DEVELOPMENT: Expanded 35th/Holden/Ida project finally returning to Design Review

It’s been more than four years since a mixed-use project on 35th SW between Holden and Ida was last seen by the Southwest Design Review Board, which ordered the project team to come back for a second round of Early Design Guidance. (Remember that Early Design Guidance is largely about size and shape of the building – “massing”; the project team’s preferred option is above.) Two years later, we reported the plan had expanded. Now, two years after that, the project is scheduled to return to the board – and it’s been expanded again. Back in 2018, a four-story building with about 50 apartments was proposed; in 2020, it was a five-story plan with 120 apartments; now it’s six stories and more than 130 apartments, with ground-floor commercial space and 50 underground parking stalls. You can see the draft design packet here. The revised project is scheduled to go before the SWDRB at 5 pm Thursday, February 2nd, online; watch for the meeting link here.

53 Replies to "DEVELOPMENT: Expanded 35th/Holden/Ida project finally returning to Design Review"

  • Flivver January 2, 2023 (7:20 pm)

    130 apartments will have more than 130 cars associated with them. The commercial space will also have cars associated with those businesses. Educate me on why the city-and I’m sure commenters who claim to not have or use a car think that this will result in people renting or patronizing these businesses to solely rely on walking/biking/transit. My bet is that tenants and employees/customers of the commercial tenants will simply be seen cruising the neighborhood looking for a place to park.

    • Reed January 3, 2023 (6:35 am)

      And what is wrong with that? They are public streets, anyone can park on them.

      • Sharon January 4, 2023 (11:30 am)

        This does not work for people who work in the service Industry. We work weird hours And Sometimes we have to take 2 or 3 busses just to get toward jobs. Most kitchen jobs in the morning start around 5 A m Some jobs Or at night And I do not end till 1 AM in the morning. The PUS Do not work for these people. Some people have 2 or 3 jobs getting to them or sometimes very difficult.

  • Kristina Dahl January 2, 2023 (7:25 pm)

    130 units plus retail and only 50 parking spots? Won’t some of those apartments have 2+ people living in them, and staff and clients at the businesses? I am a huge fan of alternatives to cars, but that location is not an easy walk to a grocery store or other amenities and this town doesn’t have great systems for getting around without a car.

    • Skipalapondo January 2, 2023 (8:48 pm)

      Kristina- from a quick look on google maps, this location is right across the street from a bus stop on the 21 line. From there it’s a 7-8 minute ride to the Target or QFC in westwood village. (Alternatively, one of those mixed-used businesses could be a bodega that can serve local residents.) If you’re worried about transit access, the solution is more buses and better routes, not sinking millions of dollars into an underground parking structure that I can almost guarantee will be underutilized (people really hate paying for parking when the street is free, lol).I just hope they take into account the fire station across the street and put in some solid soundproofing. I have nothing but love for fire fighters but I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve been woken up by their sirens through the thin walls of my apartment on the intersection of 35/Avalon.

    • D-Ridge January 2, 2023 (9:16 pm)

      This comment is so predictable for any new development on the blog at this point I almost feel like it’s offered as a template

    • Joe Z January 2, 2023 (9:42 pm)

      There are hundreds of unused parking spaces on adjacent streets. 

  • Bus January 2, 2023 (8:21 pm)

    Ugh, too much parking.  But glad to see they increased the number of units!

  • alauto January 2, 2023 (9:46 pm)

    Huge fan for car alternatives?  
    Not from expressing the standard ‘concerns’ about car storage over people living with roofs over their heads.  
    Parking on 35th is still plentiful   (a ‘free’ car subsidy).
    And transit is available on 35th. 

  • No thanks January 2, 2023 (9:50 pm)

    Agreed. I wouldn’t be interested in living there without more parking. Someone will be real sad when they realize that you have a majority residential area, next to a very active church, and no parking for your building. Developer might need to try harder. 

  • Chas Redmond January 2, 2023 (10:13 pm)

    It’s on 35th Ave SW. The 21 runs from 4:55 am to 12;51 am with a bus every 20 minutes. I’d call that a pretty reasonable system for getting around without a car. The 21 goes by a Safeway, it goes within 2 blocks of a 2 different QFC grocery stores. It also provides direct access to First Ave downtown, on the same “every 20 minute” schedule. The 21 is not a bus Metro usually skimps on or drops – basically it’s treated as a Rapid Ride, which one could also hop on at the 21 bus stop at the corner of Avalon and 35th. This new facility is reasonably  well positioned for folks without a car.

  • Rb January 2, 2023 (11:38 pm)

    I am glad to see 35th getting more developed and I love the idea of more commercial spaces there. I feel 35th is an under utilized corridor. Even being more central and accessible than the junction. And West Seattle needs more commercial spaces to bring down the high lease prices due to shortage. I would love to see more buildings like that on 35th.

  • Rhonda January 2, 2023 (11:42 pm)

    That should be AT LEAST 130 parking spaces. 6 stories is far out of scale for the neighborhood and will tower/loom over many of the nearby homes. Our daughter and her husband just bought their first home less than a block away from this planned goliath. It’s too bad those in power to direct development simply do not care about our community. 

    • M January 3, 2023 (12:30 am)

      Rhonda, as someone who lives right there as well in my first home, I’m thrilled we are adding housing to the area. Right now this space is a vacant (?) funeral home and a half car dealership/half window tinting business. Housing is a MAJOR upgrade to the lot. There is a ton of parking nearby, and adding more underground parking would drastically increase the housing costs. Unfortunately this is one of the very few ways to legally build mf housing in Seattle. If we get rid of sf zoning, we might be able to do something about the “out of scale” issue.

    • Bill January 3, 2023 (4:02 am)

      Read some of the comments to see what they are up against!

    • Tony January 3, 2023 (6:41 am)

      As noted in the story, this project has been in planning for over four years. Your daughter and here husband should have done their due diligence before buying.

      • Rhonda January 3, 2023 (3:08 pm)

        The planned project was much smaller than this and was in scale to the other 3 and 4-story complexes in the immediate area. A 3 or 4-story building with 80 to 90 units would be a more proper fit for the 35th SW/Ida/Holden block. 

    • Foop January 3, 2023 (8:38 am)

      Adding places for people to live creates a community.

    • DC January 3, 2023 (8:47 am)

      It sounds to me like your community is home and car owners. It is a good thing that those in power realized that our community includes those who can’t afford homes and either can’t afford cars or simply don’t want one. 

    • WestSeattleBadTakes January 3, 2023 (12:12 pm)

      Sounds like this is what you actually meant. I am sure you voted to ensure we could make zoning changes that would help us fill the gaps between SFH and large apartment buildings?

      It’s too bad those in power to direct development simply do not care about my family’s property values.

      • Rhonda January 3, 2023 (3:13 pm)

        Reducing SFH zoning INCREASES property values of existing single-family homes. But it DECREASES quality of life for our entire peninsula, hence all the increased traffic complaints in the comments. Reducing SFH zoning also increases the rents of tenants leasing SFHs. Not every renter wants to rent an apartment.

  • Mike January 3, 2023 (4:45 am)

    This property immediately backs up to Single family zoning to the west. Additionally it’s irregular configuration- making five story massing  out of scale. This should be reduced to a four story property. 

    • jtm January 3, 2023 (1:46 pm)

      Across 35th and a block down 35th are multiple apartment complexes that are 4+ stories. Why is this out of scale?

    • K January 3, 2023 (5:32 pm)

      They should upzone the adjacent SF housing to bring it up to scale with the arterial and commercial district that’s a block away.  A 5 story building in this location is fine.

  • Jeepney January 3, 2023 (5:20 am)

    As someone who rides the 21 to work downtown everyday, the bus does not run “every 20 minutes”.  That may be the schedule, but the reality is much different.  There are many times buses that are scheduled do not show at all.  If we had a more frequent and reliable transit system these types of housing units would make sense.  However, since Covid, ridership seems to be significantly lower.

    • Off Holden January 3, 2023 (12:48 pm)

      Yeah, lots of aspirational comments about the 21. If you need to be somewhere on time, you can’t trust it will come every 20 minutes. I’m all for them adding housing density and commercial use here though! A grocery / convenience store would be an ideal addition. But a grocery would be unlikely to choose this location with the lack of commercial parking (lol)

  • Flivver January 3, 2023 (5:26 am)

    My comment is based on reality. Last few years lots of new apartment units have been built in the junction. Lots of shopping close by and transit options. Guess what? LOTS of new cars show up on the street. Why, because the apartment renters need some place to park. Because they own, and drive cars. Sorry, this doesn’t fit the “carless” commenters claims but it is the real world. 

    • reed January 3, 2023 (9:43 am)

      You seem to have dodged my comment. Theses are public streets, not private, so what is the issue with apartment dwellers parking on them?

      • Flivver January 3, 2023 (2:12 pm)

        Reed. Not dodging. As you say street parking is first come first serve-always has been. My point is that there are city officials and commenters here on the blog who seem to believe that if a building is built with no or inadequate parking people will simply sell their car. Reality is they don’t and are happy to simply drive around the ‘hood looking for the closest parking space. Who benefits-other than the developer??? 

    • alauto January 3, 2023 (9:59 am)

      I was hoping to enter 2023 with more awareness of our environmental challenges. 
      Few are claiming absolutes in the car vs carless issue.  
      The only absolutes are our climate, traffic and the need to change.
      Building more costly and anachronistic car storage for human  housing during an affordable housing shortage should be the exception, no the norm.
      Even if some residents do operate and store vehicles, there are others who do not and should not have to pay for parking they do not use.
      Of course the parking issue could be solved by monetizing all street parking everywhere,
      you park on a street,
      you pay. 

  • Kyle January 3, 2023 (6:42 am)

    Housing is extremely unaffordable in this area. This is good. For the sake of our children who hope to at least live near their parents one day. 

  • HS January 3, 2023 (8:12 am)

    What a great design package; however, I’m not sure why the project is listed as in South Delridge with quick access to the Delridge Rapid Ride. It’s actually in the Westwood/Roxhill and Gatewood neighborhoods. Delridge, and listed transit, is over 20 blocks to the east. As others have commented, the #21 bus is on 35th. I’m happy to see more housing and especially lower level retail. There are a LOT of people in this neighborhood. I think the scale is appropriate for an urban area on a 4 lane road. The neighboring condo building across the street is 5 stories and an apartment building a half block away is 6 (?). Fingers crossed for a more aesthetic and user friendly sidewalk / building front. People are trying to use 35th for walking and biking but it’s haphazard so anything that provides good pedestrian interaction and building engagement would be welcomed – like the newer construction on the west side of Fauntleroy (BECU etc) and just south of LA Fitness. Average home price in this area is still $800k.

    • HS January 3, 2023 (8:19 am)

      To add – the #21 bus will take people directly to Westwood Village to the south or to the (proposed) Avalon Station, stadiums, Pioneer Square, and first avenue to the south.

    • alauto January 3, 2023 (10:09 am)

      HS seems familiar with the hood, but has a math problem-
      Delridge, and listed transit, is over 20 blocks to the east.”  
      Delridge is the same as 21st Ave SW at Holden, so that more than 20 blocks is actually exactly 15 blocks. 

      • HS January 3, 2023 (2:13 pm)

        Good catch! I counted on the map and looks like I didn’t account for alley ways. Definitely would have been easier to subtract based on street numbers. ha!

    • Wseattleite January 3, 2023 (10:59 am)

      There is no four lane road adjacent to this property. 

      • M January 3, 2023 (11:24 am)

        It’s actually 5 lanes on 35th in front of this future building. Two right hand turn lanes/bus priority lanes, two general purpose lanes, and one two way left turn lane. I’d love to see some pedestrian improvements, such as automatic walk signals and widened sidewalks.

    • 1994 January 3, 2023 (10:17 pm)

      35th Ave SW was road dieted to 1 lane each direction with a center turn lane.  3 lanes. Curb parking remains in this section of  35th . Yes, there are a couple of brief bus only or turn lanes but they don’t go much distance and really don’t count as a traffic lane.

  • Peter January 3, 2023 (8:22 am)

    I like it, 35th desperately needs more neighborhood retail space. 

  • Charles Burlingame January 3, 2023 (8:23 am)

    Seattle lowered minimum parking requirements near frequent transit (like the 21 bus) in 2012 and again in 2018.  The only question right now is how long it takes for the city to remove parking requirements across the entire city, as Portland did in 2020. The reason this is the only question is because they’re broadly seen as best practices that help housing affordability. No one with any pull in this city has proposed putting them back.

  • Keep crosswalk January 3, 2023 (8:31 am)

    Street frontage and site design need to reflect existing public infrastructure. The midblock crosswalk at 35th and Holden near northbound bust stop is not reflected in design. The street trees will be less and smaller given overhead power and setbacks from power poles and crosswalks.

  • Steve January 3, 2023 (10:08 am)

    The tallest building in this area is four stories. This thing is massive. From what statistics I could find 80% of households in Seattle own cars. That would be over 100 out of the 130 of this place. The rest of the owners have to find spots on the street. I really don’t  understand many of the comments on this story. It seems many people here want development for developments sake. And not only do they dislike cars but they even dislike having parking for cars included in a building. This won’t be low cost housing. There is no low cost housing unless builders are given large subsidies from local governments. Builders and contractors invest and build these places to make the most money possible. If you believe otherwise you are very naive.

    • alauto January 3, 2023 (12:57 pm)

      A few problems with Steve’s extrapolations and figures.  
      The cited 80% vehicle ownership is for ALL Seattle households.  
      It does not reflect the considerably lower rate for apartment dwellers.  
      Vacancy rates of apartment parking is a common complaint of apartment managers/owners.  
      Additionally, the rate of vehicle ownership in Seattle has actually been declining for the last few years as their viability is being challenged.

  • WestSeattleBadTakes January 3, 2023 (10:32 am)

    Sounds like this should just become a parking garage.

  • DC January 3, 2023 (12:48 pm)

    To all the haters, don’t worry- design review is a critical part of the Seattle process – we’ll argue about the building color and finishes for the next few years in a literal demonstration of Bike Shedding.

  • skeeter January 3, 2023 (12:51 pm)

    50 parking spaces is WAY too many.  Our traffic is bad and getting worse.  Every parking space we add is another new additional car in West Seattle and more traffic, congestion, and gridlock.  We should be removing parking spaces, not adding them.  

  • Jort January 3, 2023 (1:04 pm)

    Gotta love the “In This House” “liberal” “environmentalists” of West Seattle who explicitly demand that space forcibly be made available for automobiles. Automobiles which are, of course, Seattle’s number one source of carbon emissions. 

  • Use Public Transit January 3, 2023 (1:23 pm)

    50 parking stalls is plenty for a building.  Car drivers are so entitled in this city. People should use Public Transit whenever possible.  

    • Flivver January 3, 2023 (5:22 pm)

      Use public transit. And if no transit options exist your solution is stay home or move??? Since they shouldn’t be “entitled to use a car what is your solution that will work for the masses??

  • WSDAD January 3, 2023 (5:13 pm)

    Wow. I have lived a block away from this location for 13 years. I always wondered when they would build in this spot. The old car lot has been there forever. It’s actually a great location and would bring a lot more business to the area. You can take the bus 21 and be downtown in 20-30 min.  Thriftway and Target are not far, and you can easily ride an electric bike to get there. This would open up more housing in WS too. I guess the only downside is more cars on my street. That will give car thieves more options to choose from. Catch 22

  • 937 January 3, 2023 (6:44 pm)

    Less “secured” parking means more opportunity for car prowls and vehicle theft.


  • brianF January 4, 2023 (9:07 pm)

    Very interesting project and location. We love on Holden as well. My preferences are Schemes 2 first and then Scheme 1 second. Although my preferences are almost equal.  I like the idea of some large design feature that breaks up the facade along 35th. Scheme 2 somewhat preserves the view corridor (and allows for natural light) directly to the west from Holden (east of 35th). We drive through the Holden intersection almost daily, and I’m trying to imagine what this would be like coming up Holden from Delridge.  More commercial space here is exciting and will help connect the businesses immediately south and north on 35th. I hope it’s restaurants/pubs/cafes and/or a convenient store. 

  • Barkley McDowel January 7, 2023 (7:46 am)

    As someone who directly is affected by this I would challenge those of you who hate automobiles to think in the long run. It isn’t about you its about the area. You get one shot at adding parking before 5-6 stories goes up.  And I am sure many of you haters are anti-Amazon so how is a developer any different? So it cost them more to dig. So what? They won’t charge more if no one can afford it. I am sure they will tell ya what you want to hear to get this project done.  How many of you car haters work? How many have to work and get kids around town? How many have to take call? Do any of you enjoy leaving the region to explore the terrain that brings people to this region or do you just sit at home and watch CNN and Dr.Phil?I like the design, I recognize change is coming. I have lived in this region my entire life. Saw Belltown grow from vacant holes in the ground to a trendy new area, my grand parents house became a six plex at the base of Queen Anne, Cap Hill is still a mess but nice buildings, saw Ballard/Fremont go from industrial middle class to what it is now and I knew W.Sea was next when I moved here.Like it or not I understand up zoning is here, I like it, it takes up less land but you only get one shot to do it right. The developer can afford to double their parking and should. Like many I would love to take transit if I could but it isn’t feasible. 

Sorry, comment time is over.