West Seattle, Washington
Among the newly granted permits in the city’s latest “daily issuance report”: demolition of this duplex at 5935 Fauntleroy, which we wrote about exactly four months ago after hearing from its saddened, and surprised, tenants:
What’s replacing it? The usual. Meantime, we’re going to see if we can dig up the ex-tenants’ e-mail address and find out where they landed.
This P-I article today reminded us of something similar along West Seattle’s waterfront Condo Row about 10 years ago — a Harbor Ave condo complex that went up in a U shape around one semi-ramshackle little house whose owner refused to sell. We managed to find an archived P-I article mentioning the Harbor holdout, photo included (scroll down this page). According to city permit records, the house finally came down, and the condo buildings came together, in 1999. Haven’t yet found a record of how much the holdout house finally sold for, though.
Remember SeventyOne, the condo-converted 1-bedroom apartments south of Morgan Junction, once proclaimed by signage as “midcentury retro”? A similar complex less than a mile north on Cali has just appeared in for-sale listings: The Cal-Ray Apartments at 6000 California, offered for $1,995,000. Its official flyer (photo below is from that flyer, created by the listing-holders at Summerfield) doesn’t mention conversion but does suggest “strong potential for redevelopment.”
Seen outside the Watermarke @ 6970 Cali, the abruptly announced condo conversion south of Morgan Junction that we chronicled a month ago:
… watch for Alki residents vs. city land-use planners. But seriously — we have attended two Alki Community Council meetings now, and they (the officers and the members/attendees) — are a genteel bunch, as well as lively, involved, engaged. All the things you would want a community group to be. ACC vice president Randie Stone ran tonight’s meeting and she was even passing around a basket of treats during a break in the action. But before visiting DPD planner Mark Troxel was finished with his guest appearance, the room was in a lather over teardowns and soulless redevelopment. Especially considering, as calm and polite as he tried to be, his answers about why there are no rules governing some preservation of neighborhood character in redevelopment, boiled down to nothing more than (we’re paraphrasing) “well, that would cost too much, and we really have to be concerned with housing affordability.” The spark for tonight’s briefly fiery discussion was the impending teardown-to-townhome project we have mentioned before at the site of the Shoremont Apartments (photo right) at 57th & Alki (on the corner east of Alki Auto Repair). “Those townhomes aren’t going to be affordable,” one attendee pointed out, laying waste to the “things might look nicer if it didn’t cost so darn much” defense. Another audience member chided the city, in the person of stalwart Mr. Troxel, for “lack of courage.” He was actually there to talk about amendments on the drawing board for a city planning document, but that discussion got derailed. After a cathartic burst of outrage about cookie-cutter townhouses, which the city rep said he isn’t thrilled about either (because they fail to maximize density potential, as well as because of their aesthetics), all ended fairly civilly, but we were a little worried there for a moment. Randie noted that the topic is enough for a meeting unto itself, and perhaps the group can invite Mr. Troxel, or another city planner, to return. Meanwhile — we’ll have several other ACC meeting items to report tomorrow, including what the city says can be done about those rental trucks that have long been bottlenecking Harbor Ave by ActivSpace. P.S. If you live in the Alki area and you’re not an ACC member yet, you can join online.
Some parts of Alki edge closer to something resembling the area’s original name: While we were on Alki Ave this morning watching the 3-Day walkers, we noticed the under-construction condos @ 1350 Alki promoting their “New York-style direct entry elevators.” And from the “soon to be history” file, take another look at a doomed classic brick building; nobody commented when we posted a couple weeks ago about the teardown-to-townhomes plan for the Shoremont Apartments @ 57th & Alki – will it really go without a fuss?
Just steps south of the apartments-turned-condos at SeventyOne and the Housing Authority-purchased apartments at Riviera West — and a few short blocks from the conversion-in-progress at the Watermarke (which our tipster just blogged about at Seattlest) — another building has hit the market. 7130 California Ave. SW is billed as a “prime candidate for conversion.” In case the listing verbiage changes, here’s a grab:
7130 Cali and its condo candidacy can be all yours for $2.6 million.
That’s the game at least two WS apartment-seekers are caught up in — the same ones who first tipped us to the impending condo conversion at a south Morgan Junction complex. After that discovery quashed their hopes of renting there, they thought they had found another place, this time in north WS — until their prospective landlord admitted, when directly questioned, that those apartments have just been sold. (We won’t name the building until and unless we find online records to double-verify this.) Will their third choice be the charm? We’ll wait to hear! Meantime, this blogger caught up in the M-Junction conversion has found a place on Alki.
Sunday afternoons often make us think of … real estate, perhaps because of the “open house” signs flowering on almost every corner, especially on the most famous streets of WS. We all know about Alki Avenue and Beach Drive and their incredible view homes — but if you don’t wander far off the main arterials, you might not know much about the other “streets of (WS) dreams.” In particular, this afternoon we are thinking about Sunset Avenue — a view-drenched blufftop street in north WS that you could consider to be a bit like a WS version of LA’s famous Mulholland Drive.
Sunset Ave parallels Alki Ave for quite a while, but if you look toward it from the shore, it’s hard to see anything but an occasional house from Sunset or other bluffside streets poking over the condo-tops:
Sunset wandered onto our radar screen during a real-estate search, where we encountered three homes for sale there right now: “The Castle” at 1545 Sunset ($1,595,000); a somewhat newer home at 1429 Sunset ($1,590,000); and a chance to buy into this neighborhood for less than a million, at 1532 Sunset ($959,000). Which WS street do you dream of living on?
It’s almost the mid-Cali equivalent of those last few Alki cottages dwarfed by multistory condos — this 95-year-old house at 5232 Cali, between commercial/mixed-use buildings across from the West Seattle Veterinary Hospital/West Seattle Nursery block:
An application is on file to tear down this house and replace it with 3 “live/work” townhouses and 4 “residential” townhouses. The application mentions an architect from Place Architects, as well as Knoll Development, the company also behind the fire-gutted “live-work townhouse” project at 4132 Cali (where, following the rubble removal, only a charred foundation eerily stands).
4 days after we reported on another big Morgan Junction apartment building going condo, we have two updates. First, one of the outgoing (not by choice) tenants has been blogging about her experiences. Second, we heard from Michele Thomas, a West Seattle resident who works for the Tenants’ Union and has taken at least one call from someone caught up in this conversion; since this is far from the only building where tenants are getting/have gotten/will get the boot, she wanted to share some info…
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.