DEVELOPMENT: 31-townhouse project for north Junction site

Back in April, we reported an early-stage filing for 30 townhouses on the site of a building and parking lot long owned by West Seattle Christian Church. Its pastor told us at the time that it was part of a feasibility exploration for a potential sale. New documents in online city permit files indicate the project is proceeding, and the site plan now shows 31 townhouses proposed for the site. The official project address is 4425 41st SW; the developer is listed in city files as Jabooda Homes (whose website also shows the plan), working with Cone Architecture.

32 Replies to "DEVELOPMENT: 31-townhouse project for north Junction site"

  • CAM November 21, 2022 (12:28 pm)

    I beg of you. No More Townhouses!!! Build Condos!!! Build 2 and 3 flats!!! Stop building stuff that prices 70% of the people out and calling it density. Not every person buying their first place wants to live in a dumb townhouse. 

    • Kram November 21, 2022 (1:48 pm)

      CAM, I would do some research on your comment. Condo buildings are incredibly more expensive than townhomes and new construction condos sell for much more than Townhomes. We do not need anymore luxury condos in West Seattle.

      • Peter November 21, 2022 (3:03 pm)

        Sorry, Kram, but that is just not true, as you could see if you did a basic search of properties for sale in the area. Where are all these “luxury condos” in WS that you’re talking about?

        • Kram November 21, 2022 (4:56 pm)

          You’re looking at older condo buildings Peter. I’m talking about a new condo building built today compared to a new townhome built today. I’m in construction and pricing these are my job. Condo buildings are incredibly expensive to build in today’s dollars. Of course there are affordable condos out there in older buildings. For this specific property however, in response to above comment from CAM, condos would be more than townhomes. It’s not even close frankly. CAM was implying it would be less to build condos.

          • CAM November 21, 2022 (10:35 pm)

            A very brief review of properties for sale in this neighborhood (not downtown, not waterfront, etc.) includes 2 bedroom condos around 1k sqft going between 390k and 640k. There are 9 of those available which were built between 1979 and 2009. There are 22 similarly sized townhomes, 2 and 3 bedrooms and 1.1k to 1.8k sqft (built from 1995 to present), ranging from 550k to 1.15 million. Obviously the condo stock is older than the townhouse stock, because nobody is building them. And yet they sell out rapidly anytime they are built or go on the market. Each of those condos were also in buildings that bad far more units that could be sold than in similarly sized lots for townhomes. It may cost more to build condo buildings but it is not more expensive to buy a condo unit than to buy a townhome. 

        • alki_2008 November 22, 2022 (1:28 am)

          Keep in mind that condos may have a lower purchase price than a townhome, but condos come with monthly maintenance fees that owners have to pay for as long as they own that condo. Having a $1500 mortgage on a condo may seem more affordable than a $2000 mortgage on a townhouse, but that condo includes a $500 monthly assessment that will continue even after the mortgage is paid off (and the monthly assessment will increase over time). It’s not as simple as just a purchase price.

          • CAM November 22, 2022 (7:58 am)

            Alki-… If you’re buying any type of property and not setting aside some money monthly for “maintenance” in addition to saving for emergencies, you are probably going to end up in a tight spot financially, unless you’re independently wealthy. In a condo someone else is just taking care of all that maintenance. Not everyone wants that. Not everyone wants to be replacing a roof. Take your pick. Unfortunately the industry is not allowing buyers the option. 

    • KM November 21, 2022 (1:56 pm)

      Much of it comes down to zoning. Most of Seattle can’t build stacked flats like most other cities in the world because of exclusionary zoning. We are stuck with townhomes. People can’t age in place with all these stairs—not to mention those with mobility limitations. It sucks. At least it is one less parking lot!

      • Flo B November 21, 2022 (2:53 pm)

        KM. Am assuming there’ll be one parking place for each unit. And you’re right, my niece bought a townhouse in the north end and a LOT of stairs. Will NOT work for anybody with mobility issues. 

      • bill November 21, 2022 (3:06 pm)

        KM: I had not heard that zoning prevents building flats. Can you point us to a reference? All the stairs in a townhouse waste a lot of floor space, plus stairs are a safety hazard. Day to day, constantly having to go up and down is a nuisance.

        • dc November 21, 2022 (4:34 pm)

          Other than zoning, condo construction hasn’t happened over a period of decades for one specific reason: lawsuits. Defects in a state law originally passed in 1989 made it nearly guaranteed that developers will be sued and found liable for the most minor defects in construction (even for frivolous lawsuits)….so they don’t build them. The law was updated in 2019 and then again last year, so it’ll take at least a few years for these projects to appear — or not.

          • Al King November 21, 2022 (5:58 pm)

            DC. Remember back in the 80’s and 90’s we had all those leaky condo’s??? They were the DIRECT result of developers and builders using the cheapest materiel and cheapest labor built as fast as they could. When they started leaking the statute of limitations for the builders had passed so condo owners were stuck. They did it to themselves to invite restrictions. Why is accountability and a requirement to stand behind their work bad? 

    • WSREZZO November 21, 2022 (2:05 pm)

      My first home is a dumb townhome. I wouldn’t want to live in a tiny condo with HOA fees.

      • bill November 21, 2022 (3:01 pm)

        A properly managed condominium will build up a reserve fund to pay for repairs and maintenance as part of the HOA fees. I hope you are setting aside something for your townhouse. Plus an allowance for attorney fees if you can’t see eye to eye with the other owners of your townhouse building when the time comes for major maintenance. You might want to look up what “condominium” actually means and set up one for your townhouse.

        • alki_2008 November 22, 2022 (1:36 am)

          The vast majority of condos do not have reserve account at 100% funding. Most are below 75%. And that’s just for planned maintenance. Costs for weather damage, burst pipes, vandalism, accidental damage, and other unexpected things are not factored into monthly dues. Special assessments that require condo owners to pay or finance thousands of dollars for unexpected costs is not uncommon. Townhome owners usually just have roofs and driveways to negotiate with neighbors. Other internal systems like electric and plumbing are not shared.

          And when it comes to liability. The impact of a fire or flooding from a single owner is much greater in a condo than townhome. Someone that doesn’t maintain their water heater can impact many units around and below them in a condo, but not impact another in a townhouse. And a careless fire in a condo can impact many more residences than a fire in a townhouse.

      • CAM November 21, 2022 (10:41 pm)

        There is nothing wrong with townhomes. What is wrong is the building of millions of townhomes to the exclusion of any other form of multiunit housing that a person can purchase. Just like you don’t want a condo not everyone wants a townhome and they shouldn’t be forced to live in an apartment forever because builders refuse to build what people want. I anxiously await the day the market for all these townhomes crashes so that the builders will start building something else. 

        • Kyle November 22, 2022 (8:13 am)

          I think a lot of people will want these townhomes. We’re not going to build 31 new single family homes near the Junction. This is a good use of the space and an opportunity for 31 new people to become homeowners. We’ve underbuilt housing for so many years here I worry my kids will have to move away so they can afford to buy something.

  • Jeff November 21, 2022 (12:38 pm)

    Yes!!! More density! Always good. Will drive down/slow down housing costs with more being added.

  • LPM November 21, 2022 (1:48 pm)

    So much better than condos and apartments with no parking.  However, 31 new homes in that space would be awful.  I would never want to be in a sardine can.  yuck.

    • Also John November 21, 2022 (6:18 pm)

      Who says these townhouses will have parking?

      • WSB November 21, 2022 (6:23 pm)

        The site plan and city docket says so. I didn’t have time to read further into the documents to see how much, but will take a look as things finally calm down.

    • CAM November 21, 2022 (9:50 pm)

      Who says condos wouldn’t have parking? Most do. 

  • Alki resident November 21, 2022 (2:58 pm)

    Just pack’em in, Good lord 

  • broke November 21, 2022 (3:39 pm)

    Some of us strive for that sardine can. I have zero chance of owning a regular home in WS that is not a townhome and like a 10 percent chance of getting one of these sardine cans. It is very easy to say things like this if you already own something.

    • WS Res November 21, 2022 (7:12 pm)

      Thank you, well-said.

    • Kyle November 21, 2022 (8:24 pm)

      Agreed, townhomes are the new starter homes in West Seattle. And even then they will be a stretch.

    • Scarlett November 22, 2022 (8:03 am)

      Broke:  I have a few acquaintance who complain about development but they inherited a house.   These people have no shame  whatsover. 

  • Wendell November 21, 2022 (9:03 pm)

    How about including some tiny homes into the planning of these spaces? Help give a leg up in life to those that need help. 

  • SJ November 22, 2022 (9:52 am)

    What are the plans for the pea patch on the north side? Will they move to a new location?

  • wetone November 22, 2022 (10:07 am)

    Should be interesting having 30+ cars added to neighborhood streets. Row house or townhome, what ever fits best with current zoning along with having largest profits for investors will be built. As far as parking goes most people will park on street because provided parking is more of a storage area unless one has a micro vehicle ;)  

  • Thee November 22, 2022 (12:57 pm)

    Anyone know if this church will be paying taxes on what’s to be a massive windfall?

  • pjk November 23, 2022 (10:48 am)

     Thee:  I don’t know if the church will be paying tax on the sale of the property but just so you realize, the city will now collect property tax from each of those new 31 townhomes in the future.  Also, while churches do not pay property taxes, they DO PAY all the levies that are voted in each election year (schools, libraries, etc.).  I’m a former church treasurer and I’m assuming their church congregation isn’t large enough to cover all their expenses.  Building maintenance is probably driving much of the reason they need to sell plus the upkeep on just a plain old parking lot is a considerable expense!!  Most churches offer a lot of services to a community, so please give them some space.

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