Without many big projects in the pipeline, meetings of the Southwest Design Review Board – which could meet up to twice a month, with up to two projects on each agenda – have been few and far between. In an online meeting Thursday night, the all-volunteer board took its third look at 4448 California SW, the mixed-use project set to replace the commercial building that currently holds Doll Parts Collective and a new temporary location of West Seattle Coworking. The 7-story building is proposed for 96 apartments – described by the project team as “a mix of 1-bedroom, 2-bedroom, and 3-bedroom” units – and ground-floor commercial, with no offstreet-parking spaces.
The board has had some changes since its second look at the project in November; Patrick Cobb is now the chair, and two of the other three members in attendance were new – Brenda Baxter and Gavin Schaefer. Of the two continuing members, Alan Grainger was present and Johanna Lirman was absent. The city planner assigned to the project also has changed since the November review; now it’s David Sachs.
Here’s the design packet used for the meeting. There were no major remaining points of concern, and the only public comment that came in during the meeting was positive. It was noted that some written comments had been received pre-meeting about aspects outside the SWDRB’s jurisdiction – including parking and density. Board members observed that the architects from Atelier Drome had revised the design in accordance with guidance given by the board in November. They spelled out five points they want to see addressed before the final design gets official city approval. Those include differentiating the residential entry from the commercial entry and signage; they were concerned the commercial signage would get lost under the awning, and pointed to signage on the edge of the awning at the nearby AJ Apartments as an example of how that problem could be avoided. Another focus area is the bicycle-storage room access, ensuring lighting and security.
WHAT’S NEXT: If you have comments about the project – design or otherwise – you still have time to email Sachs (firstname.lastname@example.org). He’ll write the final report on the project, and it still has other phases of the permit process to go through before construction can begin.
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