DEVELOPMENT: 4448 California SW to return to Southwest Design Review Board

What could be the next West Seattle Junction redevelopment project to start construction needs one more level of approval from the Southwest Design Review Board, and a date is now set for their next look at it. The proposal would replace a small commercial building at 4448 California SW [map] with a seven-story mixed-use building, including almost 100 apartments as well as ground-floor commercial space, with no offstreet parking required or planned. The project cleared the first phase of Design Review last year (here’s our coverage from November), and is penciled in to return to the board at 5 pm Thursday, August 4th, online. Here’s the draft design packet with details on the plan. The August review will include a public-comment period, but if you have something to say, you can also email the project’s assigned city planner, at

49 Replies to "DEVELOPMENT: 4448 California SW to return to Southwest Design Review Board"

  • JW June 27, 2022 (5:50 am)

    No off street parking , are you kidding!!!!!!! I guess they are supposed to park on California Ave so shoppers won’t be able to.  I live between the two junctions on 42nd and 90% of the time I can not park in front of my home because the apartment dwellers and people who work in the area or take the bus downtown park there as soon as I leave to do an errand. I’ve had cars in front of my home  up to 5 days and parking enforcement never comes to ticket them . 

    • heartless June 27, 2022 (1:28 pm)

      “I live between the two junctions on 42nd and 90% of the time I can not park in front of my home”

      Why aren’t you using off-street parking?

      • Concerned Neighbor June 28, 2022 (12:35 pm)

        Probably because not all single family homes on 42nd have garages, and they must park on the street in front of their home.

        • heartless June 28, 2022 (3:06 pm)

          Concerned Neighbor:

          Then, in the words of the original poster, “No off street parking , are you kidding!!!!!!!”

    • hj June 27, 2022 (2:10 pm)

      The street in front of your home is public, and if you need to park on the street, it sounds like your home isn’t big enough to store your property either. This sounds like a “you” problem.

    • KBear June 27, 2022 (7:33 pm)

      JW, if you don’t have off-street parking, perhaps  your situation is not well-suited to car ownership. Apartment dwellers, local workers, and visitors have as much right to street parking as you do. 

    • skeeter June 28, 2022 (9:28 am)

      Let me get this straight.  Our roads are congested to the point of gridlock half the time, and you want 100 *more* parking spaces to be built?  And a guaranteed 100 more cars to come with the new spaces?  No thanks.  We need to be removing parking spaces, not adding them.  I’m tired of sitting in traffic.  

  • CarDriver June 27, 2022 (6:25 am)

    Would love to see the developers and city’s documentation that no parking required buildings are actually occupied by residents that truly don’t own cars or have visitors that don’t arrive by car. In addition, would love to see documentation that the commercial/retail portion of these buildings do not result in employees/customers arriving by car.  

    • Deb Mendenhall June 27, 2022 (5:54 pm)

      Yes, please,  show me the data! My guess is that it is wishful thinking at best that added residencial and retail units do not result in more vehicles.I say provide parking (with charging capability). The residents can choose whether to use the space for a car, bicycle,  or whatever. New businesses, as well,  would best support their clientele with some accommodation for parking.

    • Jethro Marx June 27, 2022 (6:04 pm)

      People keep making this claim that those who live in no-parking buildings will still use cars and it is very dumb. Of course many/most will. No one’s claiming they won’t; the city is simply claiming that the local transit and infrastructure is such that they could reasonably live there and choose to go without one. There’s no documentation just like there’s no promise that traffic will be like you remember from those vague good ol’ days. I don’t even like density that much; I just have a problem letting bad arguments lie.

    • Bus June 27, 2022 (8:28 pm)

      Only if the same rules apply to single-family homeowners.  

  • anonyme June 27, 2022 (8:26 am)

    Seven stories and no parking for an unaffordable, cardboard box design.  I’m surprised it didn’t pass review right away.  (Sarcasm.)  No parking is fine as long as all street parking is metered.  Otherwise, this is yet another boon for developers and a bust for struggling Junction businesses who will lose all street parking to huge numbers of apartment dwellers.

  • Sillygoose June 27, 2022 (8:34 am)

    This is just obsurd to pack in the junction like this, I hope the businesses are prepared to pick up dog poop in front of their businesses as these apartment dwellers always bring their dogs down to the sidewalk to relieve themselves.  Oh joy the smell of uring and poop while shopping. 

    • Odd son June 28, 2022 (1:16 am)

      I sent an email to the junction director a few days ago about all the poop asking for outreach to the 47. No reply yet.

  • James June 27, 2022 (8:59 am)

    Wait, this ugly thing isn’t getting rid of Doll Parts Collective or the cool old building is it? Nooooo! I will fight against this. The cozy small town vibe is what we love about this strip. Why fix what isn’t broke? Density can be added on top of of Les Schwab’s and Trader Joe’s….why kill a unique retro strip? If they come for Shadowland there will be HECK to pay!

  • Ralph Nader June 27, 2022 (9:37 am)

    Hope the folks who move in on the north side like the smell of burgers and fries!

  • Concerned Neighbor June 27, 2022 (11:57 am)

      A 7-story building in West Seattle?  No off-street parking for before-mentioned 7-story building?  This is  exactly one of the reasons we left West Seattle.  This is ridiculous in so many ways.  West Seattle is becoming a “little New York”, ridding itself of single-family homes along the main corridor…much like the brownstones of New York.  The streets cannot accommodate an influx like this currently, you think it’ll suffice for further building?  (Including the limited bridges.)  Have those in charge ever driven down California Ave. in midday?  The buildings are shading the street, the never-ending cars driving all day long, the people not using crosswalks as they’re intended…. it’s horrible.   The backbone of West Seattle, those born/raised there, are leaving in droves.

    • Ryan June 27, 2022 (12:12 pm)

      speak for yourself :) west seattle, and the junction in particular, has never been nicer and more lively in all the years I’ve lived here. I’m delighted to welcome more newcomers to our community. still, I hope you’re enjoying where you live now. 

    • Ron Swanson June 27, 2022 (12:12 pm)

      All I can say is…bye Felicia

      Seriously though, this is part of becoming a walkable urban neighborhood, and will be blocks from the light rail station.  It’s absolutely what West Seattle needs more of.  It’s just a shame the pointless design review process makes them add all the stupid “modulations” that reduce energy efficiency and increase costs and look ugly as hell.

    • James June 27, 2022 (12:18 pm)

      Need density but I agree that it sucks taking down old buildings. Better to move SFH for density though. People are not entitled to a lot of land for a small family in Seattle. Calling it new york is a stretch and a half.  Parking should not be allowed as those who live here in the future will use light rail and rapid ride.

      • Mark47n June 27, 2022 (2:12 pm)

        Actually, people are entitled to the land to which they hold title and deed to, be it small or large. Your opinion on the matter, as it’s stated is bollocks.

    • Kram June 27, 2022 (12:24 pm)

      Well overall West Seattle’s population continues to increase. See some demographics here.So according to the data about 2,000 additional people moved to West Seattle after accounting for people leaving. Since you can’t build 2,000 single family homes, or offer many affordable ownership options what’s left are apartments. Would you rather we pick an arbitrary point in time, say 1980 and just keep it that way without allowing new people to move here? Or maybe 1950, or 1930…  Hopefully the place you moved too will stay as is without apartment buildings for people to live in being built. 

    • Peter June 27, 2022 (12:37 pm)

      You’ve very clearly never been to New York. West Seattle is nothing at all like New York in any way. It’s an utterly nonsense comparison. 

      • Andrea June 27, 2022 (1:48 pm)

        And we really DONT WANT TO BE NY, so lets stop trying to push it there

        • Peter June 27, 2022 (3:00 pm)


    • Mark47n June 27, 2022 (2:11 pm)

      That’s pretty exclusionary, that the backbone of WS is folks who were born/raised here, especially since you left.  To follow that line of logic you have no more voice here, right? Or are you one of that born/raised here and are forever whinging about the state of things here in your forsaken burg?

    • Deb Mendenhall June 27, 2022 (5:39 pm)

      New York Alki

    • Jethro Marx June 27, 2022 (5:52 pm)

      Wait I’m confused, are you a neighbor or a former resident who left and is now haunting your former neighborhood to tell us all how terrible it is? Those of us who remain are mostly not trying to tell other people what makes their neighborhood “horrible.” In fact I think if shady streets and tall buildings are horrible to you you probably have not had much horror in your life, what?

  • Michael Waldo June 27, 2022 (12:52 pm)

    So, “The project cleared the first phase of Design Review last year”.
    Now, almost a year later it is finally being submitted for phase 2 review?No wonder housing is so expensive if it takes years from planning to building.Seattle needs more housing but if I was a home builder, I would build outside of Seattle. I bet many are.

    • WSB June 27, 2022 (1:10 pm)

      Some projects move faster, some move slower. This particular developer/contractor/architect team has a tall stack of projects in progress so likely an interesting workflow. (One is under construction, at Harbor/Avalon/Spokane,)

    • Jack R June 27, 2022 (2:36 pm)

      Design Review is an outdated/NIMBY process. It slows development and increases the housing shortage. 

  • LPM June 27, 2022 (2:42 pm)

    Well, be prepared for another 100 cars to move in.   I don’t blame the developers.  I blame our city planners who allow this to happen.  Developers are going to take advantage of any cost saving shortcuts they can.  It’s time to stand up to these planners who allow large multi family units to be developed with no parking.  Even big apartment complexes in downtown come with parking!

    • James June 27, 2022 (3:27 pm)

      Most will take the train and busses in the future anyway. Cars are so not going to be a thing. No one can afford 10/gallon. 

    • Kram June 27, 2022 (4:47 pm)

      Big apartment complexes downtown have parking because they have an economy of scale that allows that. Smaller apartment buildings like this just wouldn’t get built otherwise with current construction costs. The city did this for a reason to try and get more density. You really should read this article here in the Atlantic about parking and housing.

  • Ron Sprinkel June 27, 2022 (4:12 pm)

    NIMBYs just go “home” or move out!

  • Chris K June 27, 2022 (4:59 pm)

    It’s very easy to live without a car in the area surrounding the Junction.  We live a block away from this proposed building and gave up our cars almost two years ago.  Given that the true cost of car ownership, not including environmental damage, is around $12,000 a year, we feel much less encumbered and are able to save more for our kids’ future.  We also walk and bike a lot more, so we are healthier and happier.  For those of you able to go car-free, please give it serious consideration.  Your kids and their kids will thank you.

    • skeeter June 28, 2022 (9:31 am)

      Well done Chris K!  Not only are you enjoying a healthier and sustainable lifestyle, you are freeing up road space for those folks who are unable to use bikes/transit and need to drive a car.  Keep it up!!

    • Jethro Marx June 28, 2022 (10:15 pm)

      Are you real, Chris?

      • Chris K June 29, 2022 (8:54 am)

        Absolutely.  Almost everything we need for day-to-day living is within a 20 minute walk.  Anything requiring a longer trip is done by bicycle, public transit or ride share.  

  • CarDriver June 27, 2022 (5:11 pm)

    Ron S. No nimby’s here. Just VALID questions being asked.  Are you a developer??

  • KBear June 27, 2022 (7:47 pm)

    Unless someone else has a proposal to bring back West Seattle Feed and Seed, I say bring it on. None of these “high rise” developments (7 stories, seriously?!) have ruined the Junction yet. If anything, they’ve brought more customers to local businesses. Now if only we had light rail…

  • skeeter June 28, 2022 (9:39 am)

    Here’s how I see West Seattle:If you want to enjoy the junction, please find a way to arrive by walking, biking, or transit at least 50% of the time.  By 2030 you’ll need to increase that to 80% of the time.  And plan to pay for parking – there’s too many cars for parking to be free.    If you want or need a big and free parking lot, please visit Westwood Village.  Plenty of free parking, for now at least.If you want or need a big free parking lot wherever and whenever you go somewhere, West Seattle is not the place for you.  We’re running out of room for free car storage.  You’ll be much happier in places like Federal Way and Yakima.   

    • anonyme June 28, 2022 (10:06 am)

      Yup.  I live in Arbor Heights and manage to do all my shopping by bus or delivery.  Bus service isn’t great, but it’s not impossible.  If we had smaller shopping hubs scattered throughout the city, it would be even easier.  Where I grew up in Motown, every neighborhood had a corner store, and that store was the heart of the neighborhood.  That model works everywhere. 

      • Pessoa June 28, 2022 (12:58 pm)

        I won’t comment on the small-minded, insufferable provincialism here (in my opinion),  but you’re right,  most cities had neighborhood mom and pop stores, most of which are gone now.  According to my neighbor, there were quite a  number of small corner mom and pop stores scattered throughout West Seattle at one time, such as the one that used to be adjacent to now Ercolini Park.  I believe La Rustica at one time was a small convenience store, as well. 

        • Auntie June 28, 2022 (3:21 pm)

          Yes – we called the little store where La Rustica is now located “the little beer store.” Not much else there was safe to buy – outdated canned goods, rancid flour, etc. Not much to miss there!

          • Jethro Marx June 28, 2022 (10:21 pm)

            We always called the deli market just south of the water tower on 35th “the cow store,” kind of as a history pun. Beer is still available there.

        • CarDriver June 28, 2022 (6:41 pm)

          Pessoa. La Rustica was a small convenience store. There was also one on Beach Drive by the condo that goes over the water. Where Cactus is used to be a good-sized market.  At 49th and Charleston was “Lo-Mart” also a gas station next to it. That was a good sized grocery store. Was also a market at California and Charleston. Was also a market on California a block north of Charlston on the NE corner. 

          • Pessoa June 28, 2022 (9:49 pm)

            Interesting, thanks. 

    • Ferns July 12, 2022 (4:09 am)

      So that means we should only buy what we can comfortably carry a mile or so back to our homes? In heat. In rain. Perhaps parents should hire a babysitter for the extra hours it takes them to do an errand? Maybe the baby stroller can double as a shopping cart if you don’t overfill. I hope businesses don’t mind the decreased sales. 

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