DEVELOPMENT: Preview 3417 Harbor SW before Southwest Design Review Board’s first look

That’s the official packet (also here in PDF) for next week’s Southwest Design Review Board debut of the 5-story apartment building proposed at 3417 Harbor SW, just north of the West Seattle Bridge. The packet goes into full details of the proposal, including the three options for “massing” – size and shape – which is a key focus of the board’s first review, officially called Early Design Guidance. The packet by architecture firm Atelier Drome says that the project team’s “preferred” option would have 126 apartments and 71 offstreet-parking spaces.

The packet also has details on the proposed landscaping/streetscape – including “a welcoming corner entry plaza featur(ing) a special paving pattern to signal the entry to passersby on the sidewalk along with a welcoming two-sided bench” – and notes they want to remove one “exceptional tree” on the site, a bigleaf maple that they say is in poor health. One design point likely to be a subject of discussion: ” Locating the parking at the basement level minimizes the visual impact of the parking on the majority of the facades, but presents a design challenge on the Harbor Ave facade – a site long concrete wall.” The SWDRB meeting is at 6:30 pm Thursday, March 5th, at the Senior Center/Sisson Building, 4217 SW Oregon, with a public-comment period. If you can’t be there, you can send comments to the assigned city planner –

8 Replies to "DEVELOPMENT: Preview 3417 Harbor SW before Southwest Design Review Board's first look"

  • Realist February 25, 2020 (3:58 pm)

    Hmmm. Not enough parking. A couple of weeks ago the Seattle Times had a Sunday story about a luxury condo downtown with not many parking places. They had 2 Tesla’s for use. They’ve leased parking at a building across the street. Why? the LISTING AGENT said they couldn’t sell most of the units without parking. The article talked about a 36 unit condo on Capitol Hill. The last 12 hadn’t sold. The real estate agent said no parking was a deal breaker. Also noted that of the 24 sold 12 people HAD cars & were willing to use street parking. Last noted was a condo in Wallingford. There were people that bought that didn’t have car’s but purchased parking places. Why? they said “for resale value”.

    • kram February 26, 2020 (6:35 am)

      I don’t disagree with what you are saying. This building however is a specific product, a very small unit. 320-380 square feet. It’s near direct bus routes to downtown. The clientele for condos would not consider these apartments. Different demographic. Yes people will still have cars but many will not.These units make up a small percentage of apartments in Seattle. The ones I’m apart of are never vacant and never have parking.

    • John February 26, 2020 (8:59 am)

      Parking is not an issue for the Review Board.The Seattle Times piece concerned luxury condos that are second , third and fourth homes for the rich using high end real estate to park money as an investment.  Other articles  report  the large number of unused parking  spaces in downtown condos and apartments.  Proof, is the availability of parking in the building across the street from the  condos.

  • rmkensington February 26, 2020 (5:50 am)

    Its impressive how much work goes into creating these slides…only to end up with another boring square box of an apartment building.  I drew 3d square boxes in 5th grade, guess i should have been an architect in Seattle.  

  • John February 26, 2020 (9:06 am)

    Apparently RMKensington  is not familiar  with massing  and did not bother to read  the article where WSB  describes – “massing” – size and shape “.

  • Kathy February 26, 2020 (10:57 am)

    Good luck getting in and out of that parking garage during rush hour or during Alki tourist entrance and exodus. Traffic is already seriously backed up there during heavy traffic times. And goodbye to that cute blue craftsman bungalow.

  • Wendell February 26, 2020 (1:33 pm)

    Is this new apartment building going to be right in front of those two houses that have large built-for-view windows?

    • John February 26, 2020 (3:41 pm)

      Correct you are Wendel. Fortunately the original designer/owner/builder and occupier of  the first home enjoyed the views for a few years before selling and moving out of the country.  Whether it be trees or construction, Seattle Codes offer no protection of views.  That is also why there is a term of realtors’, – “unblockable views’.

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