West Seattle, Washington
There’s light at the end of the calendar tunnel … we are now at the earliest sunset point (rounded, 4:17 pm) and next Friday (December 15), it starts getting later (rounded, 4:18 pm). The sunrise, though, doesn’t start getting earlier until January 7th. Meantime, we have holiday lights to keep things bright. The photo above is from Stacey: “We are in White Center and have lots of Christmas lights. I’m not sure if we are too far from WS. 11343 4th Pl SW.” Yes, we do feature lights just outside the city limits a couple times per season! Keep the West Seattle and vicinity tips coming – with or without photos/video – at firstname.lastname@example.org; scroll through this archive to see what we’ve already shown (and previous years, too).
1:53 PM: Per a text from Kersti Muul, orcas are southbound, just past West Point. mid-channel, visible from Alki. Let us know if you see them.
2:22 PM: See comments for updates, including that these are Southern Resident Killer Whales.
That’s what it looked like on Alki in November 2020, when a 12.6-foot “king tide” was enhanced by atmospheric conditions. 12.6 is where the next round of “king tides” will peak late next week – too soon to tell if any atmospheric enhancement is likely this time (so far the forecast looks relatively calm). The highest high tides will be 12.6 feet at 7:30 am Friday (December 15), 8:14 am Saturday (December 16), 8:58 am Sunday (December 17), 9:43 am Monday (December 18). This winter’s highest predicted “king tides” will hit or surpass 13 feet in mid-January. P.S. If you need sandbags, remember the closest city-stocked pickup spot this year is in South Park.
Another holiday donation drive in The Junction – this one until 1 pm at Seattle Fire Station 32 in The Triangle (38th/Alaska). There you’ll find U.S. Marines on behalf of Toys For Tots, accepting new, unwrapped toys – and, this year for the first time, nonperishable food. In our photo are Lance Corporal Boze, Private First Class Camacho, and Lance Corporal Nguyen.
P.S. If you can’t get to this collection point, other drives with at least a few days left are listed in the WSB West Seattle Holiday Guide – scroll down to Giving Opportunities!
Right now at the West Seattle Farmers’ Market, volunteers from the Kiwanis Club await your donations of coats and warm clothing! Until 1:30 this afternoon, their booth at the south end of the market, right past the barricades at California/Alaska, is headquarters for the West Seattle Junction Hometown Holidays Cocoa and Coat Drive – cocoa for donors! Everything collected goes to the people helped by the West Seattle Food Bank. (Our photo shows all the donations from the first filled barrel being offloaded so there’s room for more!)
‘WINTER WANDER’ SCAVENGER HUNT: Alice Kuder‘s West Seattle scavenger hunt ends today, and you can still register to participate until 6 pm! Go here to find out more and to sign up.
WEST SEATTLE FARMERS’ MARKET: 10 am-2 pm, the market is open as usual between SW Alaska and SW Oregon on California, offering late-fall fruit and vegetables as well as cheese, fish, meat, baked goods, condiments, fresh-cooked food, beverages (from cider to kombucha to beer/wine), nuts, candy, more – even Christmas trees (from Three Tree Farms)! Here’s today’s vendor list.
COCOA AND COAT DRIVE AT FARMERS’ MARKET: 10 am-1:30 pm, bring coats and warm clothes to the Kiwanis Club of West Seattle booth at the south end of the market, for the West Seattle Food Bank, and get a cup of cocoa while you’re there! Part of West Seattle Junction Hometown Holidays.
PATHFINDER WREATH SALES DURING FARMERS’ MARKET: 10 am-2 pm on the southwest corner of California/Alaska, look for Pathfinder K-8‘s famous handmade wreaths and other “door decor”! And if you can’t get to the market, you can “still buy wreaths online or have a custom one made, and pick up at Pathfinder – www.pathfinderk8ptsa.org/shop.”
FOURTH NIGHT OF HANUKKAH – FAMILY WORKSHOP: 10 am, the Torah Learning Center of West Seattle is at The Home Depot, 7345 Delridge Way SW, for “a free family-friendly woodwork shop where we build a Menorah/Dreidel game!”
FIREFIGHTERS’ TOY/FOOD DRIVE: 11 am-1 pm, bring new, unwrapped toys and/or nonperishable food to Fire Station 32 (38th/Alaska), one of five stations around the city participating in a special collection drive today.
WINTER MARKET AT TILL DAWN: Noon-4 pm, local vendors await your shopping visit to (5048 California SW).
SANTA AT MY THREE LITTLE BIRDS: At 4736 California SW in The Junction:
Santa is making his annual visit to Three Little Birds. He will be in store twice:
(Today) from 1-4
Saturday 12/16 from 10-1
Families can sign in and then will be called when their turn comes. They CAN take their own photos, or have us take them as well, tell Santa what their Christmas wish is, and then get a treat to go. The cost is $5 per family.
TEA AND SCI-FI SOCIAL MEETUP: 1 pm, online, explained in our calendar listing.
‘SNOWED IN’: ArtsWest (4711 California SW; WSB sponsor) presents its holiday production, “a journey of song, dance, friendship, family, and the true meaning of the holidays.” 3 pm today. Tickets are available here – just a few as of early this morning!
‘IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE’: The radio-play edition of Twelfth Night Productions‘ beloved show at Kenyon Hall (7904 35th SW), 3 pm – get ticket info and other details on the Brown Paper Tickets website.
FOURTH NIGHT OF HANUKKAH COMMUNITY CELEBRATION: West Seattle congregation Kol HaNeshamah returns to Junction Plaza Park (42nd/Alaska) with “Pop-Up Chanukah,” featuring candlelighting, songs, and “donuts to go.” 5 pm, all welcome.
That was a curtain call of sorts for local musicians who were part of a musical showcase during The Junction’s GLOWS festival that could have been an event all its own – an assemblage of “West Seattle All-Stars” led by Jay Cates, performing holiday songs for about an hour right before the tree lighting and projected-art show. For the finale, Ayron Jones – soon to head out on a world tour – with a wistful rendition of “Silent Night“:
Some holiday history, with The Sonics‘ “Santa Claus” performed by Scott Helgason, David Cinnamon, and Zach Rourke here’s a sample:
Tomo Nakayama took on “White Christmas“:
And then there was “Blue Christmas“*:
The inescapable classic “All I Want for Christmas“*:
Rachael Reis, Billy Joe Huels, and friends with “Santa Baby“:
“Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,” promised Cameron Lavi-Jones of King Youngblood:
B Anthony Nelson and Johnny Nails delivered a bluesy “Run Run Rudolph“:
Cates – who credited Nelson with producing the All-Star assemblage – contributed “Winter Wonderland”:
And our last clip features Cates and “Voice of the Mariners” Tom Hutyler dueting on “Little Drummer Boy“:
That’s not even the entirety of the show – but enough to give you an idea of what an epic holiday concert it turned out to be. (Asterisks mark a few performers whose names we didn’t catch – we hope to fix that by obtaining a list ASAP.)
Earlier coverage: Festival’s first two hours – including video of Endolyne Children’s Choir, West Seattle School of Rock, and ArtsWest‘s “Snowed In” cast – covered here; the tree lighting and art projection, here.
Police are looking for an injured driver who walked away after crashing on West Marginal Way near Andover [map]. The man is described as white, about 6′, 230 pounds, gray sweatshirt, and jeans, seen walking southbound on 16th. Blood in the car suggests his head may have hit the windshield, police reported, and they’ve found a “long gun” in the car. Also, police have told dispatch that there’s a considerable “debris field” from the crash, including barriers along the bike lane, with fluid going into the drain, and SDOT is apparently going to be delayed in getting there to help with cleanup because of an incident elsewhere in the city.
That’s the official West Seattle Junction Christmas tree, on the south edge of Junction Plaza Park, officially lit during tonight’s GLOWS (Glorious Lights of West Seattle) festival, after a countdown led by Junction entrepreneur (and Christmas-lights enthusiast) Jack Menashe, six of his grandchildren, and Santa Claus:
Once the tree was on …
… it was time to start the projected community-contributed art display on the side of Alaska House on the north side of the park – we recorded some of this first-ever display on video, but you really had to be there to appreciate it:
One more report to come from tonight’s festival – some of the performances from Jay Cates’ All-Star Ensemble of West Seattle musicians! (Here’s our first report, with photos and video from the first two hours.)
4:18 PM: Never mind the rain – the West Seattle Junction’s biggest event of the holiday season is happening now. SW Alaska is closed to vehicle traffic between California and 41st, for the Night Market (vendor list/map here), tree lighting, and Glorious Lights of West Seattle (GLOWS) festival. Here’s the schedule for what’s onstage (42nd/Alaska intersection), following host Marco Collins’ welcome:
4:00-5:00: Costume contestants walk through tunnel of lights [alley west of the park]
4:05: Endolyne Children’s Choir performance
4:30: School of Rock performance
5:00: Host in the Audience with Christmas music
5:15: ArtsWest performance from ‘Snowed In‘
5:30: Light Costume Contest on Stage* [here’s how the contest works]
6:00: The Jay Cates West Seattle All-Star Jazz Ensemble
7:00: Menashe Public Address & Tree Lighting
7:15: West Seattle GLOWS Art Projection Spectacular [on side of Alaska House north of park]
8:00: Close of event
Updates to come!
4:30 PM: Found Santa Claus! Meanwhile, the Endolyne Children’s Choir is just wrapping up its festival-opening performance:
Steps away, the Tunnel of Lights (alley between the park and Panterelli) is open for costume contestants – and photo ops:
Host Marco Collins is sporting an illuminated hat:
The beer/wine garden is open on the southeast corner of 42nd/Alaska, near the stage. More coverage to come!
5 PM: Just concluding the second performance, West Seattle School of Rock:
Costume-contest judging by the crowd is coming up in about half an hour.
5:25 PM: ArtsWest (WSB sponsor) brought a song from “Snowed In”:
The rain’s very light, so no umbrellas needed currently.
6 PM: An hour of music is about to launch – with some surprise All-Stars joining Jay Cates – and then it’s tree time. This past half-hour, the costume competition winners were chosen by audience acclamation. At center below is Archer, who won the “individual” category with her costume of “many jellyfish”:
(added) Closer look:
Archer said she worked for months on the costume! Junction merchants donated the prizes – they’re presenting this whole thing, in fact, as it’s a West Seattle Junction Association production (with community co-sponsors including WSB).
(Added) The “groups” winner was “Santa and Lucy the dog”:
And 7:15 pm is when the light projections of community GLOWS contributions are set to start, on the Alaska House wall high above Junction Plaza Park.
8:09 PM: The tree was lit, the community art projected, the serious rain held off … and the All-Stars were so awesome, we’re breaking those videos out into a separate (updated) third report, after Report #2 shows the tree lighting itself … all ahead.
3:01 PM: If you’re heading out from the Fauntleroy end of the West Seattle Bridge any time soon, you might encounter a short delay – police have just told dispatch that they’ll be helping SDOT close the eastbound bridge “for five or 10 minutes” while the jersey barriers are reset.
3:27 PM: Officers just verified to dispatch that this is over and the bridge has reopened.
A new gateway to Camp Long is complete, honoring the park’s longtime leader Sheila Brown, who initiated the project before her death in 2021. Here’s the announcement from Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association:
Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association (DNDA) is happy to share with our community that the Sheila Brown Gateway Project at Camp Long is open for visitors!
The construction project honors Sheila Brown, who served as the director of Camp Long for 13 years. The gateway, which leads into the park, was funded through a community donation effort at the time of Sheila’s death from cancer in 2021 at 59 years old.
DNDA served as the fiscal sponsor of the project, which was initiated by Sheila’s family and completed by the City of Seattle. More than 125 community donors collectively contributed more than $41,000 to the Gateway Project.
The project involved building a new gateway to Camp Long at the park’s side entrance at 29th Avenue SW and SW Brandon Street, replacing an old chain link gate. The entrance features a wrought–iron gate and stone pillars, echoing the pillars and gate at the park’s main entrance, which were built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the 1930s.
During her long and impactful career, Sheila led and supported many environmental projects that endure to this day, including establishing the 4-H Challenge course at Camp Long and the Longfellow Creek Legacy Trail that runs through Delridge.
DNDA deeply appreciated Sheila as a community partner and inspiring person, and so did our friends at EarthCorps, The Common Acre, and many more organizations. She helped create the city’s Leaders in Environment, Equity, and Facilitation program to empower youth in communities of color to become environmental education leaders.
Camp Long is a city park also designated and programmed as an Environmental Learning Center.
Since this is possibly a stolen/dumped situation, we’re publishing it on the main page instead of in the Lost/Found section. Sent by Mike:
I live near the corner of 46th Ave SW and Erskine Way SW. This morning a passerby found a red travel bag / tool kit and gave it to me. It looks like it might have been abandoned by a car prowler, perhaps. … There were also a few things supposedly strewn about the area, the person said, but I was unable to locate them. They were described as being found toward the bottom of 46th Ave Sw, just south of Erskine Way SW.
If this is yours and you can describe what’s in it, we can connect you with Mike – email email@example.com.
Here’s an advance reminder about two one-day donation drives on Sunday:
COCOA AND COAT DRIVE AT WS FARMERS’ MARKET: As the West Seattle Food Bank – which handles much more than food – reminded us earlier this week, warm clothing is a BIG need right now. So Sunday’s West Seattle Junction Hometown Holidays Cocoa and Coat Drive event is just in time. Between 10 am to 1:30 pm, bring coats and other warm clothing to the Kiwanis Club of West Seattle booth at the south end of the market (California/Alaska) and have a cup of cocoa.
TOYS FOR TOTS AT FIRE STATION 32: The Seattle Fire Department is partnering with Toys For Tots for one-time collection events at five fire stations around the city tomorrow, and Fire Station 32 (38th/Alaska) in The Junction is one of them. On Sunday between 11 am and 1 pm, firefighters will be ready to receive your donation of new, unwrapped toys. This year, they’re collecting nonperishable food, too.
First on our list, the holiday season’s biggest West Seattle event is tonight!
WEST SEATTLE JUNCTION TREE LIGHTING, GLOWS, NIGHT MARKET: 4-8 pm, The Junction is where you want to be. Specifically – SW Alaska between California and 41st (including the stretch seen in the “live” traffic-camera view above), where the Night Market opens at 4 (vendors listed/mapped here) and the lineup of entertainment, festivities, and GLOWS light art (both worn and shown) starts moments later. Beer/wine garden and food trucks, too. The updated schedule of events is here. See you in The Junction!
Next, the other holiday-related events:
‘WINTER WANDER’ SCAVENGER HUNT: Last full day of this West Seattle scavenger hunt, which continues through Sunday, but it’s not too late to register and participate! Go here for info and registration.
SANTA AT JOHN L. SCOTT WEST SEATTLE: People and pets are invited for DIY Santa photos, 11 am-2 pm. (4445 California SW)
HOLIDAY PET PHOTO BOOTH: From Mud Bay in Admiral (2611 California SW), “Come and get ready for the holidays with your fur babies at the West Seattle Mud Bay! We’re holding a photo booth from 12-4. This event is free and we encourage all pets to join us.”
HOLIDAY MARKET AT BOX BAR: 1-5 pm, artists offering their wares, plus the restaurant’s open. (5401 California SW)
THIRD NIGHT OF HANUKKAH: No public West Seattle events tonight; see the Holiday Guide list for what’s coming up starting tomorrow (Sunday).
ASTRA LUMINA: Celestially inspired light show on the grounds of the Seattle Chinese Garden at the north end of the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) campus, times and admission prices vary. Tickets and info here.
‘SNOWED IN’: ArtsWest (4711 California SW; WSB sponsor) presents its holiday production, described as a “a journey of song, dance, friendship, family, and the true meaning of the holidays.” 7:30 pm. Tickets and show times/dates are here.
‘IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE’: The radio-play edition of Twelfth Night Productions‘ beloved show continues at Kenyon Hall (7904 35th SW), 7:30 pm – ticket info and other details on the Brown Paper Tickets website.
And here’s the non-holiday list – mostly from the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
FREE GROUP RUN: Start your Saturday with this weekly West Seattle Runner (2743 California SW) group run! All levels welcome. Meet at the shop by 8 am.
HEAVILY MEDITATED: Arrive by 8:50 am for community meditation at Move2Center (3618 SW Alaska). Free event.
HELP PLANT FRUIT TREES: Near High Point Pond Park, with CityFruit, 10 am-noon.
SSC GARDEN CENTER: Never too late in the year to plant – so if you’re looking for something you can add to your garden and/or planters, visit the South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) Garden Center 10 am-2 pm, north side of campus (6000 16th SW). UPDATE: Though today was supposed to be its final day of the year, reader reports it’s closed.
FREE WRITING GROUP: 10:30 am in West Seattle, registration required – see full details in our calendar listing.
EXPLORER WEST MIDDLE SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE: 11 am. “Whether you have a 5th-grade student thinking about next year or want to begin middle-school research early – our event features a program with faculty, current students, and families, as well as time to visit our classrooms to offer an in-depth look at our community and programs.” (10015 28th SW; WSB sponsor)
FAMILY READING TIME: Every Saturday at 11 am at Paper Boat Booksellers (6040 California SW).
MUAY THAI FIGHT NIGHT & BENEFIT: Doors open 2:30 pm, bouts start 3 pm – “Join us at Combat Arts Academy this Saturday for an exciting night of Muay Thai Fights hosted by Legendary Fight Promotions. It’s not just about the action; it’s also a Fight Night Fundraiser for New Beginnings, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering survivors and raising awareness about domestic violence.” Tickets here; more info in our calendar listing.
ALKI LODGE INSTALLATION OF OFFICERS: 5 pm: “Alki Masonic Lodge #152 cordially invites the West Seattle Community to the 117th Open Installation of Officers at the Alki Masonic Center, 4736-40th Ave. SW. The ceremony will begin at 5 pm with a reception following. Worshipful Master-Elect, Delton Johnson, welcomes one and all to this annual event.”
PARENTS’ NIGHT OUT: Want to have a few hours to yourself/ves tonight? Girl Scout Troop 40171 is having a Parents’ Night Out babysitting event, 5-9 pm – info here.
SOUTHALL AT EASY STREET: 6 pm at Easy Street Records (4559 California SW), acoustic set from, and meet/greet with, Southall.
ALL-AGES OPEN MIC: 7-10 pm at The Spot West Seattle (2920 SW Avalon Way)
‘GREAT NIGHT’: Saturday night program for young adults 18+ to hang out 7 pm-midnight, at Southwest Teen Life Center (2801 SW Thistle).
BURLESQUE: 8 pm at The Skylark – sold out but you can get on the online waitlist. (3803 Delridge Way SW)
Planning a concert, open house, show, sale, event, meeting, seminar, reading, field trip, fundraiser, class, game, or holiday-season happening, or ? If the community’s welcome, get your event on our calendar! Please email info to firstname.lastname@example.org – thank you!
2:02 AM: For the second time in nine days, the Admiral 7-11 has been robbed. This happened about an hour ago – just after 1 am. According to dispatch audio, four robbers took the store’s cash register and threw something at the clerk. They were described only as three men, one woman, all Black, in their 20s, wearing black masks and black jackets. They reportedly got away walking westbound, likely to a parked car. The cash register subsequently turned up barely a block away, in the 2300 block of 45th SW. If you have any information or vicinity video, the police incident # to refere to is 23-353422.
ADDED SATURDAY AFTERNOON: A till – still holding $1s – was found a bit further north on 45th this morning, a texter tells us:
The texter says the neighbor who found it was reporting it to police.
If you’re heading out this early morning, avoid Sylvan Way for a while. A driver is reported to have hit and taken out a utility pole, and the eastbound lane is reported to be blocked.
Going through city permit files this week, we happened onto an early-stage plan for commercial space at 4508 California SW, the new seven-story building that’s been under construction for a year and a half. You might recall this location was home to Lee’s Asian Restaurant and Kamei Japanese Restaurant, as well as a vacant storefront, before demolition. Commercial space in the new building is planned to hold an urgent-care clinic run by Tacoma-based nonprofit health-care organization MultiCare. The site-plan document we saw on the city website was devoid of details – as is often the case with early-stage site plans – so we inquired with MultiCare. Here’s the response we received late today from MultiCare spokesperson Melanie Collett:
The clinic is 4,600 square feet and will have 5 exam rooms and an xray suite. Our projected opening date is Spring 2024. It’s a tentative date, as we have not yet started the permitting process. It’s worth mentioning that we will have dedicated customer parking. You can learn more about Indigo and our services, here: indigohealth.com
The parking and square-footage mentions are notable, as the building was described during the Design Review process as “58 residential units, 12 lodging units, 3,500+ square feet of commercial space, 17 offstreet-parking spaces.” Indigo’s website shows its nearest clinics are currently in Burien and South Seattle; hours appear to generally be 8 am to 8 pm. This will be The Junction’s third urgent-care clinic, after ZoomCare and Franciscan.
While out looking for a light display for which we’d received a tip, we happened onto this house instead, on 40th south of Hanford. In general, so far in our holiday-season wandering, we’ve seen the most lights in general in this area southeast of Admiral – and that’s where most of our tips have come from so far this season – so that’s one area we’d recommend for lots of lights. But we’re still looking all over the peninsula, so keep the tips – with or without photos/video – coming to email@example.com – and click the tag “West Seattle Christmas Light” under the headline above to see what we’ve shown already!
Among the many holiday events listed in the West Seattle Holiday Guide for this weekend is a one-of-a-kind event we’re previewing for families who might have have heard about it yet – the West Seattle Toy Exchange, 9 am-noon Saturday at Fauntleroy Schoolhouse. Here’s how organizers explain it:
What is this event? A sustainable, affordable opportunity to swap out (or donate) the gently-used, no-longer- exciting toys in your home. We will also have a bake sale, coffee and cocoa by donation to support the Louisa Boren STEM K8 PTA
What to exchange: toys! Puzzles, Legos and toys are encouraged, Please do not bring books, clothing or sporting equipment
What are the rules? This event is for anyone looking to trade toys, donate toys, or whowould like to take some toys to gift to kids. You do not need to donate any toys to participate. Please, no resellers.
What happens to unclaimed toys? Any unclaimed toys at the end of the event will be donated to charity
Fauntleroy Schoolhouse is at 9131 California SW. (If you haven’t been there, transportation/parking info is on the event website.)
2:42 PM: From Metro: “Service for the King County Water Taxi is suspended until further notice as law enforcement responds to an incident at the Water Taxi Terminal at Pier 50.” That’s the downtown dock that serves both West Seattle and Vashon Water Taxi routes. More info to come.
2:46 PM: Haven’t yet found out what the “incident” was, but Metro just sent another alert that Water Taxi service has resumed.
3:13 PM: Still trying to sleuth the “incident” – SPD says it wasn’t them. (Update: We’re told it was the Transit Police, so we’re checking with the King County Sheriff’s Office, of which they’re a part.)
3:54 PM: KCSO tells us, “A person left their suitcase by mistake in the middle of the water taxi terminal. This happened at 1359. The suitcase was reclaimed by the owner when they came back to reclaim it. Metro Transit PD was called into to facilitate a civil standby while the bag was given back.”
Here’s the newest information for tomorrow night’s big events in The Junction – the Night Market, tree lighting, and GLOWS festival:
That’s the production company’s site map, with WEST at the top. Notice one important update from what we’ve been mentioning – SW Alaska will be closed between California and 41st, stretching one block further east than previous years. The tree is still in Junction Plaza Park as always, but note that the stage is actually in the 42nd/Alaska intersection. Most of Alaska west of 42nd will be filled with Night Market vendors (two shops on that stretch, A la Mode Pies and Panterelli, will be serving from their regular locations). On Alaska east of 42nd, you’ll find two food trucks, Tabassum and BlackStar Kebab, near the beer/wine garden. Here’s the list and locations of Night Market vendors. And here’s the updated schedule of events, 4 pm-8 pm:
4:00: Festival begins. Host Marco Collins introduction. Night Market and Beer & Wine Garden are open.
4:00-5:00: Costume contestants walk through tunnel of lights
4:05: Endolyne Children’s Choir performance
4:30: School of Rock performance
5:00: Host in the Audience with Christmas music
5:15: ArtsWest performance from ‘Snowed In‘
5:30: Light Costume Contest on Stage* (here’s how the contest works)
6:00: The Jay Cates West Seattle All-Star Jazz Ensemble – led by Jay Cates and featuring an all-West Seattle ensemble
7:00: Menashe Public Address & Tree Lighting
7:15: West Seattle GLOWS Art Projection Spectacular
8:00: Close of event
It’s not too late to get a light costume ready for tomorrow’s contest – here are full details on that. See you in The Junction tomorrow night (whatever the weather)!
The six-story 130-apartment mixed-use project at 35th/Holden/Ida got first-phase approval from the Southwest Design Review Board last night, with advice on what to include before it comes back for final approval.
As the online meeting concluded, outgoing SWDRB member Alan Grainger said it’s an “important location” and that “the applicant needs to pull out all the stops.” Board chair Gavin Schaefer agreed. They were joined at the meeting by member Johanna Lirman; two other members were absent. Also participating, Joe Hurley, the city planner assigned to the project.
The first phase of Design Review is Early Design Guidance, which mostly deals with the building’s size, shape, and placement on the site. (Here’s the full design packet used for the meeting.) Architect Ed Linardic and the project team had made some changes based on feedback from the first meeting earlier this year, but some things couldn’t be changed. For example, SDOT is not allowing entry to the underground parking garage from SW Holden, because of future plans for the street reportedly including a bike lane, so the entry will remain off SW Ida. (The project includes ~50 parking spaces, all of which will be in an underground garage.)
The meeting included public comment, spoken and written, from seven people, ranging from two voicing support for more housing in the area to a suggestion that the project exterior needs a little more “interest” given how visible it will be at six stories on a major arterial. Board members agreed; Grainger at one point called the current plan “boring.”
The formal board advice ended up recommending that the building’s corners get “extra attention,” and that more thought be put into the ground-floor entrances (the building will have them on each of the three streets it fronts). They also formally conveyed a suggestion that Lirman made, for more attention to resident amenities like common areas such as pet runs.
The project will have at least one meeting in the second and final Design Review phase – the city will announce a date once the project team is ready (usually at least a few months). If you have comments on the project in the meantime, whether related to design or not, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org.