DEVELOPMENT: Beach Drive demolition imminent

Thanks to the texter who tipped us that the backhoe has arrived at that destined-for-demolition house, 4022 Beach Drive SW [map], a particularly visible spot because of its proximity to Weather Watch Park and La Rustica. Online records say the 107-year-old house, sold late last year for $925,000, will be replaced by four townhouses, each with a single-car garage. The 5,000-square-foot lot is zoned Lowrise 2. One other note of interest: The city’s Shaping Seattle map now includes information on how development projects are dealing with the Mandatory Housing Affordability requirement (either incorporating affordable unit[s] or paying a fee that the city will invest in affordable housing elsewhere); it shows that the developers of this project will be charged a $106,000 fee.

29 Replies to "DEVELOPMENT: Beach Drive demolition imminent"

  • Auntie February 24, 2022 (1:20 pm)

    Oh, yeah – that $100K will really help with affordable housing. Not. Meanwhile, the developer will make millions.

    • bill February 24, 2022 (3:53 pm)

      The developer will make something, but not millions. You should give remodeling or new construction a try if you think it’s so lucrative.

    • My two cents February 24, 2022 (3:54 pm)

      Auntie – please cite your sources of documentation for the “millions” that will made by the developer?

      • Bill February 24, 2022 (9:38 pm)

        I’m a developer.  Of course this will net millions. That’s the point and the reason for the entire thing. I use addition and subtraction to figure these things out. 

  • JM February 24, 2022 (1:36 pm)

    That is laughable! A whopping $106,000 fee on a development where they will easily market and sell each townhouse for a minimum of $1 million dollars. And where exactly is this affordable housing being built? All the new development happening in WS and being sold is most definitely not even affordable for what used to be considered “middle income” wage earners.    

    • My two cents February 24, 2022 (3:58 pm)

      JM – what would your proposed solution be? Higher fees? At what point does that have an adverse impact the other direction? Perhaps you have other approaches that you would like to?

      • Bunnyfer February 24, 2022 (10:15 pm)

        Rather than having developers pay a laughable fee to a slush fund with few real solutions for homelessness, I think spaces like this should only be zoned for apartments, and all apartments with 6 or more units be required to set aside a minimum 30% of the units for low-income residents. The 4 or 5 townhomes being built will likely fetch $1million+, and does nothing to alleviate or address our homelessness concerns. Actually requiring all new apartments to have a base minimum of housing for low-income residents would. 

        • My two cents February 25, 2022 (5:41 am)

          What zoning regulations do you want to rework? If we start to use regulations to drive new apartments instead of replacing with current zoning you will drive up the price of the existing housing inventory, making it even more challenging to own a home in the city – or is that part of the solution you propose?

        • ltfd February 25, 2022 (5:55 pm)

          “Affordable housing” on Alki Beach? What are you smoking?    

    • Timber! February 24, 2022 (11:35 pm)

      @JM: Agree! I came to say basically the exact same thing. What a f’ing joke and slap in the face.

  • CarDriver February 24, 2022 (1:47 pm)

    WSB. Are you able to track how and where the city is spending the money they get from developers?? Would be really curious to see how and where the city is actually using the money they get.

    • WSB February 24, 2022 (1:57 pm)

      You can find that information from the Office of Housing. I believe they’ve had a multitude of briefings. If I get a chance later I’ll look around for the most-recent one.

  • Look Both Ways February 24, 2022 (2:50 pm)

    It’s unfortunate people here have automatic vitriol for new development projects. Certainly some (perhaps many) projects can overstep, but this one seems to benefit the neighborhood with a reasonable upgrade to a “destined-for-demolition” property. 4x the livable units, all with parking, means increased property tax revenue and more residents spending on local businesses. Not many cities handicap a small developer with an 11.5% purchase penalty to start a project. Add in current construction costs (highest ever), property acquisition and resale fees, and there’s likely not nearly as much margin for “millions”. Instead, let’s celebrate someone who is upgrading the property & community.

  • Sillygoose February 24, 2022 (3:14 pm)

    Why is this acceptable?   They tear down a 107-year-old house to make way for affordable housing!!  Why hasnt this been put into effect for literally the hundreds of empty apartments and condos along Avalon Way and Fauntleroy?  If they were affordable then this garbage wouldn’t have to take place in our neighborhoods!  

    • WSB February 24, 2022 (4:10 pm)

      No, I did not write that this house was making way for affordable housing. This is an old house being torn down and replaced by something for which the property is zoned – as has happened along much of the northern stretch of Beach Drive (when we arrived in Seattle in 1991, we rented for two years in a six-unit condo building across from Cormorant Cove Park that had been built a few years earlier, and I’m sure it replaced an old house) and elsewhere. The “affordable housing” component is part of the HALA plan that the City Council passed several years ago, requiring that new development either *include* a certain percentage of affordable housing, or that the developer pay a fee that goes into a fund that’ll pay for some someplace else (which is what the vast majority of developers/builders have chosen). – TR

  • Shufflerunner February 24, 2022 (4:01 pm)

    It is a shame that they are just going to knock it down. It would be nice to see some of these older houses recycled. 

    • uncle loco February 24, 2022 (4:38 pm)

      With the current price of lumber it would almost payoff to dismantle the house board by board and sell the material. Those 107 year old sticks are way better than what you can get today.

    • Recycler February 24, 2022 (6:11 pm)

      Yes, Shufflerunner,  we should recycle all of the asbestos, DDT, lead paint and and lead pipes. 

      • Shufflerunner February 24, 2022 (8:44 pm)

        Kinda weird that you decided to take time out of your day just to be troll about recycling. It’s not any easier, cost effective, or environmentally friendly to dispose of the items you listed if they are left in their original state and encapsulated. I’m also unaware of when DDT became a building material. You may want to check out Nickel Bros as they have moved some notable structures around West Seattle for further use including the rock house and Ventana’s old offices.  

      • Bill February 24, 2022 (9:42 pm)

        We will recycle the wood as well. Nearly all of it will be recycled. 

        • Recycler February 25, 2022 (7:13 am)

          How will that wood be recycled?  It lacks the required structural stamp that must be used for any new construction aside the nails and toxics.  It rich to be called a troll after responding to someone truly trolling who brought up the house being recycled (not anywhere in the story). The cost of moving a house is far more than the Nickels Bros.  dramatic moving photos.It involves remediating and removal of many toxics commonly present.  DDT was certainly a common chemical used and found in old homes as well as others.  The creosote used back then at least provided the fortune for a certain West Seattle family and gave us the legacy of Colman Poll.

  • bill February 24, 2022 (4:12 pm)

    Coming up with the affordable housing fee is real turn off for a homeowner thinking about redeveloping and living in one of the new units. You either sell out and leave or stay and don’t build any new housing. My block is RSL and nobody has made a move to redevelop.

  • Luxe Density February 24, 2022 (4:31 pm)

    There were 3 older, affordable 4 and 6-plexes on my block.  When they were demolished and replaced with $750k+ townhouses I tried to get info on where the affordable units would be built and no one in the City departments I contacted could provide this information.  This was 2014-2016 so maybe it’s readily available now, I haven’t looked in a while.

  • Anne February 24, 2022 (6:57 pm)

    What is “affordable “ housing anyway? How is that determined – a percentage of one’s yearly income?? 

  • Backyard Cottage February 25, 2022 (7:37 am)

    I just completed permitting of my 790 square foot backyard cottage.  I had to pay $11,900 to the Mandatory Housing Authority.  Ouch!

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