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RSS icon Comments on City Gives Initial Nod to Massive Dearborn Development



Posted by cochise. | May 9, 2008 12:52 PM

Additional information: There will be a light rail station eight blocks west that opens next year. If the Sound Transit extension plan is voted in, there would also be a rail station about six blocks south at Rainier & I-90.

Posted by the transit people | May 9, 2008 12:55 PM

fucking do it. the more people in the ID, the better. dearborn is a blackberry ridden racetrack. slow it down more.

how will this connect uphill to the north?

Posted by max solomon | May 9, 2008 1:02 PM

I'm pro. Right now that part of Dearborn is just I-5 access. Would be good to see it filled in. INFILL INFILL INFILL!!!!

Posted by NaFun | May 9, 2008 1:12 PM

It's got too much parking, too much big-box retail space, and too much development in a single project. It's better than what's there, but it would be better to attract multiple developers using different styles, less parking, and less emphasis on huge anchor stores.

Posted by Cascadian | May 9, 2008 1:21 PM

hmmm...when do they start accepting applications to work at "Below the Belt"?

Posted by michael strangeways | May 9, 2008 1:26 PM

How the fuck is that cookie cutter? Some people are serious whiners.

Posted by w7ngman | May 9, 2008 1:27 PM

@5 Even if you did attract multiple developers, that's still no guarantee of different styles, less parking, and less big-box retail.

Posted by Hernandez | May 9, 2008 1:32 PM


Posted by Emily | May 9, 2008 1:34 PM

Is "Rotunda" a shop for overweight folks?

Posted by Porkchop Sandwiches! | May 9, 2008 1:39 PM

2300 cars placed end to end with no space in between them would stretch for 7.15 miles. Is there really any other relevant statistic compared to that?

Posted by kinaidos | May 9, 2008 1:43 PM

Six blocks is too far from a transit station for that to impact it.

But, it's time to embrace large-scale growth with open arms, or we'll just price everyone out of Seattle.

That said, why no comments about view impacts? I don't think it will impact anything (PacMed on the hill above, I-5, I-90, etc have more) ... but just curious.

Parking is so last century.

Posted by Will in Seattle | May 9, 2008 1:54 PM

I love the fake shops. I got a sweet deal on paperclips at Office Store.

Posted by Fnarf | May 9, 2008 1:54 PM

Did you get red ones, Fnarf?

Those are the best kind.

Posted by Will in Seattle | May 9, 2008 1:56 PM

It's gonna be a Target, folks. That means cars, and lots and lots of em.

Geez, that sure sounds green to me. Thanks for the consistency, DPD (and for recommending that we give the street vacation to the developer. City policy ostensibly discourages street vacations, except when they cave and give them out to everyone who asks).

Posted by Mr. X | May 9, 2008 1:58 PM

@15: So you'd rather have those Target shoppers driving up to Northgate? To put in-demand shopping alternatives close to where people actually live does sound pretty green to me.

Posted by Design Gal | May 9, 2008 2:05 PM

This is great.

And to those who complain about the increase in car trips, the people who will drive to this Target, or whatever large retailer is currently there, are now driving from South Seattle to Northgate or Southcenter - the nearest locations to go to a department store. It will likely lessen VMT and keep sales tax in Seattle instead of Tukwila.

Also, as a former Jackson St resident, I highly doubt that the purchases you make at Jackson St businesses can be made at a Target or other large store.

Posted by Poll Watcher | May 9, 2008 2:08 PM

This is almost perfect. This would be where I might consider moving into the city for. The condos need more floor pattern choices, and there needs to be a gym/spa/pool for the complex. I've mentioned here before too (I think someone else ranted too) that the patio decks on these cookie cutters need to be larger to support hosting a few friends having a BBQ. The decks need to be large enough to support a grill and 4 people with chairs and a table. Most importantly though, the decks need to be able to support installation of a hottub! I'm simply tired of seeing these tiny little standing platforms that are sold as patio decks! Enough!

Ohh and THANK YOU for having adequate parking! THIS is why I'll give this development a look when it comes time to buy a unit. Close proximity to 3 forms of transit and having my car available to hop on the interstate to get over to the Eastside for work is a HUGE attraction!

Posted by Reality Check | May 9, 2008 2:19 PM

btw Dominic

Why isn't there more of a push to have this project have 15-30 story towers? Wouldn't this be a prime location to increase the density of the city? This has to be a prime location given all the different forms of transit located within blocks. All the infrastructure is already there.

It seems so obvious and simple, and a much better alternative than the SLU area.

My .02

Posted by Reality Check | May 9, 2008 2:23 PM

@16 has a point.

Better that people don't drive so far when they shop. Especially since traffic congestion on I-5 will only get worse.

Posted by Will in Seattle | May 9, 2008 2:25 PM

With this new development, Seattle is losing yet another great place to dump a body.

Posted by Sean | May 9, 2008 2:31 PM

I hope they build it and for the bitches out there. Gas is going to be at least $5.00 a gallon when this opens so I doubt those parking spaces are ever going to be full (even with Target or a WalMart). And it is a hell of a lot better than what is there right now.

BTW, those small shops that they say will go away: Here is a thought FUCKING LEARN TO COMPETE!!! Christ, I have been in some of those "sacred places" and most (though not all) are fucking rat infested nightmares.


Posted by Cato the Younger Younger | May 9, 2008 2:45 PM

@21 ... hmm, good point. But that will make the fan club nickname of Green River Killers be that much sweeter, in that the newcomers won't get the reference.

Posted by Will in Seattle | May 9, 2008 2:56 PM

Unfortunately Cato, those rat infested shops are likely to thrive with this new development (this is where Quan and his merry band of idiots at VAEDA were 100% off the mark). In a foodie town like Seattle (where you have to wait in line for 20+ minutes for some vendors at farmers markets), you'd think that Little Saigon would be mobbed by folks in search of the "authentic" ingredients sold in the neighborhood shops. Why don't Seattleites flood the neighborhood now? Because parking is an absolute nightmare. What will happen with a new 2,300 stall garage? Shoppers will park there and walk the two blocks to those "authentic" (rat infested) shops. The developers should be assessing neighborhood businesses and landowners for all of the value that their new garage will create for the neighborhood.

Posted by Nihonmachi resident | May 9, 2008 3:05 PM

Hey, I'll shop there. It's in my neighborhood, just a short bus ride away. As it is now, I don't shop at the stores around there - I have no need for a cheap pair of slippers or a box of going-to-rot cukes.

Posted by 32 | May 9, 2008 3:17 PM

yes and no.

That area DOES need development; having a Target close by would be cool; and I think this will HELP the local stores, more than hurt them.

BUT, I think that design is a little too dense for that plot and area and as someone who DOES use that street, it's going to make already hellish traffic even more demonic...

Posted by michael strangeways | May 9, 2008 3:25 PM

@24 - that will go away once the light rail line is operational from the UW to Sea-Tac.

Traffic wouldn't be demonic if we simply doubled all the bus service in the area.

Posted by Will in Seattle | May 9, 2008 3:39 PM

Perhaps a Sak's Dearborn Avenue?

Posted by Creek | May 9, 2008 4:36 PM

Will they have stretchy sandals?

Posted by Carrie | May 9, 2008 4:39 PM

It's within walking distance of Chez Vel-DuRay (not that I'd actually WALK, but you know....) and there is no good shopping in SE Seattle - you have to go to Southcenter, Factoria or West Seattle to get everyday things, so I'm for it.

The only thing that worries me is the Lowes going in there means that the existing Lowes on Rainier is going to become another abandoned store (just like Long's Drugs on Rainier) with a huge-ass parking lot, unless something is planned for that space already.

Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay | May 9, 2008 5:10 PM

@19: It's a problem of economics for the building materials and structure.

Wood-frame construction over concrete gets you up to 8 stories max (hence the desire for a rezone to 85').

Once you get over 8 stories, you have to go concrete and/or steel frame, and that sets the base cost of the frame much higher.

Now that you have a higher base cost for the concrete/steel frame, might as well build extra floors and units to offset the cost, right? Well, to a point... as you go higher, you have to give up more and more floorspace to structural components. (As the building gets higher, more of the built space goes toward holding the building up!)

12-18 story residential buildings are tough because you need to determine the optimal balance between the additional revenue from the additional units and the additional cost from the need for additional structural support and the loss of floorspace...

...unless you decide to go all out with 25-40 floors of ultra-luxury condos, where the units are priced so high that you don't care about the additional structural costs and the diminishing floorspace.

p.s. Sorry, this isn't my best writing.

Posted by Hey wait (I wear a developer hat!) | May 9, 2008 5:15 PM

@19 RE: 31: I should have added that the economics of the building materials and structure wasn't the sole determinate to stay so low. But it's probably the biggest, followed by the market.

It'd be tough to sell the higher end units that would need to be sold in order to recoup the higher structural costs for building higher in that area. It's not far from anything but it's not very close either. And the immediate neighborhood is nothing to write home about as far as amenities and aesthetics go.

Posted by Hey wait | May 9, 2008 5:24 PM

Nice pro-forma there @ 31 (seriously - as much as I dump on developers, I appreciate your effort to illustrate why high-rise buildings usually don't equal "affordable housing").

Posted by Mr. X | May 9, 2008 5:27 PM

Thank you, thank you, thank you Mr. Developer Guy for dampening the high-rise fetishism around here.

Posted by k | May 10, 2008 10:17 AM

The project will add at least 17,000 auto trips per day to the site. During peak hours a car will enter or leave the mall every second. This type of project makes no sense in an urban setting.

While many people desire a Target (SLOG readers - is it really THAT hip? I just don't get the appeal), the proposed Target here is a massive 175,000 square feet. Yet it is only 25% of the commercial piece of the project.

Goodwill has signed on to a deal that is bad for the neighborhood - and may be bad for them - it seems now they made to move for 3+ years while this pig is built.

As far as those folks who go to Southcenter or Factoria for "everyday things". How absurd. I live in the area and can find "everyday things" right here in the 'hood. What kind of CRAP are you buying every day? If you are so put out, move to Northgate already - this project, if it gets it's fat-ass off the ground won't open for another 3 years at best...

Posted by what seattle | May 10, 2008 5:02 PM

It looks good in the architect's sketch, but it really should be tweaked so that it spells out something nasty when viewed from the air.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | May 10, 2008 7:04 PM

I live on Rainer and Dearborn, at the new artist lofts (which I haven't heard any press about ((Jen!!!, i guess wait for the opening in June)) but, it's full of homeless zombies. I couldn't wait any longer for some life to move into that place. All the ID restaurants close at 6 or 7. And after that there is no other presence but 28 days later extras. It's so scary. I moved from the hill, which i hang out constantly on STILL because it is so atrocious there and unpopulated. I don't know if this is the best way of doing it but PLEASE, someone come there. Come play with me. It's basically third world at the moment!!!!!!

Posted by derrick | May 10, 2008 9:57 PM

Catalina @ 30:

One of the best things about the Dearborn proposal is that Lowe's would move off Rainier. That huge mega-block is the ideal place to build a ton of great housing and retail one block from the light rail stop at McClellan. A hardware store with a huge parking lot and modest office space are not what should be at this crucial intersection of MLK and Rainier.

Rest assured, developers are already thinking about what they would build there as are many in the community.

Posted by tiptoe tommy | May 10, 2008 10:11 PM

How about putting the mall at the Lowes site.
- Light rail access for the transit folks!
- Keeps Little Saigon an urban village!
- Serves all those Mt Baker and Beacon Hill folks who desperately want a mall!

Posted by what seattle | May 10, 2008 11:05 PM

You know as someone who shops and dines regularly in Little Siagon (and who used to live 6 blocks from this proposed development) I have to say I'm for it.

First I don't think the "big box" is going to be a threat to the existing businesses.

Second it is entirely likely that at least some Asian businesses will choose to locate in the new development. Say a large Asian supermarket and some Asian restaurants.

Face it, warehouse or industrial development isn't going to do much to pump some life into this section of Rainer.

Also a nice bonus if this leads to redevelopment of the old Sicks Stadium site (currently occupied by Lowes).

Posted by Chris Stefan | May 11, 2008 12:48 PM

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