, restaurants, and bars. SoDo probably isn’t quite as attractive yet, but I think areas like Georgetown and Columbia City have been on  the rise (I don’t have data on this, sorry).

    • AMD January 2, 2020 (11:09 am)

      If it’s not zoned residential, you can’t build housing there.  There is a lot of construction in the less desirable neighborhoods, too.  You can’t just push all the new people into a different neighborhood so you don’t have to see them.  Everyone gets more neighbors.

    • John January 2, 2020 (12:05 pm)

      Adding capacity to our public transit system has always been the goal.  The C-line is just one example.  It was added due to increased demand.  The higher the demand the higher the service.  Lack of METRO transit service was a chief complaint two decades ago against development.  Now that we have increased density, we have increased METRO service.  This increased density has been great for West Seattle business wise and  living choices wise.

  • Joan January 2, 2020 (9:11 am)

    Seems like a lot of people for a tiny neighborhood.

  • chemist January 2, 2020 (9:44 am)

    88 bike parking spots is the code-minimum (1 per unit, with a reduction to 3/4 per unit after the first 50 and rounding up to an even number).  That’s not very forward thinking, considering how this is basically built on West Seattle’s bike route into the city.  They’re building far above the required parking spaces for cars.

    • Quora January 2, 2020 (1:33 pm)

      Good, because people still drive in this city.

    • The King January 2, 2020 (7:40 pm)

      As winter approaches and days are shorter, it’s just not safe to ride a bicycle in West Seattle. My last bike ride, before it was stolen out of my garage, ended in a showdown between myself and a homeless man who was screaming at me to get away from his ‘invisible’ child, threatening to make me look like a unicorn by jamming a screwdriver he had in his hand, “into my forehead”. Anecdotal yes, but these type of experiences were enough to make me never buy another bicycle as long as I live in here. 

  • Rick January 2, 2020 (9:57 am)

      Money wins. And a lot of time it used to be yours.

  • Kram January 2, 2020 (11:08 am)

    CBJ; I do not believe you are correct. Just simply do some basic internet searches and you’ll find Seattle has one of the top quality of life indexes in the country. This was nowhere near the case 20-30 years ago. I clearly stated ‘private’ companies above because of course not everyone is chasing the mighty dollar but most of our economy is. Even non-profits do disingenuous things to make extra money in some cases. 

    • Cbj January 2, 2020 (5:56 pm)

      I disagree with you as you do with me, that’s ok density is needed how it is implemented and the quality of life it impacts is my perspective.  Infrastructure can’t maintain this kind of “growth” be it transportation.  Sewers, schools, etc. flooding is ncreasing in urban areas, no matter what you do cemented areas don’t absorb run off.  It’s an illusion that all these high density residents aren’t bringing cars with them.  Just look at the spill over of parked cars into surrounding areas.  Crime is more prevalent  homeless ness is out of control and bringing more density is not the issue  much more complicated  drug use, mental healthy and the quality. Of most, not all but most of the building is schlock i believe the overall quality is decreasing

      • AMD January 3, 2020 (1:12 am)

        Transit is lagging behind because of the years when every transit levy was met with “why should we add transit where there aren’t that many people”?  The voters have decided people need to exist first before transit comes in and now we’re stuck with that paradigm.    Homelessness is a nation-wide crisis.  I promise apartment buildings in West Seattle aren’t causing the explosion in homelessness in Honolulu, Washington, D.C., Dallas, Memphis, or anywhere else.  As for crime, statistically it’s flat line: not getting worse, but not getting better either.  Maybe you hear more about it for one reason or another, but the city is exactly as safe as it’s been for a while.  Housing is not making it less safe.

  • Nope January 2, 2020 (3:48 pm)

    Also, there is a 5 story 130 unit apartment building with 35 parking spaces going in right on Harbor Ave next to the West Seattle bridge to the North. The lot that the bike shop uses for it’s parking (across from Active Space) and the parcel to the North.  There is no parking in that area as it is. Let me repeat….130 units with 35 parking spaces and the Luna park area has nothing within walking distance except Luna Park Cafe, Chelan and I guess West Seattle Gym. SOOOOOO you know people will bring their cars with them when living there because no one is walking a mile to Met Market or Safeway and then having to lug grocerys with them.   

  • TJ January 2, 2020 (5:45 pm)

    You are correct Nope. That building will be especially tough as there aren’t side streets around for these people to park. But the city doesn’t care. These politicians think they are on some goofy moral high ground by their war on cars. But we knew what we were getting when all of our council was reelected. 

    • WSB January 2, 2020 (7:45 pm)

      “All of our council” was NOT re-elected. Of the seven whose positions were on the most-recent ballot, four did not run again. The three who did, were re-elected. The council is 4/9 newbies.

    • Nope January 3, 2020 (6:19 am)

      Yep! Totally agree! While like the WSB states not everyone was re-elected, the ones that were are some pretty key voices in the war on cars. Terrible. I went to the community meeting and I’m hoping the architect took our feedback to the developer and the City. I really worry about City View and the influx of traffic there and 30th and the rest of our hood. 

      • John January 3, 2020 (12:58 pm)

        NOPE & TJ,  you seem to agree in your shared ignorance of city planning and city council…terrible? To start off the New Year, what would you propose for traffic and parking woes?

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