West Seattle, Washington
While a long-in-the-works development plan proceeds for the north side of SW Orchard just east of Delridge Way, there’s now a new one for the south side of the street.
An early-stage site plan has just been filed with the city for 2051 SW Orchard (the site highlighted yellow in the screengrab above from King County Parcel Viewer). The site plan shows 39 townhouses, with offstreet parking in “shared underground garages.” The prospective development team is currently the most prolific in West Seattle – an entity of STS Construction (WSB sponsor) is listed as the owner (though not yet in county records), with architect Atelier Drome. Since this is an early-stage plan, there’s no timetable yet for feedback, reviews, and public comment.
As for the proposal on the north side of the street – city files indicate the 18-townhouse project, which hasn’t yet finished Design Review, is still being actively pursued. That project has a different owner/architect team.
That rendering from Atelier Drome Architecture is part of the “early design” proposal for 9038 21st SW [map], an apartment building planned for rapidly redeveloping South Delridge. It’s on a site that’s been upzoned from single-family to lowrise. We first mentioned the plan last September. Now it’s going through the city’s Streamlined Design Review process, which means public comments are accepted but no public meeting will be held. As part of that, the design packet is available (90 MB document). The plan is for a 3-stories-plus-basement building with about 24 apartments, no offstreet vehicle-parking spaces (none are required because of transit proximity), 24 long-term bicycle-parking spaces. The formal notice isn’t out yet but if you have comments on the project, send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to the neighbors who’ve sent photos, including the one above. Redevelopment has begun on the site that holds part of the Walker Rock Garden, a backyard work of art created more than a half-century ago as a true labor of love (here’s the backstory), east of Fairmount Park.
The original owners are long gone. A decade ago, relatives put the site up for sale, hoping to find a buyer interested in maintaining the rock garden. That time, it didn’t sell. Two years later, they listed it again. No sale that time either. Finally, last fall, the south part of the site was sold to a developer, and a permit was sought for redevelopment with two houses.
When we inquired about the sale and the garden’s status, the family told us, “The Garden, due to time and time’s natural impact on things, has experienced significant deterioration on the rock and structures. Unfortunately, no one was identified who could make the hefty financial and time investments needed to restore and maintain the Garden.” It used to be made available for public visits on Mother’s Day; last one we have record of was in 2014.
The north part of the site still holds the original house, now a rental, and at least some of the rock art. But the Walker Rock Garden’s most-famous feature, the gazebo – seen in the photo above – is on the parcel where the new houses are to be built.
The Southwest Design Review Board‘s first meetings in three months top our roundup of West Seattle development notes:
9201 DELRIDGE WAY: This project’s next – and possibly final – Southwest Design Review Board meeting is set for 5 pm July 1st, online (here’s our coverage of the previous one last October). The project on the site of a former auto shop is now described on the city website as a “5-story, 77-unit apartment building with 73 apartments, 4 small efficiency dwelling units, and office,” no offstreet parking. Watch this page for meeting-access info when it gets closer.
4448 CALIFORNIA SW: 5 pm July 15th is set as the first SWDRB meeting for the proposal to replace a small commercial building (currently holding Homebridge and Doll Parts Collective). The city website describes it as 7 stories, 96 units, retail space. no offstreet parking; a draft version of the meeting packet is here. Watch this page for meeting-access details.
EARLY-STAGE ROXBURY PROPOSAL: New in the city system this week, an early-stage proposal for 1704 SW Roxbury, a commercial site that’s been on the market for a while. The site plan filed with the city describes the proposal as a 4-story, 42-apartment mixed-use building with retail and lists the prospective developer as Craig Haveson of STS Construction (WSB sponsor), also on record for the two projects mentioned above, along with Atelier Drome Architecture. The building on the site now is home to Meineke, which has a lease through 2025, according to the listing flyer.
HIGHLAND PARK PROJECT AWARD: The three-unit project at 7782 Highland Park Way SW has won a national award:
The project is called Tsuga Townhomes, and it’s been honored with a 2021 AIA National Housing Award. Wittman Estes – whose principals live in Highland Park – was the architect, developer, and general contractor for the certified 4-Star Built Green project. In addition to green roofs, reclaimed fir stairs, and high-efficiency energy systems. its attributes include that it was built at a cost of $185/SF, which the announcement says is just a bit over half the Seattle average. The project was featured on the Northwest Green Home Tour last fall.
9:42 AM: As we’ve been reporting, including in the morning traffic alerts, today is takedown day for what’s currently the only tower crane still up in West Seattle, at 1250 Alki SW. That’s further restricted traffic past the site today – alternating use of one lane, so if you absolutely have to go through that area, allow yourself extra time. This crane’s been up for almost exactly one year for construction of the Infinity Shore Club condos. We’ll update the removal progress later today.
2:22 PM: Update and new photo from the project team: the crane’s down –
They’re loading out now and expect to have the street back to 2-way by 5 pm.
After Wednesday, West Seattle will be without a tower crane. The only one currently in use, at the 1250 Alki Avenue SW project, is coming down that day. The alert from the project team says:
Traffic setup will be on the morning of the 19th and we expect to be completed by 6:00 PM. Due to alternating single-lane usage, vehicle traffic should expect minor delays and will be limited throughout the day of the dismantle.
From this week’s first city-circulated Land Use Information Bulletin, a key approval is in for a 14-unit residential project proposed at 8822 9th SW [map]. This proposal has been in the works for more than two years, and we’ve been tracking the site for six years, as it’s a former substation location sold off by the city (backstory here). The 14-unit plan is the second redevelopment plan for this site, following a 9-unit plan that stalled, and would include 12 townhouses, two “accessory dwelling units,” and 14 offstreet-parking spaces. The decision opens a window for appeals (deadline May 17th); the notice explains how to file one.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Another twist in the ongoing saga of the West Seattle Junction’s public parking lots.
A nonprofit housing developer has made an offer to buy the land for future development, according to documents we’ve obtained.
The West Seattle Junction Association has long leased the lots, operating them as parking for customers of local businesses. Its lease requires WSJA to cover the costs of the property taxes for the lots, which finally led, earlier this year, to the lots’ conversion from free parking to paid parking. For years before that, as reported here, WSJA had been trying to strategize how to deal with the six-digit tax bill, which is approaching $200,000 a year. While the parking fees are now covering some of it, they won’t cover all. And, as pointed out in that 2018 WSB story, the lots’ long-term future as developable land has always been kept in mind – it’s a major reason why the taxes have gone up.
Five months after passing the final stage of Design Review, the project planned for 3417 Harbor SW – just north of the west end of the West Seattle Bridge – has received land-use approval. Today’s city-circulated Land Use Information Bulletin includes the decision on the proposal for a 5-story building with 115 apartments and 65 offstreet parking spaces. This opens a two-week period for appeals – if you’re interested in filing one, this notice explains how; May 13th is the deadline. We first reported on the plan for this redevelopment project two years ago; its first Southwest Design Review Board meeting was the last one held in-person pre-pandemic; its second and final review was online last November. The project still needs other permits before construction – building and demolition among them.
Two more teardown-to-townhouse projects are now in the city’s “early-design outreach” phase – meaning they’re required to let the neighborhood know they’re planned. Both are on blocks with other redevelopment projects:
6021 42ND SW: This proposal [map] is for three townhouse units facing 42nd SW and two behind them, replacing a 102-year-old house.
Online documents say one offstreet-parking spot per unit is planned, and that the project will go through Streamlined Design Review (explained here), meaning no public meetings, though there will be a comment period. Contact information is in this city-website post. (Added: Thanks to the commenter who points out this house was damaged by fire half a year ago.)
2612 45TH SW: Though the city-website post has two different descriptions about the project’s scope, we checked other online documents and they show 7 townhouse units with 6 offstreet-parking spaces, replacing a 108-year-old house:
This site [map] also is planned for Streamlined Design Review.
Also discussed at this month’s Alki Community Council meeting – an early-design survey has been launched by the developers of a Duwamish Head site on which we’ve reported multiple times in the past year. A 65-unit project is proposed for 1001-1116 Alki Avenue SW, currently the site of six old houses. As part of the “early community outreach” process, the developers have set up this project website, which notes:
N&M Management LLC and MZA Architecture are partnering on the redevelopment of 1001 – 1116 Alki Ave SW. The proposed 6-story residential building will include:
65 residential units
102 parking stalls
a rooftop patio
(That’s the minimum number of offstreet-parking spaces mandated for area development by the Alki Parking Overlay district – one and a half per unit.) The website includes a community survey that’s open for two more weeks. The ACC discussion was brief; the developers weren’t at the meeting, so it was more of an FYI. But a few attendees expressed concern that the project’s size was out of scale for the area. The project’s official address is 1116 Alki.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Tonight the five-story mixed-use proposal for 9218 18th SW won first-stage Design Review approval on the second try.
In the Southwest Design Review Board‘s first meeting of the year, present were the board’s new chair Scott Rosenstock and members John Cheng and Alan Grainger, along with the project’s assigned city planner David Sachs, and Design Review program manager Lisa Rutzick. The board had told the project team last October to give the Early Design Guidance phase a second try.
ARCHITECT’S PRESENTATION: Presenting from Caron Architecture was principal Radim Blazej, who brought a team including project manager Andrew Kluess. They described the 5-story project as apartments – about 56, with 28 offstreet parking spaces (though none is required) – over commercial space fronting both Delridge and 18th.
From today’s city-circulated Land Use Information Bulletin: A notice of land-use approval for a six-house project to be added on a site that currently holds one house on Puget Ridge, at 6550 21st SW [map]. You can read the decision here. The site is just over an acre. The city website says off-street parking is planned for 12 vehicles to go along with the six 2-story houses. The decision also notes that seven “exceptional” trees are on the site and that plans call for preserving all of them. The decision can be appealed – this notice explains how – with the deadline set at April 12th.
That’s the Caron Architecture design packet (also viewable here) for 9218 18th SW [map], a South Delridge mixed-use project that goes back before the Southwest Design Review Board in an online meeting this Thursday (April 1st). The project is described as a 5-story, 58-unit apartment building with commercial space, plus offstreet parking for 28 vehicles and 63 bicycles. This is the second Early Design Guidance meeting for the project, after the board told the project team in October to try again. Thursday’s meeting is at 5 pm, with viewing/listening info here; here’s how to comment on the proposal before, during, and/or after the meeting.
Thanks to Sharonn for forwarding the alert from Compass Construction: The tower crane that’s been working on the 2-building Maris Apartments project at 4722 Fauntleroy Way SW and 4721 38th SW is coming down tomorrow (Saturday, March 27th), after a year and a half. The notice says that will re-route vehicle traffic off Fauntleroy between Alaska and Edmunds and will close the pedestrian walkway on the east side of that block. Removal of this tower crane will leave one in West Seattle, at the 1250 Alki SW project.
That’s an early-design concept for 1123 Harbor SW, the site from which the historic “Stone Cottage“ will soon be moved. The project is expected to have six stories, 18 residential units, and 27 off-street parking spaces. The project’s land-use application is now filed, opening a two-week comment period, through April 7th – the notice explains how to comment. As announced last weekend, the “Stone Cottage” move is expected to happen soon, probably next month.
Two updates on development sites we’ve mentioned before in their earliest stages:
1116 ALKI SW: It’s been almost a year since we first mentioned an early-stage concept for “50 to 65” residential units replacing houses on six lots including the one with the official project address. Now it’s officially entering the Early Design Guidance phase of Design Review, and the description has firmed up to “a six-story residential building with 65 units, 100 parking stalls, and a rooftop terrace.” (The Alki area has a “parking overlay” that requires one and a half spaces for each residential unit.) The formal comment period hasn’t opened yet, but if you have a question, there’s a project-contact email address in this notice.
6007 CALIFORNIA SW: Four days ago, we mentioned the early-stage site plan for a four-story mixed-use building to replace the preschool and fourplex on this site in north Morgan Junction. No new details on the plan yet, but the project team has just launched a webpage and hotline for community comment as part of the “early outreach” requirements.
The new office/warehouse building that Bee’s Plumbing plans for its new HQ at 2216 SW Orchard [map] has arrived at “early design guidance” feedback time. The project at the ex-Tug Inn site is proposed for 3-4 stories (the site is zoned for up to 5), with about 7,000 square feet of office space, 5,000 sf of warehouse/office space, and offstreet parking for more than 40 vehicles. The project is going through the Administrative Design Review process, which means no community meetings, though community feedback is invited. Here’s architect Andrew Finch‘s design packet for this stage of the process, focused on massing (size and shape). The notice published today sets March 31st as the early-design feedback deadline and explains how to send yours.
Two development notes this morning:
6007 CALIFORNIA SW: An early-stage site plan has been filed proposing a “new 4-story mixed use building” for 6007 California SW [map]. currently the site of a preschool/day-care facility and a 4-plex.
The formal application is now in the comment stage, according to a notice in today’s city-circulated Land Use Information Bulletin, which now describes the project as a “4-story apartment building with 43 small efficiency dwelling units. No parking proposed.” You can comment through March 29th; the notice explains how.
Demolition has begun at 2715 California SW, across from Hiawatha, clearing the site where the long-planned Admiral Station mixed-use development will be built. We reported on the project’s land-use approval two years ago, when it was described as a “4-story, 49-unit apartment building (44 units and 5 small efficiency units) with retail and office” and 46 off-street parking spaces. The view above is from the alley on the west side of the site. Here’s a rendering from when the project went through Design Review in 2017:
The site held three small commercial/residential buildings; construction is expected to last about a year. (Thanks to the reader whose recent tip about activity at the site put this back on our watch list!)
The Southwest Design Review Board‘s calendar has been empty for months, but now it shows the tentative date for a review meeting: The second Early Design Guidance review for 9218 18th SW [map] is set for 5 pm April 1st, online. The project is expected to be mixed use, 5 stories, 56 units, some retail space, and 28 offstreet-parking spaces, according to Caron Architecture‘s draft packet for the next review. Its first review was four months ago; the board told the architects to try again. Our report from the October meeting details the concerns voiced by board members. The meeting will include a public-comment period; when it gets closer, viewing information and the final design packet will be accessible on this webpage.
2:40 PM WEDNESDAY: That’s the former West Seattle Christian Church preschool building, more recently an arts center and clothing bank, on the southwest corner of 42nd SW and SW Genesee, and if you want to take one last look at it, your time is running out. Multiple sources tell WSB it’s set for demolition starting tomorrow (a no-parking zone has been in effect around the building since yesterday). It’s been a year and a half since we first reported on the redevelopment plan for this site, which was upzoned to a 55-foot maximum by HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability.
It’s expected to include 72 “small efficiency dwelling units” – microapartments – and 5 live-work units, with 36 offstreet-parking places.
10:53 AM THURSDAY: We went by to check, and indeed, demolition is under way:
ORIGINAL 2:35 PM: Just discovered in city files: Another redevelopment proposal for The Junction. This one would be a 7-story mixed-use building with almost 100 apartments, proposed to replace 4448-4456 California SW – the California/Oregon buildings that formerly held a real-estate office
and currently hold The Salon at The Junction and Shadowland, plus a small office building (which includes the West Seattle Junction Association headquarters).
(7 stories is what the site is zoned for – 75 feet.) This is a very early-stage proposal, meaning actual construction would be years away; this roughed-out site plan was filed Friday by the architecture firm Atelier Drome County Assessor’s Office records show the north part of the site is owned by an LLC headed up by Craig Haveson of STS Construction Services (WSB sponsor), who has been busy in South Delridge redevelopment lately.
and the south part is owned by an LLC including Shadowland founders. We have followup questions out to a project spokesperson and will add whatever else we find out.
7:02 PM: Michelle Linden from Atelier Drome has answered some of our questions and provided a key correction: “There is a typo that we are working to correct with the City. The addresses are 4448 and 4452. The Shadowland building is not part of this project.” So Shadowland fans can stand down. She adds, in response to two other questions we asked: “We are planning for regular apartments (not micros) with commercial at the ground floor. Parking is tbd.”