Development 1986 results

DEVELOPMENT: West Seattle Junction site work begins, with a change in plan

That’s the construction site at 4515 44th SW in The Junction, formerly home to CDE Software. Now that site work is under way, a nearby resident suggested an update on the project, which was in city files as a microapartment building when we last mentioned it in fall 2022, planned for more than 40 units. Big change since then, according to what we’ve found in the files now: Construction permits were issued recently for three buildings holding a total of six townhouses (with five offstreet-parking spaces shown on the site plan; the microapartment project was to have none). The site is zoned for development up to five stories. Property records show the company that’s building the townhouses bought the site this past February for $1.65 million.

VIDEO: Belated groundbreaking celebration for South Delridge mixed-use project Keystone

Two years after having West Seattle’s first ceremonial apartment-development groundbreaking in eight years, the partnership of STS Construction Services (WSB sponsor) and Housing Diversity Corporation had another one today. This time, the project is already under way, but they decided to take a few minutes to celebrate anyway. The project they heralded in 2022, at 3405 Harbor Avenue SW, is almost complete; this one is at 9201 Delridge Way SW, and its foundation is taking shape.

The five-story building is going up on a former auto-shop site on the south side of Delridge/20th/Barton; on the north side, STS already has two properties, Blue Stone and Livingstone, both mixed use – the early-learning facility Bella Mente is in Blue Stone, while STS’s company headquarters are in Livingstone. The new project, Keystone, will have 4,000 square feet of commercial space as well as 74 apartments. All speakers at today’s ceremony talked about the challenges of getting a project going amid a difficult financing environment; STS Construction’s Craig Haveson said he and his wife Mara Haveson first invested in the area 17 years ago, and he’s always believed in its potential.

His parents Rena and Paul, wife Mara, and kids Scarlett and Colton were there to join in the celebration, including the ceremonial shovel-turning:

Speakers also included Housing Diversity CEO Brad Paddon, who has built more than 2,800 apartments in the Northwest and Southern California; he said the intent of this project, and the heart of his business, is to provide more middle-income housing.

Architect Michelle Linden of Atelier Drome echoed the dedication to affordability, saying that people who grew up in this area deserve to be able to stay in this area:

Too soon to say what the rents will be, as completion is more than a year away, but the goal is for the apartments to be affordable to people making 80 percent of the Area Median Income or less; 15 of the units will be rent-restricted via the city’s Multi-Family Tax Exemption program. Linden noted that the site on which attendees gathered for this afternoon’s ceremony will be a mini-plaza when Keystone is done. The site had proposals under earlier ownership, including a storage facility, but this is the one that finally went through. Meantime, STS and HDC are partners in other future West Seattle developments, including 4448 California SW in The Junction and 17th/Roxbury (which underwent some demolition recently, but that was for safety reasons, not because construction was imminent).

FINANCIAL PARTNERS: Since much was made of the challenges of securing financing for projects right now, here’s who is involved in this project, according to a project-overview infosheet – senior lender First Fed, with a $5 million loan; Nuveen Green Capital as Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy and Resiliency (C-PACER) lender, loaning $9.74 million; and Citizen Mint, raising $5.18 million of equity.

More places to live, and more people to live in them. Discuss what that might be like in Seattle’s next 20 years

An old house goes down, three new ones go up. City zoning allows that now, and will soon incorporate a new state law allowing four units on most lots. And as more homes are built, more people are moving here to live in them. How will our city evolve over the next 20 years, both for those of us here now and those coming to join us? West Seattle Realty (2715 California SW; WSB sponsor) hosts a discussion on Tuesday night with West Seattle architect and advocate Matt Hutchins, and you’re invited – here’s the announcement:

Opening the door for middle housing:
A look at the future of Seattle neighborhoods.

Seattle can expect to be a city of one million residents by 2040 and is undergoing a comprehensive planning process to guide that growth. If you are interested in what Seattle might look like in twenty years or what are the immediate impacts and opportunities, join local architect Matt Hutchins AIA CPHD in a virtual tour of how our neighborhoods are most likely to grow in the future.

In addition to designing creative urban infill development, Hutchins is a housing advocate, policy wonk, sustainable building expert and Seattle Planning Commissioner.

No RSVP or admission charge – just show up at 6 pm Tuesday (June 18).

DEVELOPMENT: 2 quick Alki notes

Notes about two redevelopment sites on Alki Avenue:

2236 ALKI SITE WALK TODAY: We neglected to include this in today’s event list but mentioned it a week and a half ago – 4 to 6 pm today is the “site walk” at 2236 Alki Avenue SW [map], proposed for teardown and redevelopment, with half a dozen townhomes. Project team members will be at the site to answer questions.

MORE TIME FOR COMMENT ON 1790 ALKI: The land-use application for this four-floor, 12-apartment proposal to replace two vacant houses at 1790 and 1794 Alki Avenue SW [map] was announced last week as open for comment until June 10; today it was “re-noticed” and now it’s open for comment until June 19. Here’s the design proposal.

SUNDAY: Concepts for ‘affordable homeownership’ project in North Admiral

(Photo by Joanne Murray for Admiral Church)

Before we get back to more coverage of what happened on this very busy Saturday, a quick look ahead to one event of note tomorrow (Sunday, June 2) – if you’re interested in the “affordable homeownership” plan that Admiral Church and Homestead Community Land Trust are working on, a community gathering is planned for a look at “concepts.” Previously, the architects working on the project for Admiral Church’s site had said they were considering three-story townhouses as the predominant model for the site, which also will hold a new building for the church and its commuity programs. Find out the latest tomorrow at 2 pm at the church, 4320 SW Hill. The Admiral/Homestead agreement announced last year followed four years of soul-searching by the church on how to ensure its future while maximizing its community contributions.

DEVELOPMENT: 1790 Alki; 5617 California

Two notes from today’s edition of the city-circulated Land Use Information Bulletin:

1790 ALKI: A year and a half ago, we mentioned an early-stage proposal for a “4-story apartment building” on parcels at 1790 and 1794 Alki [map], both holding vacant houses. Now an official land-use application has been made for a project described as four stories, 12 units, 18 offstreet parking spaces. Here’s the design proposal. The project is going through Administrative Design Review, so no public meetings, but today’s notice opens a two-week comment period, until June 10; this notice explains how to comment.

5617 CALIFORNIA: Also open for comments through June 10th, the land-use application for 5617 California SW, described as “two 4-story townhouse buildings (6 units) and one 4-story live-work building (3 units)” with four offstreet parking spaces. Here’s the early design proposal; here’s the notice explaining how to comment.

DEVELOPMENT NOTES: 5249 California; 3507 Webster; 2236 Alki; Admiral Church

Four development notes this afternoon:

5249 CALIFORNIA: We noticed new signage today at this long-mostly-idle site just south of the past-and-possibly-future Ephesus: “New Homes Coming Soon!” A check of city files shows that permits are still under review for the latest proposal here, two 3-story buildings with nine townhouses, same project we last mentioned in early 2023. The website for J&T Development, which bought the site two years ago, says the units will all be 3 bedrooms, 3 baths.

3507 SW WEBSTER: This 4-story townhouse project, replacing a 2-story building, is in the “early design review” stage and a community survey closes after tomorrow (Monday, May 27). Project information is on a webpage the developers set up here; the survey is here.

2236 ALKI SW: This site also has a townhouse project in “early design review,” and an outreach webpage set up by the developers. It says they’re planning a community “site walk” for Q&A and info, 4-6 pm on Thursday, June 6.

ADMIRAL CHURCH AFFORDABLE HOMEOWNERSHIP: Also coming up, Homestead Community Land Trust and Admiral Church plan an update meeting at the church (4320 SW Hill) 2-4 pm next Sunday (June 2) with “concepts” for their affordable-homeownership project. (Here’s our most-recent coverage.)

DEVELOPMENT: Teardown time for long-vacant Highland Park house

Thanks for the tips. This is the site of a long-awaited demolition in Highland Park – one of the vacant houses at 9th/Henderson, the subject of numerous complaints as well as fire calls. It was originally among the holdings of the late prolific real-estate investor Harvey Rowe but most recently, records show, it changed hands again three months ago, attributed to foreclosure. The status of permit applications for a 12-townhouse development on the 13,000+-square-foot site isn’t clear – they were originally filed almost two years ago before the ownership change; there are townhouse proposals for the parcels to the north, too.

FOLLOWUP: City giving you two more weeks for comment on draft One Seattle Plan

Toward the end of last week’s West Seattle bonus briefing on the draft of the future-growth “roadmap” One Seattle Plan, an attendee asked city reps if they could extend the comment deadline (which was yesterday). No promises were made. But today, the city just announced it’s giving you two more weeks. So if you have something to say about the plan – an update on how the city wants to see growth handled over the next 20 years – you now have until 5 pm Monday, May 20. Here’s a link to the draft plan; here’s the city’s overview; here’s our first report from March on some West Seattle highlights; here’s our report from April on the official West Seattle open house; here’s our report on last week’s WS briefing. Two ways to offer your feedback: via the city’s Engagement Hub, or via email, OneSeattleCompPlan@seattle.gov.

DEVELOPMENT FOLLOWUP: Latest plan for 3257 Harbor Avenue SW expands

(King County Assessor’s Office photo, mid-2010s)

Back in December, we reported on the latest in a somewhat long line of development proposals for vacant parcels grouped under the address 3257 Harbor Avenue SW. An early-stage proposal in city files at the time suggested that developer Bode was exploring a 115-unit project. Now it’s turned up on the city’s Early Outreach for Design Review website, described as a much-larger size – eight stories, “approximately 308 dwelling units.” However, on the Bode website, the project (under an adjacent address, 3303 Harbor SW) is listed as 220 apartments, and other city files still suggest 115 units. Bode designs, builds, and manages its own projects; it already has two in West Seattle, 75 apartments at 2222 SW Barton and 115 apartments at 3050 SW Avalon Way. We’re contacting them in hopes they will clarify the 3257 Harbor plan.

DEVELOPMENT: Demolition under way at 1704 SW Roxbury, future mixed-use project site

11:56 AM: Thanks to Bob for the tip. Demolition is under way at 1704 SW Roxbury, the official address for the planned project on parcels including the former Meineke shop – which moved to 35th/Barton – and buildings to its north. Last time we mentioned the project was more than two years ago, when it went into the city’s Early Outreach for Design Review program. It remains in the relatively early stages of the permitting process, according to the city’s online files. This – like almost-complete 3405 Harbor Avenue SW, just-underway 9201 Delridge Way SW, and planned 4448 California SW – is a collaboration between Housing Diversity Corporation and STS Construction Services (WSB sponsor). HDC’s website outlines the plan as:

-9,428 SF retail
-34,008 SF lot
-Six stories
-214 unit development, 161 attainably priced market-rate units, and 54 rent-restricted units through Seattle’s Multifamily Tax Exemption (MFTE) Program

We have an inquiry out for more information on the site’s status beyond the now-underway demolition.

12:27 PM: Demolition is expected to last two to three weeks, we’re told. Construction will not follow immediately as the project is still “in feasibility.”

DEVELOPMENT: Harbor Flats close to completion

(Photos courtesy Housing Diversity Corporation)

The new 115-apartment complex at 3405 Harbor Avenue SW, just north of the West Seattle Bridge, is close to completion. The developers at Housing Diversity Corporation shared “our first photos of 3405 Harbor against the Seattle skyline,” taken via drone, now that part of the scaffolding has been removed.

HDC’s Alex Thompson tells WSB the complex has a name: Harbor Flats. It’s on track for opening in June; we covered its groundbreaking in March 2022. Final-stage work includes installation of utilities plus the automated parking system (similar to this); the building will have spaces for 60 vehicles. West Seattle-headquartered STS Construction Services (WSB sponsor) partnered with HDC on construction of Harbor Flats.

Does the draft ‘One Seattle Plan’ envision enough housing? That question takes centerstage at West Seattle open house

(WSB photos. Above, One Seattle Plan project manager Michael Hubner addresses attendees)

By Sean Golonka
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

About 80 West Seattle residents and others came together at Chief Sealth International High School tonight for an open house on the draft One Seattle Plan — a wide-ranging update to the city’s Comprehensive Plan for growth and development that several attendees expressed concerns over as insufficient to address the city’s dire housing needs.

“I feel like it’s been underwhelming,” said John Doherty, a 28-year-old software engineer who lives in West Seattle. “We need more growth in the city.”

Doherty and others attending the open house, the fourth of eight the city has planned to gather feedback on the once-in-a-decade update to its Comprehensive Plan, echoed a concern shared throughout Seattle neighborhoods: that the city is in a housing crisis, and more must be built to meet the needs of its residents.

Michael Hubner, project manager for the One Seattle Plan with the Office of Planning and Community Development, highlighted the stakes of the plan as city officials embark on an effort to reshape Seattle’s growth over the next 20 years.

Read More

Look ahead 20 years in one night: ‘Draft One Seattle Plan’ WS open house Wednesday

As reported here last month, the city is revising the Comprehensive Plan – meant to look ahead 20 years, but updated every 10 years or so – and hosting open houses for info, Q&A, and comments. The West Seattle open house for what’s now called the Draft One Seattle Plan is tomorrow night (Wednesday, April 3), 6-7:30 pm at Chief Sealth International High School (2600 SW Thistle). Our March report looked at some of the changes envisioned for District 1; here’s a map featured in D-1 City Councilmember Rob Saka‘s latest newsletter:

Share your thoughts and get your questions answered by dropping in at any time during tomorrow’s event. You can browse the full draft plan here; see the full list of upcoming events (including an online meeting) here; provide comments online here (May 6 is the deadline).

FOLLOWUP: Next step imminent for ‘affordable homeownership’ plan at Highland Park ex-substation site

(2013 image via Seattle City Light)

By the end of this week, the city will take the next step in transforming a former Seattle City Light substation in Highland Park into housing – “affordable homeownership,” to be specific (with ground-floor commercial space). We reported in November and December on the City Council votes to approve transferring the 10,000+-square-foot parcel from SCL to the Office of Housing (OH) for $424,000 in Mandatory Housing Affordability fees from developers who choose to pay fees instead of building affordable units in their projects. This week, the Office of Housing will open the Request for Proposals from developers interested in the 16th/Holden site, zoned Neighborhood Commercial 40 (four stories), as the result of neighborhood advocacy. It’s projected that the site might be able to house 16 units. There are very specific rules for affordable-homeownership development, both for buyer eligibility and for what can be done with the units post-purchase (they must be owner-occupied, for example). When the Request for Proposals is available – projected for Friday – it’ll be linked on this city webpage.

DEVELOPMENT: Next round of commenting for 7617 35th SW project

A new sign is up at 7617 35th SW – between Holden and Ida – because the project review for that site has reached a new phase. As announced in today’s city-circulated Land Use Information Bulletin, the developers have applied for a land-use permit, now that they’ve cleared the first phase of Design Review. (That happened in December – here’s our coverage of the meeting.) The project still has to go through the second phase of Design Review, but so far, city files say it’s proposed as “a 7-story, 126-unit apartment building with 3 live-work units and retail (with p)arking for 66 vehicles …” It’s also worth noting that this is at the heart of one of the “neighborhood centers” envisioned in the newly released Draft One Seattle Plan Update. Today’s permit-application notice opens a two-week comment period; if you want to comment, March 27 is the deadline, and this explains how.

DEVELOPMENT: Construction finally close for mixed-use project at 9201 Delridge Way SW

(Rendering by Atelier Drome Architects)

4:30 PM: Redevelopment has been in the works for the former auto-shop site at 9201 Delridge Way SW for six years. The project plan, and ownership, have changed along the way. Now the current developers, Housing Diversity Corporation, say that groundbreaking is expected within about two months for the five-story, 74-apartment development they’re calling Keystone. That’s part of an update we received this afternoon announcin “the closing of debt and equity” for the project, which explains in part:

Financial partners for the project include First Fed as the senior lender with a $5 million loan, Nuveen Green Capital as the Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy & Resiliency lender with a $9.74 million loan, and Citizen Mint, a private markets platform for wealth advisors, who raised $5.18 million of equity from impact-minded wealth managers and high-net-worth individuals. …

The C-PACER program in Washington provides lower-than-market-rate debt for projects that are able to achieve high energy and resilience standards above code in an effort to encourage environmentally focused building practices. The seismic, plumbing, and thermal standards met by the development allowed the partnership to use C-PACER financing to cover 40% of the project’s overall cost at a favorable construction loan interest rate in the mid-7% range.

HDC’s partner in building Keystone is West Seattle-headquartered STS Construction Services (WSB sponsor), as is the case for the 115-apartment building under construction at 3405 Harbor SW and other projects on the drawing board, with Atelier Drome as the architect. The announcement says that “100% of the units in the development are priced at or below 80% of area median income, including 15 more deeply rent-restricted units made possible through Seattle’s Multifamily Tax Exemption Program.” The project will include 4,207 square feet of commercial/retail space and will not include offstreet parking; none is required as it’s close to frequent transit (RapidRide H Line). The project finished going through Design Review in 2021, under the alternate address 9208 20th SW.

5:39 PM: We went over to look at the site right after publishing this story, and discovered work already has begun:

The old building was demolished sometime since we last went through that area several days ago.

DEVELOPMENT: Key land-use approval for 4747 California SW

(4747 California rendering by Ankrom Moisan)

A surprise sighting in the city’s twice-weekly Land Use Information Bulletin today – a key land-use approval for the long-paused project at 4747 California SW, which finished going through Design Review four and a half years ago. The project was designed to be a mixed-use building with a new home for Husky Deli, whose owner Jack Miller is a partner in the site-development team. Last time we updated the project was two and a half years ago, when another partner on the seven-story, ~79-apartment, ~41-parking-space project told us it was “on the shelf for a little while.” We have a message out to inquire whether today’s approval announcement means it’s actively moving forward now, or just means that city bureaucracy got around to the approval (the time span is longer than most we’ve seen)3031135-LU nod. Whatever turns out to be the case, the notice opens a two-week appeal period for the land-use approval, and explains how that works.

Final week to apply to be on a board that almost never meets

If you worry that joining an advisory board would take too much time – the Southwest Design Review Board, right now, would prove that wrong. While it technically could meet twice a month, considering up to two projects per meeting, it’s been many years since there were enough qualifying development projects to fill that schedule. Last year, in fact, the SWDRB only met three times. Nonetheless, the city needs to have board members, and reader Rob McCulloch – a current SWDRB member – suggested we let you know that applications are open right now. The deadline is January 28 (next Sunday). Here are the basics:

Applicants should have knowledge of, or interest in, architecture, urban design, and the development process. They should have the ability to evaluate projects based on the City’s design guidelines, the ability to listen and communicate effectively, have a passion for urban design and community development, and the ability to work well with others under pressure. Prior experience with community or neighborhood groups is a plus. Board members must live in the city.

Currently the meetings are held online (the board met in-person pre-pandemic). More on the program, and how to apply (openings include boards for other parts of the city too), can be found here. (The rest of the city’s schedule is pretty empty right now too – see it here.)

Plants in need of new homes: P-Patch closing to make way for housing development

(WSB photo, today)

Thanks to the gardener who emailed to share the news that the West Genesee P-Patch on the north end of The Junction is being closed and removed, with work expected to start for the long-planned adjacent housing development. We last wrote about the project more than a year ago; the 3/4-acre site at 4401 41st SW currently holds a parking lot and a former church school. City files now show a different prospective developer now with a plan for 26 townhomes, fewer than the 2022 proposal; county files do not show a finalized sale of the West Seattle Christian Church-owned property (we’re checking with the church on its status). But nonetheless, the garden is being cleared now through Monday. They’re inviting community members to help remove “vegetation, gardening supplies/ materials from our giving garden network to ensure produce & resources goes to good homes & NOT wasted.” The announcement continues: “1st Come; 1st Served! The garden is open to you from dawn till dusk to harvest & gather herbs/ tomato cages/ plant starts/ produce to donate/ burlap sacks/ corrugated metal sheeting on fence/ pavers/ wood/ etc. Please be respectful by returning the land into a safe open space. Do NOT leave behind debris, ‘pack it in – pack it out.’ Please bring your own pots, tools, gloves, supplies for transfers.” The church donated the streetside site for a P-Patch in 2009 – when it opened with a mayoral visit and celebration

DEVELOPMENT: Will this be the 3257 Harbor Avenue SW project that finally gets built?

(King County Assessor’s Office photo, mid-2010s)

Yet another development proposal has appeared in city files for a Harbor Avenue site that’s had several others in the past decade and a half. The site is 3257 Harbor Avenue SW (also spanning street numbers 3303 and 3315). It was once held by disgraced developer Michael Mastro; in 2007, we mentioned it was being marketed as a potential 80-apartment project. A similar proposal in 2014 went into Design Review, and then two years later, that plan was scrapped and a 32-townhouse plan emerged. That plan went all the way through Design Review and land-use permitting but then went idle.

Most recently, the site was back on the market – as this brochure details – as a potential 115-apartment site, and that’s what the new early-stage filing suggests is being proposed. No other details yet, and county records don’t show a sale (yet), but the document in city files names the developer as Bode, which has two new buildings in West Seattle – 115 apartments at 3050 SW Avalon Way and 75 apartments at 2222 SW Barton. The south end of Harbor Avenue has been something of a development/construction hot spot these past few years, with projects including the 114 apartments that are building at 3405 Harbor plus two self-storage complexes.

DEVELOPMENT: New mixed-use building proposed for 4700 36th SW

(King County Assessor website photo)

That former medical building is at 4700 36th SW [map], a corner site in The Triangle, planned for replacement with a six-story mixed-use building. It’s been working its way through early stages of city review for a while but has now entered the design-review process, which means it’s time for “public outreach.” The city website summarizes the plan:

The proposed project is to construct a new 6-story building with 34 apartment units, 2,200 sf of retail space at ground level, and 7 parking stalls. The street-level floor will be the main access to commercial uses, and elevated entry from 36th Ave SW will have access to residential units through open-air walkways, providing daylight and equal access to fresh air for all residents alike.

The architect is Sazei Design Group, which also worked on the new-ish mixed-use building at Delridge/Henderson. The 4700 36th SW project is going through Administrative Design Review, which means public feedback but no public meetings – watch for official notices soon on how to provide that feedback.

DEVELOPMENT: Tree advocates plan demonstration at Delridge project site

(WSB photo from March)

The proposal for 11 residences at 6504 24th SW [map] continues to make its way through the permit process. Tree advocates plan a demonstration there Saturday afternoon to renew attention to the plan for tree removal, with concerns including its proximity to Longfellow Creek. We last wrote about the project back in March, when the city convened a community-requested public meeting for comments (WSB coverage here), most of which were focused on the trees. As we reported at the time, an arborist’s report showed more than 50 “exceptional” trees on the site, and noted more than 30 could be removed. (Here’s the current plan set.) Permit files also show the developers seeking an exemption for part of an “environmentally critical area” on the site. Tree Action Seattle notes that – as discussed in our March report – housing could be built on the site with far fewer tree removals. It plans to gather and “ask for change” at 1 pm Saturday. (Thanks to reader Julia for the tip on this.)