DEVELOPMENT: What will the future of The Junction’s parking lots look like? Your opinion sought

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

The four West Seattle Junction Association-leased parking lots will eventually be redeveloped. The question isn’t if, but when – and, into what? The Junction and Community Roots Housing, which has made a $14 million city-backed offer for the lots, want to hear your thoughts. They’re planning an online community open house next month. Here’s the announcement:

What could be the vision for the West Seattle Junction’s four paid parking lots? Find out and provide your valuable input and insight during the Virtual Open House on Thursday, October 21, 6:30 PM on Zoom.

See the initial architectural drawings from Ankrom Moisan (the same firm that designed the new Husky Deli building). Hear from Community Roots Housing, a local leader in affordable housing. Learn about the vision to build and sustain small businesses via the Small Business Incubator program from the director of the Junction.

We’ve got to a point where input from the community will be a guiding factor as we begin to craft the vision for the Junction parking parcels. Being within an Urban Village, the critical development decisions that will provide future generations of West Seattleites is here and now. The value of early community voices is important to build and sustain a downtown that will have vision, history, heart and soul. Without the power of your voices, the parcels could eventually befall to more canyon development overshadowing the long-standing hometown feeling of the Junction.

The meeting participation information – videoconferencing or by phone – is here. 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; Community Roots Housing will make a presentation to their board in late October.

81 Replies to "DEVELOPMENT: What will the future of The Junction's parking lots look like? Your opinion sought"

  • Concerned Neighbor September 14, 2021 (4:39 pm)

     Not that this matters, but we were life-long West Seattlites and recently moved out of WS because it is becoming too crowded, busy, unsafe, unsightly, crime-ridden.  Taking away parking, and adding more housing?  Really?  Alot of the new housing throughout the city is still unoccupied, and we still have tons of homeless.  West Seattle is truly becoming a “Little New York”, and it isn’t cool.  It broke our hearts to move, but felt the way WS is going is not progress.   Shameful….

    • CP September 14, 2021 (5:14 pm)

      “Alot of the new housing throughout the city is still unoccupied”Receipts, please! Rents are going back up because there are more people than housing. Anyway, good riddance!

    • CeeJay September 14, 2021 (5:15 pm)

      You sure you didn’t move out because your house’s value rose exponentially and you cashed out? If so, sounds like you benefited from it becoming “Little New York.”

    • dc September 14, 2021 (5:31 pm)

      Finally someone willing to admit that they followed through! We hear it so many times. “West Seattle is getting too big, too crowded, I’m just going to leave and it’s going to break my heart!” It’s nice to hear that someone with that voice has finally gone right ahead and done it. Well done you, for having the courage of your convictions. As for creating a bigger, better Seattle? You’ve done your part. We’ll take it from here. 

    • Phil Hansen September 14, 2021 (6:23 pm)

      I agree and I was about to move, but I decided not to let them push me out fight back with your votes and your actions.

    • WS resident September 14, 2021 (8:52 pm)

      It is technically more safe now, and I personally love West Seattle now, it’s more diverse, we have cooler business’ coming everyday. More room for us. 🎉🎉🎉 will you continue to read the west Seattle blog daily not living here? Seems odd to me. 

    • Peter September 15, 2021 (9:48 am)

      “Alot of the new housing throughout the city is still unoccupied.” Really? Please name one, just one, unoccupied building. I know you wouldn’t just be making stuff up …

    • Elton September 15, 2021 (12:33 pm)

      “Alot of the new housing throughout the city is still unoccupied”This needs a citation. What’s your source? The housing market is still quite strong here. If it wasn’t, we wouldn’t need affordable housing developments.

    • Jort September 15, 2021 (1:31 pm)

      Sorry, but I have to seriously laugh – literally – out loud at comparing West Seattle to a “little New York.” Have you been to New York? West Seattle is, at best, more realistically becoming a “Little Downtown Spokane.” And even Spokane has taller buildings than West Seattle. 

    • East Coast Cynic September 15, 2021 (1:51 pm)

      There’s a lot of Chinese food and subways in NY, which are virtually non-existent in West Seattle.

      • Yep September 15, 2021 (4:38 pm)

        Would love more of both of these. Chinese food and trains! 

  • Auntie September 14, 2021 (5:12 pm)

    Whatever it looks like, let’s hope it looks better than the building pictured above. What kind of architect designed that – a Lego specialist? It would be nice to have something other than cement blocks.

    • WSB September 14, 2021 (5:37 pm)

      The south side of that building (AJ Apartments) is something you see on a variety of sites – “blank wall” because there will eventually be another building rendering that wall out of view.

    • k September 15, 2021 (7:19 am)

      Definitely hope it’s better than what is pictured above. Underutilized paved car storage in one of the best areas in the neighborhood? No thanks!

  • Concerned September 14, 2021 (5:17 pm)

    Significant portions of West Seattle have no or very limited bus service so driving to the Junction for shopping and meals is the only way to access these services.  Part of this plan should include replacement public parking in these buildings.  Has there been a survey done to ascertain how many WS residents would be unable to get to the Junction if its limited to WS Junction residents or those with adequate bus service?  

    • dc September 14, 2021 (5:46 pm)

      You ask the wrong question — but touch on an important, related problem.Try this instead: “Has there been a survey done to ascertain how many new residents can access the Junction without cars once new housing replaces the parking lots? And how do we supercharge the bus network elsewhere in West Seattle in response?”Look on the bright side here. If the parking is gone, it’s the perfect catalyst. Step up for your bus network, folks — if you want it, then it wants you. (I want it. I hope it wants me. But that’s a different discussion.)

    • Rosey September 14, 2021 (6:07 pm)

      There’s garage parking at Safeway and QFC that is underutilized.

      • ACG September 14, 2021 (7:00 pm)

        The garage at QFC (and Whole Foods) are for customers only. They are not for you to park in and shop the rest of the Junction. 

    • My two cents. … September 14, 2021 (8:01 pm)

      @concerned their is a distinction between the current use of the land compared with what the land may be used for in the future.  Private parking lots cannot be mandated for “mitigation” for subsequent development, barring existing requirements for commercial and residential her zoning guidelines. 

    • Stuck in West Seattle September 15, 2021 (11:36 am)

      Agreed I would like to see something like the Whole Foods building where there is a lot of free parking. Sometimes you gotta drive. Simple as that.

  • JeffK September 14, 2021 (5:21 pm)

    Instead of more housing and mixed-use they should build dedicated office buildings and other business related spaces.  Too much commuting out every morning and back in the evening.  Base more business here so locals that won’t be work from home in the future have a chance to stay local during the day and not fill up the repaired bridge with traffic.

    • dc September 14, 2021 (5:41 pm)

      A thorny subject. Sure, I would love to not commute. But the pandemic has me working at home full time — problem solved. Unfortunately, the people who must continue to commute are those least likely to benefit from having an office building in the Junction. That said coming up with creative ideas that are outside the usual retail/housing should be absolutely entertained. What about an arts space? A startup incubation facility? Maybe get a higher education institution to come set up shop? Spaces dedicated to smaller operations like professional offices? Bring it, we can do something awesome

    • HS September 14, 2021 (7:22 pm)

      I too would love to see emphasis on professional office space. It’d be wonderful to have satellite offices in West Seattle for say MS, etc. That would increase foot traffic to local retail in the Junction.

  • bolo September 14, 2021 (5:32 pm)

    Off-leash dog park. Sorely needed. More than anything else imaginable. Can’t wait!

    • Marie m September 14, 2021 (6:33 pm)

      @ Bolo. Please no! 

    • Erithan September 15, 2021 (8:33 am)

      For the sake of those of us who live directly facing that lot and already have to deal with screaming, music and other noise from the alley and the park, please no!

  • Phil September 14, 2021 (5:57 pm)

    Since those of us refusing to pay for parking in the Junction are going elsewhere, more housing will make up for those not shopping there.

    • dc September 14, 2021 (8:31 pm)

      Courtesy of Phil: Here it is, your moment of zen

    • WS resident September 14, 2021 (8:55 pm)

      My business has never been busier. 🤷‍♀️

    • Jort September 15, 2021 (1:35 pm)

      Yeah, now that they charge for parking the Junction is totally a wasteland of dead, vacant storefronts. Why, tumbleweeds were seen blowing through just the other day, I may have even heard the eerie sound of a rattlesnake. Oh wait, it’s packed full of people every day, all the time, because — crazy, I know — unlimited free storage for private automobiles isn’t the most important part of a successful business.

  • Azimuth September 14, 2021 (5:58 pm)

    If they want dense family housing then more real, walkable, family park space is needed, and not some lame pocket park.

  • Ali September 14, 2021 (6:28 pm)

    The feeling of small town community is long goneback in the late 90s lots of promises about the development of the urban village, promises made promises not kept no matter what the developers will have their way and care squat about West Seattle, long time families realize this and now running after the benjaminsfor those of you who are relatively new trust me when I tell you both west Seattle and seattle in general was a great place to live and raise a family so many of us are looking to move out so for those without this historical perspective This will just become the new norm and acceptable 

    • Erithan September 15, 2021 (8:40 am)

      Well said, I’ve been here all my life, and agree 100%. It’s not what it used to be, and it breaks my heart. I’m looking to move too because the forced “city life” that is the area now vs the small town is killing my mental health, but sadly with costs what the are its impossible to find a place I can afford. 😔 

      • 2 Much Whine September 15, 2021 (9:23 am)

        I think there are some apartments coming available soon in Northern Idaho – could be a cheaper option.

    • Concerned Neighbor September 15, 2021 (6:36 pm)

       Thank you for understanding my perspective.  WS is no longer the WS I knew and loved growing up and raising my kids.  Driving down California Ave with the townhomes lining each side, there is no sunlight.  Can you imagine if they start building office buildings and go over the current limit of 4 stories?  We couldn’t take it.  Perhaps I was inadequate in comparing it to a “little New York”.  Maybe a better analogy would be “like Ballard”.  No thanks, and it greatly pains me to say that.

      • EJ September 16, 2021 (12:48 pm)

        I’m looking at moving too. Lived here most of my life but I’m not liking the direction this place is going. With a more generous telecommuting policy my office is now offering, there really is no reason to stick around here.

  • Hammer in Hand September 14, 2021 (6:36 pm)

    I once did a search of “property owner” via county parcel viewer by ran into a wall do you it being a trusti would like to know who is driving the bus

  • Wseattleite September 14, 2021 (7:12 pm)

    Curious, where is the proposed LR station planned to be?  What parking is planned for people who want to utilize it and cannot use the meager bus system in WS?

    • dc September 14, 2021 (8:30 pm)

      Question 1: The final nature and location of the station is undecided. Sound Transit is working on that now and I’m sure you’ll hear more about it in the future. Question 2: There will not be any parking, and what the bus network is today will bear little resemblance to what it will be once light rail actually opens. The bus network is likely to be dramatically changed once light rail actually shows up, much as it’s just about to do in North Seattle when the Northgate section of the train opens next month, and as it will soon on the Eastside in 2023 when the trains (hopefully) open to Bellevue and beyond. If you want to be able to take the bus to the train when it’s finally here, this is a good thing and please make sure you make your voice heard when Metro inevitably comes and starting asking around. It’ll be a while before that happens, though.

    • WS resident September 14, 2021 (8:58 pm)

      In 2040? We will be flying by then lol. With the land acquisition that has to take place for light rail to happen – the way markets are increasing I can’t really imagine it will ever happen. 

  • Mellow Kitty September 14, 2021 (9:07 pm)

    I believe we gave our opinion – keep the free parking for shoppers – it didn’t work. 

    • WS resident September 14, 2021 (10:06 pm)

      It was never free, someone else just paid for it. 

  • M B September 14, 2021 (9:21 pm)

    I believe there are three parking lots under discussion.  Correct me if I’m wrong.  Make them parks.  And within those parks an art display wall (focused around kids/teens) to display their work.  Also a more established performing area where the talented musicians who play on California can use.

    • WSB September 14, 2021 (9:40 pm)

      Four. Off 42nd south of Oregon, and three off 44th – at Oregon, at Alaska, and just north of Edmunds.

    • Anne September 15, 2021 (8:50 am)

      No

    • Yep September 15, 2021 (9:10 am)

      I like the idea of public space, but this doesn’t need to replace the idea for buildings. Ground floor outdoor performance space could be integrated with the buildings. I’d also support public work out equipment. Dog park with real drainage.

  • WS Fan September 14, 2021 (10:13 pm)

    The bigger and comprehensive conversation needs to include how and where lite rail connects WS to Seattle.  Most comments are not addressing this massive opportunity to ‘catch-up’ with transportation future needs. With all the talent and engineering in this community, surely there is a solution to transform ma ty be part or a couple of lots into mixed use station with parking still a part of that mixture.  Leave the emotions at home 😎

    • KJ September 15, 2021 (8:20 am)

      Exactly. If Sound Transit isn’t holding some of this space for the future light rail station, they are going to have to tear down brand new apartments to build it. Their sluggish bureaucratic process is costing us money. The best likely solution would be to use one of these lots for the light rail station with a new community plaza in front. Then on the other lots, build new low-to-medium income apartments with retail on the ground level to help activate the back alleyways and provide affordable housing. As an example, the Capitol Hill Station is so lively now, with a nice big plaza for their farmers market and events.

  • TM7302 September 14, 2021 (11:02 pm)

    So…  CRH gets a 100% deferred interest loan of $14.5M backed by the City for the property and then a couple of years down the road, the City decides they’ll put the light rail station where the parking lots are.  Then the City will take the property back via imminent domain and pay millions more for the property.  Sounds like a win-win for everyone…

    • WSB September 14, 2021 (11:56 pm)

      (a) “The City” does not decide where the light rail station will be. Sound Transit does.
      (b) The parking lot sites are not under consideration as station locations. The sites that are being studied in the out-soon Draft EIS are further east and/or south.

  • WSLum September 15, 2021 (6:39 am)

    Keep in mind, these are privately lots owned by a semi shadow organization called the  West Seattle Trusteed Properties. The people who are part of this organization are driving this, not the city.  It obvious this blog post has been carefully orchestrated. Clearly, the city has a role to play as the tax assessments on the lots have not doubt increased dramatically. The taxes need to be paid by the Trust, and ultimately, by the people behind the trust. That said, they are still private land and it would be refreshing if the board members of the Trust spoke during the Virtual Open house and took questions from the audience. I doubt this will happen as its not in their best interest to do so. 

  • Thomas September 15, 2021 (6:44 am)

    Pro-housing, but I do yearn for more public space in the Junction. It needs a square where people can commiserate away from sidewalk traffic. People complaining about growth though seem unaware that the Junction was a patch of dirt a little over 100 years ago. Its legacy is growth and progress. Let’s focus on guiding it, not obstructing it.

  • West dad September 15, 2021 (7:23 am)

    So the Husky Deli building is going to be changed? I missed that story. What’s the scoop on this? (Couldn’t resist) 

    • WSB September 15, 2021 (9:42 am)

      That is a reference to the future Husky Deli project at 4747 California SW, which we’ve covered many times, most recently that it’s on hold for a while.

  • Margo September 15, 2021 (8:19 am)

    Whatever happens – I’m not going to the Junction regularly now that parking is so expensive until the pandemic is over. I can’t take the kids and make it an outing, I’m not getting on the bus with them. Making this switch in the middle of a pandemic wasn’t a great choice. 

    • James September 15, 2021 (10:46 am)

      I feel like kids shouldn’t be the priority of a strip desperately needed for nightlight. Adult nightlife. 

    • HS September 15, 2021 (11:40 am)

      Come back Margo! You are mistaken. Parking is about $1 an hour at the Junction or I have been able to find free street parking as well.

    • 2 Much Whine September 15, 2021 (12:05 pm)

      I seriously hate paying for parking in lots that used to be free but I totally understand why they are now charging, AND it’s $2 for 2 hours.  Is that what you mean by “now that parking is so expensive?”  What are you shopping for if you don’t have $2 to spare?  I get that the old way was better for the consumer but is $2 really so much? 

      • Mark B September 15, 2021 (6:38 pm)

        $2 for 2 hours is cheap, sure. But picking up takeout for dinner when a space on California can’t be found? $5 for the “evening rate” even if you’re there 5 minutes.  And yes I paid it last time versus chancing it as the parking lot monitor was on site. 

        • Stuck in West Seattle September 16, 2021 (12:01 pm)

          Yeah Mark makes a valid point. It should be free for the first 30 min at least. If I pop in to BN to grab a baguette then adding 2 dollars for a 10 min errand makes that much more expensive and leads me to not shop there anymore in lieu of a bakery or other store with parking. So it really harms the merchants. That said there should be time limits on the parking if free so its not hogged up all day.

          • Steve September 17, 2021 (12:43 am)

            You’re spending $4.50 for a single baguette, whats another $2?Of course, you can go to the BN in Kent. Oh wait, there isn’t one. And if there was, if it worth driving an hour to save $2 on your amazing overpriced loaf of bread?

  • Erithan September 15, 2021 (8:36 am)

    So how does it work if they build more useless housing there for people living in adjacent buildings? Will we have our light blocked and other windows feet from our own? To clarify I say useless as there are a ton of buildings that aren’t filled up, and nothing is being built that is affordable for people at the lowest income levels or homeless. 

    • WSB September 15, 2021 (9:39 am)

      I’m sorry that people haven’t followed the past coverage but that’s one of the issues/possibilities here. If this is built with city-backed funding there WILL be affordable housing incorporated.

      • Erithan September 15, 2021 (10:56 pm)

        Appreciate the info, out of curiosity what is considered “affordable” in this situation. Would people who are on living on 600-1k (SS recipients) a month be able to afford it?

        • WSB September 15, 2021 (11:09 pm)

          I don’t have the specifics but based on the projects the city Office of Housing has been involved with in the past, the answer is likely yes.

  • James September 15, 2021 (10:45 am)

    Low income housing please. I am sick of seeing people suffer on the streets. Let’s help them out. There’s enough places to put parking and dog parks. Let’s put people first. 

  • Scubafrog September 15, 2021 (12:10 pm)

    I love that WS is  phasing out parking.  We need to make WS Green!  Take a bus, ride a bike, take the water taxi + walk.  I hope parking is obscenely expensive; We’ve got to usher in light rail and gently urge drivers towards public transpo. 

    • Parent September 15, 2021 (11:55 pm)

      Five bags of groceries for my family on a bike? Let’s try thinking of everyone’s life, not just your own. 

      • heartless September 16, 2021 (10:22 am)

        Oh, that’s totally doable.  I suggest stopping by a local bike shop and asking them for advice if you are a) serious about biking and b) concerned you won’t be able to tote 5 bags.

        But if you’re not serious then please just be quiet and continue to avail yourself of all the free, dedicated grocery store parking lots.

      • Lagartija Nick September 16, 2021 (10:27 am)

        Pretty ironic flex to admonish someone to think about “everyone’s life” while only focusing on your own. Oh, and EVERY SINGLE major grocery store in West Seattle, including the three in the Junction, offer FREE parking lots. 

      • Ice September 16, 2021 (1:40 pm)

        You can also just have your groceries delivered to your house if you don’t have a car.

  • anonyme September 15, 2021 (12:50 pm)

    Perfect spot for something West Seattle desperately needs – a hospital. 
    In addition to providing WS with an essential service, this would also provide a lot of local jobs and plenty of business for Junction merchants and restaurants. With the new Swedish offices right down the street, it couldn’t be more convenient.

  • skeeter September 15, 2021 (12:53 pm)

    I refuse to pay for parking.  I stick it to the man by biking or walking to the junction.  

  • shotinthefoot September 15, 2021 (3:11 pm)

    I’d happily pay for parking if my money was going to the Junction Association….but instead it’s going straight to crooked Diamond Parking. No thanks! 

    • WSB September 15, 2021 (3:26 pm)

      Part of the money goes to Diamond (which has always managed the lots and also got compensation for that even when park’ers were not charged). The Junction Association gets some revenue.

  • lagerratrobe September 16, 2021 (8:44 am)

    I refuse to pay for parking in the Junction, which means that for takeout I now take my business to White Center and Burien. I do ride my bike into the Junction occasionally and it would be nice if California Ave. didn’t feel like such a death trap to ride on. West Seattle has definitely become gentrified in the past 10-15 years. Some of that brings definite perks like greater diversity of options, but it’s hard to see how luxury apartments that cater to young tech workers are going to help solve housing shortages. And I second the comment above about how unreasonable it is to expect someone to come home with 5 shopping bags on a bike or in the bus. I regularly cycle with 2, in a rack, but there are still plenty of things that need a car and it feels like the Junction is no longer the place for those. Fortunately, the grocery stores in the Junction realize that and still have their own private parking.

    • Ice September 16, 2021 (2:00 pm)

      “It’s hard to see how luxury apartments that cater to young tech workers are going to help solve housing shortages.” It’s because housing is a zero-sum game. You either have a house or you don’t. There is a limited, hard-capped supply. Everyone is competing with each other. More available units means more places to live. High-income people will always win out over low-income people in a competition of who gets the living-space. Giving tech workers a place to live will reduce the demand on more affordable/less-desirable housing. We have no shortage of high income workers looking for places to live in this city, so it’s naive to think that we shouldn’t let the market build them housing. Luxury apartments are only one piece of the housing puzzle and they won’t solve the problem alone, but they are FAR from useless. Again, more units = more places for people to live

  • Mark September 16, 2021 (1:14 pm)

    There is no such thing as free parking. There is no such thing as free parking. There is no such thing as free parking.You pay for it through taxes (streets) or the costs of goods you buy (retailers) or in rent that you pay for housing.The Junction lots (that just recently started charging a fee) are owned by local property owners who pass on the costs of these lots to their retail and housing tenants and/or the prices of their goods. There is no free parking and there never has been.

  • D September 19, 2021 (12:16 am)

    Potentially unpopular opinion here, but go vertical (or underground), charge for parking with a 3 hour validation from businesses, and offer monthly passes for park and ride users. Aside from recent health concerns, the biggest challenge with mass transit is the bus line between individual houses and downtown/the junction. I would happily pay $50/month for easy access to the C line so I’m not waiting an hour for the one bus between downtown and my house that only runs during peak hours.

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