FOLLOWUP: Rebuilt, expanded Lam Bow Apartments close to completion, 7 years post-fire

(WSB photo)

Driving along Delridge recently, we noticed that the largest current affordable-housing construction project in West Seattle, the rebuilt and expanded Lam Bow Apartments complex, appeared almost complete. We subsequently confirmed that with the Seattle Housing Authority. Almost seven years have passed since one of the Lam Bow’s original two buildings was heavily damaged in a three-alarm fire. While that September 2016 fire only affected one building, SHA decided in 2019 to demolish the remaining building and redevelop the entire Lam Bow site into an 82-unit complex, 31 more apartments than the two original buildings held. As SHA prepares for the building at 6935 Delridge Way SW to be occupied, spokesperson Kerry Coughlin tells WSB, “We are contacting former residents at this time about whether they want to move back.” The new Lam Bow, with a construction cost estimated at $26 million, has a mix of 1-, 2-, and 3-bedroom units, and a mix of rents as well, including some for those making up to 60 percent of the average mean income. Funding announced in 2019 was from a mix of sources including the Seattle Housing Levy, which expires this year and is – as we reported in March, and as a council committee affirmed just today – moving toward a $970 million expansion/renewal for this November’s ballot.

13 Replies to "FOLLOWUP: Rebuilt, expanded Lam Bow Apartments close to completion, 7 years post-fire"

  • 1994 May 31, 2023 (10:03 pm)

    From your photo looks great – nice colors! Good to read there are more units than before.

  • DC June 1, 2023 (8:35 am)

    7 years to add 31 units and a parking lot bigger than the buildings combined, despite being steps from the new RapidRide. Seattle is not serious about housing affordability. It does look nice though and am happy for the lucky few who will be able to live there. 

    • D-Ridge June 1, 2023 (10:23 am)

      It really is insane that half of this site is a surface parking lot.

    • J June 1, 2023 (2:38 pm)

      There needs to be at least some housing for people who need cars for work or due to other reasons. Everyone can’t take transit. Do you think all of those people should be forced to move to the sticks and spend 4 hours commuting each day? 

      • DC June 1, 2023 (3:25 pm)

        There is tons of free regularly available street parking in the area. Might make it a little harder for the homeowners with garages filled with trash to find a spot to park their third car, though.

        • Development w/ some Common Sense June 3, 2023 (3:00 am)

          It’s refreshing to see that developers actually applied common sense here as a resident here on Delridge the on street parking is very minimal but even if it weren’t it just doesn’t make a least bit a sense when all these huge condos go up with no parking to accommodate the residents. This is why on street parking has now become such an issue for this reason alone. But per usual there is always a knit picking Negative Nancy in the comments ready to spew all that negative energy that consumes their day to day existence. The city of Seattle is damned if they do damned if they don’t at this point.

    • Read Much June 3, 2023 (3:12 am)

      It’s a 82 unit complex with 31 more units than the previous dwellings. And the parking lot is no where near bigger than the units built within the complex. I heard SHA is offering some great move in incentives as well.

  • W June 1, 2023 (11:19 am)

    Agree with DC.  
    Eighty plus surface parking spaces for eighty two units on a Rapid Ride Route is not the way Seattle should be heading. &nbsp
    ;The housing capacity could have been double without the large parking lot!  
    It is housing that is needed, not storage for a dying mode of transportation.

    Maybe allow screened and vetted “unhoused” families to move their RVS to the parking lot? 

    The cost per unit is also revealing.  $26 million (estimated?) divided by 82 units, averages nearly $320,000 per unit.  
    Assuming that is construction cost and does not include land purchase, it shows just how expensive low income housing is (despite the commenters’ howls of obscenely greedy out of state developers). 

  • Al June 1, 2023 (11:52 am)

    Agreed that tons of parking doesn’t seem necessary here, but they spent 26 million on this construction. I’m guessing the parking lots did not cost much to pave, and the land itself is not super valuable, so the limiting factor was likely construction costs, not values. It’s better to use as parking than nothing at all. 

  • park June 1, 2023 (1:59 pm)

    I would certainly appreciate the parking lot and a place to park my car.

  • susie June 1, 2023 (2:36 pm)

    I hate to break this to you all…people still do drive cars and do not like to take the bus and or can’t ride a bike. And yes more units could had been built but they weren’t so live with it.

  • 22blades June 1, 2023 (3:44 pm)

    City enabled Developer Welfare. They see & come here because it rains. It rains cash.

    • WestSeattleBadTakes June 1, 2023 (4:05 pm)

      Did you know, people make money under capitalism!?

      Ground breaking stuff right here.

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