2 DAYS AWAY: Here’s what you’ll see at West Seattle Junction ‘parking lots’ future’ meeting Thursday

As first announced last month, and as we reminded you Sunday, this Thursday brings an online community meeting focused on the future of the four West Seattle Junction sites long used as parking lots. They’ve been zoned for mixed-use development for decades, and now the question is not whether they’ll be redeveloped, but who will do it and how. The West Seattle Junction Association is convening Thursday night’s meeting with prospective purchaser Community Roots Housing, which has just sent this:

Community Roots Housing, in partnership with the West Seattle Junction Association (WSJA), is proposing plans for a redevelopment of four parking lots in West Seattle. On October 21, the organizations will host a virtual community meeting to gather input on the proposal.

The redevelopment plans would convert the four parking lots into affordable housing, including one building for senior housing, a 6,500 square-foot business incubator space, and replacement public parking. The housing would service incomes at or below 60% of the area median income. “At Community Roots Housing, we believe in community-led development,” said Christopher Persons, CEO of Community Roots Housing. “We are committed to listening to and responding to the needs and priorities of the West Seattle neighborhood while creating more affordable homes to combat the Seattle housing crisis.”

Currently, the lots are owned by the West Seattle Trusteed Properties and managed by WSJA. In April, Community Roots Housing submitted an offer to purchase the parking lots at the appraised value of the land. The City of Seattle Office of Housing has agreed to provide an acquisition loan to buy the property and convert the parking lots into affordable housing. The landowner is expected to take a vote on the sale at an October 28 member meeting.

“Input from the community will be a guiding factor as we begin to craft the vision for the Junction parking parcels,” said Lora Radford, Executive Director of the West Seattle Junction Association. “Being within an urban village, the critical development decisions that will impact 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.”

Community Roots Housing is a mission-based Public Development Authority chartered in the City of Seattle that creates affordable and workforce housing. Over the past year, Community Roots has been in community and stakeholder discussions about the property. “West Seattle Junction is the beating heart of the neighborhood, and we have a generational opportunity to transform and strengthen this community by welcoming new affordable housing, senior housing, expanded community space, and a small business incubator,” said City Councilmember Lisa Herbold. “I’m excited to see these plans begin to take shape under the leadership of the West Seattle Junction Association and Community Roots Housing. I look forward to learning more and hearing from community members at Thursday’s open house.”

Information for watching/listening to/participating in Thursday’s 6:30 pm meeting is on this WSJA webpage. The meeting agenda includes presentations from WSJA, Community Roots Housing, and architects Ankrom Moisan, as well as a period for community questions/comments.

26 Replies to "2 DAYS AWAY: Here's what you'll see at West Seattle Junction 'parking lots' future' meeting Thursday"

  • Erithan October 19, 2021 (6:38 pm)

    Sad to me they’re not lowering the threshold, 60% is pretty high compared to anyone on ssi/ssdi or homeless. It won’t help those who need it most….

    • Shar October 20, 2021 (6:51 pm)

      The proposal says at or below 60%.

  • oerthehill October 19, 2021 (7:07 pm)

    I’m not very knowledgeable on the subject, but wouldn’t this kill the restaurants taking away all that parking? I know the lots aren’t used much during the day, but it just seems like restaurants will suffer the most with dinner crowds with these changes. The development here always brings to mind the changes I’ve seen in the Capitol Hill neighborhood over the years.

    • Brian October 19, 2021 (7:24 pm)

      I doubt it. There’s more and more dense housing going in around that area where they have plenty of foot traffic to keep them busy. If you take away the parking lots and replace them with even more adjacent dense housing it will just continue to encourage that trend. moreover, restaurants on cap hill are doing fine?

    • Some guy October 19, 2021 (7:51 pm)

      I’m only going by the diagram on the post but it looks like 2 of the sites will have underground parking. It might blunt some of the loss of the parking lots.

    • Ice October 19, 2021 (9:52 pm)

      This would probably not have a negative effect on businesses. There is still going to be parking at the junction, and there will be a new customer-base living in these buildings. I just hope they make a serious commitment to improving the walkability of the area. The junction is already quite nice to walk around and maintaining and improving public pedestrian-only access where these lots are would make the junction even nicer. I am a bit disappointed that one of these lots isn’t being turned into a plaza area. That’s what the junction is really missing.

      • Anne October 20, 2021 (7:59 am)

        Junction has one-Junction Plaza.

        • Ice October 20, 2021 (11:09 am)

          If you are referring to the tiny park next to QFC on Alaska, that has to be one of the worst parks in the city in my opinion. It’s the size of a postage stamp, and it is on a road which cars and buses frequently idle on. The noise pollution and smell of that park from the cars alone is enough to ruin it. Any of the junction lots would make a far better park than that.

          • WSB October 20, 2021 (12:06 pm)

            Just a reminder that The Junction already has another future park, on 40th SW between Edmunds and Alaska, one of the landbanked sites for which park development is on hold )along with, in West Seattle, the Morgan Junction Park addition and 48th/Charlestown).

  • Joe Z October 19, 2021 (9:19 pm)

    The Junction is poorly designed so removing these lots is at least a step in the right direction. It feels like some outdated relic out of the 1970s. Five lanes of California used for cars and zero for anything else. The street design does not favor walking…you are incentivized to drive to the one place you need to go and then get out of there. Maybe someday they will allow a bike lane within a quarter-mile of California. Or open up more than one block for the farmers market. One can dream… 

    • AF12 October 20, 2021 (9:11 am)

      Some people only think that bike and bike lanes are solutions for overall people and commerce mobility.  Cars are here to stay especially electric cars!  I suggest the new buildings in general reduce their bike storage and add more commercial space.  In addition, wider sidewalk width is good for more pedestrian use and gives opportunity for outdoor seating in case of cafe use and such.  Furthermore,  mid-block connections are ideal for overall pedestrian circulation.

      • Jort October 20, 2021 (11:11 am)

        No city in the entirety of human history on this planet – none – has successfully paired growth in population with growth in automobile usage. Many have tried, none have succeeded, and Seattle will not be the first city on this planet to make this work. Personal automobile as a percentage of transportation in this city is already dropping, and it will continue to drop as this city grows. 

      • Jennifer October 20, 2021 (11:19 am)

        Reduce bike storage? Are you insane? Cars are what need to go. And Tesla has infinite problems bubbling up. I wouldn’t default assume electric cars are a mainstay over public transit and ebikes. Cars take up too much space in our society. Rid them. 

    • Jay October 20, 2021 (9:11 am)

      Yeah, it would be nice to be able to safely bike California Ave. Seems like a perfect candidate for bike lanes. The steep drop-offs make it often a pain or sweaty ordeal to ride the side streets. Plus going to restaurants and bars and places like Meeples would be easier if you could see where they are when you’re biking to them as opposed to a block or two away going parallel.

      • Jort October 20, 2021 (11:14 am)

        Jay, you are correct, California Ave. is the perfect street to bike, just like Fauntleroy. Perhaps you’ve noticed those streets have the most gentle grade in the peninsula. Guess why? It’s because those streets were originally used for streetcars, which couldn’t handle steep hills. When they foolishly ripped out the streetcars and began our century-long failed experiment with automobiles, they reallocated the streets space to become car arterials. This can be re-allocated back to sustainable transportation methods, the only consequence would be hurt feelings. No need to route bikes through horrible “neighborhood greenways” that go up and down hills, just remove the cars from California and replace it with protected bike and transit lanes.

  • Dani October 20, 2021 (4:58 am)

    Cars will continue to find parking the illusion that condos don’t have cars is just that a illusion so renters and visitors will continue to migrate into the single family neighborhoods to park.  Not saying if that’s good or bad but the developers saying that no parking is needed for residents is rooted in their profit margins, so you achieve even more density and traffic 

  • Anne October 20, 2021 (8:26 am)

    The Junction will eventually be an outdoor mall-accessible only to those that can bike or walk to it.Yes there is transit too- but many who live outside the core of West Seattle can have a hard time getting to  stops to use it.  Weather is a factor-walking/biking might be great in good weather for those that are able -but maybe not when it’s raining. Hopefully some kind of parking will be available for those who do need to drive. Since several of Junction business owners are also part of the group that own the lots-they must have given this careful thought. It’s their right as property owners to do as they like with their property. I hope -if they have a say in what’s developed-they will try & be inclusive to everyone-that includes those that need to drive.  

    • Ice October 20, 2021 (11:03 am)

      There is literally no neighborhood in Seattle in which parking is difficult if you are willing to pay. Free parking at the junction might go away in the 10 or so years, but access by car isn’t going anywhere. Pretending like the junction will have no personal vehicle access is ridiculous. Parking sucks up a lot of resources but for some reason everyone thinks they are a victim if they have to pay for it. Just like you pay for gas, insurance and maintenance on your car, paying to store your vehicle is just another baked in cost.

  • Jennifer October 20, 2021 (10:45 am)

    No. More. Parking. Car-centric city planning has to go. Please consider transit future and entertainment-based businesses. Not more shopping! We need theaters, arts, cultural venues. Not banks and boutiques. Build the Junction as an entertainment destination for the rest of the city to want to come spend here. 

  • WhyNot October 20, 2021 (10:47 am)

    Still waiting for them to restore the trolly line from Admiral all the way down to the ferry dock.  Invert the streets at the junctions.  Trolly/green space down the middle, cars on the outside.  Only parking need to be 15 minute spots for all the pickup orders.  Distribute the residental density all the way up and down California.  City planners keep saying no one uses cars anyways.  Why not hop the trolly and catch the cinema at Admiral the down to Endoline for a bite?  No parking garages needed.

    • Ex-Westwood Resident October 20, 2021 (2:54 pm)

      15 minute pick-up only parking?

      What about those of us who do NOT live within walking distance of the Junction, that might want to grab dinner at Jak’s Grill? Or a Pizza at Talarico’s? Or browse the vinyl records at Easy Street? Or look for a book or two at Pegasus Books? Or visit the ONLY place with decent Chinese Food on the West Side at Lee’s?

      I know…ride our bikes from Arbor Heights! Or take two busses and over two hours of our evening riding them to and from Shorewood!

      Even better, lets get on the bus with three kids that want to go to the Street Fair, or “Trick-or-Treat” in the Junction for Halloween.

      The goal should be to find a balance between walking distance residents and those who live outside the Junction “Zone” that would still like to partake of the stores, restaurants and events that happen in the Junction, without have to try and corral kids to get them on a bus.  

    • Meg October 21, 2021 (10:44 am)

      We have to remember that “15 minute parking only” and “just hop on a bike instead” is a very ableist mentality. Many people need accessible parking that may not also have a handicap parking permit. I do love the trolley/green space idea, though.

  • Phyllis Forister October 20, 2021 (3:13 pm)

    To only provide 4 street parking spaces for an 8 story apartment building is ludicrous.  Underground parking must be required.  It appears that the builder is taking advantage of the lack of affordable apartments to confound the parking problem that already exists with many apartment and business buildings.   Allowing this kind poor planning to continue is lack of leadership by our city.

  • Colonel Mustard's Wrench October 20, 2021 (6:23 pm)

    The viability of the businesses is partly dependent on the ability for some people to park cars and shop there. 
    If you think otherwise, you are in denial. 
    Once the lots are removed,  many will shop Westwood Village or Southcenter instead of the Alaska Junction. 
    When the lots go away, mark your calendars two years out, and see how many of our cherished businesses have closed by then. 

    Anti-parking people are dumb as doorknobs.

  • WTF October 21, 2021 (10:25 pm)

    Anything to push HIGH-density living everywhere in Seattle (don’t be fooled), which means more city revenue to waste, no parking to force renters to encroach on single-family neighborhoods (they do drive), and the loss of small business (the hypocrisy should not be lost on even the moderately intelligent person). Make absolutely no mistake this city would mow down every single, single-family home and rip out small businesses in their quest to stack more people on top of each other in the name of affordable housing. Nothing about this project will be “affordable” to the people they profess to serve. Are you kidding?! The “value of this property, a developer, and affordable housing” in the same sentence should give you pause.

    • WSB October 21, 2021 (10:30 pm)

      Under terms of THIS offer, yes, it would HAVE TO be affordable. The city-backed financing requires it. This developer specializes in it. The only question at this juncture is whether it will be something like this or something else – more along the lines of what you are concerned about – a for-profit developer building to the limit.

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