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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Go West, Seattle

posted by on April 10 at 15:05 PM

Three proposed developments are up for reviews today, and they’re all in West Seattle.

The first is up for an administrative design review – so there’s no public meeting – because the developer requested departures from zoning standards requiring a front yard setback. Here’s the plan for Beach Drive SW.


The proposal is for one single-family residence and one duplex townhouse with surface-level parking. More info is over here.

California Giants

Next on the docket is an early design guidance meeting for two mixed-use buildings that would contain 200 condos and retail on the ground floor. It’s smack dab in the Junction.


Preserving independent businesses historically has been an issue of concern for West Seattle neighbors. Currently on the site are one-story buildings that contain 24,000 square feet of small shops. James Miller of Conner Homes says the new buildings—one six stories and the other seven—will contain 30,000 square feet of commercial space.

“We have designed it so we can keep them small. We will have one larger anchor [retail space] in each building, and the others would be smaller. They could 1200-3000 square feet,” Miller says. He also noted some neighborhood concern about the larger size and scale of the new buildings.

West Seattle Blog has had its ear to the ground for a while.

The western building (with California and Alaska frontage) will be one story shorter than the eastern building (with 42nd and Alaska frontage); the western building will be wood frame, the eastern building concrete and steel. Neither is proposed at the maximum height allowed in the area by code — Miller said that’s a direct result of community concern expressed when their first development proposal for these sites came out several years ago. “We hope the shorter building will be more acceptable on California,” he said.

You can check out the designs from Weber Thomson Architects at tonight’s meeting, 6:30 p.m. at the library of Chief Sealth High School, 2600 S. W. Thistle Street.

Ease on Down the Road

A few blocks east, Harbor Properties will be burning a proverbial sage smudge to clear out the bad vibes at the former site of Huling Brothers used cars dealership—where employees were arrested for attempting to bilk a mentally disabled guy out his life savings. Alleged fuckers. Both that car lot and the neighboring space, used as a Montessori school, will be replaced with a six-story, mixed-use building contain 190 units. The school will move back into the building when it’s complete.


How does the shitty economy factor in for this ambitious proposal? “With gas prices the way they are, people are looking for alternative means of transit and living choices,” says Harbor Properties Marketing Director Emmi Baldwin. “The bus takes 15 minutes to get from the Junction to downtown.” She notes that the many parking lots in West Seattle can make the neighborhood seem unwelcoming. I couldn’t agree more; West Seattle seems to have a lot of asphalt. “We’re planning for the future,” she says.

You can check out the design proposals from Baylis Architects at a tonight’s early design guidance meeting. It’s at 8:00 p.m. at the library of Chief Sealth High School, 2600 S. W. Thistle Street.

RSS icon Comments


I could not agree more about West Seattle by the Junction, since the dealership went under that entire area looks damn nasty! Amazing how much space a car lot really does take up.

I say get rid of ALL the dealerships in Seattle!!

Posted by Cato the Younger Younger | April 10, 2008 3:24 PM

The main problem is that we never built the monorail out to there, so the increased transit is mostly missing in that TOD zone.

At some point we might need to at least get light rail out to there, although BRT might work in the INTERIM (not long term).

Posted by Will in Seattle | April 10, 2008 3:39 PM

Developers are fucking up my neighborhood, tearing down charming mid-century Westside structures and replacing them with god-awful townhomes. Four such sites within three blocks of my home in this past year alone.

Until the city figures out what is going to happen with the viaduct, I say no more West Seattle construction. Traffic across the bridge already sucks enough. More people are just going to make it worse.


Posted by kerri harrop | April 10, 2008 3:54 PM

Well, since you're zoned for higher density, looks like your NIMBY won't stop the changes.

Know your zoning codes. Even single-family housing zones permit breaking former two lot single family one story house construction into two story duplex.

Posted by Will in Seattle | April 10, 2008 4:14 PM

@3, not NIMBY at all, just concurrency.

(For those who don't eat land use and planning minutiae up, concurrency is a critical growth management principle that density advocates have apparently forgotten that says that, even in Seattle, you have to have the transportation (and other) infrastructure in place to support new development).

Posted by Mr. X | April 10, 2008 4:19 PM

...oops, hit post too soon - last sentence should have read " place to support new development within 6 years of it occurring."

Posted by Mr. X | April 10, 2008 4:21 PM

West Seattle really needs a Quizno's and a large Petco (RIP The Charleston)....

Posted by notonthehill | April 10, 2008 4:23 PM

right on west seattle! now for some light rail over there...

Posted by Cale | April 10, 2008 4:27 PM

Traffic across the bridge sucks because not enough people take the bus. Solution: more people take the bus (or the water taxi). Let's not road-build our way to density. (As if we could.)

Posted by lorax | April 10, 2008 4:39 PM

@7 West Seattle needs neither a Quizno's (Husky Deli) or Petco wasting valuable community business space. They should find a building in Westwood Village or something. It's ugly in the Junction, and it'll be ugly on Charlestown.

Posted by MacJ | April 10, 2008 6:58 PM

@10: I think #7 was perhaps being facetious.

Petco is supposedly moving to a planned new building where Charlestown Cafe is currently, displacing many fans of whatever it is they serve.

And there's some rather justified fear that the only businesses who can afford the rent in these shiny new mixed use buildings are the likes of Quiznos.

Posted by JW | April 10, 2008 7:16 PM

I don't care if it's incorporated: if I have to cross a separated-grade bridge to get there, it's a suburb. (And no, Spokane Street doesn't count.)

Posted by Gomez | April 10, 2008 7:20 PM

@10 - It was a sarcastic joke. I do agree with you 100%.

The Charleston was a restaurant that served awesome breakfast and affordable homestyle dinners. My gf went there alot and we recently tried to go there for breakfast only to find it closed due to construction of a colossal Petco.

Posted by notonthehill | April 11, 2008 11:56 AM

@10 - It was a sarcastic joke. I do agree with you 100%.

The Charleston was a restaurant that served awesome breakfast and affordable homestyle dinners. My gf went there alot and we recently tried to go there for breakfast only to find it closed due to construction of a colossal Petco.

Posted by notonthehill | April 11, 2008 12:36 PM

Correcting some of what's above in the comments ... The Charlestown is currently closed because of a fire in February; it's slated to reopen as soon as repairs are complete, a month or so. The Petco proposal for the site is dead, though some sort of redevelopment is inevitable. Our list of site categories (down the right sidebar) has a Charlestown Cafe archive as well as a development archive where you can read the latest on both topics until your eyes start to swim. We're typing as fast as we can.

Posted by west seattle blog | April 11, 2008 9:51 PM

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