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.
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.