West Seattle, Washington
One year after we first reported on a redevelopment plan for a HALA-upzoned Morgan Junction site, the early-design proposal has appeared on the city’s Design Review site. You can see the packet here. The site’s official address is 6314 41st SW, but it also spans 6308 41st and 4023 SW Grahamp. The project will go through Administrative Design Review, which means no public meeting, though comments will be taken via email. The proposal is now described as “three apartment buildings (3, 4, and 5 stories) with 6 Efficiency Dwelling Units and 30 apartment units (36 units total). Parking for 15 vehicles proposed.” The design packet shows a mix of studios, 1 bedrooms, and 2 bedrooms. The developer/designer is still Texas-based StoryBuilt, though property records still don’t show a change in ownership. The parcels in this project were originally put on the market in 2017, as part of a package that floated the idea of a larger project, but instead the area’s seen smaller proposals such as this one and townhouse clusters. Design comments for this project? email@example.com is who to email.
More than two years after clearing the first phase of Design Review, the redevelopment proposal for 3201 SW Avalon Way – site of the Golden Tee Apartments [map] – is back on the front-burner. We dug into the file after a tip from C that the city put up new signs today. Documents show the project has gone through some changes since that 2018 meeting (WSB coverage here) – including a new architect (Public47 has replaced NK) and a change in toplines (now 8 stories, 144 units, 70 offstreet-parking spaces, previously 7/150/85). The new signage mentions a “grocery store and restaurant” but the new documentation shows two retail spaces only totaling 3,600+ square feet on the building’s north side. The project still needs to go before the Southwest Design Review Board at least one more time, but that’s not yet on the board’s calendar (which currently is wide open for 2021).
Two development notes from the city’s latest Land Use Information Bulletin:
1606 CALIFORNIA SW COMMENT TIME: This site in North Admiral has had redevelopment plans for seven years – but they’ve changed over time, from a small apartment building, to the current plan, an 8-unit rowhouse project, 3-stories with 8 offstreet parking spaces in “basement garages.” Its developers have now applied for a land-use permit, and that’s opened a public comment period through December 21st. This notice explains how to comment.
6940 25TH SW: The city has denied a developer’s request to be exempted from a requirement “to extend the public drainage system across the full frontage of the property.” specifically, extending “a 12-inch diameter storm drainage main … from an existing 18” storm drainage main in SW Myrtle St north along 25th Avenue SW approximately 300 feet to the north boundary of the property.” A representative of the developer, who was considering buying the 22,400-sf site to build at least three houses, said the requirement would “caus(e) a severe and unexpected financial hardship.” In a written decision, the city disagreed:
Since this property has not even been purchased … it cannot reasonably be claimed to meet the test of 22.800.040.C(a) as a severe financial hardship, and as the requirement was communicated to the applicant during the City’s first notification of the proposed project on 8/5/2019, neither can it be considered unexpected.
It’s not clear whether the proposed project is still active; county property records show the land is still in the same ownership as it had since long before this proposal, and there were no permit applications since the aforementioned 2019 date.
Just announced by the mayor’s office:
Seattle Mayor Jenny A. Durkan announced new steps to further electrify buildings using clean energy and ban fossil fuels for most building use. By updating its energy code, the City will ban the use of fossil fuels in new commercial and large multi-family construction for space and most water heating in order to cut down on the significant emissions contributed by the building sector. Space and water heating account for most building gas use according to City and national data. These actions come as new City data show building emissions have been steadily increasing in past years. …
After years of notable progress in reducing climate pollution, Seattle’s most recent greenhouse gas inventory shows that Seattle’s overall core greenhouse gas emissions – emissions from our waste, transportation, and building energy sectors – increased 1.1% since the last report. The largest greenhouse gas emissions increase was the buildings sector, which increased 8.3% between 2016 and 2018, a significant jump. Major factors contributing to the increase in building emissions are new buildings with fossil gas space and water heating, colder winters, warmer summers, and a growing population and workforce. Residents and businesses will be able to view additional data and visualizations by visiting the Office of Sustainability and Environment site. ….
The proposed Seattle Energy Code update includes the following key changes for commercial and large multifamily buildings:
-Eliminates all gas and most electric resistance space heating systems
-Eliminates gas water heating in large multifamily buildings and hotels
-Improves building exteriors to improve energy efficiency and comfort
-Creates more opportunities for solar power
-Requires electrical infrastructure necessary for future conversion of any gas appliances in multifamily buildings …
In 2019, Mayor Durkan issued an Executive Order committing the City to new actions that will support the goals of Seattle’s Green New Deal. In addition to requiring all new or substantially altered City of Seattle buildings operate without fossil fuels, City departments work with the Office of Sustainability & Environment to develop a strategy to eliminate fossil fuel use in existing City buildings, improve data collection and sharing on Seattle’s climate emissions and engage stakeholders like the philanthropic community, business community, labor community, non-governmental organizations, health care community, county and state agencies, state legislators, and tribes achieve the goals of the Green New Deal. …
The Mayor will transmit legislation to City Council at the end of the year. City Council will discuss the legislation, and with their vote of approval, would allow code updates to become effective in the spring of 2021, along with the full suite of Seattle building code changes in line with the statewide building code updates. For more information about the proposed energy code updates, including the proposed code language, visit the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections energy code web page.
You can read the full announcement here.
Now that the newest plan for the ex-auto-shop site at 9201 Delridge Way SW has passed the first phase of Design Review (here’s our coverage from October), the project team has applied for a land-use permit, and that’s opened the next round of comments. The project is in the city-circulated Land Use Information Bulletin today with a different address, 9208 20th SW. The proposal is now for a 5-story, 77-unit building – 73 apartments and 4 small efficiency dwelling units, and no offstreet parking. You can comment through December 16th; this notice explains how. The project also will have to have at least one more meeting before the Southwest Design Review Board; no date yet
The Southwest Design Review Board voted last night to give its final approval to the 115-apartment proposal for 3417 Harbor SW, just north of the west end of the West Seattle Bridge. All five board members were there for the online meeting – eight and a half months after the first review at the board’s last in-person meeting – along with the city’s assigned planner Crystal Torres and architect Michelle Linden from Atelier Drome Architecture. Board members agreed that the architects had done a good job of followup on the recommendations from the first meeting. Most of the board thought the east side facing Harbor could use more balconies. Linden said that the current design reflects SDOT‘s rules on how to use space above streets, but she would see if it is possible to add balconies.The board also wanted the architect to rethink the materials for the southeast-entrance area. Public comment came from neighbors on 30th behind the building. One said they appreciated meeting with the developer and architects, but the building just isn’t in keeping with the overall character of the neighborhood. The others also said the building wasn’t what they thought should be in the space, again because it is out of character. Design Review boards, however, only have say over the design (see the meeting packet here), not veto power over projects. You can still comment on other aspects of the proposal, though, through the planner – email firstname.lastname@example.org – as it continues to go through other reviews for land-use and construction permitting.
Two West Seattle development notes:
COMMENT TIME FOR 6314 41ST SW: Comments have opened as Administrative Design Review begins for this project with three small apartment buildings with a total of 36 units and 15 offstreet-parking units. From the notice:
SDCI will accept written comments to assist in the preparation of the early design guidance through November 30, 2020. You are invited to offer comments regarding important site planning and design issues you believe should be addressed in the design of this project. Please note that the proposed design will likely evolve through the review process.
The notice explains how to send your comments.
DESIGN REVIEW MEETING TOMORROW FOR 3417 HARBOR SW: Reminder that tomorrow night is the next Southwest Design Review Board meeting for this 115-apartment, 68-offstreet-parking-space project just north of the West Seattle Bridge’s west end. The meeting starts at 5 pm Thursday, online. The design packet is here, with connection information (and how to comment/ask questions during the meeting) here This is potentially the final meeting for the project; our previous coverage is here.
From the latest city-circulated Land Use Information Bulletin: Now that both halves of the Sweeney family’s West Seattle Triangle project have applied for land-use permits, a new comment period has opened.
4406 36TH SW: The first Southwest Design Review Board meeting for this building was in early August (WSB coverage here). It’s planned as an 8-story, 273-unit apartment building with retail and 163 off-street parking spaces. The application notice is here.
4440 FAUNTLEROY WAY SW: The first SWDRB meeting for this building was in mid-August (WSB coverage here). This is planned as a 7-story, 217-unit apartment building with retail and 153 offstreet parking spaces. The application notice is here.
Deadline for this round of commenting on both projects is November 25th; both notices linked above include information on how to comment. Each building also will have at least one more SWDRB meeting, at which more-complete designs will be presented (what you see above are just the “massing” concepts – size/shape), dates TBA.
Three parcels adjacent to The Kenney have newly filed redevelopment proposals. These parcels were part of the package on the market recently, offered for more than $6 million, County records don’t show a sale yet – one online service shows a sale “pending feasibility” – and a spokesperson for The Kenney declined comment, but city records show Seattle Luxury Homes has filed early-stage proposals for three of the addresses: For 7150 46th Place SW, a two-unit “rowhouse” building; for 7141 Fauntleroy Way SW, five townhouses; for 7142 47th Avenue SW, five townhouses. These parcels are adjacent to the south side of The Kenney’s campus. Two years ago, The Kenney itself was pursuing plans for townhouses on part of the land, which currently holds 1950s-era multiplexes that have been rented, but those plans stalled, though at one point they were still in progress when some of the adjacent property was originally listed.
(Rendering by Atelier Drome Architecture)
One of the biggest development projects on the West Seattle drawing board right now is the 5-story, ~115-unit apartment building planned for 3417 Harbor Avenue SW, just north of the bridge. As noted here, it’s scheduled to go back before the Southwest Design Review Board at 5 pm November 19th, online. In advance of that, project neighbors have arranged a neighborhood meeting with the development team and property owners to address “a lot of unanswered questions.” They sent us the link “in the event anyone else in the West Seattle community would like to attend.” That meeting is set for 5 pm next Monday (November 2nd); go here to register so you can get attendance info. Meantime, here’s the draft design packet posted on the city website in advance of the mid-November review.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
For the second time this month, the Southwest Design Review Board met to consider a South Delridge mixed-use project.
This time, though, they told the project team to go back and try again.
The project is a 5-story building proposed for 9218 18th SW (map), with ~59 apartments, some retail, and ~25 offstreet-parking spaces. The online meeting Thursday night was for Early Design Guidance, the first phase of the city’s Design Review process,
The meeting was chaired by Matt Hutchins; ongoing chair Crystal Loya and the three other members, John Cheng, Alan Grainger, and Scott Rosenstock, were all there too. The meeting proceeded in the usual four-part format:
ARCHITECTS’ PRESENTATION: Here’s the design packet by Caron Architecture. I 5-story, 1 floor of parking below grade, accessed from the alley, 59 units and 21 parking spots. Many site constraints have to be dealt with, including a close-by power line, and a property line set back 26′ from Delridge Way. Here are the “massing” (size/shape) concepts they offered:
Two notes about projects with upcoming Southwest Design Review Board online public meetings:
(Rendering by Atelier Drome Architecture)
3417 HARBOR AVENUE SW: This 5-story, 115-apartment, 65-offstreet-parking-space project (map) has already been through the first round of Design Review (here’s our coverage from March, at the board’s last in-person meeting) and now the next review is tentatively set for 5 pm November 19th (online). A draft of the design packet is already available, showing various angles as well as what was done in response to board and public comments at the first meeting. When this meeting gets closer, connection and commenting information – and the final packet – will be here. You can also send comments to email@example.com, the city planner assigned to the project.
(Rendering by Caron Architecture)
9218 18TH SW: As first mentioned here last month, this 5-story, 59-apartment, 25-offstreet-parking-space building with retail (map) has its first Design Review meeting this Thursday (October 15th), 4 pm. Information for watching/listening and commenting is here; the design packet is here. (Since this is the Early Design Guidance phase, the focus is on massing – size/shape/location on the site – not on design details.) You also can send project comments to firstname.lastname@example.org, the assigned city planner.
When we reported in July that West Seattle-based Bee’s Plumbing and Heating had bought and moved onto the former Tug Inn site on SW Orchard west of Delridge, we noted that they planned to redevelop the property with a new building for their growing business. Now, the project is on the drawing board, and they’re asking for feedback in the Early Design Review Outreach process. The West Seattle architecture firm Finch Design and Production is handling the project and explains that the site, 2216 & 2228 SW Orchard St., “includes the former Tug Inn and the vacant lot to the west between it and the Vietnamese Cultural Center. … The project is currently in the early stages of design, but at the moment we’re expecting that the building will be 3-4 stories in height. It will include office space and some warehouse space, with surface parking to the sides and behind the building. Site improvements will include a new sidewalk and curb cuts, site drainage and landscaping.” The project is going through the Administrative Design Review process, which means there won’t be a public meeting, but there is an opportunity for public comment. The early stage of that is happening now via this simple survey – they’re requesting your feedback by October 28th.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
First, the former auto-shop site at 9201 Delridge Way SW was proposed for redevelopment as a self-storage facility.
Then – a zoning change turned it into a mixed-use plan. But it didn’t last long; the site was sold to a new owner/developer, who changed the architect and came up with a different mixed-use plan.
That third plan went before the Southwest Design Review Board online on Thursday, and got unanimous approval to move to the second stage of Design Review, with a few concerns along the way.
Here’s how the review went:
Another small-ish mixed-use building is proceeding in south West Seattle. Seven months ago, we featured the design packet for the proposed building at 9037 35th SW [map] as it went through Administrative Design Review (no community meetings). Today, the city’s twice-weekly Land Use Information Bulletin includes the decision approving the project, and the notice explaining how to appeal (deadline October 12th). The proposal is for a four-story building with 25 microapartments (Small Efficiency Dwelling Units), 839 sf of ground-floor retail, and off-street parking for six vehicles, replacing a house and small commercial space. It’s been two years since we first mentioned the plan, before HALA upzoned the site to 55′.
Two development notes:
4401 42ND SW APPROVAL: The city has given a key approval to the 5-story apartment building planned to replace the former Ginomai arts-studios building at 42nd/Genesee. It’s expected to include 72 “small efficiency dwelling units” – microapartments – and 5 live-work units, with 36 offstreet parking places. We first reported on the proposal in May of last year. The decision means appeals can be filed until October 5th; this notice explains how.
9038 21ST SW: South Delridge’s development boom continues. City files show an early-stage proposal for a 3-story (plus basement) building with 21 apartments, replacing a house on what’s now a Lowrise 1-zoned lot. The preliminary site plan shows Atelier Drome as the architecture firm.
(Sketch from 9201 Delridge meeting packet by Atelier Drome)
9201 DELRIDGE WAY SW: Four months ago, we reported on the latest changes for this site – a new developer, new architect, and new plan. The current plan, described as “a 5-story, 71-unit apartment building with retail” and no offstreet vehicle parking, will go before the SWDRB at 4 pm Thursday, October 1st. This is the Early Design Guidance phase, so discussion will focus on the “massing” (size/shape) and other basic comments. The meeting packet is already online, here; details on how to attend the meeting (and how to comment) are here.
(Rendering from 9218 18th SW draft meeting packet by Caron Architecture)
9218 18TH SW: Two weeks later – at 4 pm Thursday, October 15th – the board will get its first look at this similar-size project, described as “a 5-story, 59-unit apartment building with [~5.242 square feet of] retail” and 25 offstreet vehicle-parking spaces. We first mentioned the plan for this site six months ago. The draft meeting packet is already online. Connection information for the meeting will appear here within a few weeks.
One notable West Seattle project in today’s city-circulated Land Use Information Bulletin, and it’s one that had been off the radar for a while: 4800 40th SW (corner of SW Edmunds) went through Design Review in 2017-2018. Today, the city has published its land-use approval, which opens a 2-week appeal period (the decision notice includes information on how to file one). The project is described by the city as a “4-story, 56-unit apartment building with 4 live-work units and retail. Parking for 44 vehicles proposed.” (The site was upzoned to 55′ in the HALA process but this project was initiated under the previous 40′ zoning.) Approval doesn’t necessarily mean development is imminent; the site has been home to Origins (WSB sponsor) for 4 years, so we’re following up separately.
Last November, we reported that the redevelopment plan for the small mixed-use building and house at 6016 California SW had been downsized – from 38 units (almost all microapartments) to seven townhouses. Now the city has published a key approval for the plan, which has no offstreet vehicle parking. The approval opens a 2-week period for appeals; this notice explains how to file one.
The apartment building planned at 4515 44th SW is going through the no-meeting (aka “administrative”) Design Review process, but there’s still an opportunity for public comment, and that’s just begun. The Early Design Guidance packet (see the draft version here) proposes three “massing” (size/shape) options for the building, which is planned as 4 stories, ~37 units (more than half of them microapartments, aka Small Efficiency Dwelling Units), no offstreet parking. You have two weeks, through September 14th, to comment; this notice explains how. We first reported five months ago on this plan for the former CDE Software site [map].
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Though Design Review is supposed to focus on buildings, the streetscape occupied much of the attention as the Southwest Design Review Board got its first look at the second half of the Sweeney family’s West Seattle Triangle proposal.
The first half, 4406 36th SW, got first-phase approval (Early Design Guidance) two weeks ago (WSB coverage here). Thursday’s meeting was about the building to its west, 4440 Fauntleroy Way SW. Four of the five SWDRB members were present – chair Crystal Loya, John Cheng, Alan Grainger, and Scott Rosenstock (all West Seattleites serving on the all-volunteer, city-appointed board) – along with the city planner assigned to the project, Sean Conrad. The meeting followed the long-standard format, in four segments:
Two project notes:
1772 ALKI AVENUE SW: A key approval is in for five 3-story townhouses, with 8 offstreet parking spaces, to replace two houses at 1772-1774 Alki SW. The decision opens an appeal period through September 3rd; this notice explains how to file one. We covered the “early community outreach” meeting for this project almost two years ago.
7035 DELRIDGE WAY SW: We first reported on this nine-townhouse plan with nine off-street parking spaces last December. Now it’s going into Administrative Design Review. Go here to see the design packet. This notice explains how to comment.
Two weeks ago, the Southwest Design Review Board gave first-phase approval (WSB coverage here) to 4406 36th SW, half of the two-building Triangle megaproject planned by the Sweeney family, longtime owners of Alki Lumber. At 4 pm today, online, the board takes its first look at the other half of the project, 4440 Fauntleroy Way SW, described as “a 7-story, 209-unit apartment building with retail (with p)arking for 136 vehicles.” The meeting packet is here; information on watching the meeting, and/or commenting during/before/after it, is here.