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Old April 18th, 2007, 12:45 PM   #1
pwright1
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Are there too many of these around Seattle?

They're popping up everywhere. Some are looking quite cheesy and cheap imo. Some have fortress type fences surrounding the entire development. I like dense sometimes but not dense, overpriced and cheap looking. What's your opinion on this. Am I the only one who thinks this way?













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Old April 18th, 2007, 06:39 PM   #2
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yes there are. The new multifamily regs coming out in summer/fall should help...the current developers are building to the code, which contains setback regs and lot coverage regs that needed an overhaul. the new FAR-based regs should allow flexibility to do something different such as having first level parking structures rather than parking courtyards that are nearly impossible to get into

Last edited by flotown; April 18th, 2007 at 06:41 PM. Reason: I can't type
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Old April 18th, 2007, 06:50 PM   #3
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....

i like em better then a lot of the apartment complexes that were built in the 70's and 80's but yeah there are too many of em
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Old April 18th, 2007, 08:02 PM   #4
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I'm torn on these. On the one hand, an awful lot of them are really ugly (some of the worst are on Meridian just south of 45th in Wallingford) and actively degrade neighborhoods.

On the other hand, row housing in general seems like a necessary thing for city health; many families who wouldn't be willing to live in apartments would (and do) live in row houses where they're available (see Philadelphia, San Francisco, etc.).

New multi-family regulations may help with the ugliness (shorter fences would make a huge difference). Or the new regulations may just shift the predominant style to a new, different ugliness.

Personally, I'd like to see a variation of the land-use code that would permit more height and less parking in exchange for use of classic, high-quality materials (an exemption to allow building of East coast-style row houses). I doubt it will happen, though.
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Old April 18th, 2007, 08:48 PM   #5
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My problem is the design. Why can't they use brick or something?
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Old April 18th, 2007, 10:05 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kub86 View Post
My problem is the design. Why can't they use brick or something?
Brick = More Expensive
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Old April 18th, 2007, 10:10 PM   #7
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I can't say I particularly dislike most of the town-homes I've seen. They're just nothing special. I know most people complain that they rob neighborhoods of character, but usually these go up on a lot that used to be occupied by a dilapidated old house. Dilapidated does not equal character.

But I do agree that they could be building something cooler and more interesting. I would love to see streets filled with new york style brownstones or a philly row house surrounding a big park.
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Old April 18th, 2007, 10:43 PM   #8
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Yeah, I see too many of them popping out all over Seattle, it's crazy! I wish they used different designs instead of similar looking designs. They all look like townhomes or rowhouses. I guess they try to squeeze in many units on a parcel to get more profit out of it.
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Old April 18th, 2007, 11:07 PM   #9
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Iíve never given these developments much thought, I guess because Iím so preoccupied with seeing density on the rise but you are right about them being cheesy and cheep looking. This is really the issue all over the city with smaller projects like this as well as high-rise, how to allow good and attractive designs for a competitive price. StevenM has a great idea which is one the reasons why row houses are successful in those cities. They look good and become classics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveM View Post
I'm torn on these. On the one hand, an awful lot of them are really ugly (some of the worst are on Meridian just south of 45th in Wallingford) and actively degrade neighborhoods.

On the other hand, row housing in general seems like a necessary thing for city health; many families who wouldn't be willing to live in apartments would (and do) live in row houses where they're available (see Philadelphia, San Francisco, etc.).
New multi-family regulations may help with the ugliness (shorter fences would make a huge difference). Or the new regulations may just shift the predominant style to a new, different ugliness.

Personally, I'd like to see a variation of the land-use code that would permit more height and less parking in exchange for use of classic, high-quality materials (an exemption to allow building of East coast-style row houses). I doubt it will happen, though.



P.S. If you have looked at the DPD public notices lately you will see that there are tons of new ones being planed every day so this is definitely the future of Seattle.
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Old April 18th, 2007, 11:08 PM   #10
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I agree with many of the comments here.

I like the fact that we're building them, but don't like that many are dominated by driveways. I like many of them aesthetically, such as pics 2 and 3, but brick would be nice sometimes.

And yes, townhouses are the most realistic method of providing middle-class family-sized housing in-town, depending on personal situation.
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Old April 18th, 2007, 11:54 PM   #11
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As I was riding around my neighborhood yesterday I noticed more of them. There seems to be an explosion of them in the CD, Madrona, Madison Valley and Leschi.


As I turned the corner more houses being demolished. Not just delapidated houses but perfectly nice homes.


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Old April 19th, 2007, 01:35 AM   #12
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I agree almost everything what guys said above me. It is not uncommon. its happening anywhere with any cities across the nation that is experiencing this boom. Many developers and constructors are more likely to rush building so many as possibly for less and move on with another projects. Also it happens often to meet the growth need.
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Old April 19th, 2007, 02:03 AM   #13
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The DPD notices include about 12-20 of these projects every week (they generally appear twice). I haven't heard about other cities with that sort of volume of this type of project. Not for infill at least. Places like DC have lots of townhouse development but it's mostly suburban.
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Old April 19th, 2007, 02:09 AM   #14
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Bend, Portland and Hillboroso have many development projects going on lately.
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Old April 19th, 2007, 03:15 AM   #15
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So these developments are far from low-income?

If that's the case, then it'd be something to frown about. I mean, usually convenience tarnishes a city's image. If uniform housing developments are convenient and inexpensive to construct, then developers will usually choose that option over your typical Bellevue and Issaquah style suburbia neighborhoods.
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Old April 19th, 2007, 05:44 AM   #16
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It's the only way to provide middle-class single-family housing inside Seattle. There really is no other way to achieve this.

Personally I think townhouses are much needed around here. They provide a halfway point between a house and an apartment. And they slow the increase in housing prices of all types.
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Old April 19th, 2007, 06:36 AM   #17
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Yeah, some of them are not easy on my eyes, but I have seen several many that do look attractive. Like all of you, I would like to see more interesting designs. Great design does not necessarily mean that it will be more expensive to build.
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Old April 19th, 2007, 08:59 AM   #18
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Supply is supply. Family making 120k moves into one of these, that opens up wherever they were living before for someone of lower income. I'm supportive. There's several of these going up in the UDistrict by our apartment. 6 actually U/C now. There's 6 one street over that were built a couple years ago.
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