Search Result for : conner homes

Conner Homes’ Junction property sold to Equity Residential for $11 million

(WSB June 2011 photo looking at Conner site from QFC steps – it’s on Alaska’s south side, 42nd to California)
Four months after we first told you that Conner Homes was selling its property in the heart of The Junction – planned for a two-building mixed-use megaproject – the site has a new owner. Equity Residential has purchased the property, according to documents filed this week with King County. The company already owns more than 30 apartment complexes around the Puget Sound metro area, though none of the others are in West Seattle, and it’s just started building the Market Street Landing project in Ballard, with almost 300 apartments. Equity’s corporate headquarters are in Chicago. In the letter Conner shared with WSB when he announced the plan to sell the site, he said he didn’t expect construction to start any sooner than next summer. The online documents list the sale price as $11,400,000; Conner and partners bought the site for $1.4 million more than a decade ago, and finalized land-use permits for the two-building project earlier this year.

West Seattle development: Conner Homes selling Junction site

(WSB June 2011 photo looking at Conner site from QFC steps – it’s on Alaska’s south side, 42nd to California)
Eleven years after buying prime property in the heart of The Junction, currently planned for a two-building, 200-apartment development, Conner Homes president Charlie Conner says the site is going up for sale.

We just found this out, after asking Conner for a status report on the projects. Our request last week for comment was answered today by Conner, e-mailing us a letter he says was sent to “the Junction community” last week. The letter says he and his partners have chosen Turning Point Realty Advisors to put the site on the market, and says it’s not likely construction will start before summer 2012. The full text of Conner’s letter, ahead:Read More

City Council committee recommends that Conner Homes’ Junction project get its ‘alley vacation’

(Added 12:20 pm: Seattle Channel video of today’s meeting; Conner item begins 7 minutes in)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

After more than three years and 10 public meetings, the 200-apartment Conner Homes mixed-use project in the heart of The Junction has cleared one of its last remaining hurdles: After an hour and a half, the City Council’s Transportation Committee – represented by its chair, West Seattle-residing Councilmember Tom Rasmussen – has just decided to recommend approval of the “alley vacation” required for the project to go forward.

But not before a formidable voice of concern spoke out – Dave Montoure of Junction restaurant/bar West 5 (who also chairs the West Seattle Chamber of Commerce board but was not speaking on its behalf), one of four people to speak during the public-comment portion of the hearing.

(Image from Seattle Channel feed of today’s hearing)
Montoure (above) said he wasn’t there to oppose the alley vacation, which only involves an underground area, or to send the project back into Design Review, but was there to strongly oppose two aspects of the project that had been longstanding points of concern- its residential lobby on California SW (“Retail frontage off California Avenue is the best retail frontage in West Seattle,” Montoure argued) and its garage entrance from 42nd SW rather than the alley (“Do you want to hear, ‘caution, vehicle approaching’ over and over” each day? he asked.)

“I’m tired of going to meetings about (this project) – but let’s not let this fatigue excuse us from our duty to our community,” he summarized.

Rasmussen said Harbor Properties, developer of Mural (WSB sponsor) to the south, also had sent a letter of concern about the 42nd SW entrance. He agreed that the vehicle crossings on the sidewalk should be “minimized”; architects said they had “pulled back” the building facade to create better sight angles, in hopes of enhancing safety. Harbor’s Emi McKittrick stepped to the podium as Rasmussen mulled their letter, which requested that the entrance be further north than currently planned; she pointed out there is no crosswalk in that immediate area. But Rasmussen ultimately said he believes 42nd would provide a “better entrance” than the alley.

(Sketch of California-facing view from presentation for Conner project in The Junction)
Rasmussen also described the 13-foot residential entrance on California as a “relatively small” area that he didn’t believe would significantly reduce the area’s retail frontage, so he did not ask for any changes in that.

The lengthy briefing and hearing underscored the fact that this is a “very important project,” as Rasmussen had described it toward the hearing’s start.

Read More

Bulletin: Conner Homes’ Junction project done with Design Review

A milestone tonight in Junction development: The 5th time turned out to be the charm for the Conner Homes two-building megaproject, which is now done with Design Review, one year and twelfth days after the first DR meeting on the project. The rendering above shows “scheme D” from the latest round of proposals for the till-now-undecided final element of the project – the shape/look of its western building, at California/Alaska. That shape, with a few changes large and small, will form the framework of the recommendations made tonight by Southwest Design Review Board members as they concluded their fifth — and now, it can be said, final — meeting on the project, which ended moments ago. About 50 people filled the room at one point – breaking several times into applause during the public-comment period, especially for West Seattle resident Rene Commons‘ impassioned presentation (second one she has made to the board) requesting architectural details that would at least give a nod to the area’s history.

Board members did make one stipulation that’s a major change from any of the four options shown: They want the retail facade along the southwest street-front of the project to be two stories instead of one story, in no small part to “mask” the higher stories from those passing by on the street. And they’re calling for some sort of strong element at the California/Alaska corner – maybe a vertical sign or some other “supergraphic” element, as board member Vlad Oustimovitch put it – to give the project some of the “quirky” West Seattle flavor to which Commons had alluded during her presentation.

Conner Homes’ Junction project clears another hurdle

(added 5:12 pm, newly released rendering of proposed western Conner project building at California/Alaska)

That’s Conner Homes boss Charlie Conner speaking briefly to the Seattle Design Commission this afternoon at City Hall, before commissioners’ third review of the “subterranean alley vacation” that’s needed for his project to have one underground parking garage shared by its two proposed 8-story buildings at California/Alaska/42nd. Any kind of “alley vacation” — allowing a land owner to take public property — generally requires the owner/developer to offer some kind of “public benefit” in return; as Conner recapped in his remarks, that’s the part that commissioners hadn’t been so sure about, though they signed off on the design concept during an earlier meeting. The extensive discussions of the previous reviews — which we covered here and here — were not replicated today; project architect Peter Greaves of Weber Thompson recapped a few elements in which he had responded to commissioners’ previously voiced concerns, and the commission gave its approval with few comments/questions. This isn’t the final approval for the alley vacation; SDOT’s alley-vacation specialist Beverly Barnett told WSB after the meeting that her work on it is not yet done, and once her department has a recommendation, it goes to the City Council’s Transportation Committee. The Conner project has an even bigger date before then – next Thursday, 6:30 pm at High Point Library, what could be the final Design Review Board look at the entire project. We have images from today’s presentation, courtesy of Weber Thompson, and will add them later this afternoon.

ADDED 5:06 PM: For starters, here’s the full Conner presentation (5 MB PDF). Also just added the first image from that presentation at the top of this report – a new rendering showing what the western building of the project might look like.

ADDED 6:36 PM: Jump ahead for more images made public today, and a few more details from this afternoon’s Design Commission meeting:Read More

Junction development: Letter from Conner Homes’ president

When we published this WSB story yesterday afternoon about some Junction businesspeople circulating petitions opposing the alley “vacation” proposed by Conner Homes for its California/Alaska/42nd buildings, we promised to share any response from Conner Homes as soon as we received it. So here’s the entirety of a letter e-mailed to WSB a short time ago:

August 1, 2008

Dear Neighbors,

We are aware that some of you are concerned about our proposed development at the junction of Alaska and California Streets.

Please be assured that it has always been our intention to build a project that enhances the Junction. We have tried to keep the community aware of our plans and, to this end, have already had a number of group and individual meetings to update residents and merchants as they have progressed. We will continue to do so.

However, if any of you feel that we have been remiss on this score, we will be happy to meet with you either in a group or separately, so please feel to contact me or Project Manager, James Miller directly and we will set something up.

I understand that many of you are concerned about the impact of the development on overall parking in the area as well as the effects of our proposed alley vacation.

In terms of parking, we want to make it clear that our development will INCREASE the number of parking spaces available to the public. The number of surface spaces will remain roughly the same and there will be a considerable amount of new parking for retail created in our proposed underground garage. As a result the current parking congestion will be lessened.

We have also heard that there are worries that our development will somehow lead to the development of the public parking lots owned by the West Seattle Trustees Parking Association. We do not know how this rumor got started but it is completely false. Our development will have absolutely no effect on these lots and as a member of the Association we are not aware of any plans to develop these lots.

As far as the alley vacation we are confident that this will be a real plus for the abutting owners representing the majority of the properties along the alley have supported it. Still we appreciate the concerns of some merchants about possible disruption to their business and we want to assure them that we will work directly with them to come up with a solution (turnarounds etc.) to mitigate those impacts.

We do want to be clear that this is not a permanent alley vacation but only temporary to allow completion of the underground garage. Once this process is complete (in around 10-12 months) the alley will be restored to a much improved condition.

Specifically, the overhead wires will be under grounded, the alley will be widened and pedestrian friendly amenities will be added. These mitigations, along with a pedestrian walkway between 42nd Street and California will make the alley a real asset to the community overall.

As an additional mitigation we have also agreed to commit substantial funds to getting the proposed public park across the street from our property off the ground to the benefit of all residents and merchants in the area.

It should be noted that the two large developments underway in the area will be completed before we begin construction so that overall disruption to the community will not increase.

Finally, we firmly believe that a quality development in this location will improve the Junction, both in terms of housing and new retail opportunities for all West Seattle residents, as well as provide increased business activity for existing merchants.

As long term owners of the property we are fully committed to improving the Junction and welcome any opportunity to work with you to achieve this end.

Thank you for your attention and we look forward to working with you to make this a project we can all be proud of.

Charlie Conner
James Miller

Design Review round 2 for Conner Homes’ Junction project


That’s Charlie Conner, president/owner of Conner Homes, whose California/Alaska/42nd project went back to the Southwest Design Review Board last night for a second round of “Design Review Guidance.” He was clearly there to lead the team making the case for the project; this time, he directly addressed the crowd to open what is usually the architect’s presentation to the board — and that followed time he spent before the meeting introducing himself to members of the standing-room-only crowd as they arrived. Then, more than half an hour after the meeting, he was outside the Southwest Precinct, still talking with a small group of attendees in which we recognized at least one Junction merchant. Our full report on what happened, and what happens next, straight ahead — long report, for a long (more than 2 hours) meeting:Read More

New owners of ex-Conner Junction site: Groundbreaking this year

(Sketch of California-facing view taken from project renderings last year)
We’ve just heard from Chicago-based megadeveloper Equity Residential for the first time since the company closed the deal to buy the California/Alaska/42nd site long owned by Charlie Conner. The day the deal was finalized, we’d sent an inquiry looking for comment – no response, but we renewed the request today, and just heard back from Equity spokesperson Marty McKenna.

He says Equity expects to break ground “within the next year.” He also confirms they are going ahead with the project as per the plans already approved by the city, two buildings totaling almost 200 apartments, and says they will honor the agreement made with community members regarding external elements of the project.

The remaining business tenants are renting month-by-month, he says, adding that since the new development “will have a retail aspect,” they’re also open to the possibility that all or some of them might want to be part of it. (Some have already found new locations, as most recently mentioned here just yesterday.) Though the site has its land-use approvals, a demolition permit would have to be sought before any construction could start; you can watch the project’s city webpages for signs of that as the year goes on.

West Seattle development: Land-use approvals for Conner project

(WSB photo looking at the Conner site from QFC steps – it’s on Alaska’s south side, 42nd to California)
Another key approval is just in for the two-building Conner Homes project in the heart of The Junction – both of its buildings have won land-use approval. Here’s the notice for the California/Alaska building (7 stories, 70 apartments, 10,000+ square feet of commercial), and here’s the notice for the 42nd/Alaska building (7 stories, 126 apartments, 15,000 square feet of commercial). The decisions that triggered those two notices are both linked from the pages we’ve linked, as is information on how to appeal the decisions, which both finalize the reviewed design for the bulidings and the city’s determination of environmental non-significance. Anyone who wants to appeal either or both has to do so by July 7th.

The project roared back onto the front burner two months ago, when City Council votes were scheduled for an “alley vacation” needed to enable a single 271-space underground garage for both bulidings. For this story we published then, we spoke with site owner/developer Charlie Conner, who said they expect to start construction next year. One of the tenants on the site is vacating before then – as reported here on Monday, the city has decided to close the Neighborhood Service Center on June 30th.

Tuesday: Hearing downtown on Conner project alley vacation

From page 19 of a 25-page PowerPoint scheduled to be shown to the City Council’s Transportation Committee tomorrow, those are some of the “streetscape amenities” promised as part of the 2-building Conner Homes development planned along SW Alaska, between 42nd and California, in the heart of The Junction. Tomorrow morning at 9:30 at City Hall downtown, the committee holds the official public hearing on the “alley vacation” that requires city approval to proceed with the development’s current plan; the actual section of public right-of-way to be “vacated,” if the full council approves, is actually underground, facilitating one large parking garage beneath the two 7-story buildings – the alley will remain an alley at the surface.

As we reported here three weeks ago, Conner negotiated changes to the project with a group of concerned citizens that met with him for more than a year before signing an agreement eventually not to oppose the “alley vacation.” Our earlier story featured highlights of their agreement, which can be read in full on the last page of the presentation to be shown tomorrow; SDOT recommends approval – you can read the department’s official memo here. If the committee approves the proposal tomorrow, it will go next to the full council for a vote. As for the project timetable – Conner told us earlier this month that construction wouldn’t start any sooner than year’s end (existing businesses on the site have leases running till then).

Conner’s Junction project proceeding after neighborhood deal

(Sketch of California-facing view from latest version of Conner project in The Junction)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Since nothing’s happened publicly with the Conner Homes two-building development proposal in the heart of The Junction for two years, you might have thought that, like other once-active local projects, it’s stalled indefinitely.

Not so, we learned when its “alley vacation” component – asking to take over city right-of-way under part of an existing alley, so its two buildings can share one parking garage – suddenly appeared on last week’s City Council agenda.

As a result of that quick vote (reported here), the “alley vacation” will get a public hearing before the council’s Transportation Committee three weeks from today. (Here’s the official notice.)

The project’s potential effects on the alley that runs south from SW Alaska between 42nd and California once drew opposition vehement enough that a petition drive was started (here’s our report from July 2008). And concerns still lingered when the project finished going through Design Review two years ago.

But you won’t see key opponents speaking against it at the April 26th public hearing. In fact, some of them have signed an agreement not to. The agreement ended a process that has played out over a year and a half outside the public spotlight, addressing concerns that participants had voiced about the project. If you want to cut to the chase – this document is the result of that process, and will be presented to the Council this month; it includes changes in the “public benefits” that are considered crucial for allowing a development to take over public right of way. It also includes the text of the agreement signed with the seven participants in the mediated community discussions.

Ahead, a more detailed look, including project backstory as well as comments from Conner Homes’ Charlie Conner, who spoke with WSB a few days ago:

Read More

Update: Eastside woes aside, Conner says Junction “makes sense”

ORIGINAL 12:04 PM REPORT: If you saw this report in today’s Seattle Times regarding an Eastside foreclosure on property owned by Conner Homes, the developer for the California/Alaska/42nd parcels in The Junction, you may have wondered about the status of Conner’s West Seattle plans. We have phone and e-mail messages out to company owner Charlie Conner requesting comment. We also are checking online land/court records and so far have not found anything unusual. The most recent official activity regarding the 2-building proposal was its final Southwest Design Review Board meeting April 23 (WSB coverage here). Note that the official owner of the Junction property is 4700 California LLC (for which Charlie Conner is the contact listed in state records), which bought it in 2000; county property records say $1.4 million was the price for the western parcel, $2.1 million for the eastern parcel.

1:30 PM UPDATE: Charlie Conner just called us back. Regarding West Seattle (where the photo shows him at a 2008 meeting for this project), he says, “Different project, different company. West Seattle very much still makes economic sense.” Why? conner.jpg“Anything that’s worth more than what you paid for it!” (Note the links above regarding these parcels having been purchased in 2000.) “The other (Eastside) projects don’t make economic sense,” though he is hopeful of getting one of them back. Conner added, “What I can tell you is, everybody that works for me is paid in full. Only people that I owe money to are the banks and a contractor i’m paying on a monthly basis … we delivered all the homes to the customers that had presales …I take my commitments pretty seriously.” So what’s the status of the Junction project? “The drawings will be resubmitted to the city.” And he says he’s hoping to meet “in the next couple of weeks” with “a few folks in The Junction” whom he says are still not happy “with the process … (I want) to talk to them about that and see what else we might do to make sure everybody likes what we’re doing, and then we’ll be moving forward with (Master Use Permit) approval and the alley vacation … so we’ll be ready to start next year.” We asked about financing? He says they “haven’t even looked” for it yet because of the market conditions. We also asked him about rumors that the site is or will be for sale. “Everything’s always for sale,” he said wryly. “Are there buyers out there who’d want to pay me what it’s worth? Probably not.” However, he reiterated, it is not currently listed for sale and they currently are “NOT marketing the property.” The city’s official project page for the current proposal is here.

See 4 new options for next Conner project Design Review meeting

When the Southwest Design Review Board meets this Thursday night (6:30 pm, West Seattle Christian Church social hall) to settle one last issue with the Conner Homes two-building project at 42nd/Alaska/California, the only thing that’s supposed to be up for discussion is what the western building will look like. Now, architects Weber Thompson‘s planned presentation is posted online, and there are four options offered – the one above is Scheme A; here’s Scheme B:

The view, if you haven’t figured it out, is looking south-southeast toward the building, theoretically from the Easy Street block; the hollow-looking gray rectangle on screen right is where ground-level retail would go. Then there’s Scheme C:

And Scheme D:

You can see the full planned presentation here; for more background, here’s WSB coverage of the 4 previous Design Review meetings:
Design Review #1 – April 2008
Design Review #2 – May 2008
Design Review #3 – March 2009
Design Review #4 – April 2009
Plus, here’s a comparably angled rendering of the same building from last meeting, for comparison’s sake:

Date confirmed for next Conner project Design Review meeting

April 8, 2009 1:53 pm
|    Comments Off on Date confirmed for next Conner project Design Review meeting
 |   Development | West Seattle news

As reported last week (quick version here, in-depth version here), the Conner Homes project at California/Alaska/42nd is going back to Design Review for the fifth time – with one last issue on the table: The overall “massing” (shape, etc.) of the building that’s right at the Walk-All-Ways corner. The city planner on the project, Michael Dorcy, just confirmed that the meeting will happen April 23 (6:30 pm, location TENTATIVELY set for the same place as last time, West Seattle Christian Church in The Junction).

Details: Conner project Design Review #4, and the reason for #5

(from left, DPD’s Michael Dorcy, board members Vlad Oustimovitch, Christie Coxley, Deb Barker, Joe Hurley, David Foster [standing])
Thursday night, after a 3 1/2-hour meeting of the Southwest Design Review Board — the fourth on the Conner Homes two-building California/Alaska/42nd project — ended with a decision to have a fifth meeting, we published a quick summary. What follows here is the long version — who said what and why, and what that fifth meeting is for.

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

That mockup from one of the previous meetings on the Conner project — in which participants took the basic mass of the western building and imagined some different form and flair — is part of the reason why Design Review Board members want architects to come back one more time: This building, particularly its uppermost section, still doesn’t resemble what they’re hoping to see at the most prominent corner of the business district that is the heart of West Seattle.

Thursday night’s three-and-a-half-hour meeting settled the other remaining major issues, including whether that building would keep its residential entry on California as proposed and would keep its parking-garage entry/exit on 42nd as proposed (answer to both: yes).

Read More

Update: Conner project to get one more Design Review meeting

That’s one of the new images we’re seeing as the Conner Homes two-building project along Alaska from California to 42nd comes back for its fourth, and potentially final, session before the Southwest Design Review Board; more than 30 people are in a meeting room at West Seattle Christian Church, where Jim Westcott from Weber Thompson architects has shown some of the “architectural detail” that the board and members of the public asked about last time. That detail will include panels and trim on balconies, as well as different colors of brick; another major issue to be settled, will the developer be allowed to have the parking-garage entrance/exit on 42nd, instead of on the alley as per city policy? More details on all this later, and when there is a decision, we will post it here (with a detailed article to follow afterward). 9:25 PM NOTE: Meeting’s still going, after almost 3 hours, in case you were wondering. Betting at this point it won’t be over before 10. 9:47 UPDATE: The board’s decision: The project is going to have one more Design Review meeting, meant to be “focused.” When that was proposed, a lawyer for Conner Homes said, “This project has been through 15 hours of public meetings,” and the two veteran board members who are about to end their terms snapped back that this is such an important project, what’s another meeting? Plus, Foster noted, “You could have done a better job” adding later, “Give us your best work.” They’re proposing April 23rd, which would be a regular DR meeting if there were any projects to decide (and right now, for that night, there aren’t – we’ll confirm the date/time/place as soon as city planners finalize it). The main remaining concern, the issue on which that meeting will focus: The form of the west building — the one at California/Alaska — looking for a little more modulation, a little less of a “monolithic” feel, more interest to the facades along the street. “I know you’re frustrated,” said outgoing board chair David Foster to the project architect, “but you’ve come a long way.” FRIDAY MORNING NOTE: Working on the detailed article now; two other things we wanted to note from the hearing toplines – the board did agree to let the project keep a residential entrance on California SW, instead of having retail entrances there, and they also agreed to grant a “departure” to allow the entry/exit for the underground parking garage to be on 42nd SW, though city policy usually requires such entries to be on alleys.

Happening tonight: Conner project returns to Design Review

April 2, 2009 6:12 am
|    Comments Off on Happening tonight: Conner project returns to Design Review
 |   Development | West Seattle news

1 year, 2 buildings, 4 meetings, and it may all come down to tonight – or not. The most closely watched project in The Junction — Conner Homes‘ proposal for 2 buildings along the south side of Alaska from California to 42nd and one big garage beneath them both — returns to the Southwest Design Review Board tonight, almost a full year after its first turn before the board. Though Design Review is not the final stage of the process in which public comment is allowed, it IS the only stage in which you can stand up and offer your comments (relevant to design issues) in person. Here’s our coverage of the previous review March 12th; the one before that, May 2008; and the first one, April 2008. The city’s official project-status page is here. Tonight’s meeting is at West Seattle Christian Church, 6:30 pm.

West Seattle Design Review updates: Conner; members; Kenney

First: A reminder that Conner Homes‘ two-building project in The Junction goes back for what could be its final round of Design Review (process explained here) this Thursday night, 6:30 pm, West Seattle Christian Church. After the March 12 review, all involved agreed to schedule this meeting as quickly as possible, including the two board members who technically were supposed to end their terms after the 3/12 meeting, but agreed to stay on till it was finalized, for continuity’s sake.

Speaking of board members, here are the two new ones who will join as of the following meeting (April 9th, Madison Middle School, 2988 SW Avalon and 4532 42nd SW): Norma Tompkins and Robin Murphy (screenshots from their appearance at the Planning, Land Use, and Neighborhoods Committee meeting earlier this month). While Tompkins is appointed as the “local residential representative” on the board and Murphy is appointed as “design professional representative,” both are trained architects, according to the biographical info in this month’s edition of city planners’ dpdInfo newsletter (see it here); Tompkins works as a production designer at Starbucks, Murphy works for the architecture firm Stricker Cato Murphy; both are West Seattleites.

One other note – Followed up on a WSB’er note asking what’s up now that more than two months have gone by since the last Design Review meeting for the redevelopment proposal at The Kenney (previous coverage of the project archived here).


We checked with Kenney CEO Kevin McFeely, who replied:

Basically, what is happening is that we are exploring the recommendations and suggestions that were discussed at the last meeting in January. This involves potentially moving the Seaview building to a different location on the campus and reducing the massing on the perimeter buildings to allow for a smoother transition into the neighborhood. At this time, I don’t have a sense when the next meeting will be, my hope is that it will take place within the next 4-6 weeks.

Once that next meeting is scheduled, you’ll find it on the city’s Design Review/Upcoming page for starters, even before the official notice appears in the Land Use Information Bulletin; our fellow development-watchers may be interested to note, that page’s format and features have just been updated. Upcoming reviews can be sorted by district, among other things, and meeting announcements now include the city’s own maps (like this one showing the location of Madison MS for the 4/9 meeting).

Next Design Review Board meeting confirmed for Conner project

(rendering courtesy Weber Thompson)
We reported after the last meeting last Thursday night that it was expected a special meeting date would be set April 2nd for the Conner Homes Junction megaproject to return to the Design Review Board – now that date is confirmed in the latest Land Use Information Bulletin – the meeting’s at 6:30 pm April 2nd, at West Seattle Christian Church (more room than the High Point Library where the last meeting happened, and no time limit). Here’s the notice; here’s our full report on last week’s meeting.

-Appeal hearing set April 24 for land-use decisions related to the Denny-Sealth project (here’s the notice)
-Official notices of two other Design Review meetings we’d already reported here – both on April 9, both at Madison Middle School – 2988 SW Avalon at 6:30 pm (here’s the notice), 4532 42nd SW at 8 pm (here’s the notice)

Details: Why Conner’s Junction megaproject gets another review

Last night, we published a short summary right after the design-review meeting about the Conner Homes megaproject in The Junction; now, here are full details on what was seen and said, and what happens next:

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

The crowd reaction was a bit reminiscent of an evangelistic church service when Rene Commons (above) stood before the Southwest Design Review Board last night to show those photos she’s shown holding. Many people in the 50-or-so-member crowd murmured and mumbled “uh-huhs,” maybe just short of an “A-men.”

Her point was that the Conner Homes two-building, 7-story megaproject at California/Alaska/42nd needs architectural flair, given its prominent future position in the heart of the business district that is now branded as Downtown West Seattle.

And the desire to see more detail is part of why SWDRB members asked Conner and his development team, including architects from Weber Thompson, to come back for (at least) one more review.

Read More

Quick update: 1 more Design Review meeting for Conner project

Tonight’s Design Review meeting for the Conner Homes (owner Charlie Conner, photo left) project at California/42nd/Alaska won’t be the last. After a somewhat rushed meeting — High Point Library had to close at 8 pm, no matter what — board members agreed the project wasn’t quite ready for final design-review approval. Board chair David Foster told WSB afterward that they’ll work with city planners to see if that last meeting can be scheduled sooner rather than later – perhaps in three weeks (which would be Thursday, April 2nd). More details later on the concerns, and kudos, expressed for the project, what board members want to see in that next review, and what else happens now. (Monday morning note: Full article will be published separately no later than noon this afternoon.)

Presentation now viewable for Conner project’s Thursday review

We showed you new images like that one last Thursday (WSB coverage here) when Conner Homes brought the “alley vacation” portion of its Junction megaproject (California/Alaska/42nd) back before the Seattle Design Commission. Now, two days before its next Design Review meeting here in West Seattle (6:30 pm Thursday @ High Point Library), that entire planned presentation is available online – download it here (15 MB PDF). Many are images we’ve shown you during and after the past few Design Commission presentations (courtesy of architects Weber Thompson), but there’s lots of additional detail you’ll want to see if you’re interested in this closely scrutinized two-building project at the heart of The Junction. Here’s another image, showing the east building on the Alaska/42nd corner:

3rd review Thursday for Conner Junction project “alley vacation”

March 1, 2009 10:03 am
|    Comments Off on 3rd review Thursday for Conner Junction project “alley vacation”
 |   Development | West Seattle news

(January 2009 rendering of Conner project alley area, courtesy Weber Thompson)
Will the third time be the charm for Conner Homes as it takes the “alley vacation” portion of its West Seattle Junction megaproject back to the Seattle Design Commission? That group has to sign off on such requests (as do SDOT and the City Council) and already has seen two presentations by Conner’s architects, each time asking for an encore (WSB coverage: January 2009 and November 2008). Now, they’re set to make another presentation at 2 pm this Thursday during the commissioners’ all-day meeting in the Boards and Commissions room at City Hall downtown (map). In this case, the “alley vacation” isn’t the classic case of a developer wanting the actual alley, but instead, requesting the right to use land UNDER the alley, to connect what otherwise would be two separate underground garages for the two buildings at California/Alaska/42nd. (Meantime, as mentioned here last month, the entire two-building project also is set to return to the Southwest Design Review Board on March 12 – 6:30 pm, High Point Library.)