West Seattle, Washington
At left is The Kenney‘s CEO Kevin McFeely, when we caught up with him at West Seattle Summer Fest in The Junction last weekend. This afternoon he’s expected to be at the Municipal Tower downtown as The Kenney introduces its landmark nomination for the Seaview and Sunrise Buildings to the city Landmark Preservation Board (see the document here), a prelude to The Kenney’s redevelopment plan moving forward. 3:30 pm, board room on the 40th floor of the Muni Tower. The rest of the Wednesday highlights happen tonight:
(Photos by Matt Durham of mattdurhamphotography.com)
ArtsWest ‘s “Sweeney Todd” opens tonight. It’s a production of the Summer Youth Musical Theater Apprenticeship Program and plays through July 25; showtimes and ticket info can be found here. Also tonight — three meetings tackling an array of big issues:
NEIGHBORHOOD TRAFFIC CALMING: The traffic circle at left is just one example of the many tools that can be used to “calm” neighborhood traffic. If you have questions, concerns, ideas about your neighborhood, anywhere in West Seattle, come to an SDOT public meeting at 6:30 tonight in the South Seattle Community College board room. The Southwest District Council-presented event also includes a Backyard Cottages briefing at 7:30 and an 8 pm version of the briefing that will happen earlier at the next event:
DELRIDGE DISTRICT COUNCIL: Haven’t made up your mind yet on the bag-fee referendum that’s on next month’s ballot (official city voters’ guide info here)? That’s the measure asking city residents whether to approve or reject the City Council-approved fee for using non-reusable shopping bags. A pro-bag fee rep will speak to the Delridge District Council tonight, among other items on the agenda at 7 pm, Youngstown Arts Center.
MORGAN COMMUNITY ASSOCIATION: We published a preview last night (see it here); tonight’s MoCA meeting, 7 pm at The Kenney, includes a long list of hot topics from The Viaduct to RapidRide to future work at the Lowman Beach pump station.
As the city Landmarks Preservation Board gets ready to hear the landmark nomination for The Sanctuary at Admiral this afternoon (3:30 pm, 40th floor of the Municipal Tower downtown, agenda here), it’s also set the date to hear the nomination for the Seaview and Sunrise Buildings at The Kenney. As this newly published public notice says, that hearing will be in two weeks – 3:30 pm July 15th at the Muni Tower; you can see the nomination document here. (The board’s proceedings are open to the public.)
Yes, those geese AGAIN, though with a dramatic background this time – West Seattle photojournalist Matt Durham from mattdurhamphotography.com shares the photo, looking south toward Salty’s. (Personal aside: We are just back from there, where tonight we helped celebrate the wondrous wedding of our dear friend Shep, a West Seattleite who we’ve known since the year he, and we, arrived here, 1991. Mazel tov!) Now, from outside to inside:
The Kenney hosted its annual fundraising brunch today – that’s CEO Kevin McFeely circulating in the photo above – the main goal was to raise money for a fund that helps residents stay at The Kenney even if they outlive their financial reserves.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Sometimes when the public-comment period arrives midway through meetings of the Southwest Design Review Board – one of 7 such volunteer boards around the city charged with evaluating major development proposals – the concerns and complaints tend to meander away from the topic at hand, the project’s design.
Not last night, as The Kenney‘s redevelopment proposal returned to the SWDRB for a third “early design guidance” meeting (here’s our original as-it-happened update from last night; here’s coverage of the previous meeting in January).
Referring to the six-story “donut” building in the plans — a new formation since The Kenney announced it was shifting the design to scrap the panned plan to tear down the cupola-topped Seaview building — one neighbor declared, “I don’t want to live next to the Pentagon.”
“That’s a perfect design comment,” observed board chair Christie Coxley.
The building in question is envisioned in the newest design documents (see them all here) as actually more of a square, but before recommending that The Kenney move to the next phase of design review, board members had their own thoughts about it and other project aspects too, while architect Gene Guszkowski (from Wisconsin-based AG Architecture) revealed some news since the new design proposal was previewed at a community meeting last week:
We’re at the Senior Center of West Seattle, where more than 50 people are gathered as The Kenney‘s $150 million redevelopment project is back before the Southwest Design Review Board. Architect Gene Guszkowski has just announced that the cupola-topped Seaview building was formally nominated today for landmark status (not listed yet on this page, though), which triggers a separate city process that, as he noted, will proceed in parallel. Much of this presentation should duplicate what was shown at the community meeting we covered last week (here’s our report; here’s the official presentation packet), but we will add to this report with anything else new that’s disclosed tonight, as well as first word of the SWDRB’s decision – whether the project will advance to the next step in the process – once it’s in (not likely to be before 8 pm). 6:44 PM UPDATE: Guszkowski just announced the long-requested (and ultimately required) tree survey will be done at the site next Monday. 8:09 PM UPDATE: The board has unanimously agreed to let the project move on to the next phase of Design Review, which could be the final phase. Most public concerns involved the massing of the large square “donut” shaped building at the heart of the project – board members suggested perhaps “eroding” its western side and building up its eastern side, to allow more sunshine in the courtyard. They’re also asking architects to look at whether they really want the potentially relocated Seaview building to be the complex’s main entry – they’re asking to see entryway options when the project comes back for the “recommendations” round.
TASTE OF WEST SEATTLE: Why wait for the Bite of Seattle when you can try the Taste of West Seattle? It’s happening tonight, benefiting West Seattle Helpline, 6 pm at The Hall at Fauntleroy, with participating food/beverage providers: Alki Bakery, Bakery Nouveau, Beveridge Place Pub, The Bohemian, Cafe Revo (WSB sponsor), Cupcake Royale, Eats Market Cafe, Elliott Bay Brewing, Endolyne Joe’s, Husky Deli, Lee’s Asian, Metropolitan Market, Prost, Salty’s, Starbucks, Tuxedos and Tennis Shoes, West 5, West Seattle Cellars. $40/door. P.S. Helpline executive director Anna Fern also tells us, “We are also having a raffle of 24 donated gift certificates from local restaurants and business. And an auction for four items: Beecher’s Cheesemaker of the Day, Crowley Tug Ride at Maritime Festival, Art of the Table Supper, and Health through Hypnosis.”
DESIGN REVIEW FOR THE KENNEY: On the heels of last week’s community meeting to unveil the newest design proposals (WSB coverage here), comes tonight’s Southwest Design Review Board meeting – 6:30 pm, Senior Center of West Seattle. These meetings always include ample opportunity for public comment, so if you have something to say about The Kenney’s $150 million redevelopment proposal, be there.
WEST SEATTLE ART WALK: The weather’s supposed to get better as the day goes on, but even if it doesn’t, note that the dozens of venues are indoors, with amazing art everywhere. Many displays are spotlighted on the official Art Walk site; one highlight is the opening reception for the student art show in the ArtsWest gallery. The Art Walk happens 6-9 tonight; get your map here.
FOOD BANK BENEFIT CONCERT: Also in The Junction, tonight’s the night that the junior high youth group at Holy Rosary is presenting Dennis Zender in concert as a benefit for the West Seattle Food Bank – admission is free, just bring a nonperishable food item. 7 pm.
When we showed you The Kenney‘s latest design sketches after a community meeting last week (WSB coverage here), all we had were photographs of a projection screen – but there’s good news if you’re tracking this project – now you can see the sketches clearly online, along with other information about The Kenney‘s new design-review proposal, the one that saves the iconic century-old, cupola-topped Seaview Building. The info and drawings are all viewable here, three days before the project’s next Design Review Board hearing, which is coming up this Thursday, 6:30 pm, at the Senior Center of West Seattle.
That’s architect Gene Guszkowski, showing one of the new renderings that his firm AG Architecture has drawn up since The Kenney changed its mind about demolishing the iconic century-old Seaview building as part of the $150 million redevelopment project it’s been working on since last summer (first WSB report here). He presented the new plan last night at Fauntleroy Church during a community meeting organized by the Morgan Community Association and Fauntleroy Community Association; as MoCA’s new president Deb Barker put it, “The owners and architects are here to get feedback from you”:
Barker is a former chair of the Southwest Design Review Board, whose current members will see The Kenney’s proposal a week from Thursday (6:30 pm 5/14, Senior Center of West Seattle). So what feedback was offered last night by the 30-plus in attendance? Read on for details and more photos:Read More
You heard it here three weeks ago: The Kenney‘s redevelopment project no longer calls for demolition of the iconic, century-old Seaview building. So what WILL the latest version of the $150 million project look like? Tonight – your chance to be among the first to see the revised design proposal, as the Morgan Community Association and Fauntleroy Community Association invite you to a gathering (as announced here) to take a look, and share your thoughts, before the project’s next Southwest Design Review Board meeting on May 14. Tonight’s meeting is at 7:30 pm, Fauntleroy Church (here’s a map).
Looks like whatever form The Kenney‘s $150 million redevelopment project ultimately takes, some form of that familiar view (photographed this afternoon from SW Myrtle, alongside Gatewood Elementary) will live on. Original plans for the project — as first reported here last August — called for demolishing the century-old, cupola-topped building. Community members and Southwest Design Review Board reps alike had called for The Kenney to find a way to save it — and the biggest glimmer of hope, as we reported last week, came in the announcement of the upcoming Morgan Community Association/Fauntleroy Community Association neighborhood meeting to update The Kenney’s project: The groups had been told a way had been found to move it up to the Fauntleroy/Myrtle corner. That’s now confirmed and explained by Kenney CEO Kevin McFeely, who tells WSB that the next round of “early design” for the project will include ONLY options that save The Seaview: “Basically, it’s feasible to move it to a separate spot on the campus. A company came out to give us a bid. (The new plans are) a pretty significant departure from our last (Design Review) go-round, so we’re bringing another set of drawings, and (MoCA and FCA) offered to have a community meeting where people could come give their comments, vent a bit, share thoughts and concerns. … What we heard at (all previous meetings) was, please figure out a way to save this building. The other main concern was the massing on the perimeter, and whether there’s anything we could do to mitigate that … (moving the Seaview building) would give us the opportunity to do that by putting more of the buildings in the ‘bowl’ in the center. We heard what the community said, we heard what the board said, we hope they’ll be very happy with (the new proposal).” Your first chance to see it will be the community meeting at 7:30 pm May 4 at Fauntleroy Church; then the Design Review Board meeting is at 6:30 pm May 14, location TBA. (One more Kenney note – Its skilled-nursing facility has just received a 5-star rating in a national review; read about it here.)
As we reported earlier this week, the next Southwest Design Review Board meeting for The Kenney’s $150 million redevelopment proposal is set for May 14th. But first, a community meeting has just been announced for updates on major aspects of the project, including whether the iconic Seaview building can be saved. Here’s the latest, from Cindi Barker at Morgan Community Association:
The Morgan Community Association and Fauntleroy Community Association are hosting a second community meeting to have continued discussion on the Kenney redevelopment project. This meeting will be held Monday, May 4th, 7:30 p.m. at Fauntleroy Church, UCC (9140 California Ave SW).
This session will include not only Kevin McFeely, The Kenney CEO, but also a representative from the Kenney’s architects, AG Architecture. The idea and planning for this second meeting began after the last formal Early Design Guidance Review by the city’s Design Review Board on January 8th. The wait has proved fruitful, as the Kenney has received an estimate on moving the Seaview building in order to preserve it, and has found that saving the Seaview and moving it elsewhere on the property could be done. Consequently, the Kenney has requested a new site plan that 1) moves the Seaview to the northeast corner of the property to be used for administrative purposes and 2) lowers the perimeter building heights to step down more gracefully into the neighborhood and which would put the higher buildings towards the center of the property.
This meeting is intended to be a conversation between community members and the Kenney and the architects. During the formal Design Review meetings, it is not possible to have direct communication; this meeting would give neighbors an opportunity to preview the new design and talk with the architects.
We have a message out to Kenney CEO McFeely, seeking more comment on the possibility of saving the Seaview building (which, in previous discussions, had been deemed infeasible). And before the community meeting, this will be one of the topics on the agenda for MoCA’s quarterly public meeting next Wednesday, 7 pm, at The Kenney (along with items including updates on the Fauntleroy repaving/restriping and RapidRide, among other things).
6:30 pm May 14 is the date tentatively set for The Kenney‘s $150 million redevelopment project to return to Design Review, location TBA – this according to an addition late Tuesday to the “upcoming reviews” page. This fits right in with what The Kenney’s CEO Kevin McFeely told us recently (as reported a week ago). This will be its fourth Design Review meeting; the third one, three months ago (WSB coverage here), ended with the project moving out of the “early design guidance” stage.
First: A reminder that Conner Homes‘ two-building project in The Junction goes back for what could be its final round of Design Review (process explained here) this Thursday night, 6:30 pm, West Seattle Christian Church. After the March 12 review, all involved agreed to schedule this meeting as quickly as possible, including the two board members who technically were supposed to end their terms after the 3/12 meeting, but agreed to stay on till it was finalized, for continuity’s sake.
Speaking of board members, here are the two new ones who will join as of the following meeting (April 9th, Madison Middle School, 2988 SW Avalon and 4532 42nd SW): Norma Tompkins and Robin Murphy (screenshots from their appearance at the Planning, Land Use, and Neighborhoods Committee meeting earlier this month). While Tompkins is appointed as the “local residential representative” on the board and Murphy is appointed as “design professional representative,” both are trained architects, according to the biographical info in this month’s edition of city planners’ dpdInfo newsletter (see it here); Tompkins works as a production designer at Starbucks, Murphy works for the architecture firm Stricker Cato Murphy; both are West Seattleites.
One other note – Followed up on a WSB’er note asking what’s up now that more than two months have gone by since the last Design Review meeting for the redevelopment proposal at The Kenney (previous coverage of the project archived here).
We checked with Kenney CEO Kevin McFeely, who replied:
Basically, what is happening is that we are exploring the recommendations and suggestions that were discussed at the last meeting in January. This involves potentially moving the Seaview building to a different location on the campus and reducing the massing on the perimeter buildings to allow for a smoother transition into the neighborhood. At this time, I don’t have a sense when the next meeting will be, my hope is that it will take place within the next 4-6 weeks.
Once that next meeting is scheduled, you’ll find it on the city’s Design Review/Upcoming page for starters, even before the official notice appears in the Land Use Information Bulletin; our fellow development-watchers may be interested to note, that page’s format and features have just been updated. Upcoming reviews can be sorted by district, among other things, and meeting announcements now include the city’s own maps (like this one showing the location of Madison MS for the 4/9 meeting).
The imagery available online before and during last week’s Southwest Design Review Board meeting for The Kenney‘s redevelopment project (WSB coverage here) didn’t include everything shown onscreen at that meeting. Now (thanks to Cindi Barker for the heads-up) the complete “packet” is on the city website; that includes the rendering for Alternative B (above), which board members considered most promising. It also includes comparison renderings of views from neighborhoods and Gatewood Elementary, with and without the new buildings proposed for the site.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
One man’s mere presence underscored the high stakes at last night’s Southwest Design Review Board meeting on the redevelopment proposal for The Kenney, the century-old nonprofit retirement complex in Fauntleroy: Vince Lyons.
Tonight’s two-part session of the Southwest Design Review Board meeting ran almost four hours. First project on the agenda, 4502 42nd SW, won final design-review approval unanimously; second project, the $150 million “reinvention” of The Kenney, got approval to move out of the “early design guidance” stage (after two rounds), but not without extensive discussion under high-level supervision, and there are still more meetings to come (at least one more round of design review, and City Council approval would be required if they do pursue some rezoning). More details to come in separate reports.
KENNEY DESIGN REVIEW #2: Reminder that tonight is the Southwest Design Review Board meeting rescheduled from snowy 12/18. It’s at West Seattle Christian Church (WSB sponsor), SE corner of 42nd/Genesee (map); 6:30 pm, the board looks at 4502 42nd (previous coverage here); 8 pm, second “early design guidance” for The Kenney (archived coverage here). Presentation “packets” for both are linked from the meeting listing here.
WEST SEATTLE ART WALK: As previewed yesterday, it’s tonight, 6-9 pm at venues all over WS — including places you might never have been before like The Building (map) in Morgan Junction. Artist/venue info and map are here.
Mostly land use and real estate notes that we want to share now that storm-related news is ebbing:
EASTRIDGE CHRISTIAN ASSEMBLY BUILDING FOR SALE/LEASE: This is a recent appearance on the list of major West Seattle commercial properties on the market: Eastside is offering its Triangle location (39th/Oregon, across from West Seattle Bowl) for $2.6 million, or a $10,000/month lease. Here’s the listing; here’s the flyer.
LOCATION SET FOR KENNEY/4502 42ND DESIGN REVIEW MEETING: In one of our earlier non-snow news items, we mentioned that the Design Review Board meeting for The Kenney‘s redevelopment project and 4502 42nd SW, first set for 12/18 but canceled by snow, has been rescheduled for January 8th. The location’s been set now too — the city couldn’t book any of its usual West Seattle venues and asked if we had suggestions; West Seattle Christian Church (WSB sponsor), barely a block from one of the projects on the agenda, has come through and will be the venue. As mentioned in our earlier coverage, you can preview the presentations that will be given about those projects on 1/8, since they’re both on the city website: The newest proposal for 4502 42nd, which will be reviewed at 6:30 pm, can be seen here; the one for The Kenney, which follows at 8 pm, is here.
ANOTHER DESIGN REVIEW MEETING SET: Also from the city’s “Design Review/Upcoming” page, the next meeting for 2743 California SW (a medical/office building on the narrow site immediately north of PCC) has been set for 8 pm January 22. Here’s our report on the previous review last April; here’s the official project page on the city website.
Till the snow rolled in last week, last Thursday was supposed to include the next Southwest Design Review Board meeting – with 4502 42nd SW in The Junction and The Kenney‘s $150 million redevelopment both on the agenda. The meeting was canceled, but now it’s rescheduled for January 8th, per the “Upcoming Design Review” section of the city’s website. Though the links haven’t been carried over, the presentations that were to be made at the meeting are still online — here’s the one for The Kenney, including this “preferred option”:
Here’s the presentation for 4502 42nd, with this proposed design for the residential/commercial/office building:
If you’re new to WSB and haven’t followed Design Review proceedings before – certain types/sizes of developments get these public reviews, with your attendance and comments encouraged, specifically regarding aspects of the projects’ design. This city publication explains the DR process. The Kenney’s project is one we have been covering closely for four months now; that coverage is archived here (newest to oldest, since we publish in “blog format”); all WSB coverage of West Seattle development is archived here.
We have been covering cancellations, changes, delays, closures (and some of what’s OPEN) in our main weather post – but this one needed a separate note too: The Design Review Board meeting that had been scheduled tonight at Madison Middle School for two projects, 4502 42nd SW and The Kenney‘s redevelopment, IS CANCELED per city planner Michael Dorcy. We will let you know when a new date is set.
Tomorrow night, the Southwest Design Review Board is scheduled to meet at the Madison Middle School library, with two projects to review, including the $150 million redevelopment proposal for The Kenney in Fauntleroy. Design proposals are often made available online before DRB meetings, and we wanted to let you know that the presentation The Kenney will make tomorrow night has just been posted. See it here; it’s shorter than most of these “packets” — six pages, showing five possible configurations of the project – one that The Kenney showed as its “preferred alternative” at the October 23 meeting (WSB coverage here), one that would be “code compliant” (not requiring zoning changes or other “departures”), one that is self-explanatorily titled the “Saving Seaview Alternative” (that’s the historic Kenney building with the cupola), one called the “L3 Perimeter Alternative Plan” (subtitled as “permitting better transition to adjacent single-family structures,” and finally the “December 18 preferred plan” (shown above; tallest structure would be 5 stories, west-east wing in the middle of the campus). Again, you can get a closer look at that, and all five versions, here. The Kenney is on tomorrow night’s agenda at 8 pm, following a 6:30 pm review for 4502 42nd SW (as reported here, with links to the previous review as well as the new presentation). Here’s a map to Madison MS. And you can see all WSB coverage of The Kenney’s redevelopment plan (dating back to our first in-depth preview four months ago) archived here.
As you likely have heard by now (if not, catch up on our archive here), the nonprofit Fauntleroy retirement center The Kenney has a $150 million redevelopment project on the drawing boards – one that would demolish almost every building on the site, even the century-old Seaview (above), famous far and wide for its cupola (which The Kenney promises would return somewhere in the project). Two weeks before its architects and developers return for the next Design Review meeting, neighbors and community leaders gathered at Fauntleroy Church (WSB sponsor) last night to talk about their concerns about, and hopes for, the project, while also getting insight into the process the project must follow before any sort of green lights are given:Read More
A few West Seattle notes on the semiweekly Land Use Information Bulletin sent by the city (you can subscribe in the right sidebar here): The 3-story office-building project just north of PCC has officially applied for its land-use permit (notice here; here’s our report from its Design Review meeting last April). Also in today’s LUIB, a three-lot subdivision has been granted for 6739 25th SW (map); read the decision here – this is the Google Street View of the area:
The LUIB also includes the official notices of the Design Review Board meetings 12/18 for 4502 42nd SW (as reported here a week ago) and The Kenney‘s redevelopment project (which, as mentioned here earlier, is the subject of a community meeting at 7 pm tonight, Fauntleroy Church [WSB sponsor]). On the 18th, the DRB will meet at Madison Middle School; 4502 42nd will be discussed at 6:30, The Kenney at 8.