VIDEO: 3405 Harbor Avenue project begins with West Seattle’s first apartment-groundbreaking ceremony since 2014

(WSB photo: HDC’s Brad Padden, STS’s Craig Haveson, Atelier Drome’s Michelle Linden)

It’s been more than 7 years since the last time a ceremonial groundbreaking launched construction of a residential project in West Seattle. That was for The Whittaker in 2014; today, it was for the first of at least eight West Seattle projects on which Housing Diversity Corporation and STS Construction Services (WSB sponsor) are partnering. This will be a 114-apartment building at 3405 Harbor Avenue SW (previously 3417 Harbor, when we covered its journey through the Design Review process). Before the shiny ceremonial shovels went into the ground, the project was explained by HDC’s Adina Eaton and Brad Padden, STS’s Craig Haveson, and architect Atelier Drome‘s Michelle Linden (whose firm is also investing in the project):

We asked Haveson a few followup questions, starting with a question about the “puzzle parking” he had mentioned in his remarks. This building was planned with 65 parking spaces, and Haveson says that’s only because they’re required by the city – while the project is in a “frequent transit” zone, that only partially reduces the amount of required parking, as the site is not part of an urban village. “Puzzle parking” enables more cars to be parked in less space, thanks to a mechanical system (explained here) that stacks and shuffles them. If traditional lot or garage spaces had to be built, Haveson says, this project wouldn’t have penciled out.

(Rendering of 3405 Harbor by Atelier Drome, looking SW)

The word repeatedly used for the future apartments, especially by HDC, is “attainable” rather than “affordable”; though there will be some 1- and 2-bedroom apartments, the focus is on smaller spaces. The target residents, Haveson observed, are more into experiences – if their rent is $100 cheaper, that’s “two more dinners out.” The partners also stress the location of this project, on the path to Alki and the Water Taxi dock, a bus ride away from the businesses in The Junction.

WHAT’S NEXT: As we reported four weeks ago, site work has begun; construction of a project this size typically takes at least a year and a half. We asked Padden which of the partnership’s seven other West Seattle projects – all listed on the HDC website – is likely to break ground next; he said 9201 Delridge Way SW and 4448 California SW are the closest.

11 Replies to "VIDEO: 3405 Harbor Avenue project begins with West Seattle's first apartment-groundbreaking ceremony since 2014"

  • Mike March 29, 2022 (8:49 pm)

    More nondescript boxes – architectural embarrassments.  More cars parked in street.  More traffic.  

    • Kram March 30, 2022 (9:36 am)

      I love these types of comments. Yes Mike, let’s design buildings that are so expensive that rents are 10k a month. Let us also tell the 14-17 thousand people moving to Seattle every year to go somewhere else because, well, Mike’s already here.

      • Robert J Schmidt March 31, 2022 (4:54 pm)

        Love this kind of condescending sarcasm. If you have a point make it.

  • JW March 30, 2022 (8:14 am)

    That is a remarkable ‘I got mine’ attitude. I suppose Mike prefers people living on the street.  

  • Spencer March 30, 2022 (9:04 am)

    Hm. I doubt it, but I wonder if someone’s going to build more crosswalks, because right now if you’re not interested in navigating the treacherous intersection at the bridge, you have to go down for I think more than a MILE before you get to another crosswalk. That area definitely isn’t well designed for multimodal transit at the moment.

  • Mj March 30, 2022 (9:37 am)

    Spencer ???????.  The intersection is well marked and includes a signalized bike crossing!

  • DC March 30, 2022 (11:02 am)

    “Though there will be some 1- and 2-bedroom apartments, the focus is on smaller spaces.” Does that mean the majority of them will be studios? I thought the original design was for them all to be 1- or 2-bedroom apartments?

  • shotinthefoot March 30, 2022 (1:26 pm)

    Is this going to be actual, honest-to-god AFFORDABLE housing for once, and not overpriced townhomes/condos? Color me shocked and impressed! 

    • Mike March 30, 2022 (9:25 pm)

      I think the Blog piece and the “owners” referred to the apartments as “attainable”.  My interpretation of that is “it will still be a stretch.” 65 spaces for 114 apartments isn’t bad by many City standards. It will be interesting to see when the building is full how those numbers compare to reality.  

  • cjboffoli March 30, 2022 (1:43 pm)

    Gosh Mike, I wonder how it could be possible that our community has in you such an arbiter of good taste in architecture, and yet we’re still burdened by so much ugliness in our built environment. Curiously, commenters of your genus seem to never go after all of the unkempt structures at the end of their useful life, and instead always seem to attack whatever is new. Oh but then your real agenda (prioritizing cars over people) is quickly made evident.  In other news, I’ve gotta marvel at what moguls Craig Haveson (and his wife Mara) are becoming. Every time I turn around they seem to be building something new. I thought I was productive but those folks make me feel lazy by comparison.

  • bob March 30, 2022 (9:00 pm)

     Will these units be affortable for minimum wage workers?

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