At its second-to-last scheduled meeting of the year, the Southwest Design Review Board took its second look at two West Seattle mixed-use projects. Here’s how the Thursday night reviews went:
4440 FAUNTLEROY WAY SW: Two weeks ago, the board gave its final approval to the first of two mixed-use buildings that comprise the Sweeney Blocks megaproject in The Triangle [map]. Thursday night online, they approved the second (westernmost) building. Architect Jenny Chapman from Ankrom Moisan outlined this building as 222 units, 13,000 square feet of retail, and 150 offstreet-parking spots. She noted the first review in August of last year approved the massing (size/shape) in a “stacked-lumber” concept evocative of the site’s legacy as Alki Lumber. She passed the baton to David Cutler of Northwest Studio to talk about the streetscape, with a proposal for “boardwalks” along the ground floor, on 36th SW:
Those will require SDOT approval, and the board expressed some hesitancy to approve other street-side elements without inowing whether the “boardwalks” will make it into the final project. Chapman also showed the project team’s suggested options for where the lumberyard’s LUMBER neon sign could work best on this building (as described two weeks ago, either the actual original current sign or a close replica) – they have three options but prefer “C” (top right below):
The board approved the requested departures – zoning exceptions – for less top-level setback and more “blank facade” (along Oregon). They also asked about the plan for phasing of the development – they could be built together, or separately, said developer Ed Hewson. Public comment during the meeting was summarized as in favor of the project; one neighboring business owner asked for more detail on the alley side. In board deliberation, other details discussed included lighting – possibly adding some on the “boardwalk,” but also taking care to avoid light pollution. As board chair Scott Rosenstock put it, there wasn’t much to summarize otherwise, because the discussion was largely in favor of this proposed design. All four members voted to advance the project out of Design Review. “Very nice project,” summarized Rosenstock. If you have comments on any aspect of the project, email assigned city planner Sean Conrad at email@example.com.
4448 CALIFORNIA SW: This was the second “early design guidance” meeting for this project planned to replace the commercial building just north of Shadowland (which is NOT part of the development site). Michelle Linden from Atelier Drome led the presentation of this project, planned for about 96 apartments over ground-floor commercial, no offstreet parking. Much of what she presented showed how the team dealt with the critiques from the first review in July (WSB coverage here). That included a fourth massing (size/shape) option, which they’re calling #4, a “refined pinwheel.” It would include “visual interest from all levels.”
No public comments were made during the meeting. Board members expressed concern that the 6-foot setback on the north side of the building. was too narrow, and offered guidance that the materials chosen for the exterior design presentation at the next meeting not overwhelm the multifaceted design. The board voted unanimously to allow the project to advance to the final stage of Design Review. You can comment at the next meeting – date TBD – or email assigned city planner Greg Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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