DEVELOPMENT: 3 West Seattle Junction-area notes

Three development notes from the West Seattle Junction area:

4508 CALIFORNIA SW: First, a reminder that the first of the next wave of major projects in the heart of The Junction is expected to start soon. This is the mixed-use project that will replace the building that housed recently closed restaurants Lee’s and Kamei as well as the former Naked Crepe/West Seattle Cyclery space. It finished Design Review more than three years ago – here’s our report on the final review meeting in January 2019, at which time it was described as 58 apartments, 12 lodging units, 17 underground parking spaces, and ground-floor commercial space. When we asked property owner/developer Leon Capelouto about the timeline recently, he said work could start by month’s end; the most recent permit filing for the project, related to use of the alley behind the building, suggests an early May start is expected.

CHURCH-PROPERTY REDEVELOPMENT: An early-stage filing with the city this week proposes 30 townhouses for the parking lot and former school building that West Seattle Christian Church owns to the east of its main building, 4401-4425 41st SW. We asked WSCC’s Pastor Worth Wheeler about the plan; he explained that the filing is part of a feasibility exploration for a potential buyer, but both sides have two months to consider it, so it’s not finalized yet. The church also formerly owned land across 42nd SW, including the 42nd/Genesee corner where a new owner is currently developing an apartment building.

MICROAPARTMENT PROJECT: Several blocks south on 41st, it’s been five years since we first reported on a plan for 22 microapartments at 4807 41st SW. Last time we made note of it was when the site went on the market in 2020. The building-permit file showed activity on the project recently, so we checked out the site and noted that work is under way (below is the view eastward from the alley).

We don’t know how long the work’s been going on, as we weren’t tracking this one closely. County Assessor records do not show an ownership change having resulted from the aforementioned 2020 listing.

36 Replies to "DEVELOPMENT: 3 West Seattle Junction-area notes"

  • lb April 15, 2022 (4:11 pm)

    58 apartments with 17 parking spaces? absolutely absurd. way too many apartments and town houses going up with little to no parking. just trying to force people away from cars at this point…

    • Absurdist April 15, 2022 (4:43 pm)

      Absolutely absurd?  That is the definition of continuing down a path of environmental destruction, of the world. No one is taking away cars.  If you do not own a car, why should you pay for a parking space?Why should we build expensive inefficient car storage into buildings, when there is no road capacity?

      • Canton April 15, 2022 (7:53 pm)

        @absurdist, The ideology has been promoted of no car ownership,  but the reality presents a different outcome. We can assume that all new occupants won’t own a car, but then reality kicks in, and the curbs fill with parked cars.

        • Random Geek April 16, 2022 (1:18 pm)

          We’re talking about people living in the Junction. Between the C and the various shuttles for Microsoft/Amazon/etc., there’s a reduced need for a car to commute. You’ve got shopping within a block and a half, dining out your front door. So 17 parking spots for a building where owning a car is optional makes complete sense. 

          • Christy April 16, 2022 (2:38 pm)

            I mean, that sounds like a boring AF existence to me. We have zero nightlife in West Seattle. This is not an attractive neighborhood for young folks. I’m 49 and still have to leave the neighborhood to go see music or go dancing. (RIP Parliament) It feels like we’re getting all the hassles and headaches of density and none of the benefits. Services like medical services are not keeping pace with the rapid population growth, and we don’t even have a hospital. There are surprisingly few major businesses here that offer well-paying jobs. not everyone that has to leave the neighborhood to work has access to transit. that will get us to our jobs in a reasonable period of time, and many of us do not work for a business large enough to offer shuttle service. So …

    • skeeter April 15, 2022 (4:48 pm)

      Nothing absurd going on here.  We’ve simply run out of room for cars.  Building more parking spaces would just make our roads even more congested.  

      • April 15, 2022 (10:50 pm)

        As you’ve said, this is the hard truth. We must conceive of a future with fewer cars (whether we like it, or not).  

  • anonyme April 15, 2022 (4:15 pm)

    Goodbye West Seattle; hello SLU.  Even worse, they drove out Lee’s; I’ll never forgive that.

    • bill April 16, 2022 (9:01 pm)

      Yes it’s terrible the property owner decided to exercise his/her/its right to do whatever it desires with the property. Such freedom should not be allowed. Except for the property I own.

  • Joan April 15, 2022 (5:05 pm)

    Such a blight to have a tall building in the  middle of shorter ones.  There is no aesthetics to it. 

    • aa April 15, 2022 (5:20 pm)

      Probably won’t be the only tall building for long. 

    • Azimuth April 15, 2022 (7:13 pm)

      It’s fun on a smaller scale too! I’m getting a single-family unit, attached dwelling unit, and detached accessory dwelling unit all shoved into a single-family 5000 lot towering over my house. Basically a tri-plex townhome complex in the middle of a bunch of 1200 square foot homes. I’m blocks away from any upzoned area but neighborhood character and scale doesn’t matter any more, along with the beautiful cedar that used to be on that lot, too.

    • TT April 15, 2022 (9:01 pm)

      Agreed, Joan. Ugly and completely out of character with the surrounding area.

  • Morgan April 15, 2022 (6:07 pm)

    Chill—the junction cannot be preserved under amber like 1955.Focus energy on access for business parking going forward if those surface lots are developed….don’t get distracted by micro apartments or whether slightly taller mid block is an issue.It’s better the density happen like this then giant condos all over north admiral…to Quote a book “for everything to stay the same everything must change”

  • CrazySpecialist April 15, 2022 (7:22 pm)

    Not even surprised by seeing new constructions like this, goodbye west Seattle and hello Puyallup 

  • City Planning April 15, 2022 (10:28 pm)

    First I’m reading a post about the mess on Andover Street, with no foreseeable solution, then I scroll to a post on overpriced nondescript architecture that the majority can’t afford. 

    • ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ April 16, 2022 (9:07 am)

      The majority doesn’t need to afford it.  Only 58 people.  

  • HL April 16, 2022 (2:41 am)

    Oh trust your NIMBY attitudes are doing wonders to drive anyone who might care about the community out. You may see the buildings as faceless monstrosities. For the person who moves there it could mean home.  Some apartment dwellers care about the communities they reside. The horrible attitudes on social media in turn will manifest what you fear.  After all who wants to live on a peninsula of entitled and demanding people who use their privilege to get their way?

  • Tonenotvolume April 16, 2022 (8:46 am)

    Once all the curmudgeons move out of WS, the tone of remarks should become more positive.

  • KB April 16, 2022 (8:53 am)

    And yet White Center with a ready made little urban village just screaming for some help and redevelopment just sits there like a burnt out husk. People scream about building more housing. There is vacant lot after lot in White Center. I get it. It’s not as desirable but a little development would change that. Not to mention Westwood Village. 

    • K April 16, 2022 (1:08 pm)

      Property taxes are significantly higher in White Center than they are in the city.  I would LOVE to see White Center filled in more, but there are serious downsides to dealing with the county as opposed to the city.  It’s easier to deal with the city.

  • Brian April 16, 2022 (9:08 am)

    If the city government allowed you to build a build a big box on a busy street that generates about $150,000 in cash a month, would you?   It’s not about the housing, the jobs, or “urban density”.  It’s about the money.  Enjoy it, Mr. Capelouto and family, and thank you.  

  • AlkiDeadEnder April 16, 2022 (9:28 am)

    Read this as a gift to builders, at the expense of landowners, tenants, and the local community. Seattle USED to require <1 parking spot per unit: a 10 unit building needed 11-12 parking spaces. Worse was 2 bed units w/ 2-4 people and all the on-street parking vanished. Somehow, people were actually surprised when car-prowls & vandalism statistics escalated, and affected them directly. Junction residents will get car stickers,  24 hour free parking, and Alaska Junction will soon be a parking desert. Eventually, all the business will need to change, making it a cultural desert that none of those recent transplants want to live in any more.I watched it happen to Cap. Hill, Fremont, Ballard. Glad I don’t own IN Alaska Junction. I’d be looking to sell when the construction cranes are up, before the urban blight takes hold. If only I knew where to go, I’d buy property there and cash in.Best of luck with this arguing amongst yourselves. The area you pretend to love has lost its’ virginity, and is in the process of being raped while you snipe at each other.

    • Ron Swanson April 16, 2022 (11:42 am)

      Building places for people to live rather than to store cars is rape, got it.  This take is so hot it burned my eyes and I’ll be holding you responsible for my opthalmology copay

      • anonyme April 16, 2022 (12:50 pm)

        I am bloody sick and tired of hearing every trivial inconvenience compared to rape.  When one of you has actually been raped and wants to share a GIGGLE about it, be my guest.  Until then, use some common sense and check your language.

        • Lauren April 18, 2022 (10:07 pm)

          Well said. Comparing real estate to rape is a truly offensive comment and I’m surprised WSB let it through. 

    • bill April 16, 2022 (9:06 pm)

      AlkiDeadEnder needs to review the meaning of math symbols.

  • Crowen April 16, 2022 (10:32 am)

    I get that change can be difficult and that we fear the loss of our beloved junction but we simply cannot ignore the housing crisis in our city. If higher density means more people can have access to shelter, we should do it. We need to accept that Seattle is a growing city with high housing demand. You can’t fight against density in a city and then complain about homeless encampments at the same time.

    • Random Geek April 16, 2022 (1:04 pm)

      Also can’t complain about a lack of affordable housing while fighting against building more housing. It’s peek white elite liberalism. 

  • K April 16, 2022 (11:22 am)

    The density will be a boon to the local businesses everyone loves (or claims to–hard to tell with these comments wanting to replace space for people with space for cars).  Those who live in these units are going to eat, play, and shop at the businesses that are on their doorsteps.  Yes, there is displacement during construction, and that sucks.  Absolutely.  But businesses need CUSTOMERS to thrive.  Not parking.  Not views.  PEOPLE.  And that is what these developments are bringing to the Junction.  in droves.

  • LU April 16, 2022 (11:55 am)

    Housing crisis?  Will the apartments rent for $800 dollars or less?   If not they solve nothing but fill developers’ and cronies pockets.   No cars?  What is the other option?   Miserable mass transportation.  Got to go to work, got to go grocery shopping, got to go to Costco.  How do you do that without a car?   How do you take your kid to day care with all the strollers and stuff that the kid needs?  What do you suggest?   No babies?  No kids?  Leave the WS to the single, well paid, healthy adults?  The rest move out?

    • Lolwut April 16, 2022 (3:50 pm)

      My family has been happily using miserable mass transportation to and from the Junction daily for 15 years. 11 of those with a child, including to day care and preschool with all the strollers and stuff. Moved here from the suburbs, sold the car, and it’s been great.

    • bill April 16, 2022 (9:08 pm)

      If you live in a small place you don’t have room to store mega purchases from Costco. If you don’t have a car you don’t need to drive your car to Costco to save money because the car is making you broke. So don’t got to go to Costco.

      • LU April 17, 2022 (10:13 am)

        So all my money go on rent for the small place? 

        Work day and night to pay the rent.  You must be getting a crumb

        from those apartment owners to be selling this twisted logic. 

        Work, pay rent, work pay rent.  Makes me think of the ants movie.

        No car, no Costco, no

        going further from where the yellow dirty bus takes you?   

        West Seattle, Down town and that’s about it?  

        And who gets to go hiking?  Who gets to enjoy the NW nature?  

        Definitely not me, because

        I’m and ant slaving for the apartment owners.  

  • Rosey April 17, 2022 (10:43 am)

    Once again yet another development update in the neighborhood where the comments are filled with a lot of takes from armchair real-estate-designers. The California ave project looks fine, I hope construction goes smoothly and it opens up soon since I assume the foot-traffic will be good for local businesses.

  • Jon Wright April 18, 2022 (8:34 am)

    Why do all these development-without-a-lot-of-parking posts provoke so many righteous “I couldn’t possibly live without a car” comments? NOBODY IS FORCING YOU TO LIVE IN AN APARTMENT WITHOUT PARKING! Here’s a thought: if you have a car, maybe one of the zillion other options that do provide parking would be a better choice for you.

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