West Seattle, Washington
Three years ago, the supportive-housing complex Cottage Grove Commons opened at 5444 Delridge Way SW, housing more than 60 previously homeless people. The Community Advisory Committee set up before it opened has been dormant, but is about to be reconvened, and the complex’s owner/operator, DESC, asked us to share this announcement:
DESC is hosting a meeting of the advisory committee for its Cottage Grove Commons housing program on November 22nd at 6:30 pm for a check-in meeting on how things are going with the program.
The advisory committee met regularly from 2012-14, during the development phase and early operational phase of the program. Since the building opened in late 2013 DESC staff have had involvement with neighborhood groups and events, where they have been able to talk with neighbors about issues or concerns. Additionally, some neighbors have contacted DESC directly from time to time with concerns. Bringing the advisory group back together will allow for a discussion about how things have been going and what adjustments may be recommended.
The meeting will take place at Cottage Grove Commons at 5444 Delridge Way SW at 6:30 pm on November 22nd. Neighbors are welcome to attend as well.
(Photos by WSB co-publishers Tracy Record & Patrick Sand)
While a public grand-opening ceremony is planned tomorrow for Cottage Grove Commons, the new DESC-operated building in North Delridge, Wednesday is the really big day. That’s when its 66 formerly homeless start moving in.
Coming from homelessness, they have little to bring along, so on Sunday, the new studio apartments were made ready for them by the efforts of dozens of volunteers, whose work was just beginning when we stopped by.
The volunteers’ work on Sunday was part of “Apartment Adoption Day.” While DESC made sure each unit has basic furniture like a bed, a table, and chairs, the “adopters” brought items such as bedding, dishes, and cleaning supplies:
Tuesday, December 17th – 2:30 pm – 4:00 pm
Enjoy self-guided tours, light refreshments, and a 3:00 pm Welcome Ceremony
4:30 pm – 7:00 pm: A community open house to provide neighbors the opportunity to see the building and meet the staff …
Cottage Grove Commons will provide 66 studio apartments with 24-hour on-site staff support for men and women who have been chronically homeless, disabled, and highly vulnerable.
Here’s video from the advisory committee’s recent tour. The $14 million project has been under construction for about a year.
Two weeks after DESC announced the name of its almost-complete 66-unit housing complex in North Delridge, its board has agreed to alter that name in response to community concerns. The North Delridge Neighborhood Council, which discussed the issue this past Monday, announced that to its mailing list today, and we confirmed it with DESC’s Nicole Macri:
I can confirm that today the DESC Board unanimously voted to change the building’s name from “Cottage Grove” to “Cottage Grove Commons.” They reconsidered the name, and adding a modifier to it, at the request of community members and neighborhood leaders, including the North Delridge Neighborhood Council and members of the Advisory Committee to the project. We appreciate the community’s input on this.
Cottage Grove is the historic name of the section of North Delridge that includes the site (5444 Delridge Way SW) where the building is expected to open in about a month. Its advisory committee meets again one week from tonight (November 20th).
(WSB photo, added 2:56 pm)
The biggest nonprofit project under construction in West Seattle right now, DESC‘s 66-unit Delridge Supportive Housing building at 5444 Delridge Way SW (map), has an official name: Cottage Grove. It was announced at this week’s meeting of the project’s advisory committee, and was among the names suggested by community members; committee co-chair Pete Spalding notes that it’s the historic name of that area of North Delridge. We asked DESC’s Nicole Macri about the current timetable for the $14 million project’s completion:
We’re aiming to open the third week of December. We will host a daytime grand opening event and an early-evening open house one day prior to tenants moving in. Neighbors are welcome to attend either event, but the latter is specifically intended as an opportunity for neighbors to see the building and meet the staff.
The advisory committee also will meet again before the opening; the meeting is currently scheduled for November 20th. It’s been almost two and a half years since word of the project first emerged at a North Delridge Neighborhood Council meeting; construction began just over a year ago. Our coverage along the way is all archived, newest-to-oldest, here.
(WSB photo, added Wednesday morning)
The DESC homeless-housing building at 5444 Delridge Way is three-fourths complete, DESC executive director Bill Hobson told its Advisory Committee tonight when they met at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center. Hobson says it’s expected to be complete in November, with residents starting to move in near year’s end, two and a half years after the $14 million plan was first disclosed to neighborhood advocates.
Asked by committee member Dorsol Plants how the residents will be chosen, Hobson said they will use DESC’s standard procedure (described in part in the project FAQ). He also announced that they’ve hired a building manager from within DESC, Levi Dineson. He and his to-be-hired staff will handle the process of choosing residents, who will be moved in groups of 15 to 20 until the 66-studio-apartment building is full. Hobson said the manager’s job also will include neighborhood outreach and participation in the North Delridge Neighborhood Council. One decision yet to be made – a permanent name for the building, currently dubbed Delridge Supportive Housing. The committee discussed the possibility of using a relevant local geographic term as part of the name – such as Longfellow, Findlay (the nearest east-west street), or Cottage Grove. The name will be chosen at the next DESC Board of Directors’ meeting.
After eleven months of construction, the DESC building at 5444 Delridge Way SW, intended to house more than 60 people who otherwise would be homeless, is a few months from completion. If you are interested in an update and/or have questions about what’s happening as it gets closer to opening, the project’s Advisory Committee is meeting tomorrow night – 6:30 pm at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (4408 Delridge Way SW) – and the agenda is on the project website.
(WSB photo of Youngstown Cultural Arts Center, from February 2012)
City Council President Sally Clark and Councilmember Nick Licata were among the guests at this month’s North Delridge Neighborhood Council meeting – the holiday edition, held at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center instead of the usual Delridge Library – and Youngstown’s new manager was on the agenda too.
As we showed you here on Monday, construction has officially begun at the site of DESC’s 66-unit Delridge Supportive Housing project in the 5400 block of Delridge Way SW. A neighbor tells us he just found a flyer in his driveway for a briefing/Q&A session that the contractor Walsh Construction is offering to neighbors – at mid-afternoon tomorrow (3 pm Wednesday, Delridge Library), billed as an opportunity for them to ask questions and get answers about the work. Before hearing about the meeting, we had asked DESC executive director Bill Hobson about the status of the work, and he had confirmed that the contractor had just begun “mass excavation, meaning digging out the hole that will be the underground parking and doing foundation prep work.”
(WSB photo, taken this morning)
Two months after demolition of the old houses on the site, construction work is now ramping up at the site of DESC’s future 66-unit Delridge Supportive Housing complex in the 5400 block of Delridge Way, north of SW Findlay. As noted in the project FAQ, onstruction is expected to last about a year.
And tonight, the nonprofit that is likely to open a co-op grocery store in the DESC building’s retail space has its next monthly meeting – with big issues including: How about a new name?
Name the Co-op!!! The Delridge Produce Cooperative idea has evolved from a plan for a co-op produce stand to a small, but full-service, community-owned multi-stakeholder grocery store! This means the store will not only be a source for healthy food, including meat, eggs, dairy and seafood but a support network and financial opportunity for large, small, and backyard farmers. The Co-op’s employees will also have an equal stake in the store. Our current name is misleading for some and we have received feedback regarding a name change. We wish to make another round of reusable strawberry bags and founding member t-shirts!! So, we need to choose our name! Please help.
They’re taking suggestions via their Facebook page. And whether you have an idea for a name, or not, you’re welcome at their meeting tonight:
We invite anyone with the time and inclination to join us at this very exciting step of the grocery store creation. We are welcoming founding Board Members and still looking for core volunteers to help at this stage.
Our November meeting is this Monday evening! All interested volunteers are needed to help plan our next steps. Teresa Young, Organizational Development Specialist from the Northwest Cooperative Development Center will join us to find out how the NWCDC can assist us at this stage. We are making final edits to our business plan and reviewing the first draft of our bylaws. This special meeting will be from 5:30-7:30pm, Monday November 26th at the Delridge Library.
Last time we checked in with DESC regarding status/timetable on the 66-unit Delridge Supportive Housing project, executive director Bill Hobson said construction was expected to start in the first half of November. However, we noticed there’s work on the site now – demolition crews (you can’t see the backhoe in our photo, but it’s there). So we checked back with Hobson, who explained via e-mail:
We are demolishing the buildings on the site under a separate demolition permit. We wanted to get this done during August just to get the site cleaned up, but the general contractor encountered significant amounts of asbestos that had to be abated per code and delayed the schedule. The demolition contractor mobilized on site Wednesday and has completed the prep work … and hopefully will have the buildings down and the site cleaned of in the next 10 work days. Actual construction will not begin until sometime between Nov 1st and 10th.
Things are very busy along that section of Delridge right now; SDOT is also doing sidewalk ramp work at the Delridge/Findlay intersection.
Two development updates this morning:
DESC DELRIDGE PROJECT SCHEDULE: We checked with DESC after noticing an online business-publication ad seeking “sub-bids” for this project – 66 units of “supportive housing” at 5444 Delridge Way SW, much-discussed since the project first came to light in June 2011 (all of our coverage is archived here, reverse chronological order). Its land-use permit was issued a month ago; the construction permit is still pending. According to DESC executive director Bill Hobson, Walsh Construction – whose portfolio includes Youngstown – is the general contractor, and that’s who is soliciting subcontractor bids right now. (Its ad describes the project as 75 units, its original size, but Hobson says that is a mistake, and it remains at 66.) Regarding when work will begin, he tells WSB, “We anticipate starting construction sometime in the first 2 weeks of November.”
FORMER ‘PSYCHIC BARBER’ SITE: We have reported on the building at 5247 California SW largely through the relocation of its longtime tenant, “Psychic Barber” Rick Cook, now at The Classic Barber Shop further north on California. He called our attention to the demolition work now under way behind the one-story commercial building, and we went by yesterday afternoon:
Rick says the house is gone as of early this morning, while the commercial building’s still standing. Timetable for its demolition isn’t as clear, as the proposal for a three-story building at the site, with underground parking, is still in the early stages. We’ll be following up with the owner, who didn’t want to discuss his plans in detail last time we checked.
(Updated post-Design Review renderings shown at May’s advisory-council meeting)
One year after we first reported on DESC’s 66-apartment Delridge Supportive Housing project, meant to get 66 homeless people off the streets, the plan has just cleared another hurdle. Today’s Land Use Information Bulletin from the city includes the decision granting a land-use permit (aka Master Use Permit) for the project at 5444 Delridge Way SW. Here’s the decision; the deadline for filing an appeal is July 9th. A community advisory committee continues to meet to discuss issues related to the project; its next meeting is scheduled for July 12th.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
That was a side note to a discussion with the team from SMR Architects, returning to West Seattle to discuss the 66-unit Delridge Supportive Housing project for the first time since the second and final Southwest Design Review Board meeting two months ago.
Instead of a presentation followed by Q/A, the presentation was punctuated by the half-dozen community members in attendance engaging the architects in conversation about various features of the building and site.
The Delridge Produce Cooperative board is about to take the next step toward potentially running a food store in the future Delridge Supportive Housing building: Next week, it’s expecting to submit a Memorandum of Understanding to DESC. That was one headline from Monday night’s DPC meeting at Delridge Library. Representing the co-op were board members Ariana Rose Taylor-Stanley and Ranette Iding; they were careful to say that the MOU is not a lease, nor a guarantee of one, but it will enable architects to move forward with planning the development of the ground-floor commercial space they’re likely to occupy in the building. DPC is hoping to find a community volunteer who can help them with the MOU.
If you have been following the saga of the Delridge Supportive Housing building that the Downtown Emergency Service Center plans to build in the 5400 block of Delridge, you know that DESC has committed to include a commercial space on the northwest side of the building, and that the Delridge Produce Cooperative is considered to be the likely tenant for that space, to open a “greengrocer”-type food store, as DPC describes it. But as DPC reps have been saying, it’s going to be a long road between now and the potential opening of that store in early 2014, and they can’t go it alone – they would love to have YOUR help. The community meeting mentioned by a DPC rep at last week’s North Delridge Neighborhood Council meeting (WSB coverage here) is now two nights away, and DPC sent out a reminder about it today, – it’s part of the meeting’s listing on the WSB West Seattle Events Calendar (see the full announcement here). The DPC has been working for more than 3 years on a mission near and dear to many hearts in eastern West Seattle – more fresh food. They hope to enlist local residents to help toward that goal – from the meeting announcement:
We plan for a large part of our produce purchases to come from the Delridge community itself, and so we have a great need to reach out to neighbors to find and recruit members and growers. If we connect gardeners to the food hub that we are growing, we can all eat healthy, local food without paying the high prices that we are all used to seeing for organic produce at the grocery store.
If you can help with that – or in some other way – or just want to know more, the DPC hopes to see you at 6:30 pm Monday, Delridge Library (Delridge/Brandon).
A wide-ranging agenda Tuesday night for the third meeting of the Advisory Committee formed as a means of addressing community concerns regarding DESC‘s planned Delridge Supportive Housing project. (Our coverage of the first meeting is here, the second meeting here.) Above, our unedited video of the entire 2-hour meeting (makes better audio than video – we apologize for awkward angles on a few public commenters because of where they stood to speak in relation to where our photographer was positioned).
Toplines, ahead:Read More
One longrunning point of contention related to the 66-unit DESC Delridge Supportive Housing project is finally settled.
Not long after DESC went public last June with news of its proposal to build the project to house formerly homeless people, many living with challenges such as mental illness and/or substance abuse, the question was asked: Will sex offenders be among the residents? As we reported on June 27th, DESC executive director Bill Hobson said they would not be allowed in the building’s population “if that’s what the neighborhood wants.” The request had not been formally made by any group representing the population, however, and the issue’s status came up in a mail-group discussion over the past week. That discussion concluded with Vonetta Mangaoang of the Delridge Alliance, a member of the project’s Advisory Committee, reporting late today:
Just this morning, Bill Hobson, in response to my request to have the issue of sex offender exclusion placed on tomorrow’s neighborhood advisory committee agenda, resolved the issue by simply stating that DESC will exclude sex offenders from their Delridge supportive housing facility. His quick and decisive action hopefully resolves neighbors’ concerns.
Thank you to each of you who pointed out the importance of this issue. I encourage neighbors to continue to actively communicate with your neighborhood representatives on DESC’s community advisory committee (e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org).
(Delridge streetfront view, from project renderings shown to Design Review Board)
Delridge Community Forum, one of the groups that has been closely tracking DESC’s 66-unit Delridge Supportive Housing project, reports that the state Housing Finance Commission approved its request for Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (explained here). (We have messages out to WSHFC’s media liaison.) That follows approvals for city, county, and state funding. Land-use and construction permits are still pending with the city; DESC hopes to start construction by year’s end. The project’s Community Advisory Committee, meantime, meets next Tuesday (March 27), 6:30 pm, at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center (see the agenda here).
(A design rendering shown at the March 8th SW Design Review Board meeting)
Tomorrow’s the day the Washington State Housing Finance Commission will look at the tax-credit financing proposed to comprise most of the money for DESC‘s 66-unit Delridge Supportive Housing project. Full details are on the Delridge Community Forum website, but to summarize it: This funding would allow private investment in the project, with the private investor(s) getting Low-Income Housing Tax Credits in exchange. The project (5444 Delridge Way SW) already has been approved for public funding from the city, county, and state. The Thursday meeting, which includes a public-comment period (other ways to comment are explained on the DCF site), is at 1 pm, downtown at 1000 Second Avenue (28th floor).
In advance of the meeting, the anonymous “Concerned Delridge Neighbor” who has been diving into some of the issues the project has raised – such as, is Delridge already bearing more than its share of very-low-income housing? – published an open letter to the WSHFC, with data about the area’s poverty. (If you have already been following this via the North Delridge mailing list, where questions were raised about the data’s accuracy/source, note that “Concerned Delridge Neighbor” has published a postscript citing the source.)
Quick topline as a 3 3/4-hour Southwest Design Review Board meeting wraps up: DESC‘s Delridge Supportive Housing project won a unanimous board vote recommending design approval, with a variety of conditions; the first project on the night’s agenda, what turns out to be a 2-phase, 43-unit-total project on 20th SW in South Delridge, will advance from Early Design Guidance to the second round.
ADDED: The 20th SW recap:Read More
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Tonight (8 pm at the Senior Center of West Seattle), the Southwest Design Review Board takes its second, and possibly final, look at DESC’s Delridge Supportive Housing Project, a proposed 66-unit housing complex for homeless people living with challenges such as mental illness and/or substance abuse.
It’s the second community meeting this week related to the project. On Tuesday night, the project’s Advisory Committee met for the second time. During that meeting, DESC distributed a printed list of its answers to community questions about the project, which have since been published online (see them here).
One section of note, since the topic has come up in multiple discussions:
DESC runs a criminal background check on all potential tenants prior to offering an apartment, but they are not prohibited from being housed due to a criminal background, including sex offenses. We do screen out those whose criminal histories indicate that they would be a threat to vulnerable people. Even though sex offenses are not prevalent among DESC’s target population, contrary public perception is so strong that DESC has informed Delridge neighbors that we will exclude sex offenders from living at our Delridge location if such a request is made to DESC by the organized neighborhood group. So far, that request has not been made.
The FAQ wasn’t discussed during the meeting, but many other topics were. Read on:Read More