West Seattle, Washington
Slew of West Seattle items on the latest Land Use Information Bulletin — busy folks at city HQ before everyone rushes out for the holiday weekend. Highlights:
DOUBLE THE FUN: One lot becomes two in the 4200 block of Beach Drive, as one last approval comes in for two new houses. 12th photo from the bottom on this busy page reminds us, that’s the last lot before the open shoreline of Schmitz Viewpoint.
At 6970 Cali, the Watermarke Apartments (photo below) are going condo. First we heard from a reader who was about to rent an apartment there – planning to move in next week, in fact – then got the news “oops, sorry, the building’s been sold, no new tenants, and the old ones have to vacate.” Then we discovered that one of those tenants just posted about it at ApartmentRatings.com. Seems to be getting to the point now where we can ask, which apartment buildings in WS are not going condo?
Guess you can’t just let those apartments lie idle while tenants flee before the deadline to buy in or get out. Spotted at West Ridge Park on Delridge this afternoon, balloon-festooned signs exhorting SHORT TERM LEASES! (photo below) and MONTH TO MONTH! (across the street), all within rock-throwing distance of the sign about the conversion to its new condo identity as “Gables” …
According to Beach Drive Blog, the city’s landmarks board has a meeting tomorrow to talk about what’s going on with the Painted Lady, aka the Satterlee House, on Beach Drive. As we have reported in recent months (May 30, May 12, September) the house and its huge front lawn are for sale, and if they’re not sold together, the front lawn could become home to three other homes.
The city proposes expanding incentives for “affordable housing” in “urban village” areas, of which we have a few (including The [Alaska] Junction and Morgan Junction). However, some are voicing skepticism till they’ve read the fine print, including (according to this P-I article) WS-based City Councilmember Tom Rasmussen. EVENING UPDATE: A reader points out the Seattle Displacement Coalition is upset about this; click ahead to read parts of its own press release:Read More
Joining the WS Condo/Townhome Name Hall o’Fame along with Verge, NoMo 12, SeventyOne, Bayberry, Sea Holly, and so on, we now have Stratus and Gables — the names Mosaic is giving its condo conversions (“Stratus”=Graham Street Apts., sold for $9 million; “Gables”=West Ridge Park, sold for $22 million). We would like to see developers/marketers consider names that pay homage to the process, perhaps a townhouse complex called Nocquedowne and a condo conversion called Evixus.
#1 — Our fly-fishing-blog friends at thee a** hooked whitey (one of the 75-plus blogs linked from our Other Blogs In WS page) report the first much-awaited Pink Salmon has been caught in West Seattle waters.
#2 — Here’s something pink you can catch without a hook or a net (just a checkbook). The famously pink Park Apartments just north of Lincoln Park are up for sale. Less than a million bucks!
About to get the boot — renters at a building that just about everyone in WS has driven past at one time or another, thanks to its amazing Alki Point location, the Rip Tide (photo below). An Alki-area reader just pointed out to us that the Rip Tide changed hands a few weeks ago (for $4 million) and is going condo, fulfilling fears voiced more than a year ago. (Sure won’t make this situation any better.)
-Got $5 million? Get a historic waterfront home — the Colman estate at 9343 Fauntleroy (in Laurentide, south of the ferry dock). Its roots trace all the way back to Fauntleroy’s original development; a bit more history is here.
-In the Admiral District, the city has just accepted the application for a 4-story mixed-use (retail and residential) building @ 2310 Cali, the eyesore-ish plot just south of Yen Wor/Admiral Pub.
We recently mentioned the Riviera West building at 7100 Cali, south of Morgan Junction and kitty-corner from Caffe Ladro, was up for sale, and described as a potential condo conversion. Then in the past half-day or so, we received a couple tips/comments that it’s been bought — by the Seattle Housing Authority. This afternoon, SHA communications director Virginia Felton confirmed the purchase. She tells WSB it will be part of the Housing Authority’s “scattered sites” portfolio, explaining, “The Riviera is a good addition to this portfolio because it has six two bedroom and two three bedroom apartments, along with four 1 bedroom apartments. There is more need for these larger apartments.” As for the people who live at Riviera West now, she says they will be evaluated to see if they qualify for subsidized housing; if they don’t, she says they will have one year to “transition,” and she promises that current residents will be getting a letter about all this soon.
A WSB reader e-mailed us to ask if we knew what was going on with the triangular spot of commercial land along Erskine a little ways west of The Junction. We remember driving past for years and noticing what looked like an old gas pump, though now (barely visible in the left foreground below) there’s just a concrete pad.
County property records show the parcel was sold in April; city permit files show the “storage shed” will make way for a single-family house. The person who e-mailed us says this site used to house “Thor’s Towing”; any WSB oldtimers have stories to share?
Big article in today’s Times about the West Ridge Park condo-conversion project and Delridge-area housing development in general. Notable infobits in the article include the WRP developers’ expectations that only about a dozen of the 200-plus tenants will buy their units.
If you haven’t checked out the comments on our post below – note that readers have revealed a brand-new, huge condo conversion in the works at the Graham Street Apartments just north of Morgan Junction, on the southeast corner of Cali/Graham. As first posted by Sue, here’s the property sale record (almost $9 million) finalized just a few days ago; here’s the condo conversion application noted on the city site.
Meantime, for those joining us in keeping track, here are a few of the other “multifamily” buildings currently listed for sale in WS, with links to the listings:
–West Aires, 6001 Cali, $2.2 million
–Riviera West, 7100 Cali, listed as “pending,” with “condo declarations in place,” $1.9 million (next to SeventyOne)
–Apartment/commercial building on Cali, south edge of The Junction, (with some units described as “condo quality”), $1.3 million
–5000 Fauntleroy, “pending,” $1.2 million
We usually find out about impending teardowns-to-townhomes by watching the city permit process. Today, though, we’ve got one that came to our attention from the people who are getting the boot before the backhoe shows up: the current renters of a doomed brick duplex along Fauntleroy, a couple who moved here from back east last year, and like so many of us, fell madly in love with WS. They aren’t ready to buy; one of them is in grad school. But now they’re on notice they’ve got to be out by the end of this month. There’s one instructive thing about their story; first, here’s a photo they kindly sent of their soon-to-be-ex-duplex …
The tenants note in their e-mail to us: “We rent through a property management company and didn’t know, till now, who the owner was — it’s Soleil Development.” (Which has other WS projects, including this one.) We checked property records for their address; Soleil technically didn’t take ownership till last winter, after these tenants moved in; but before their arrival last August, it was purchased last June by Dan Duffus, Soleil’s owner. So perhaps it would be worthwhile for would-be renters to use this site to check who owns their prospective new home; if it’s a development company, or someone you can easily see in search engines is linked to one, know you might not live there for long.
Looks like we have to drop Mischiefblog off our Other Blogs In WS page — he’s moved to Mill Creek, and just posted about getting ready to FSBO his WS house “cheap-cheap-cheap.”
Funny this P-I article didn’t even mention WS, where condos/townhomes are popping up like dandelions. And the teardown-to-townhomes along Cali are selling fast. Checking up on a few – Soundview in the 5900 block is “sold out,” as are Sea Holly in the 5600 block and Bayberry in the 6900 block of Cali. A bit further south, the condo-converted 1 bed/1 ba units at SeventyOne are close to half-sold. Question is now, how is the higher-end market doing? Still some openings listed at NoMo 12 — half-mil and up. (Though if you really want luxury, we’d suggest Alki’s most expensive current condo listing.)
Nine months after the landmark Painted Lady of Beach Drive (aka the Satterlee House) went up for sale again, we just noticed a change in signage outside the house and its front lawn. Now, with a change in listing companies, it’s offered as one “estate” again, though the blurb goes on to say, “this property is actually two parcels … the one the house sits on and the front parcel which has been short platted for three homes. Buy one or both!” Hadn’t realized the short-plat had gotten final approval but it seems that happened right before Christmas, on a day most of us had something else (like this) on our minds. So then how come somebody hasn’t snapped up the land already? (P.S. Dear John L. Scott, the new blurb is kind of over the top. “Coyly awaits restoration”? And it’s not “near Alki Point.” 1.5 miles, to be precise. Plus “flair” is the word you’re looking for, not “flare.” /nitpick)