Community Roots Housing offers city-backed $14.4 million to buy West Seattle Junction parking lots

(WSB photo from 42nd/Oregon lot, January)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Another twist in the ongoing saga of the West Seattle Junction’s public parking lots.

A nonprofit housing developer has made an offer to buy the land for future development, according to documents we’ve obtained.

The West Seattle Junction Association has long leased the lots, operating them as parking for customers of local businesses. Its lease requires WSJA to cover the costs of the property taxes for the lots, which finally led, earlier this year, to the lots’ conversion from free parking to paid parking. For years before that, as reported here, WSJA had been trying to strategize how to deal with the six-digit tax bill, which is approaching $200,000 a year. While the parking fees are now covering some of it, they won’t cover all. And, as pointed out in that 2018 WSB story, the lots’ long-term future as developable land has always been kept in mind – it’s a major reason why the taxes have gone up.

The lots are owned by West Seattle Trusteed Properties, a group of more than three dozen organizations, businesses, and individuals who own shares of the organization and its holdings, the lots. The offer letter to WSTP from Community Roots Housing – known until last year as Capitol Hill Housing – is for $14,490,000 cash. It says in part:

Community Roots Housing (CRH), a mission based Public Development Authority Charter in the City of Seattle that creates affordable and workforce housing throughout Seattle is pleased to submit an offer for the purchase of the parking lots owned by the West Seattle Trusteed Properties. Over the past year CRH has been in community and stakeholder discussions about the property owned by the Trustee, including the West Seattle Junction Association (Junction). Based on these discussions we believe our plans to redevelop the property long term combined with continuing to lease it to the Junction for public parking meet with the community’s goals and desires. CRH is supported by the Junction who would continue to operate the lots for public parking and CRH would purchase the property with assignment of the existing lease. Furthermore, CRH being a public entity has tax exemptions which we are exploring with the Junction how to apply to the lots. CRH has verbal agreement with the City of Seattle Office of Housing to support the purchase of the property with a deferred interest loan for 100% of the sale price of the land up to the appraised value, which will allow for a quick closing after the due diligence period.

The land already has been appraised for exactly that amount – $14,490,000. The appraisal also notes that WSJA’s current lease of the lots runs through 2027. And it points out that one of the lots is zoned for mixed-use development up to 95′, while the other three are zoned for mixed-use development up to 75′. (The lots are on 42nd and 44th SW, parcel numbers 095200-6400, 095200-6435, 095200-6445, 095200-6455, 149530-0125, 149530-0170, 149530-0180, 149530-0190, 338990-0150, and 3389900170.)

The purchase offer is dated April 21st. A message to WSTP shareholder reps today from WSTP board secretary Tyler Johnson described the offer as “unsolicited” and “below current assessed values,” continuing, “Because of the ongoing need to collect additional information as part of the Board’s regular due diligence as well as the Board’s perception that other proposals and options may soon be received, the Board is not taking any action or responding to the Offer at this time. Instead the Board will seek to keep all options open as more information becomes known.”

WSJA’s executive director Lora Radford said in an emailed statement: ““The vision of the West Seattle Junction Urban Village is at a pivotal point in history. An offer to purchase the parcels within the Junction backed by another nonprofit whose entire focus is building affordable and family-forward housing poises our downtown district to accomplish housing for the greater good. This, along with community gathering spaces like a potential community center, ground-floor commercial spaces that are designed to attract and incubate budding small businesses with an ownership co-op component, along with a commitment for meaningful and deep conversations during the design process, we can create together a Junction vision for community members now and future generations.” She warns, “If we let this opportunity slip by, the lack of vision will be lost too. We may be facing the same bland buildings that maximize developer profit, but ultimately kill the neighborhoods we all cherish and love, the Junction included.”

We are following up with Community Roots Housing as well as the city’s Office of Housing. The latter raises money for investment in housing projects from sources such as the city’s Housing Levy; past West Seattle funding has included the Seattle Housing Authority‘s Lam-Bow Apartments rebuild and Transitional Resources’ Yancy Street and Avalon Place supportive housing. Community Roots Housing’s upcoming projects include planning for the White Center Hub, on the current White Center Food Bank site (8th SW/SW 108th)

ADDED MONDAY EVENING: A spokesperson for Community Roots Housing, one of the entities with which we’ve been following up, says that “nonprofit housing developer” is not an accurate description of the organization – CRH is a Public Development Authority (explained here and here; information about their governance is here). It does have a supporting 501(c)3 foundation through which donations can be made.

155 Replies to "Community Roots Housing offers city-backed $14.4 million to buy West Seattle Junction parking lots"

  • Junction Neighor April 30, 2021 (8:07 pm)

    Nooooooo! No. No. No. 

    • Mr J April 30, 2021 (9:20 pm)

      Yes! To affordable housing. Yes! To small commercial spaces for local businesses to get their start. Yes! Yo useless parking lots.

      • ttt April 30, 2021 (11:11 pm)

        Thise parking lots give many of us access to those small businesses.

        • Foop May 1, 2021 (7:37 am)

          Meanwhile, in every other parking lot related post: “I wont pay to use those lots! I guess I won’t support local businesses anymore!” – Good news! You can live near those businesses soon!

        • Rara May 1, 2021 (8:22 am)

          I agree. We need to keep these lots for parking. Especially with all the condos going up with minimal parking for themselves. Not sure about you guys but I use those lots all the time. 

        • Reed May 1, 2021 (9:16 am)

          There is plenty of street parking in the area.

          • Raye Westad May 4, 2021 (4:19 am)

            Reed – There is actually little street parking available if you consider that every space is usually filled. The street parking is limited to two hours. While this prevents people from just leaving their cars there all day, the restricted street parking surrounding the core junction extends it by quite a few blocks. If I am lucky enough to find parking three or four blocks away, it takes some time to walk to and from where I want to go, thus reducing the time I can  shop, do errands, dine out, or whatever. I wouldn’t mind the walk during good weather and in daytime, but I will not park that far away when it’s dark out or in inclement weather.  It’s also difficult for some older people to have to walk so far.  I just don’t go to the Junction anymore.

        • Xtian Gunther May 8, 2021 (12:04 am)

          In this day and age, that’s simply not good enough. To stymie housing access so you can park a car for a while is unacepptable priviledge. We must all #evolve and be better humans. Some give their lives in defense of others. You can forego asphalt for an auto, no?

      • Thomas Ritchie May 1, 2021 (1:00 pm)

        Useless? I can hardly find parking spaces when I go there!

      • Krs May 1, 2021 (7:11 pm)

        You actually think it’s going to be “affordable housing”? Lol

        • WSB May 1, 2021 (7:21 pm)

          If the city backs the loan, as noted in the story, yes, there would have to be.

        • Tyler May 3, 2021 (6:37 pm)

          Community Roots Housing is a HUD-mandated federal public housing authority, just like SHA. It primarily serves families earning between 0-30% of median income. Yes, that’s affordable

          • RW May 5, 2021 (6:17 am)

            Tyler – Even if the housing is affordable for moderate-income families, they likely will have less disposable income to spend on non-essential goods and services at W.S. Junction businesses. If other West Seattle residents living outside the Junction core are no longer able to easily shop there because parking is too expensive, inconvenient, or has disappeared entirely, they will spend their money elsewhere (as I now do). That potentially creates a huge revenue drain for Junction businesses that probably cannot be replaced by condo/apartment residents.

  • wsres April 30, 2021 (8:09 pm)

    Does the current lease mean the lots would not be able to be developed until 2027? 

    • Spuzz May 3, 2021 (9:06 am)

      It depends. If the lease holder buys the property, they can develop whenever. If another party buys it, they need to either wait for the lease term to expire, or buy out the lease, at terms set by the lease holder.

  • Diane April 30, 2021 (8:37 pm)

    wow, fantastic; this is the best news in years 

    • Rowan May 1, 2021 (5:16 pm)

      Worst. Idea. Ever. I use these lots all the time to access junction businesses. There is little street parking. The junction area does not need more condos…affordable or otherwise.

  • Flivver April 30, 2021 (8:49 pm)

    Hundreds if not more of housing. Won’t need parking because none of the tenants will own a car. And if there is any ground floor businesses nobody will drive to shop.

    • Cogburn May 1, 2021 (8:42 am)

      The City’s own statistics stated in a report online a couple years ago that about 90% of such tenants have a car. If you want to get out of the city around here you need a car. 

    • Raye Westad May 4, 2021 (4:41 am)

      Fliver – It’s unrealistic to think new tenants will not have a car. However, that’s not really the issue. The West Seattle Junction is not here only to serve people living in the condos  that are squashed inside its immediate vicinity. It serves ALL of West Seattle, and most residents live some miles from the Junction and cannot simply walk there. Taking the bus is also not an option for many, as some people continually like to pitch as a viable solution. Interesting how many times suggestions always seem to be proposed by and for a small segment  that only directly affects them. We need to look at the overall picture.

  • Me April 30, 2021 (8:51 pm)

    Please, no. 

    • Meyer May 2, 2021 (12:03 pm)

      Wasn’t everyone on this website proudly exclaiming how they will never pay Diamond to park there and never use the lots? Now everyone is freaking out over an unsolicited offer?I still don’t get why the Junction business Association doesn’t sell the lots to developers under the condition the developers build a 2 story parking garage. The first story will remain free parking for everyone and the 2nd story will be parking for the new housing units that would be built. Right now those lots are a complete waste of space since barely anyone is using them now that Diamond is charging for them. Heck, why not sell the lots to developers with the condition that one of the lots becomes 4 story parking garage that is free, the property taxes for it would be paid by the rents collected from the other lots that got developed. That would be more housing, more commercial space, more jobs, more tax revenue and more free parking than we ever had. Seems like everyone would be happy?

      • marco May 3, 2021 (2:23 pm)

        Stop making so much sense, you are confusing the NIMBYS.

  • Erithan April 30, 2021 (8:58 pm)

    What would that mean for the buildings already there and their tenants? Would they have windows right across form us?

    • Brian May 1, 2021 (3:17 pm)

      Yeah probably. There’s no guarantee that you’ll always have a view. 

      • Erithan May 1, 2021 (3:47 pm)

        Thanks, my main concern is more having a window almost right up against mine potentially. ><

  • Andrew April 30, 2021 (9:08 pm)

    Good. Homes for people > Parking for cars.

    • MG May 1, 2021 (9:22 am)

      Because what we need in West Seattle right now is more people living here? I’m sure all the people that move here will work in West Seattle and will not have to commute over the WS bridge, which has terrible traffic every day…  Oh wait…

      • Reed May 1, 2021 (2:45 pm)

        Sounds like you might be contributing to the traffic problem. It’s ok if you do, just not anyone else.

  • CAM April 30, 2021 (9:13 pm)

    Since the entire blog comment section has rejected the current structure of the parking lots at this point they should have no issue with this proposal and should in fact welcome it over other proposals likely to come in that will be far more impactful on the character of the junction as it currently stands. The tone of the current owner’s response though suggests they’ll sell it to whomever will pay them the most no matter the planned use. So look out. 

    • Sam May 1, 2021 (9:44 am)

      Yes, rule by comment board, what could go wrong?

  • Joe Z April 30, 2021 (9:34 pm)

    This would be fantastic. 

  • Auntie April 30, 2021 (9:37 pm)

    I know everybody needs somewhere to live, but this is just getting ridiculous. West Seattle has already pretty much lost its “small town” feeling – too many big buildings replacing what used to be single family homes and small businesses.  I know change is inevitable, but all of this development is turning West Seattle into just another pile of buildings, not a neighborhood. And when these parking lots are gone, where will we park to patronize the local businesses? (Please don’t tell me to ride my bike up to the junction.) Street parking is already at a premium and will be moreso because I’m sure they won’t provide adequate parking for the tenants. (Stop right there anti-car folks – face reality … people own cars, will continue to own cars and need somewhere to park them.) It’s just a shame what West Seattle has become.

    • Jort April 30, 2021 (9:57 pm)

      The hardest part for many will be realizing the land is worth more to people than to cars. So, there’s that. But, the people of Seattle have chosen through the years quite deliberately to centralize the vast majority of housing growth directly in these tiny “urban villages.” It was SO important that the “single family home character” be maintained that citizens chose, again and again, to focus all development and growth in these little tiny slices of Seattle. If you don’t like seeing the Junction turned into large housing projects, you can thank your fellow citizens for refusing to accommodate growth in any other method like duplexes and townhomes distributed throughout the city. And no, for the one quadrillionth time, the “put a glass dome over the city so nobody can ever move here again” plan was and will never be an option. 

    • Duffy April 30, 2021 (10:24 pm)

      Replacing single family homes? Do you understand what this article is about? If you don’t, it is about literally turning a giant concrete parking spot into something else, something better. I think your comment is misguided. Parking lots like this are dumb. In fact, it makes way more sense to consolidate all of these lots into a PARKING STRUCTURE and do something else with the rest. Seattle needs to smarten up. But please, don’t do anything until you get 24/7 crews out there fixing the bridge. Another fantastic stretch of weather this week and yeah, not a soul out there fixing the bridge. Thanks Seattle leadership! Great job!

      • Jason May 1, 2021 (11:56 am)

        You do realize that the people that build housing are different from the people that fix the bridge and that demanding that the world stop until the bridge is fixed is absurd.

      • K8 May 1, 2021 (5:30 pm)

        A parking structure is such a great idea! That’s what the businesses in my home town did when faced with a similar dilemma 

    • Foop May 1, 2021 (7:58 am)

       all of this development is turning West Seattle into just another pile of buildings, not a neighborhood.” The key word here I think is ‘neighborhood’ and the ‘neighbor in there I believe refers to people. A wecloming space for more people to live and commune. A parking lot invites cars, not neighbors. If you want a single family castle you’ll have to move. Cities grow because society thrives when people concentrate, that’s inevitable, and unless you want all humans to stop reproducing we’re going to keep on getting more dense. This is a huge net positive for the junction area and surrounding area. This will make homes more affordable, especially for young people who can’t breach the market right now, and it will inform more and better transit opportunities. I just hope I am alive to see it a time when we have a fully connected transit system with shops and culture on top of train stations rather than what we have now which is mostly light rail stops that lead to barren lots with few businesses and a mile + walk to get to any concentration of businesses to support.

    • Ice May 1, 2021 (8:52 am)

      “I know everyone deserves a place to live, but this is getting ridiculous. Storing my vehicle for free more important than having affordable homes”

    • Thomas Ritchie what's wrong with building the buildings May 1, 2021 (1:04 pm)

      What’s wrong with building the building with parking underneath? A lot of places do that! Doesn’t have to be fancy can be open walls. If there was a charge it might be win/win.

      • Viska May 2, 2021 (10:56 am)

        Exactly the right approach if development occurs and is consistent to how Whole Foods, Petco, etc. have kept ample parking options for their customers. Having a parking lot restructured for multi-use versus the tearing down our neighborhoods single family homes has my support. 

  • sw April 30, 2021 (9:40 pm)

    Hard pass. The ground floor “incubator” spaces seem about as well-thought out as the ground level “live/work” spaces that have been included in many developments. They just aren’t utilized the way developers sell them through. However, if the current state of the paid parking lots being empty most of the time is an indicator of not meeting tax payments, this could be a foregone conclusion. 

    • seaspade May 2, 2021 (1:41 pm)

      Went to Junction True Value yesterday – couldn’t find any street parking but ample parking available in the paid lot.  Used to be the opposite, if anything.  All the businesses on California better hope the affordable housing types can come in and buy their stuff, because discouraging cars is keeping away what I’d assume to be their previous customers.  Tough dilemma because how do you pay for the taxes?

      • Bob May 3, 2021 (5:14 pm)

        Take the bus or move to the suburbs 

        • RW May 4, 2021 (5:06 am)

          Bob – Your answer does nothing to add to the conversation and was rude. Are people supposed to take the bus to True Value and then lug home tons of garden and home improvement products on public transit? No, they won’t, and will instead probably drive to Home Depot or McLendon’s in White Center. No one should have to “move to the suburbs” to be able to live, shop, and recreate in their own neighborhood. We need practical solutions that work for everyone living here. The big picture here is how the parking situation will adversely affect long-time W.S. Junction businesses. As it is, I, for one, now spend my money elsewhere when I previously shopped and dined in the W.S. Junction. Now, it’s just not worth the hassle.

  • Erin98126 April 30, 2021 (10:10 pm)

    Agreed. Anybody try to get in and out of West Seattle lately? We don’t need to keep packing more people in over here when there isn’t even an easy way to get off the island! And please, a bus or a bicycle is not an easy way off the island, especially for someone imunocompromised trying to get to a hospital.

  • Hammer in Hand April 30, 2021 (10:21 pm)

    And So it Begins

  • WTF April 30, 2021 (10:24 pm)

    More proof Seattle is dying.

  • Mj April 30, 2021 (10:28 pm)

    Whomever set the parking rates at the lots failed economics 101.  The rates are excessive thus little demand, based on my observations.  Simple math 50 parking stalls at say $5 an hour with 2 stalls occupied is $10 but at say $1 an hour 45 stalls are occupied aka $45.  

    • My two cents ... May 1, 2021 (12:04 am)

      @Mj if you are going to make “economic 101” comments, please cite the “observation” times and dates you utilized to derive your conclusions. Putting out numbers without the methodology is a disservice to your audience. Then again, I have an Economics degree so what do I know? Sure it’s easy to cite numbers, but to advance your position, context, assumptions and constraints need to be identified and stated. 

    • Joan May 1, 2021 (7:51 am)

      Absolutely agree. I am not willing to pay for hours of parking when I need to do one or two errands, at under an hour. Change the parking lot rates to accommodate shoppers’ needs. I want to patronize my local businesses. Please make it possible for us to park for short times.

      • Bob May 3, 2021 (5:15 pm)

        Take the bus or move to the suburbs

    • Adam Smith May 2, 2021 (1:54 pm)

      67.3% of all statistics are made up on the spot.

  • KM April 30, 2021 (10:35 pm)

    Heck yeah.

  • Mariem April 30, 2021 (10:42 pm)

    No more density in the junction, please. You’ll keep losing customers!

    • Jort April 30, 2021 (11:03 pm)

      I hate to break it to you but “density,” in this case, means customers who literally live right above the junction businesses. So, uh, they will literally be gaining them. Like — literally, not figuratively or metaphorically. Literally gaining customers. 

      • GVS May 1, 2021 (10:01 am)

        Does anyone know what the occupancy rate currently is within the urban village, and what the average rent is for a apartment?I have wondered if the rent is truly affordable, and at some point there is a glut of apartments,  I keep hearing that folks who live in the high density junction don’t have cars,  do we really know that.folks that I know, have cars and use them and just find street parking when not in use.  I’m not saying that’s good or bad but I wonder if assumptions made to push high density are true additionally our infrastructure is crumbling that was meant to support a population of single family homes,  not sure that is ever addressed when developing high density living, latest example the sewage discharged  off Alki.   Not to mention the bridge,  traffic on the bridge has certainly increased over the time of rapid development which makes me wonder about the assumption that folks will not have cars.  Quality of life in my humble opinion has decreased and no sign that trend is going to change.   Crime has gone up,  just think there are metrics and data that are not considered as we keep developing “affordable “ housing,  not to mention lack of money to tackle infrastructure issues that this  levels of development significantly impacts

        • JohnW May 1, 2021 (11:50 am)

          So many questions raised, anecdotal information shared and implications formed from extrapolations, even privilege and  veiled racism in GVS’s comment!  
          So many assumptions of assumptions.  But a ‘humble opinion.’
          Just to dispute GVS’s claim, “Crime has gone up,” are the data showing just the opposite:As for the red herring and false claim about the recent sewage discharge being caused by additional loads (ha!) caused by new construction is without merit.  
          West Seattle’s sewer problem is a result of the combined sewer and storm drain allowed during  development for over 100 years.  
          There were no rules about sewer discharge and we conveniently used the big toilet down hill from us – Puget Sound.  Yes, every day here in West Seattle  we directly discharged raw sewage into Puget Sound, while the rest of the city dumped (ha,ha!) elsewhere in Elliot Bay, the Duwamish River,  Lake Union and Lake Washington.  
          All new construction must separate and handle the surface water separately from sewer with infiltration and ‘rain gardens.’  Increases in efficiency and water mizer standards have resulted in dramatic reductions of residential sewage.  New appliances and fixtures are all water saving. 
          And the aging infrastructure (Delridge Way ring a bell?) is constantly being addressed as can be seen at WSB in the daily traffic updates.  
          Much of the street interruptions complained so frequently about are due to infrastructure replacements and improvements shouldered by development.

          • Pessoa May 1, 2021 (2:07 pm)

            Yes, but we should never “extrapolate,” racism from anyone’s comments unless that conclusion follows necessarily and is absolutely unavoidable.  It’s a very, very serious charge. 

          • GVS May 1, 2021 (3:07 pm)

            John thank you for the crime data, can you let me know the source,I stand corrected if the data is valid.I was asking questions because I don’t have the answers and thought perhaps others may have information I do think it is unfortunate that your assumption is  that my questions were based in racism, versus an honest questions  that I have wondered about your reaction says more about you and you jumping to conclusions in your myopic world than myself as  a biracial very middle class woman.you might consider checking yourself before you throw insults

          • GVS May 1, 2021 (3:20 pm)

            One more question, is the data you are providing reflective of west Seattle zip codes onlyI appreciate you educating this ignorant, racist biracial middle class woman. ( sarcasm just in case you can’t recognize it)

        • Chemist May 1, 2021 (11:51 am)

          I think it would be interesting to analyze RPZ pass buying patterns…. what fraction of each area ends up going to addresses that are SFH vs MFH and how many parking spaces/bedroom there are for each issued RPZ pass address.

          • bill May 1, 2021 (12:59 pm)

            I’m not sure what the point of this question is. RPZs reserve parking for local residents when parking demand from outside a neighborhood overwhelms the available parking. I can see my neighboring blocks becoming an RPZ because a nearby major bus stop makes the neighborhood a de facto park & ride for commuters. 

        • JohnW May 2, 2021 (6:26 am)

          GVS,  I am responding.
          You wrote,
           Crime has gone up,  just think there are metrics and data that are not considered as we keep developing “affordable “ housing,”    

          The (false claim) of rising crime here connected to affordable housing  has racist implications.  Connecting crime to affordable housing is veiled racism, whether intentional or not. 
          The statistics that you call into question were easily found online, provided by Seattle through councilperson Herbold.  
          I did not make up the chart, nor did I attempt to verify it. 

          • Rick May 3, 2021 (9:49 am)

            Yeah,those darn racist parking lots! Didn’t take long for that accusation. Heck, using your logic I can make a claim that the pine tree in my front yard is racist. You’re also implying that folks in so called “affordable housing” are persons of color. Wouldn’t that be considered racist? My neck is starting to hurt from shaking my head so much.

      • RayWest May 4, 2021 (10:30 am)

        Jort – It is not “gaining” customers when other customers who live outside the W.S. Junction perimeter decide they will no longer shop there because it is too expensive and difficult to park.  I cannot imagine that the number of residents in the Junction condos and apartments is anywhere equal to the population that  lives in West Seattle and surrounding areas (Admiral, Morgan, Seaview, Fauntleroy, Alki, White Center, Delridge, Westwood,  Lincoln Park, and other neighborhoods). Nor is it likely that Junction residents alone, over the long run, could sustain the Junction’s economy. If someone has statistics on this, please post it. 

    • Joe Z April 30, 2021 (11:31 pm)

      I sincerely hope this comment is sarcasm.

    • Nunya May 1, 2021 (8:39 am)

      Yeah, that’s the opposite of how density/customers works.

  • WSBS April 30, 2021 (10:44 pm)

    Ridiculous 

  • My two cents ... April 30, 2021 (11:25 pm)

    Well now, where are all of the voices that proclaimed they would never pay to park? So now there is an outcry over the potential redevelopment? A lot of moving parts and considerations – hope people will take a step back and realize that this is a dynamic situation with a lot of of outcomes – some good, some bad. 

  • B Dahlia April 30, 2021 (11:32 pm)

    Best possible option. Hellz to the YES!It’s 2021 folks. Not 1990.  Better than any other option that will come along. Because they will be sold, one way or another.  Community-based affordable housing options are key to a sustainable future here.

    • Bill May 1, 2021 (7:47 am)

      Try sustaining the “affordable housing” — whatever that is — how about some real definitions and not just a flood of buzzwords

  • flimflam May 1, 2021 (1:41 am)

    huh. “non profit” developer has 14 million to spend?

  • Randy May 1, 2021 (1:47 am)

    The answer is in these words, google it.A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for a time of adversity.

  • Methusala May 1, 2021 (2:50 am)

    So easy to have it all housing with parking and small business spaces…this is good architecture and should be the demand. Bland buildings and poor planning dont have to be the norm. 

  • Mrs. Myrtle May 1, 2021 (6:10 am)

    Please don’t turn us into Capital Hill. 

  • FOWSB May 1, 2021 (6:20 am)

    What kind of “shadow group” is the the WSTP anyways ? Sounds very cloak and daggerish…

  • Mike May 1, 2021 (6:50 am)

    Sounds like they need to build a 3 story underground parking garage to go along with the first floor business space and 8+ stories of 100% low income housing.  Then we can beef up the infrastructure of our sewer and electrical utilities to support the additional neighbors that will live in a fraction of one block area.  Don’t forget the building needs to accommodate birds flying, the #1 cause of killing birds are tall buildings.  Probably need an urban rooftop garden to support the bees that are dying off at a record rate and have potential to cause global starvation.  Need to ensure that we have solar panels to offset the impact to climate change this building causes too, it absolutely needs to be a net zero greenhouse gas building.  Since it cannot use natural gas for anything, the additional draw on the electric utilities will absolutely need help with those solar panels to be self sustaining.  We also need to make sure that all water runoff is filtered through a natural urban filtration system before it goes into the storm drains.  The building cannot use concrete, that’s a massive contributor to greenhouse gasses as well.  Is it connected to the grid, if so we need to make sure we offset any additional SF6 emitted by Seattle City Light, that’s a far more impactful greenhouse gas than an entire parking garage full of gas burning vehicles just idling.I hope this new building does wonders.  Imagine if we made that slab of pavement it into a park with plants and trees and kept it green, wouldn’t that be neat?

    • jack May 1, 2021 (7:36 pm)

      Don’t forget the building needs to accommodate birds flying, the #1 cause of killing birds are tall buildings.”Mike, that’s just not true.From National Geographic October 2019.“Researchers compiled data from multiple studies to estimate the number of birds in the U.S. and Canada killed in a year as a result of human activity.1.  Stray Cats 1,768 Million.2.  Owned Cats 764 Million.3.  Building Strikes 624 Million.4.  Cars 213 Million.5.  Power Lines 55 Million6.  Other 7 Million, other is communication towers and wind turbines.Cats kill almost two thirds of the birds.  

    • jack May 1, 2021 (8:18 pm)

      Don’t forget the building needs to accommodate birds flying, the #1 cause of killing birds are tall buildings.”Mike, no not really.From National Geographic Magazine October 2019.“Researchers compiled data from multiple studies to estimate th number of birds in the U.S. and Canada killed in a year as a result of human activity.”1.  Stray Cats 1,768 Million.2.  Owned Cats 764 Million.3.  Building Strikes 624 Million.4.  Cars 213 Million.5.  Power Lines 55 Million.6.  Other, communication towers and wind turbines 7 Million.

  • Stephen May 1, 2021 (7:05 am)

    the only community-impact construction matter I care about now is getting the bridge repaired. any update on that? how many more months can we go without a bridge?

  • TJ May 1, 2021 (7:06 am)

    Affordable housing touted until it’s built and people complain it’s not affordable. And by “family-forward housing” we assume that means a fair amount of 3 bedroom apartments then that would attract a family? It seems like almost all of these projects built in the last 10 years are studio or 1 bedroom apartments. I would love to see the percentage of 2 or 3 bedroom units they built, but I guarantee it’s next to nothing

  • MM May 1, 2021 (7:27 am)

    No more building, especially low income housing. Leave it!

  • Morgan May 1, 2021 (7:30 am)

    A business district this size thrives from a larger draw of tens of thousands and certainly not just a few hundred walkable units…but density isn’t bad. There are compromises…like working to build more business stalls with the developer and the city and selling air rights, and covenants for open to public parking at ground or below.the trade offs being debated here could be mitigated either side.

  • Adam May 1, 2021 (7:34 am)

    Fantastic!! More homes for people!To those complaining about density or losing small town feelings… you live in a big city. You can move to Buckley if you’d like.

  • MJ May 1, 2021 (7:36 am)

    My two cents I have rolled by at numerous times including several times at around 7 pm and the lots were sparsely used!  The parking rates are pricey. Are you saying that the pricing is at the optimal rate?

    • My two cents … May 1, 2021 (6:19 pm)

      @mj. The terms “numerous” and “several” are not quantitative metrics.  You can use the same methodology to summarize April weather and end up with 70 degree sunshine and 58 degrees with rain. Re: pricing and optimal levels? First off, do you have actual knowledge and insight into the contracts? Secondly, the price of a good or service has a relationship with what the customer will want and  pay for.  As consumers, we each have a subjective view on what is “pricey”. Maybe you know – are the owners just looking for revenue to cover all or part of the taxes?  You can down a rabbit hole of the associated  costs which may or may not be passed on to the consumer.  It’s easy to be an armchair business person – but we don’t have the insights into the factors and environment that lead to the decisions that are made.

  • GNA May 1, 2021 (7:46 am)

    Happy to welcome new residents. Density and more small businesses will make WS all the better. But acknowledging the car issue, I’d like some ideas on we can we improve the economics of building a parking garage on one of the lots. 

  • Tom May 1, 2021 (7:56 am)

    I pay to park. If I didn’t have those parking lot options, I would go to the junction a lot less because parking is a pain during prime hours. However, I seem to be one of the few who actually park in those lots anymore. They are always empty. Sounds like I’m probably the odd man out.

  • Realist May 1, 2021 (8:01 am)

    I would like to point out to the the average cost of an “affordable” 1000 sq. ft. condo in the junction at this time is $490,000. The average “affordable” rent is $1866 for 692 sq. ft. The only way the city will obtain these parcels for their version of affordable housing is to exercise emanant domain. Not very likely with the legal battles that would follow tied up in courts for years. The handwriting is on the wall or more appropriately, the graffiti is on the mural. These lots will be sold, they will be developed into the same high capacity, no parking units that have become so commonplace. Any hopes of affordability will be crushed under the greed of landowners and developers. Hard to believe? Not any longer.

  • Cogburn May 1, 2021 (8:44 am)

    WS is already overbuilt with the upzone and urban village. Public transportation out of here is mediocre. 

  • Seek_Peace May 1, 2021 (8:52 am)

    Cities are for density.
    More people leads to more services.
    More amenities.  More Opportunities.  More Bad things too.
    Gotta live in the real world.
    Time to Re-imagine the future in which Seattle is a Big City, with denser parts of the city.

    I lament the reality that the buildings are so ugly, lack any character or beauty, and will most likely look terrible in 25 years.

  • Win Win? May 1, 2021 (9:04 am)

    How about a cooperative development where paid, customer parking is preserved and even expanded in perhaps 2 levels of underground parking (similar to Jefferson Square), with the planned affordable housing project above?I would imagine that the taxing authorities,  and the politicians that ultimately run them, may even be open to a reduced taxing structure if the project was primarily aimed at increasing affordable housing, as well as supporting local small business.I realize that underground parking is expensive to add to a project. But as always, where there’s a will there’s a way.  It will be a shame to lose an opportunity to both support worthy social, community goals and support and increase the health of local businesses  that contribute so much in making “our little island community” such a desirable place to live.

  • Ice May 1, 2021 (9:05 am)

    Hopefully they turn one lot into an outdoor plaza area. That is something that Seattle as a whole, and especially West Seattle is missing.

  • Fairmont May 1, 2021 (9:26 am)

    If they took the main lot and made it a 5 story parking garage I would be supportive of building the other properties. But I find it hard to imagine that they will make any of these mixed use properties contain enough parking for people coming to the junction to shop plus their tenants. The junction needs visitors with cars to sustain itself and grow, think U Village but with housing. 

    • skeeter May 3, 2021 (10:57 am)

      I don’t understand comments like this.  Do you know how much it costs to build a 5 story parking garage?  The owner would have to charge several dollars per hour to recover the costs of construction and enforcement.  Why in the world would anyone pay to park there when there is free street parking all over the place?  

  • JK May 1, 2021 (9:46 am)

    With paid parking up at the Junction more of my money just goes to Amazon & Bezos.  If True Value closed their lot I would just go to Home Depot.   This is just the reality, no free parking means no incentive to patronize local businesses.  Paid lots pretty much kill local shopping for me. So these parking lots may as well be $700k “affordable” housing.   

  • Joseph in West Seattle May 1, 2021 (9:51 am)

    Crazy not to have parking available to shop small businesses in the Junction!  Have you ever tried to “park & shop” on California Ave?   I believe full-well in affordable housing but also believe in keeping our Junction parking available for shoppers.   What is the answer?  Allowing specified spaces for shoppers in the new buildings?

  • Bill May 1, 2021 (10:06 am)

    Lora’s statement is very misleading. Obviously she is trying to sway opinion in favor of a sale. No one should kid themselves into thinking Community Roots Housing is operating without maximizing return on investment. ALL developers build that way, whether they have the moniker “affordable” or not. I’d be surprised if this developer generously subsidizes community centers or community spaces without an operating partner. Developers aren’t in the business of giving things away. Is Community Roots Housing providing apartment buildings that stand in stark contrast to the “bland buildings” otherwise built around Seattle? A quick look through their website doesn’t make me think so. You should be aware that whatever Community Roots Housing develops won’t necessarily be affordable housing as defined and funded by the Office of Housing. Because the Office of Housing is SOOOOooo totally overwhelmed with applications for funding they can’t keep up. Projects go unfunded for years. Developments for on hold. Because of this Community Roots Housing is looking at other ways to fund development. The result? The apartments are either not affordable or they’re really really tiny to make them cost less. In the words of their for profit development consultants, it’s adequate. 

  • Thomas May 1, 2021 (10:10 am)

    Yes! Housing over parking. The businesses will welcome the extra customers. But in order to make this work long term we need to keep fighting for transit so people can reliably get there. This is a future light rail hub, but that’s only great if you’re moving between The Junction and Downtown. We need better connectivity within our own neighborhood.

  • Jitney May 1, 2021 (10:33 am)

    Speaking of transit, can we please get a frequent shuttle that simply runs north and south (and back)  along California avenue linking North Admiral to the Junction and Morgan Junction?  Could be smaller electric  conveyance and run every 15/20 minutes.  That would let lots of us get to neighborhood businesses without having to use our cars.  Not all of us can bike, or walk more than 4 miles at a stretch.  

    • Thomas May 1, 2021 (1:15 pm)

      Yes exactly! :) We do have plenty of busses that run up and down California that brach off to a few locations east and west, but they only come every half hour making them especially inconvenient if you want to come from or go anywhere off of California. Thankfully frequency will pick up in the fall to every 15 min or so with the new Link stations opening yonder. But we need to improve local service even further.

    • KM May 1, 2021 (2:07 pm)

      We already have plenty of transit options for this stretch. 50, C, 55, and if you chose the 128, it means you don’t even have to transfer. RIP to the 22. 

  • VikingHal May 1, 2021 (10:46 am)

    I’m hoping the WSJA will make the best of the opportunity and negotiate for a covenant to require the developer to provide as much underground low cost public parking as possible with 2 hour limits. Yes…it’s possible tto kill 2 birds with one stone and retain junction parking while pproviding low income housing

  • AMD May 1, 2021 (10:57 am)

    This is such great news!  Those parking lots were such a waste of valuable space.  I know there will be some people who will refuse to shop the Junction if they aren’t provided parking, but with the number of NEW customers these residences would bring to the Junction, it’s a no-brainer from a “support your local business” standpoint.

  • Joe Z May 1, 2021 (11:46 am)

    The problem with adding parking capacity is that it causes additional traffic, which clogs the roads, increases noise and pollution, slows down buses, and makes it more difficult for pedestrians. In other words, cars cause a lower quality of life for those living in urban villages.

    Studies show that as density increases people naturally reduce driving and shift to walking/biking/transit. This is quite obvious by looking at traffic flow volumes. California Ave in the Junction has the SAME traffic flow volume as Broadway in Capitol Hill, 14,000 cars per day. So there’s no need to do anything to accomodate cars. 

    • PNW Raven May 6, 2021 (5:32 am)

      Joe Z. Are we talking about street traffic flow or sustaining the Junction’s economy? Your argument seems to have nothing to do with the real topic at hand. This is about making the W.S. Junction accessible to all West Seattle residents so they can continue to shop, dine, and otherwise spend money to support the businesses housed there. Worrying about the traffic flow is not providing solutions to the problem at hand. I also don’t see that the number of people who park in the Junction for a few hours of shopping is necessarily increasing. The issue is where to park now that street parking is the only free option. This is shifting the current number of customer cars to the streets, crowding them, while leaving the lots mostly empty. (Any new housing should be required to provide on-site resident parking.)  Many people are opting to no longer shop in the W.S. Junction to go where parking is free. The argument that new condo residents will make up for the the lost revenue is unrealistic. While it was not perfect, parking availability was adequate until the merchants installed the paid system. I understand their reason for doing this, but whether or not the lots earn them enough to off-set the lost revenue as customers go elsewhere remains to be seen. 

  • 2cents May 1, 2021 (12:17 pm)

    This would be a fantastic location for a Tesla supercharger site. I hope the developers factor in EV charging infrastructure into any parking plans. 20 minutes charging to kill time at local small businesses would be a boon to the mom and pops here.

  • Azimuth May 1, 2021 (12:20 pm)

    I’d like to see the city purchase one of the lots and keep it open as a city park with some play options. If we’re going to add density you must preserve some open space for families and residents. Once it’s built that opportunity is gone forever.

    • JohnW May 1, 2021 (1:07 pm)

      Azimuth, the parking lots prove the falsity of your statement.  When they tore up the trees and built the parking lots, pavement was also forever.  Times change.  

      • Azimuth May 1, 2021 (3:40 pm)

        I don’t think you understood my point, and I disagree with your statement. Trees are not forever (look around), nor are parking lots (also easily changed), but as soon as you put large buildings in as living units we won’t see those torn down for way beyond our lifetimes. The more important point I was referring to is if all the lots are developed for these high density housing (which is fine) then it gets that much harder to find open land as parks in close distance for the residents of the new buildings, along the already existing large buildings growing like trees already in the Junction.

    • Roddy3 May 2, 2021 (9:17 pm)

      Hey Azimuth, what’s wrong with Junction Plaza Park? Wait, don’t answer that… Double your pleasure, double your fun with another Junction park.

  • Leelee May 1, 2021 (12:25 pm)

    Hey West Seattle Blog, any data on how the businesses may or may not have been impacted by the lots becoming paid?

    • Rick May 1, 2021 (2:24 pm)

      Nooooooo. You know, that “narrative” stuff.

    • WSB May 2, 2021 (8:49 pm)

      No data short of polling every business. Any who are reading this are certainly welcome to comment. Objective data-wise, eventually there would be, for example, sales-tax data available, perhaps by zip code, but that would be difficult to break down because there are many more businesses located in, say, 98116 than just Junction retailers and restaurants. Also note that the pay-to-park lots don’t represent the only change in parking in the area – there’s also the 5- and 15-minute pickup spots out front, for one …. TR

  • The truth May 1, 2021 (1:46 pm)

    One of those lots better be developed into a legit medical facility.  Time for west seattle to have an ER and more specialty care!  We all know what medical care looks like without a bridge.  Let us have an earthquake damage High, Low and 1st ave bridges and see how we do. Let’s put some incentives out to build up our medical resources here!

  • BJG May 1, 2021 (4:10 pm)

    Don’t expect Community Roots Housing to develop properties that are any more palatable than what already exist in The Junction. Check their website. They maximize the space and add little visual appeal. They build blocks of apartments. Forget the setbacks. Forget the mini parks. This is on the cheap which is their goal. Believe what you see, not the pretty fantasies.

  • CMB May 1, 2021 (4:39 pm)

    This so easy… lease the property to a developer.  New building has underground parking for local merchants, housing above.  Win-Win.  

  • Adam May 1, 2021 (5:14 pm)

    I’m all for it. Why is the junction so great? Because the density around it makes it an attractive place to have a business, so we get great bars, restaurants, and shops. The recent additions have been great (Mystery Made, Seattle e-bike, Supreme Pizza etc). More density = more cool stuff = my property value and quality of life continuing to go up!

  • Rowan May 1, 2021 (5:21 pm)

    No, please no.  Please don’t ruin the West Seattle junction. The ability to park in those lots supports Junction businesses. Without it, we will lose those businesses.  I know I won’t go there without a place to park easily. That’s what those lots do for the Junction. 

    • Ice May 2, 2021 (10:56 am)

      There will still be plenty of parking. You just have to pay for it.

  • klc May 1, 2021 (5:22 pm)

    I hope the development of these sites will be done thoughtfully. Density will keep the merchants going until huge rent increases force them out. Unfortunately, lots of money moving in — as it has the past decade — will mean a change in the character of a place. All chains, no mom & pops. You lose the book stores, the shoe repair shops, kitchen stores, drugstores, produce markets. Useful places. Pretty soon, you might as well be in San Jose. And by the way, maybe the reason no one parks at the pay parking lots now is because the payment machines don’t work. Three of us got back in our cars and drove off the lot today in the Junction because the machine was non responsive. Crazy. Put parking meters in if you can’t do better than that. I, for one, will never use my phone to pay for parking.

  • DH May 1, 2021 (5:29 pm)

    Well with the lack of parking at the Junction maybe some businesses can occupy the empty stores at WestWood Village? Plenty of parking there. It could seriously use some non-fast foodish options too. 

  • Disappointed May 1, 2021 (10:53 pm)

    What does “affordable housing” mean? I’m sure there will be stipulations on who qualifies for an apartment in the affordable housing apartments. None of us that live in west seattle would qualify. Where will people that already live in west seattle park to buy from local businesses after they take the parking lots to build their “Affordable housing”? There is not enough on street parking as it is and they would be building these Affordable housing apartments with many more people moving into west seattle. People will have to move out of west seattle or buy on amazon or online. They will not be able to support the local businesses. Very sad. West Seattle will become Downtown Seattle but with NO place to park. Guess it will be time to move if they decide to build these Affordable housing Apartments. Very disappointed. 

    • JohnW May 2, 2021 (6:33 am)

      The Sky is Falling!

    • Diane May 2, 2021 (3:08 pm)

      wow!!! really???  there are 1,000’s of folks who live in WS, who have lived in WS for many years, who would qualify for “affordable housing”; and yes we work & shop in the neighborhood 

    • Diane May 2, 2021 (3:22 pm)

      unfortunately the “affordable housing” via CHH (I wasn’t aware until this story they’ve rebranded as Community Roots Housing) is NOT actually affordable for 1,000’s in need in West Seattle; the minimum required income is too high for most who need real-affordable-housing; for instance, many seniors in WS are struggling to survive on small Social Security Retirement Income of $1,000 or less per month, way below the min income required to rent one of these apts; and the wait list for SHA (actual affordable) senior housing is 6+ years

    • CAM May 2, 2021 (10:27 pm)

      Sorry, are you really saying that it would be bad to have affordable housing because people of lower income won’t be able to spend as much money at businesses and will take up space that your car could occupy instead?

  • bolo May 1, 2021 (11:15 pm)

    No to more ugly bland buildings. Yes to off-leash dog park! Think of all the vibrancy that will add!

    Seriously, is the need for more housing greater than the need for more off-leash dog parks?

  • Owen May 2, 2021 (7:51 am)

    Why are property taxes being charged to the lots that were free forcing them to charge for parking to cover the taxes.?The free parking was a benefit to local businesses

    • Ice May 2, 2021 (11:00 am)

      Because parking lots are not churches.

      • Jort May 3, 2021 (10:03 am)

        Ooooo you might think differently given how fervently and religiously people believe in them!

  • Henry George May 2, 2021 (11:38 am)

    This is a great example of land increasing in value beyond what it can produce in its current use and the choices that are possible. If that land sells for $15M, the chance of any affordable housing being built there is slim to none. If the developer already has that much sunk into the project before she turns over the first shovel of dirt and has to contend with parking minimums/subsidized car storage and zoning limits, it will be luxe units out of reach of anyone but speculator/investors. What if instead the owners offered the land as a leasehold, setting an annual rate of $500,000 with a 2% annual increase? Total ballpark figure but it covers the annual taxes and anticipates when the new basis will be after development That lowers the upfront and carrying cost of the land and allows the owners to hold it. An annual rent of $500,000 would pay more than $20M over the course of a 30 year leasehold term, $43M over a 50 year term and $152M over a 99 year term  (10 times the current assessed sale/projected sale price). You can easily make your own example in a Google sheet or Excel using the future value function. A surface parking lot is the worst possible use of land in any city, but especially one as constrained as Seattle. We only have 85 square miles to work with yet the city population continues to expand, forcing up the cost of land (your property taxes are more to do with that than your home, as a look at the King County property tax rolls will show) and making it harder for people who live and work here to buy in. If commercial parcels like this were offered under leasehold, they would be put to far better use, housing and employing people vs languishing as car storage for people who can’t parallel park.There are surface parking lots all over downtown Seattle and the worst example of all is the old SPD headquarters — a full city block, unused and for many years unsold, because the city wanted to sell it. And now it still sits vacant, right across from city hall (how do the mayor and council feel when they see that?) when it could have been developed 10 years ago, making more money in property taxes and commercial uses than as a hole in the ground. 

    • JohnW May 2, 2021 (2:52 pm)

      Good analysis of commercial for-profit real estate. 
      However, the Junction  parking lots story is more about a well established  non-profit developer that receives loans from the city  to build low income housing.  
      Their program proved successful   in downtown neighborhoods  more costly than West Seattle.

  • Mariem May 2, 2021 (11:40 am)

    Dog parks? Nothing against dogs and owners, but how many in the community want a bunch of barking playing dogs in a fenced in area in the middle of the junction? I think there surely must be better parts of the peninsula to build something Iike this. I understand there is a need for off leash play areas. 

    • Foop May 3, 2021 (11:02 am)

      In all fairness I’d love if people kept their loud children out of my breweries, but alas we live in society with other people and others needs.

    • Admiral Neighbor May 3, 2021 (6:10 pm)

      I live within a block of Muttley Crew Cuts at the Admiral Junction and, at least twice a day, all I can hear is barking dogs.  I assume this is drop off and pickup times. You do not want a dog park or business  in the middle of the Alaska Junction!

  • flimflam May 2, 2021 (2:24 pm)

    forgive my ignorance, but how does a “non-profit” generate nearly $15 million dollars?

    • WSB May 2, 2021 (2:54 pm)

      As noted in the story, they are expecting a city-backed loan. If you’re curious about their finances in general, nonprofits are required to file reports that are publicly available.

    • AN May 3, 2021 (8:36 am)

      Non-profits raise funds via donors, grants, foundations, etc. They invest those funds. Those investments reap financial gains. They re-invest those gains. Wash, rinse, repeat. “Non-profit” doesn’t mean “destitute”.

  • Ms Tawanda May 2, 2021 (3:15 pm)

    The hybrid lot at Pharmica on Alaska is a good compromise,  income generating spots for longer visits, and free city regulated short term spots for local folks doing business in the hood. Also, everybody needs someplace to come home to. The Highpoint model is a great start for West Seattle and should be expanded.

  • Zak May 2, 2021 (6:11 pm)

    Just no.. The parking lots are the main place for many drivers getting up to the Junction. Public transportation isn’t adequate for most of West Seattle to get there and so driving is the main option. Take away the parking, and streets will be more crowded with cars effecting everyone who lives in the surrounding area. It’s already obvious that is the case since they decided to add paid parking. We don’t need more apartments making West Seattle denser… 

  • Jort May 3, 2021 (10:09 am)

    One of my absolute favorite comments is how people just casually and easily throw out, “Oh, they should just be required to build free underground parking structures.” That is a great big giant LOL. Most folks have no idea the astronomically expensive costs of building underground parking. Even if that parking were to be built, there is no market force on the planet that would allow for it to be free for people. That is an absolute and total joke. Here’s the deal: if people think they can make more money off your car being parked there, then there will be a parking lot. If people think they can make more money off actual human beings living in housing on that land, then they’ll build that. Guess which one makes more money? Not your car. Your decision to drive a car everywhere is already massively subsidized by all of society. Prepare to see some of that subsidization shrinking. Bye cars! Bye!    

    • jack May 3, 2021 (4:42 pm)

      Here’s the deal: if people think they can make more money off your car being parked there, then there will be a parking lot. “Well, it worked for decades.

  • WSD1 May 3, 2021 (10:50 am)

    Wow, the crazy, hateful reptilians are turning out in droves for this thread!  Of course they’re all freaked out about losing some free parking for themselves.  What else matters?  They already have their house to live in after all, screw everyone else.  Rational development be damned.  Society be damned.  I guess they’ll just have to relocate to a compound in rural Idaho, somewhere they feel safe from other people.  What a shame that’ll be for the rest of us.

  • max34 May 3, 2021 (12:38 pm)

    Yes.  best thing you can do with that space, 100% support from this resident near the Junction.  i absolutely use those parking lots, and i know many folks do as well, but this is the highest and best use for the land.   80% of the time those lots are well under capacity anyway.   

  • Rhea Molloy May 3, 2021 (3:17 pm)

    Having lived there for many years…this seems like a TOTALLY reasonable use of the space. It was already hard to park there before, I can’t imagine it has improved any in the decade since. A scooter, bike, stroll, or bus worked fine…some back alley pull-through pickups for businesses, and done!

  • CSMM May 3, 2021 (5:15 pm)

    What a shame that West Seattle has lost the thing that most supported its thriving village businesses: convenient, free parking! How likely is it that I will stop at the Junction to buy a quick card at NW Art and Frame, a taco at Guaymus, a croissant at Bakery Nouveau, an ice cream cone at Husky Den, etc., when the cost of parking will be almost as much as my purchase? How likely is it that I will stop at the Junction for purchases large and small several times a week or month, as I used to do, when I have to pay for parking each time? I am guessing that the nearly empty parking lots indicate that, like me, a lot of West Seattlites are just skipping the Junction shops now rather than deal with the hassle and cost. Personally, I would far rather have paid a bit extra to the local businesses more for my purchases than to pay a meter fee to a faceless parking lot operation. I bet that the businesses are seeing a huge downturn in customers. I’m afraid paid parking spells the end of the Junction we all know and love.

    • RGW May 5, 2021 (12:31 pm)

      What the Junction merchants should do is offer one-hour free parking in the lots, then charge $1.00/hour after that. That would allow people to do short errands (like running into Husky’s to buy milk or whatever) without adding to the cost of their purchases,  street-parking congestion would be lessened, and the lots would have more cars parking there to earn them revenue.

  • CSMM May 3, 2021 (5:19 pm)

    What will the height of the new buildings be? Probably monstrous, because the developer will be “providing” parking!!

    • WSB May 3, 2021 (5:27 pm)

      The tallest zoning for any of the lots (and surrounding properties) is 95′. That’s roughly the same as the tallest building in The Junction now, Alaska House, immediately south of the 42nd SW lot (official description for it is 9 stories over 2 floors parking).

  • Auntie May 3, 2021 (7:07 pm)

    While I’m not a fan of more density in the Junction, I have to say that the dog park idea is the goofiest thing I’ve heard so far. There is a perfectly good off-leash dog park at Westcrest that is rarely crowded. You can also take your dog for a nice on-leash walk at Lincoln Park or along Alki. 

    • bolo May 3, 2021 (11:16 pm)

      Not so goofy when you consider the Junction (and nearby areas) is the densest part of W. Seattle combined with the fact that this area’s newest residents are expected not to have cars so how are they supposed to get their dogs over to Westcrest Park? Remember pets not allowed on buses.

      And don’t forget West Seattle needs more vibrancy! We hear that all the time, do we not? What could be more vibrant than happy free-running frolicking dogs jump-catching frisbees and tennis balls?

  • Human Guy May 3, 2021 (9:32 pm)

    West Seattle needs MORE parking lots not fewer! Tear down and pave Easy Street! Bakery Nouveau often has a line, I don’t like waiting! Make it a parking lot! We have PLENTY of craftsman houses, if we leveled every other one, think of how many more Honda Odysseys we could pack in here! Schmitz Park? No! Schmitz Parking Lot! I’m all for AFFORDABLE housing but won’t someone think of the FREE parking?

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