West Seattle housing 565 results

ELECTION 2023: Mayor proposes billion-dollar renewal/expansion of Seattle Housing Levy

So far this year, you’ll be voting on a $1.25 billion behavioral-health levy in April and the half-billion-dollar renewal of the Veterans, Seniors, Human Services Levy in August. Those are both countywide proposals. Now, one from the city – Mayor Bruce Harrell has gone public with his $970 million proposal to renew/expand the Seattle Housing Levy, aiming for the November ballot. The city has had a housing levy since 1986; the one that’s expiring now was passed in 2016 and was for $290 million, less than a third the size of the new plan. From the mayor’s office, here’s how this version would break out:

Rental Housing Production & Preservation: $707 million

Creates and preserves affordable rental housing, including Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH), for seniors, people exiting homelessness, working families with children, people with disabilities, and other low-income households.

Operating, Maintenance, and Services (OMS): $122 million

Ensures safe, sustainable operations at in Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) and creates a new wage stabilization fund for workers in PSH buildings.

Homeownership: $51 million

Creates new permanently affordable for-sale homes, provides down-payment assistance for low-income homebuyers, and stabilizes low-income homeowners through emergency home repair grants and foreclosure prevention assistance.

Prevention & Housing Stabilization: $30 million

Provides short-term rent assistance and housing stability services to help low-income households avoid eviction or homelessness.

Program Administration: $60 million

Ensures continuous and effective administration of all Housing Levy-funded programs by covering costs associated with project selection and contracting, development underwriting, construction monitoring, project performance and compliance, fiscal management, program policies and reporting.

Tax rate: $0.45/$1,000 assessed value

Cost to median Seattle homeowners: $383/year or $31.92/month (based on assessed value of $855,136)

The City Council will review the levy proposal in a series of meetings before deciding whether to put it on the November ballot.

FOLLOWUP: Initiative 135 passed. Want to help figure out what happens next?

One month after Seattle Initiative 135 won approval in the February special election – final count was 57 percent yes – the process of turning its provisions into reality has begun. Its provisions stipulate that the Seattle Renters Commission appoint a majority of the board for the new Seattle Social Housing Developer, for starters. So they’re looking for potential board members. Here’s the announcement:

The Seattle Renters’ Commission is seeking community members to serve on the board for the newly established Seattle Social Housing Developer, a Public Development Authority (PDA) responsible for developing, owning, and maintaining social housing in Seattle.

The Seattle Social Housing Developer was established with the passage of Initiative 135, a citizen-initiated measure approved by Seattle voters on February 14, 2023. Under this initiative, social housing will be publicly owned, publicly financed, mixed-income housing, removed from market forces and speculation, and built with the express aim of housing people equitably and affordably.

A new board of directors to oversee the Seattle Social Housing Developer will be formed in the coming weeks. Seven of the 13 board members will be initially appointed by the Seattle Renters’ Commission. Per the terms of the initiative, the board members appointed by the Seattle Renters’ Commission shall include at least one member who has experienced housing insecurity; at least one member who has experienced financial eviction; and at least one member who has been displaced. In addition, they shall represent a range of incomes, including three members living at 0-50% Area Median Income (AMI); two (2) members living at 50-80% AMI; and two members living at 80-100% AMI.

Full details on the roles and responsibilities of the board of directors can be found in the Charter for the Seattle Social Housing Developer PDA. Prospective board members can expect to spend up to 20 hours per month in their role.

Those interested in being considered for the board should complete the online application by Friday, March 31 at 11:59 p.m.

The Seattle Renters’ Commission will review applications on a rolling basis and reach out to applicants who advance in the application process to coordinate next steps.

The charter is also where you’ll find the explanation of the various entities who appoint the other six members.

ELECTION 2023: Approval margin widens for ‘social housing’ I-135

The second set of results is in from the special election on Seattle Initiative 135 to create an entity to develop “social housing.” Last night, “yes” was almost six percentage points ahead of “no”; today, that’s widened:

SEATTLE INITIATIVE 135
Yes – 53.96% – 64,345
No – 46.04% – 54,900

The ballots counted so far represent almost 25 percent of Seattle voters; 33 percent of the ballots sent have been received as of this afternoon.

ELECTION 2023: First results for Seattle ‘social housing’ Initiative 135

Here’s the first round of results for tonight’s one-issue special election:

SEATTLE INITIATIVE 135
Yes – 52.82% – 53,824
No – 47.18% – 48,085

The ballots counted tonight represent just over 21 percent of Seattle voters; just under 26 percent have been received so far. The initiative seeks to create a Public Development Authority to build what’s called “social housing.” Where, how much, and how it would be financed are all to be worked out. The next round of results will be announced Wednesday afternoon.

PROPERTY TAX: King County Assessor says this year’s bills are ready

If you own a house and/or other property in King County, you can now see your property-tax bill for this year. The King County Assessor is sending out 2023 bills starting today, but you don’t have to wait for yours to arrive in the mail – you can look it up right now online via kingcounty.gov/propertytax. If you pay your tax bundled with your mortgage, you won’t get a paper statement, but you can still see the new amount online. The assessor’s website also enables you to see how the tax you pay is split between various agencies – though the bill comes from King County, the money goes to a variety of entities. A few other notes from the announcement:

Because of the way the calendar falls this year, property taxpayers will have an extra day to pay the first half of their property taxes. The statutory due date for the first half falls on a Sunday in 2023, so payments will not be due until Monday, May 1. Payments are accepted online, by mail, and by drop box. Visit kingcounty.gov/PropertyTax for details on payment options. Customer service representatives are also available to assist Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Contact King County Treasury Operations at 206-263-2890 or email propertytax.customerservice@kingcounty.gov.

Information on tax exemption and deferral programs for seniors, people with disabilities, or other qualifying conditions can be obtained from the King County Assessor’s Office at TaxRelief.kingcounty.gov, by emailing exemptions.assessments@kingcounty.gov, or calling 206-296-3920.

SIDE NOTE: The Legislature has been looking at expanding tax relief, and Assessor John Wilson has been advocating for it. Both proposals are still in committee.

ELECTION 2023: Watch for your one-measure ballot later this week

Wednesday’s the day that King County Elections plans to mail ballots for the February 14th special election. You’ll get a ballot with one measure – Seattle Initiative 135, which we wrote about earlier this month. If passed, this “would create a public development authority to develop, own, and maintain publicly financed mixed-income social housing developments.” The initiative does not specify how that housing will be funded, but supporters explains in their FAQ, “Once the public developer is established, they can receive and request funds from city, state, federal governments, as well as private donations if those donors feel so inclined.” Read I-135’s full text here. Ballot dropboxes open Thursday – West Seattle has three – one day after ballots are sent; you’ll have until 8 pm February 14th to get your ballot into one, or you can send it via USPS mail as long as it’s postmarked by that day.

P.S. If you want to find out more about I-135 before voting, it’ll be a major topic at the West Seattle Democratic Women‘s meeting Thursday night online – our calendar listing has info on how to RSVP.

ELECTION 2023: Less than 3 weeks until your next ballot arrives

checkbox.jpgAlthough this year’s biggest election will be the City Council primary in August, that won’t be the first election of the year. You’ll get a ballot in less than three weeks for the February 14th special election, with just one measure on your ballot: Seattle Initiative 135. Not familiar with it? Here’s the text that you’ll see:

City of Seattle Initiative Measure 135 concerns developing and maintaining affordable social housing in Seattle.

This measure would create a public development authority (PDA) to develop, own, and maintain publicly financed mixed-income social housing developments. The City would provide start-up support for the PDA. The City Council would determine the amount of ongoing City support. Before it transfers any public lands for nonpublic use, the City would be required to consider a transfer to the PDA. The PDA’s Charter would govern the election, composition, and duties of the PDA’s Board of Directors.

So what’s “social housing”? Here’s how the organization behind the initiative explains it:

Housing created outside of the private market, publicly financed and publicly controlled. Unlike public housing models in the United States, social housing does not rely on profit motives, the private market or private partnerships, which creates permanent affordability and housing free from market speculation. Residents and their homes are shielded from the free market, with specific measures prohibiting the sale and marketization of social housing to ensure it remains in the public’s hands, for public use.

Also from their FAQ page, the explanation of “who will pay for it?”, since the city “start-up support” does NOT include funding:

Our initiative follows the path of the Pike Place Market and the monorail. This is a multi-step process. We are setting up the structure and the vision to get this public developer started, then we will begin raising money. We are pursuing several options, but money that is available today will not necessarily be the extent of what’s available tomorrow.

Once the public developer is established, they can receive and request funds from city, state, federal governments, as well as private donations if those donors feel so inclined.

You can read the full text of I-135 here. For a slightly shorter overview, see this page on supporters’ site (which also includes the full text). The House Our Neighbors political committee of Real Change gathered signatures to get it on the ballot. No opposition campaign is registered, so far. Ballots are scheduled to be mailed January 25th. Not registered to vote? Here’s how to do it.

HELPING: Volunteers assist at Habitat for Humanity homebuilding site in South Delridge

Another infusion of volunteer help was at work this past Saturday at Habitat for Humanity‘s Highland Terrace project in South Delridge. The site in the 9000 block of 15th SW will hold six “permanently affordable” two- and three-bedroom homes that’ll be complete by next summer, to be owned by families earning less than 80 percent of the Area Median Income. Future homeowners help with the construction, too – Penny was among those working at the site on Saturday:

Also there on Saturday was a contingent of volunteers from ADT, one of the companies that has donated to the project.

ADT donated $30,000 to cover the cost of energy-efficient heat pumps for the homes at Highland Terrace. Last month, AT&T sent volunteers to the site along with a $10,000 donation. This is not the first Habitat for Humanity project in West Seattle – others include a 4-unit site near Westwood Village and 20 homes scattered around the High Point redevelopment in the late ’00s.

West Seattle Junction apartment building in deal to become ‘affordable housing,’ partly with public funding

(WSB photo)

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

On Tuesday, we reported on a microapartment project in The Junction. Across 44th SW from that site is a relatively new all-studio building that is in the process of being sold. That alone is not unusual – a check of commercial real-estate listings will show that apartment buildings are often on the market (and some sell without ever being publicly listed). However, this deal is unique: Post-sale, the Vega Apartments (4528 44th SW) are to be managed as “affordable housing,” according to a letter sent recently to nearby residents. A WSB reader forwarded it to us. The letter reads:

SRM Development is in contract to purchase the Vega Apartments located at 4528 44th Ave SW.

SRM is partnering with the Urban League of Seattle to preserve rents at affordable levels for 99 years and offer resident services. Our goal is to create and maintain safe, quality affordable housing options for individuals and couples in urban Seattle neighborhoods.

The Vega is an existing 5-story apartment building in West Seattle, built in 2017, which includes 58 studio units. It will serve tenants ranging from 50% or below of the Area Median Income (AMI) up to 80% of AMI, which ranges from $45,300 to $66,750 for an individual or $51,800 to $76,250 for a couple living in Seattle.

The acquisition offers a unique opportunity for low to moderate income residents to afford to live where they work and with close access to public transport line, which meets to goals and objectives of the City of Seattle’s Consolidated Plan for Housing and Community Development. We are seeking financing for the acquisition and management of the Vega Apartments in part from the City of Seattle Office of Housing.

SRM and Urban League are grateful for the opportunity to provide and maintain more affordable housing in the West Seattle neighborhood and look forward to being long-term community partners.

The letter also points to a page on SRM’s website which says this is one of six apartment buildings around the city that would be involved in the deal; the others are all outside West Seattle. The information on the page otherwise largely replicates what was in the letter sent to neighbors. It also links to a current page for Vega, showing vacancies for ~240-square-foot studios at rents ranging from $1,325 to $1,425.

So what would change for current and future tenants if this partly publicly funded deal goes through? And will the deal proceed if public funding is not obtained? We have been trying to get answers to those and other questions, but both SRM Development and the Urban League have not responded to our inquiries. The city Office of Housing would only say, through spokesperson Nathan Haugen, “We can confirm that SRM and Urban League have applied for funding … We unfortunately cannot comment any further as we are currently in process of closing out any awards.” According to the Office of Housing’s website, the department was accepting applications through mid-September for shares of $44 million in its Rental Housing Program. The notice says in part:

Seattle OH seeks to fund projects that:

• Combat residential displacement in communities that have experienced and continue to be at greatest risk of displacement.

• Address essential preservation and rehabilitation needs in existing OH-funded properties.

• Deliver new housing in geographic locations that offer access to transit, job centers, and services

According to this industry-publication report, the SRM Development executive who signed the letter about the West Seattle plan was hired by the company last year to head a new “affordable housing” division. One more note: Five of the six buildings involved in the pending deal are owned by West Seattle-headquartered Blueprint. We’ll continue following up.

WEST SEATTLE WEEKEND SCENE: Admiral Station Apartments’ grand opening

The first major mixed-use project to be built in The Admiral District in several years is now open. A grand-opening celebration is happening through 4 pm today at Admiral Station Apartments (2715 California SW) – all are welcome to drop by for food (catered by Husky Deli and Puerto Vallarta), a raffle, swag, and tours through 4 pm.

We visited Admiral Station, which has 49 apartments – 12 already leased – earlier this week for an advance tour. Here’s what we saw:

Read More

Here’s how much West Seattle residential-property values have risen, according to the King County Assessor’s Office

The King County Assessor’s Office has announced that “the annual process of mailing property valuation notices to taxpayers” has begun, and West Seattle property owners will get theirs soon. According to the announcement: “Median residential property values rose by 18.3% in West Seattle, and by 11.4% in North Central West Seattle.” (The median is “half more, half less,” NOT the average.) For the latter, that’s a higher increase than the 8% a year earlier. As decreed by state law, these valuations were set at the start of this year for taxes that will be due next year – these notices are not a bill. The KCAO says a major factor in the rising property values was the continued low inventory of housing for sale, coupled with high demand.

P.S. You don’t have to wait for the postcard to arrive by mail – if your new valuation has been finalized, it’ll show up online; one way to look it up is to use the King County Parcel Viewer to check – once you’ve gotten to the page for your address, click through to the “property detail” page. One more note: If you disagree with your valuation, you can appeal it – here’s how.

DEVELOPMENT: Flying mini-houses

June 22, 2022 9:40 pm
|    Comments Off on DEVELOPMENT: Flying mini-houses
 |   Gatewood | West Seattle housing | West Seattle news

We received some questions today about a big deployment of cranes and trucks that took over a block in Gatewood for most of the day, 41st SW between SW Southern and SW Rose. Workers on scene told us they were there to place a prefab DADU (Detached Accessory Dwelling Unit, aka “backyard cottage”). The company involved in this installation was Abodu; permit filings say this DADU was planned to be just under 500 square feet. We weren’t there for the actual placement but it likely looked a lot like this one in Highland Park in early June:

Thanks to Kay for that photo. Same company built that DADU too.

VIDEO: 3405 Harbor Avenue project begins with West Seattle’s first apartment-groundbreaking ceremony since 2014

(WSB photo: HDC’s Brad Padden, STS’s Craig Haveson, Atelier Drome’s Michelle Linden)

It’s been more than 7 years since the last time a ceremonial groundbreaking launched construction of a residential project in West Seattle. That was for The Whittaker in 2014; today, it was for the first of at least eight West Seattle projects on which Housing Diversity Corporation and STS Construction Services (WSB sponsor) are partnering. This will be a 114-apartment building at 3405 Harbor Avenue SW (previously 3417 Harbor, when we covered its journey through the Design Review process). Before the shiny ceremonial shovels went into the ground, the project was explained by HDC’s Adina Eaton and Brad Padden, STS’s Craig Haveson, and architect Atelier Drome‘s Michelle Linden (whose firm is also investing in the project):

We asked Haveson a few followup questions, starting with a question about the “puzzle parking” he had mentioned in his remarks. This building was planned with 65 parking spaces, and Haveson says that’s only because they’re required by the city – while the project is in a “frequent transit” zone, that only partially reduces the amount of required parking, as the site is not part of an urban village. “Puzzle parking” enables more cars to be parked in less space, thanks to a mechanical system (explained here) that stacks and shuffles them. If traditional lot or garage spaces had to be built, Haveson says, this project wouldn’t have penciled out.

(Rendering of 3405 Harbor by Atelier Drome, looking SW)

The word repeatedly used for the future apartments, especially by HDC, is “attainable” rather than “affordable”; though there will be some 1- and 2-bedroom apartments, the focus is on smaller spaces. The target residents, Haveson observed, are more into experiences – if their rent is $100 cheaper, that’s “two more dinners out.” The partners also stress the location of this project, on the path to Alki and the Water Taxi dock, a bus ride away from the businesses in The Junction.

WHAT’S NEXT: As we reported four weeks ago, site work has begun; construction of a project this size typically takes at least a year and a half. We asked Padden which of the partnership’s seven other West Seattle projects – all listed on the HDC website – is likely to break ground next; he said 9201 Delridge Way SW and 4448 California SW are the closest.

CORONAVIRUS: City’s resource reminder on last day of eviction moratorium

February 28, 2022 2:06 pm
|    Comments Off on CORONAVIRUS: City’s resource reminder on last day of eviction moratorium
 |   Coronavirus | West Seattle housing | West Seattle news

If you’ve been affected by the city’s pandemic-related eviction moratorium, as a renter or landlord, the city wants to remind you that it’s ending today, and wants to be sure you know about an informational resource. Here’s the announcement:

As directed by Mayor Harrell in Executive Order 2022-02 on the City’s eviction moratorium, the City has set up an Eviction Assistance web page as part of the broader Renting in Seattle online resource. The Eviction Assistance page offers renters and small landlords key information they should know about the expiration of the moratorium, set to end on February 28, 2022, and post-moratorium tenant protections. It also provides links to resources and more detailed information. We will be adding translated information as it becomes available. 

The website – seattle.gov/EvictionAssistance – lists resources available to tenants once the moratorium ends, including:

-Free legal assistance from the Housing Justice Project
-Assistance for rent and utility payments due to COVID financial hardships
-Rules limiting eviction of tenants with delinquent rent accrued between March 3, 2020, and up to 6 months after the end of the moratorium
-Rules limiting eviction from September to June based on Seattle Public Schools’ calendar for households with students (childcare—under 18), educators, and employees of schools

For a more complete look at the City’s renter protections look at seattle.gov/rentinginseattle.

$59 million has been allocated for rental assistance during the COVID-19 pandemic to help Seattle renters stay in their homes. This includes a variety of federal dollars allocated to respond to the pandemic, as well as City General Fund designated for rental assistance.

City tees up next step toward taking ‘single-family zoning’ designation off the map

If you live in a single-family home within the city limits, the land it sits on is likely zoned SF 5000, SF 7200, or SF 9600. Those names will go away under a city proposal unveiled in today’s Land Use Information Bulletin. The city already is in the process of changing neighborhood plans to show “neighborhood residential” as the new name for areas that had been “single-family’; now it’s planning to change the actual zoning designations citywide. The notice is an early alert that the City Council’s Land Use and Neighborhoods Committee will hold a public hearing next month. Here’s what the proposal would do:

• Single-Family 9600 (SF 9600) zones would be renamed “Neighborhood Residential 1” (NR1);

• Single-Family 7200 (SF 7200) zones would be renamed “Neighborhood Residential 2” (NR2);

• Single-Family 5000 (SF 5000) zones would be renamed “Neighborhood Residential 3” (NR3); and

• Residential Small Lot (RSL) zones would be renamed “Neighborhood Residential Small Lot” (RSL).

Zoning district names would be updated on the zoning map and in the Land Use Code (Title 23 of the Seattle Municipal Code (SMC)), short-term rental regulations (SMC 6.600), traffic administration regulations (SMC 11.16), street use regulations (SMC Title 15), building and construction codes (SMC Title 22), and environmental regulations (SMC Title 25).

Though there’s talk of eventually changing the actual zoning, all this does for now is change the names. The public hearing is planned for the Land Use and Neighborhoods Committee’s 9:30 am meeting on December 8th; you’ll find the agenda here when it get s closer. In the meantime, you can read the entire 218-page bill here. You can also email comments through December 7th to Noah An in the office of Land Use/Neighborhoods chair Councilmember Dan Strauss; noah.an@seattle.gov is the address.

Infinity Shore Club Residences: Welcome, new WSB sponsor

Introducing West Seattle’s newest luxury waterfront development, Infinity Shore Club Residences (1250 Alki Avenue SW), one of WSB’s newest sponsors, which means they get the opportunity to tell their story:

Set in what is arguably Seattle’s most desirable waterfront location, there is no other new condominium project quite like Infinity Shore Club in Seattle right now. Infinity rests on a stunning stretch of Alki Beach that looks out over Puget Sound to the Olympic Mountains and offers a vista of Seattle’s one-of-a-kind skyline. The building, currently under construction, will house a boutique collection of just 37 condominium estates with more amenity space than other buildings of its size — promising residents the privacy and elevated feel of a luxury resort experience every day.

Residences include one-bedroom-plus-den, two-bedroom, and three-bedroom options, which range in size from 1,108 to 2,382 square feet. In addition to several spacious layouts, Infinity offers a lot of the things home buyers will expect to find in new construction homes: a modern design and large window walls to let the outdoors (and large amounts of natural light) in, brand-new appliances, and high-quality finishes inspired by the project’s natural surroundings. But this community offers so much more!

With multiple shared amenity spaces and unique perks, Infinity ia designed to allow homeowners to live life on the water to its fullest. Residents will enjoy private outdoor terraces that maximize their living space plus access to a shared rooftop terrace with panoramic views, several distinct areas for relaxing or socializing, and firepits around which to cozy up on chilly evenings. They will also enjoy the back deck oasis, with spaces for lounging and entertaining in a peaceful garden environment, and the fully equipped fitness center, pet spa, and storage for bikes, kayaks, and other recreational equipment. But perhaps the most luxurious amenity of all is the infinity pool which, along with a heated spa, sits in a central location between the building’s two residential arms, and allows patrons to swim and relax while taking in the incredible views that only this West Seattle location can provide.

Currently entering its final phase of construction, Infinity Shore Club will be ready for occupancy in early 2022. For those searching for their perfect home at the edge of the shore, this is the ideal time to learn more about Infinity’s floor plan options and availability—take the opportunity to tour and choose the ultimate beachfront home now, while there are still many options available, and be move-in ready by early next year! Pricing starts at $1,149,950.

We thank Infinity Shore Club Residences for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.

Affordable homeownership or mixed use? Options for ex-substation site emerge @ HPAC ‘to get moving on a path forward’

Eight years have passed since Seattle City Light declared its ex-substation at 16th/Holden to be surplus, along with several others in West Seattle, and proposed putting it up for sale. The site’s underlying zoning was for single-family housing, but community members counterproposed that commercial development might be better. It was rezoned for mixed use a few years later – as described during a Highland Park tour with then-Mayor Ed Murray in 2017 – but has continued to sit idle.

Now there are some possibilities in play, and HPAC heard about them at tonight’s meeting. City Councilmember Lisa Herbold, who shepherded the rezoning years ago, first explained that City Light still owns the site and remains amenable to a no-cost transfer of the site to the city Office of Housing. So OH and Enterprise Community Partners have been evaluating the feasibility “to explore further what’s possible at the site.” She said they’re opening a dialogue to “get moving on a path forward.”

Enterprise Community Partners’ Jess Blanch explained her organization is national and works on affordable housing from policy to finance to development. “We cover it from end to end.” She directs the program Home and Hope – housing on publicly owned tax-exempt land, like this site. She says “a few issues are in play” – it’s zoned NC-40.”Given the site size [10,000 sf], it is really too small of a site for affordable rental housing, the way (that) is financed.” But affordable homeownership might be a possibility. It would have to be 100 percent “public benefit” for the land to be given for this purpose – that means low-income community members – making no more than 80 percent of the area mean income – would have to be served in its commercial space, such as a food bank or preschool. It could also be live-work space.

Erika Malone from the Office of Housing explained her department doesn’t develop, own, or manage projects so if the property is transferred to them, they would then put out a Request for Proposals. The site would have to be developed as “permanently affordable housing.”

Herbold said that “if there’s interest in a ground-level use that provides a public benefit, it makes it more possible to develop the property for affordable housing.” They wouldn’t be able to do a low- or no-cost transfer if it was going to be ground-floor retail and housing above it – they’d probably have to sell it to a for-profit developer.

HPAC co-chair Kay Kirkpatrick said having commercial space there would be a public benefit in its own way because Highland Park needs more walkable businesses; the guests said that wouldn’t meet the technical definition of public benefit. Kirkpatrick and attendees pointed out that an adjacent property is currently up for sale. But that site (about 5,000 sf) wouldn’t add enough land to make affordable rental housing “pencil out,” said Blanch.

Some brainstorming ensued; community ideas about ways to have a business that served low-income residents included a FareStart-type café, serving the public and training people emerging from homelessness.

So what’s the next step? Herbold said they want to know if HPAC would be OK with a potentially non-commercial ground-floor use. Then the Office of Housing would explore seeking a nonprofit homeownership organization – Community Land Trust, Habitat for Humanity, for example. “There are still a lot of iunknowns regarding what’s possible,” Malone said. Then discussions between oH and SCL would ensue; if they worked out how it could be transferred, Permanently affordable homeownership vs. development that would include bjusinesses – which would mean a for-profit developer.

Enterprise has worked up some concepts, Herbold said. Blanch said she didn’t want to share those publicly but said the site could hold 8 to 10 townhouses, for example. Since the site is adjacent to single-family homes, that puts “some constraints’ on the “developable envelope.” Or, “condo apartments” would be an option.

What kind of a timeline are they working on? Kirkpatrick asked. Enterprise has a contract with the city that’s being renewed at least through next year, Blanch said. So a decision on a direction can apparently wait until early next year (this was HPAC’s last scheduled meeting until January).

(We’ll report on the rest of tonight’s HPAC meeting – two discussions with SDOT – in a separate story Thursday.)

FOLLOWUP: After 6 years, Beach Drive complex no longer devoted to ‘sober living’

October 25, 2021 8:50 pm
|    Comments Off on FOLLOWUP: After 6 years, Beach Drive complex no longer devoted to ‘sober living’
 |   Health | West Seattle housing | West Seattle news

Six years ago, the Beachwood Apartments at 4027 Beach Drive SW were momentarily in the spotlight because of community questions regarding their takeover by Seattle Sober Living. The organization stressed that it wasn’t a halfway house or treatment facility – just a building renting apartments to men committing to drug- and alcohol-free living. The years passed and it didn’t return to our radar until this past weekend, when a reader emailed to say the building looked empty. Checking the Seattle Sober Living website, we found the Beach Drive location was no longer listed; though in 2015 it was the organization’s only location, now SSL lists buildings in Capitol Hill and Kirkland. Unable to find anything else about the West Seattle building’s status, we emailed David Gould, director of SSL then and now (and a West Seattle resident). He replied:

We have found another property in the Seattle area which we believe is even better suited for our tenants. SSL is no longer renting the property at 4027 Beach Dr SW.

Speaking for myself and representing feedback I’ve received from tenants and their families, the West Seattle community is owed a debt of gratitude for welcoming us. This is a beautiful area and hundreds of recovering addicts who have come through the Beach Drive home hold a special place in their heart for this community. Lives have been changed. Thank you, West Seattle.

Alliance Multifamily is managing the building now. While stressing that he wasn’t speaking for the ownership, Gould said he had “heard it was going to be rented as standard housing.” And indeed, when we subsequently went over for a photo of the building, we noticed sandwich boards advertising “Now Leasing.”

DEVELOPMENT: Preview proposal for new Golden Tee at 3201 SW Avalon Way, before Southwest Design Review Board meeting

That’s the “packet” from Public47 Architects for tomorrow night’s Southwest Design Review Board meeting about the proposal for a new building to replace the Golden Tee Apartments – keeping the name – at 3201 SW Avalon Way [map]. From the packet, here’s the overview:

The proposed 8-story, mixed use project seeks to achieve the following development objectives:

• Provide approx 144 residential apartment units
• Parking for 70-80 vehicles
• Provide +/- 3500 SF of street-level commercial space
• Foster pedestrian friendly sidewalk experience
• LEED Gold construction standard

The review meeting is online, at 5 pm Thursday, and includes an opportunity for public comment on the proposed design, Information for videoconferencing or calling in is on the city website. This could be the final Design Review meeting for this project; the site has been upzoned to 80′ maximum, leading to project revisions, since its first review meeting three years ago.

City’s property-tax-break program for apartment buildings up for extension, including two in West Seattle

Almost all the sizable apartment buildings that have gone up in West Seattle in the past decade-plus are participants in the city’s Multi-Family Tax Exemption (MFTE) program. It’s a voluntary program that enables building owners to not pay property tax on the residential portion of their projects, as long as they provide a certain number of units at lower rents pegged to tenants’ income levels. Tomorrow (Friday, September 10th), the City Council’s Finance and Housing Committee looks at legislation that among other things would extend the program – otherwise, nine participating properties will expire this year, after 12 years, including two in the West Seattle Junction, Mural and Altamira. (For an example of how the exemption works, you can look at Mural on the King County Assessor website – the property’s assessed value is $47.7 million, but it’s taxed on $5.7 million of that.) The slide deck for tomorrow’s meeting says 28 apartments at Mural and 32 at Altamira have MFTE-restricted rents. The proposed MFTE changes also could mean lower rents for tenants if they meet new, lower-income levels; otherwise, they’d be grandfathered in at the current rent level. The city says the proposed updates are the result of recent changes in state law. Tomorrow’s committee meeting is at 9:30 am, online; see the agenda for how to comment and how to watch.

DEVELOPMENT: Long-stalled site in 5200 block of California SW up for sale

(Part of the site, which also includes 2 ex-restaurants to the south)

We’re continuing to check on stalled development sites. Today, an update on 5242-5258 California SW, the site that includes a former strip mall plus two former restaurants (most recently Papa John’s, closed since 2017, and Thaitan, closed since 2019) north of Brandon. The site is listed for sale again, this time as a “permitted development site” approved for 32 townhouses. The asking price: $7.7 million.

The land is owned by entities traceable to Memphis-based Lexington Asset Management, which bought it in 2018 and 2019 purchases totaling $4.6 million, according to King County Assessor’s Office records. Development proposals for the site went through the city process in stages going back to 2017. The sales flyer for the site calls it “the largest permitted townhome opportunity in the heart of West Seattle in over 20 years,” though Rally – the townhome development at the former Charlestown Café site – isn’t far behind, at 27 units. The flyer also makes note of the closed bridge, observing that “West Seattle Bridge reopens in 2022, which will accelerate home value and rent growth (work is already underway).”

Meantime, the graffiti and trash at the site has led to complaints filed with the city, most recently early this year (we noted a crew placing new plywood over the windows in mid-March, but as our photo above shows, the tagging has been re-accumulating since then).

5 years after fire, construction begins for new Lam Bow Apartments

Construction of the new Lam Bow Apartments (6935 Delridge Way SW) has finally begun, almost five years after a three-alarm fire gutted one of its buildings. In 2019, the Seattle Housing Authority decided the remaining building should be replaced too. Here’s a rendering of the 82-unit affordable-housing building that will replace the two original buildings.

(The project went through Administrative Design Review – public comment but no meetings; here’s the packet by SMR Architects, if you’re interested in design/layout details.) When the city first put the project out to bid last year, no one bid. So they tried again this year, and Walsh Construction was the winning bidder; SHA spokesperson Kerry Coughlin says the contract is for $32 million and that the building is expected to open by spring 2023.

Rename ‘single-family’ zoning? Morgan Community Association briefing Wednesday, City Council public hearing next week

As reported here last month, citywide Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda (a West Seattle resident) is proposing a name change in the city zoning code – dropping “single-family” and replacing it with “neighborhood residential.” Her proposal would not change the actual zoning, just the name, but it’s considered a potential step toward eventually ending what some call “exclusionary zoning.” If you’re interested in hearing more about the name-change proposal, it’s one of the agenda items for tomorrow night’s quarterly meeting of the Morgan Community Association, 7 pm online; attendance info (Zoom or phone) is in our calendar listing. The council is accepting comments now, and plans a public hearing one week from tomorrow, at 9:30 am Wednesday, July 28th – info on that is on this webpage about the proposal.