Peak rebranding for 1307 Harbor Avenue SW, as much of its space goes up for lease

(WSB photo)

A new chapter – and new name – for one of West Seattle’s most distinctive new buildings.

Thanks to Stewart L. for the tip about the new “For Lease” sign at 1307 Harbor Avenue SW (across from Don Armeni Boat Ramp), completed last year and built primarily as a “campus” for a Korea-based apparel firm, with offices, “light manufacturing” space, and even housing units. Its planning and construction drew extra attention because one of the buildings demolished to make way for it held a longtime West Seattle dive bar, the Alki Tavern (closed in 2013, but not torn down until four years later). The project was completed last year, and at least one business tenant has moved in (WSB sponsor Lake Washington Physical Therapy) – and suddenly it’s seeking one or more new tenants for 21,000 square feet of space – which, according to project documents, is the entirety of the office and “light manufacturing” space.

Digging into the online listing, we find the building now has a name, Denali (after the highest mountain in North America). Office and deck space is offered for lease (here’s the brochure) on five of its floors.

We inquired with the listing brokers to see what happened to the original plan; so far, no reply. We also have a message out to a local executive of the entity that built the project. We’ll update if we get any responses. The listing indicates the spaces are available separately or together – from 2,100 square feet up to the entire 21,000.

SIDE NOTE: Before getting news of the lease listing, we had been researching something else about the building:

Back when the project was going through Design Review, one feature that drew positive comments was a promised “hillclimb” stairway that the public would be able to use to cut through the building from Harbor Avenue to California Way. This spring, we received two inquiries from people who noticed the stairway hadn’t been built and wondered if it was to be added later. Answer: No. We read through dozens of project documents and found one showing the stairway was removed from the plan in 2018. The revision, approved by the city, said that while part of the stairway was “to be supported on old residential foundations,” those foundations were found to be in “no condition to support additional loads.” They couldn’t find a way around it, adding, “Furthermore, SDOT limitations to access to adjoining California Way SW and the steep slope complicates exponentially the construction of this stair.”

16 Replies to "Peak rebranding for 1307 Harbor Avenue SW, as much of its space goes up for lease"

  • CarDriver June 3, 2021 (12:44 pm)

    WSB. Is there any off street parking for employees/customers? Are there actually any housing units? 

    • WSB June 3, 2021 (1:43 pm)

      24,000 sf of housing was part of the plan. What’s up for lease now does not include that space so I don’t know its fate. And there were supposed to be 40 parking spaces including a lift to access them but that’s behind closed garage doors so I can’t verify.

      • Osprey June 3, 2021 (6:16 pm)

        During construction there appeared to be a vehicle sized lift in the concrete floor of each side of the garage. Since there is a lower level, assumably more parking spaces exist below.

        I’ve wondered why the stairway was never built, especially since the handrail is still in place.

        I have also spoken briefly out in front with people who say they live there.

  • OneTimeCharley June 3, 2021 (1:28 pm)

    Bait and switch on the stairs, along with some fictitious light industrial/commercial space usage to get past city permitting, then voila…obfuscated original building intent achieved.  Let’s just say this method is tried and true by the one who stood to gain.

    • Joe Z June 3, 2021 (3:48 pm)

      They should have been allowed to build what they wanted in the first place and not waste time and money trying to get around design review. The free market finds a way. 

      • OneTimeCharley June 3, 2021 (5:10 pm)

        I’m sure that wouldn’t result (sarcasm) in a huge ‘Tide Box’ looking building, which maximizes profit with zero regard for the surrounding community’s well-being. No thanks.

        • K June 3, 2021 (6:22 pm)

          Who cares what the surrounding community thinks? Unless it’s their money or land, they shouldn’t have a say in what is built as long as it’s the scope of local law and up to code. Perhaps some even like new “boxes” and think Craftsman homes are ugly (gasp!)

          • Joe Z June 4, 2021 (7:49 am)

            Charley, can you elaborate on how the shape of a building effects the “community’s well being”? Thanks. 

      • OneTimeCharley June 4, 2021 (2:15 pm)

        The open space on this particular building, with stairwell connecting to the road above, was lauded as helping the community by connecting the shoreline with the neighborhood uphill of the building. I didn’t come up with that, the developers/designers did. They also used it in their presentation to the design review board as I recall from reading here on WSB. If it does not improve the community’s well-being, then why was it specifically mentioned as a feature that would be an improvement? Also, building design and urban planning obviously impacts community well-being. I thought we had proven that with the failure of Cabrini-Green in Chicago. Also to K above, design review IS within the ‘scope of local law’ otherwise it wouldn’t be undertaken at all. It helps build better buildings, which contribute in a large way to building better communities. Sorry if the inclusion of design review is inconvenient, but for the system to work best, it should be uncommon for there to be changes post-approval. For some though, this is the go-to strategy for quick approval; promise the world and deliver something quite different.

        • Joe Z June 5, 2021 (9:50 pm)

          Why would a privately owned building have any obligation to promote the community well being beyond the fact that they are adding both homes and businesses to the community? Design review does nothing except add time and expense to new projects. Would the staircase have been nice? Yes, of course, but it’s inclusion or exclusion shouldn’t have any influence on whether a design gets approved. 

          • OneTimeCharley June 5, 2021 (11:09 pm)

            Yes, you have stated that already, and I have tried (per your request) to give you both an example of why it’s important, and point out that our community (the city) has decided too that it is important. Best wishes.

  • Rick June 3, 2021 (3:38 pm)

    That’s how we do it here.

  • WGA June 3, 2021 (10:53 pm)

    Thanks for the answer about the proposed stairs behind the building. I drove up California a couple of months ago and noticed it had not been built and was wondering why not. To be honest, my first reaction when seeing the preliminary designs was that it was sort of a stair to nowhere. I’m not surprised that it was axed somewhere along the way.

  • EmptyCorp June 4, 2021 (8:38 am)

    The owners are Youngone Corp. They are one of the wealthiest Korean companies and are one of two global companies that manufacture high tech fabrics for companies that produce high-end sportswear such as North Face.   They also own 80% of Outdoor Research. They employ a very small number of Seattle employees as most of their work happens abroad. The chance that the community stairs were ever happening are slim to none. Let’s just say they are not known for their community engagement. You can see their other multi-million $ building in front of Marination with their name on it. It sits largely empty with just a few  employees. 

    • alki_2008 June 11, 2021 (5:42 pm)

      Their “other” building that’s a single-family residence?  Why would an SFR have any employees at all?

  • N admiral June 4, 2021 (10:42 pm)

    They couldn’t find a way to make the staircase work, but they figured out the rest of the building on the steep slope. How interesting.  Any civil firm could have come up with a piling design to support the stairway, this is a total bait and switch. Disappointed in Seattle permitting dept. for buying that load of bull.

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