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February 7, 2013

F&M plans The Blake for West Seattle site
By JOURNAL STAFF

Chinn Construction is set to begin work soon on a 103-unit apartment and retail project at 5020 California Ave. S.W., near the Alaska Junction in West Seattle.

Developer Greg McKenna of F&M Development in Burien said he hopes to break ground late this month.

The 63,400-square-foot building is called the Blake. It will have up to 4,000 square feet of street-level retail and two live-work units. Parking for 89 vehicles is planned underground.

Hewitt Architects designed the Blake.

Hewitt initially designed it in 2008 for BlueStar Management before the project went into foreclosure. BlueStar was also the developer behind the failed Whole Foods mixed-use project at Fauntleroy Way and Alaska Street in West Seattle.

McKenna said the design hasn't changed significantly since his firm acquired the site in 2011 from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

The building will now have five framed floors instead of six, he said, and include a rooftop deck and a fifth-floor amenity space. A courtyard will face the alley on the east side of site.

CT Engineering is the structural engineer and Mercedes Fernandez is interior designer. Indigo Real Estate Services will manage the property.

HomeStreet Capital is providing $17 million in financing.

The Blake is intended to appeal to younger singles and couples, and most units will be studios or one-bedrooms. There will be nine two-bedroom units.

The project is designed to achieve a Built Green three-star rating.

 

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February 13, 2013

Alliance plans West Seattle apartments
By JOURNAL STAFF

SEATTLE — An entity related to Phoenix-based Alliance Residential Co. is planning a six- or seven-story apartment project in West Seattle, permit records show.

The company wants to build 140 to 160 units at 4745 40th Ave. S.W. The building would have one or two stories of retail. There will be underground parking as well, but permit documents do not say how many spaces.

The project is across the street from a 370-unit complex that Lennar Multifamily and Weingarten Realty are teaming up to build. This project will have as much as 63,000 square feet of retail. Fuller Sears Architects is the designer.
 

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March 12, 2013

31 apartments set for Alaska Junction
By JOURNAL STAFF

SEATTLE — West Seattle business owner John Comick wants to build a four-story, 31-unit apartment building at 4535 44th Ave. S.W. near Alaska Junction.

The lot is located on a narrow parcel between 44th Avenue Southwest and Glenn Way Southwest.

Comick told the DJC on Monday that he intends for the building to include live-work units, though plans are preliminary.

The architect is Nicholson Kovalchick Architects.

A 65-year-old single-story office building would be demolished.

While hundreds of apartment units already under development in the neighborhood, Comick said his project will stand out with its smaller size, side-street setting and proximity to transit and shopping. The site is around the corner from the Alaska Junction transit hub.
 

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March 28, 2013

Two mixed-use buildings set for former Huling site in West Seattle
By JOURNAL STAFF

A public meeting is scheduled for tonight on a proposal to build a 398-unit mixed-use complex at 4755 Fauntleroy Way S.W. in West Seattle.

A Seattle design review board will give its recommendations at 6:30 p.m. at the West Seattle Senior Center, at 4217 S.W. Oregon St.

The project would bring significant changes to a busy intersection that is sometimes described as a gateway to West Seattle. Much of the site was once a Huling Bros. auto lot, but it has been mostly vacant since 2007.

The site is bounded by Fauntleroy, Southwest Alaska Street, 40th Avenue Southwest and Southwest Edmunds Street. A Masonic lodge occupies the southwest quarter of the block.

Lennar Multifamily is developing the residential portion of the buildings. Co-developer Weingarten Realty is managing the commercial portions.

Plans by architect Fuller Sears show two buildings that will house the apartments, a 43,000-square-foot Whole Foods store and 23,000 square feet of other retail. Underground parking for 587 vehicles is planned, including 312 for residents.

Parking would be accessible from a new mid-block “cross connector.” Designs show a driveway with wide pedestrian walkways on either side, separated from the driveway by bollards and planters.

The main pedestrian entry to Whole Foods would be on Southwest Alaska Street. Entry plazas with outdoor seating are planned at the northeast and northwest corners.

An outdoor sculpture is planned at Alaska and Fauntleroy.

Whole Foods would be located in the north building along with smaller shops that would line Fauntleroy. A 15,000-square-foot drug store could occupy the smaller south building, which would have a separate garage entry from the north building. Each building would also have its own residential lobby.

Zoning allows 85-foot heights, but this proposal is for 70-foot heights.

The developers have said they hope to begin construction late this year and open in mid- to late 2015.


North Building


South Building
 

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May 7, 2013

Alliance updates West Seattle plans
By JOURNAL STAFF

SEATTLE — Phoenix-based Alliance Residential has filed with the city updated plans to build a six- to seven-story, 159-unit apartment building near the Alaska Junction in West Seattle.

The site address is 4745 40th Ave. S.W.

Nine of the units would be for live-work tenants. Underground parking for 100 vehicles is planned. The revised proposal no longer has retail.

A commercial building would be demolished.

Encore Architecture is the architect. The Seattle firm set up shop in January and is headed by three architects that left Mithun. Encore plans to focus on multifamily and student housing projects, according to Principal Vince Ferrese.

The city will hold an early design guidance meeting at 6:30 p.m. May 23 at the West Seattle Senior Center, at 4217 S.W. Oregon St.

The Alliance project will be across the street from the site of a 372-unit apartment and retail complex proposed by Lennar Multifamily and Weingarten Realty that would include a Whole Foods store.
 

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May 23, 2013

Alliance plans West Seattle complex
By JOURNAL STAFF

Architects for a proposed Alliance Residential apartment building near West Seattle's Alaska Junction are offering an early look at their plans.

The images are massing studies that show the height and scale of the project, but not what the design will look like.

Encore Architects of Seattle is planning a six- to seven-story building with 150 apartments and nine live-work units at street level. Underground parking for 100 vehicles would be accessible from an alley that runs west of the building.

A two-story office building used by Farmer's Insurance would be demolished.

The site is at 4745 40th Ave. S.W., at the northwest corner of 40th Avenue Southwest and Southwest Edmunds Street.

The city is holding an early design guidance meeting for the project today at 6:30 p.m. in the West Seattle Senior Center at 4217 S.W. Oregon St.

In the plans the building is called Broadstone West Seattle. That's consistent with other projects Alliance Residential has planned or built around town, such as the Broadstone Capitol Hill at 1414 10th Ave., and the Broadstone Koi at 1139 N.W. Market St. in Ballard.

The preferred option for the West Seattle building shows a larger, seven-story north end and a smaller, six-story south end. In between is a narrow midsection with a large amenity area.

Zoning allows taller development on the north of the site. The south side faces a residential area.

A vacant quarter-acre lot north of the apartment site was acquired by the city last year for $1.44 million and a park is planned there.

The apartments would be across the street from the site where a 372-unit apartment and retail complex has been proposed by Lennar Multifamily and Weingarten Realty, which would include a Whole Foods store.

 

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June 13, 2013

Petco takes a walk, apartments move in
By JOURNAL STAFF

Crews on Monday began tearing down a former Petco store in West Seattle to make room for an 88-unit apartment building at 4730 California Ave. S.W.

When finished in fall 2014, the building will have 13 live-work units and nearly 5,000 square feet of retail wrapping around the north corner and extending into a new mid-block pedestrian connector.

Weber Thompson is the architect, interior designer and landscape architect. Compass Construction is the general contractor.

The Wolff Co. of Scottsdale, Ariz., is the developer. Wolff, a real estate equity firm, has been busy in Seattle lately, with other projects planned or underway on Capitol Hill (270 units and retail), South Lake Union (210 units and retail), Columbia City (270 units) and the Pike/Pine corridor (92 units).

 

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September 9, 2013

Greenbridge wins neighborhood design award
By JOURNAL STAFF

Greenbridge, a mixed-income community in Seattle's White Center neighborhood, won the 10-Minute Neighborhood Award at the 50th International Making Cities Livable Conference in Portland.

The award recognizes King County Housing Authority and its design team, led by GGLO, for creating a vibrant neighborhood by emphasizing public space, plazas and pathways.

GGLO said Greenbridge replaced 1940s-era housing with a mix of housing types and open spaces, creating a culturally diverse neighborhood with services and connections to the surrounding community.

This photo shows Botanica Park in Greenbridge, which GGLO said was inspired by South American agricultural patterns. The park has a play area, community garden, picnic tables, open lawn and art pieces, and is surrounded by townhomes and cottages.

The award is for work GGLO did over the past 11 years: architecture, interior design, landscape architecture and urban design for nearly all the housing, parks and infrastructure, excluding the community facilities.

Other team members are KPFF and Hugh G. Goldsmith & Associates, civil engineering; Michael Nouwens Structural Consultants and AKB Engineers, structural engineering; and Glumac, mechanical, electrical, plumbing.

 

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January 23, 2014

Lofts at the Junction to start in June
By JOURNAL STAFF

A local group plans to start construction in June on Lofts at the Junction, a five-story apartment building at 4535 44th Ave. S.W. in the West Seattle Junction.

NK Architects is designing the project, which will be near transit and West Seattle Farmers Market.

The developer is Lofts at the Junction LLC, whose manager is West Seattle-native John Comick.

Construction is expected to be complete in August of 2015.

There will be 36 apartments, two ground-level work/live units, a rooftop deck and solar panels to offset energy costs.

Other members of the project team are Quantum Consulting Engineers, shoring and structural; Thomas Rengstorf & Associates, landscape architect; Pace Engineers, civil; and 360 Analytics, energy modeling.

No contractor has been selected.

Comick said in a press release that NK was chosen for “its understanding of design, cost and energy efficiency and the unique requirements of the West Seattle community.”

Comick is focused on small-scale retail and multifamily projects.

 

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January 24, 2014

West Seattle project named for Whittaker
By JOURNAL STAFF

The proposed Whole Foods mixed-use project at 4755 Fauntleroy Way S.W. in West Seattle now has a name: The Whittaker.

It honors former REI President and CEO Jim Whittaker, a West Seattle resident and the first American to summit Mount Everest.

The six-story, two-building complex will have 372 apartments above 70,000 square feet of commercial space, including a 43,000-square-foot Whole Foods grocery. The buildings will share a 590-stall below-grade parking garage.

Lennar Multifamily is developing the residential portion and co-developer Weingarten Realty is managing the commercial portions. The developers hope to begin construction this year.

Fuller Sears Architects is the designer.

“The beauty and culture of West Seattle has been a focal point of my life — much in the way it will be defining characteristic of this project,” Whittaker said in a statement.

“It was exciting to hear (Whittaker's) insights about West Seattle's heritage and how we could best connect the water, parks and beaches into our design,” said Lennar President Brad Reisinger.

A sticking point for the project has been a mid-block “cross connector” that would require the city to approve an alley vacation. Former Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn urged the city Department of Transportation to recommend against the vacation because he believed the project failed to meet the public benefit requirement for such vacations. The objection was related to Whole Foods' use of nonunion labor.

The Seattle City Council has yet to decide on the vacation.

The project is expected to generate 1,000 construction jobs during development along with 400 new retail jobs.


 

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March 10, 2014

New elementary school planned for West Seattle
By JOURNAL STAFF

Seattle Public Schools is moving forward with its plan to build a new elementary school at the site of the closed Genesee Hill building at 5012 S.W. Genesee St. in Seattle.

A bid advertisement for a general contractor is expected later this month. The estimated construction cost is $25.5 million to $26.5 million.

The new school will be about 91,000 square feet and will accommodate up to 660 students from the nearby Schmitz Park Elementary. It will have steel framing with some masonry walls, masonry veneer and metal cladding. Shared learning space will be found between classrooms and other space will be used for special education, art, science, music and childcare.

Energy efficiency will be achieved through daylighting, lighting controls and mechanical systems.

The 33,000-square-foot Genesee Hill building was last used about five years ago as a pathfinder school. It will be demolished to make room for the new school, and the sloped site will get a shoring wall and pin piles.

Construction is expected to start this summer and the new school will open in January 2016.

The district plans to repurpose Schmitz Park Elementary to address current and projected elementary school enrollment in West Seattle.

 

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April 10, 2014

West Seattle project wins alley vacation
By JOURNAL STAFF

A Seattle City Council committee has approved a controversial alley vacation for a mixed-use project in West Seattle.

The project at 4755 Fauntleroy Way S.W. is a seven-story, two-building complex with 370 apartments above 62,750 square feet of commercial space, including a Whole Foods Market. The buildings will share a 600-stall below-grade parking garage with 102 spots for bicycles.

Lennar Multifamily Investors is developing the residential portion and co-developer Weingarten Realty Investors is doing the commercial portion. Fuller Sears Architects is designing the project.

Former Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn urged the Seattle Department of Transportation to reject the vacation because he said the project failed to meet the public benefit requirement for such vacations. The mayor's objection was related to Whole Foods' use of nonunion labor.

The City Council's Transportation Committee on Tuesday voted 5-3 in favor of the alley vacation. Councilmembers Kshama Sawant, Nick Licata and Mike O'Brien voted against it.

The council will hold a final vote on the alley vacation April 21.

Lennar and Weingarten plan to use the alley for a mid-block connection that will have two-way vehicle traffic and eight-foot sidewalks.

In exchange for the alley vacation, Lennar and Weingarten are offering a “public benefits” package they value at more than $2.4 million. It includes widener sidewalks, landscaped street parking, undergrounding utilities, a new bike lane and overhead weather protection for pedestrians.

The building is named The Whittaker to honor former REI President and CEO Jim Whittaker, who is a West Seattle resident and was the first American to summit Mount Everest.

 

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April 22, 2014

West Seattle complex wins alley vacation; construction starts in July

By NAT LEVY
Journal Staff Reporter

Lennar Multifamily Communities and Weingarten Realty Investors are preparing to start construction in July on a mixed-use apartment project in West Seattle that has been controversial because of an alley vacation.

The City Council voted 6-3 on Monday to vacate the alley for the six-story, 389-unit project at 4755 Fauntleroy Way S.W. The project will have 68,000 square feet of retail, including a Whole Foods Market.

Brad Reisinger, Lennar Multifamily Communities' Pacific Northwest division president, said the first units will be done in March 2016, and the whole complex will be done in August 2016.

Lennar is the apartment developer, and Houston-based Weingarten will do the retail.

Vacating the alley will allow Lennar to put a mid-block connector between two new buildings on the site, which currently has two alleys. The north-south alley will remain and be improved, and the other will be relocated away from the busy intersection of Southwest Alaska Street and Fauntleroy to become the connector. It will have sidewalks, two-way vehicle lanes and loading areas for trucks.

Weber Thompson is the project architect. Reisinger said his firm is negotiating with a local general contractor but has not yet reached a deal. Weisman Design Group is the landscape architect, and KPFF Consulting Engineers did structural and civil engineering.

Councilmembers Kshama Sawant, Nick Licata and Mike O'Brien voted against the alley vacation.

Former Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn had urged the Seattle Department of Transportation to reject the vacation because he said the project failed to provide the required public benefits. McGinn's objection was related to Whole Foods' use of nonunion labor.

SDOT supported the final plan for the alley vacation.

Reisinger said complaints about wages and nonunion labor had nothing to do with the development itself, just the retail tenant. He said a developer's job is to respond to city rules and regulations, but the debate over public benefits came up midway through the review process.

“When the rules are somewhat undefined it becomes problematic for us to plan and execute a project,” he said.

Lennar and Weingarten will pay market value for the alley and are offering a public benefits package they value at more than $2.4 million. It includes wider sidewalks, landscaping around street parking, underground utilities, seating areas and plazas, a new bike lane and weather protection for pedestrians. Reisinger said without the alley vacation, these benefits would not have been offered.

The project is named The Whittaker to honor former REI president and CEO Jim Whittaker, who is a West Seattle resident and was the first American to summit Mount Everest.

Miami-based Lennar is one of the largest home builders in the nation and opened an apartment division a couple of years ago.

The mid-block connector in The Whittaker will have two-way car traffic, loading areas for trucks and sidewalks for pedestrians.
 

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May 8, 2014

The Vue opens in West Seattle
By JOURNAL STAFF

A new apartment building called The Vue has opened at 3261 S.W. Avalon Way in West Seattle.

The six-story building has 111 units, with a mix of studios, one- and two-bedrooms and loft-style apartments.

Sizes average about 725 gross square feet, and many units have views of downtown Seattle, the West Seattle Golf Course and Mount Rainier.

The developer is David Meissner with The Vue at Avalon LLC. The architect is NK Architects, and Chinn Construction is the contractor. The project is on track to receive LEED gold certification, and will be the first LEED for Homes apartments in West Seattle.

Bathrooms have Water Sense showerheads that use 40 percent less water than conventional showerheads, and high-efficiency faucets. Kitchens have Energy Star appliances.

Residents can use the community room with a kitchen, TV, fireplace and shuffleboard table, and will share a terrace with grills and outdoor seating. There is also a fitness center, rooftop sitting area and a rooftop deck with grills, lounge furniture, fire pit and an outdoor TV.

The building has secure private storage units, designated bike storage with a bike repair station and four charging stations for electric cars.

The Vue is pet-friendly, with a pet washing station and a dog walk area.



 

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May 14, 2014

Dallas firm Trinsic Residential starting its first Seattle project
By JOURNAL STAFF

Trinsic Residential Group of Dallas said it has started construction on its first apartment project in Seattle: a six-story, 159-unit building at 4435 35th Ave. S.W. in West Seattle.

Demolition of a building on the site is happening now, and crews will start construction on the apartments in the next week or two.

GGLO designed the building and Compass General Construction is the general contractor.

There will be 164 underground parking spaces, and on the ground floor will be retail and live-work units.

The team will build a hillclimb on the south end of the building to connect 36th Avenue Southwest with a Rapid Ride stop on 35th. There will also be a mid-block pedestrian pathway.

A press release says the project was designed with an active, outdoorsy resident in mind, with storage spaces for recreational gear. Residents will be able to rent outdoor equipment such as paddle boards, kayaks and cruiser bikes.

The gym will be stocked with “traditional and non-traditional” equipment.

The rooftop deck will have fire pits, barbecue grills, gardening and lounge space.

A project that had been planned for the site stalled several years ago after an initial design review meeting. Trinsic and GGLO revised the project last summer, and in December Trinsic paid $5.15 million for the land.

Trinsic has projects in several cities in Texas, as well as Phoenix and Miami.

 

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September 10, 2014

West Seattle Y plans $11M upgrade
By JOURNAL STAFF

West Seattle YMCA is launching an $11 million capital project to expand and renovate its building at 4515 36th Ave. S.W.

The 33,000-square-foot Y will expand to 47,000 square feet. After expansion and a remodel, the building have an open floor plan and more natural light.

The architect is Miller Hayashi Architects. Lease Crutcher Lewis is the general contractor. Lewis built the original West Seattle YMCA in 1984.

Construction will begin next summer if fundraising is successful and finish in mid-2016.

The club will remain open during construction.

The project will double the space for cardio, strength and fitness activities. Other additions will include a children's play space, room for tween programs, family changing rooms, community meeting room, kitchen for nutrition programs, and more underground parking for cars and bicycles.

The Y is holding three public meetings to get feedback: 2-3 p.m. Sept. 14, 6-7 p.m. Sept. 16 and 7-8 a.m. Sept. 17. All three will be in Studio 5 at 4518 S.W. Fauntleroy Way.

 

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October 30, 2014

Equity Residential seeks artists to help on West Seattle project
By JOURNAL STAFF

Construction is underway on a six-story apartment project near the West Seattle Junction, and developer Equity Residential is looking for artists to work on the structure's 20 exterior support columns.

The 206-unit project is at 4706 California Ave. S.W. and will open in June, with 19,814 square feet of ground-floor retail.

Weber Thompson is the architect and Andersen Construction is the general contractor.

Equity Residential tapped local artist and curator Sara Everett, who worked on Youngstown Flats in the Delridge neighborhood, to lead the search for artists. Equity Residential issued a request for proposals and wants to find two artists to work on the columns, each of which will have a theme. Equity Residential will put out another RFP in a few months for interior spaces.

“We believe it's important for our apartment projects to reflect the local neighborhoods, and public art provides a medium to accomplish that in a very creative and functional way,” Bradley Karvasek, Equity Residential's first vice president of development, said in a press release.

Units will have nine-foot ceilings, kitchens with Energy Star appliances, and washer and dryer. Amenities include a roof deck, gym and bike storage.

 

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January 7, 2015

Lennar starts West Seattle project with 389 apartments, Whole Foods
By JOURNAL STAFF

Lennar Multifamily Communities has started construction on The Whittaker, with 389 apartments above a Whole Foods store at 4755 Fauntleroy Way S.W. in West Seattle.

Lennar is working with Houston-based Weingarten Realty Investors on the 70,000 square feet of retail.

For equity financing Lennar teamed up with Boston-based GID Development Group, which is developing two high-rise residential towers in the Denny Triangle. Wells Fargo provided debt financing.

The complex was designed by Weber Thompson, and Fuller Sears Architects is the architect of record. Chinn Construction is the general contractor. Other team members are Weisman Design Group, KPFF Consulting Engineers, Cross 2 Design Group, GeoEngineers, SoundEarth Strategies, Rushing Co., Transpo Group, Ground Support and SSA Acoustics.

The apartments will open by the end of 2016.

The name honors former REI President and CEO Jim Whittaker, a West Seattle resident who was the first American to summit Mount Everest.

Miami-based Lennar is one of the largest U.S. home builders and opened an apartment division a couple of years ago.

Lennar is constructing a 344-unit project in Issaquah, and working on the redevelopment of Gilman Square retail center.

The company is also planning 541 apartments in three projects in Seattle.

 

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February 2, 2015

NBBJ designs White Center library
By JOURNAL STAFF

Construction is slated to begin soon on a 10,000-square-foot library at 1409 S.W. 107th St. in the White Center neighborhood of Seattle.

Construction bids are due Feb. 9, and the library is expected to open in spring of 2016.

NBBJ is the architect. The team also includes Coughlin Porter Lundeen, civil and structural engineer; Rushing, mechanical engineer; Sparling, electrical engineer; Murase Associates, landscape architect; and Harmsen & Associates, surveyor.

King County Library System is developing the single-story building, which will house the library's collection and materials as well as space for reading, meetings and private study.

There will be computers for public use, laptops to check out, and touchscreens incorporated into the shelving to help people find books, said Gregory Smith, director of facilities and development for the library system.

The project is expected to cost $7.6 million, including the land, which was purchased from the state.

Smith said the building will replace a 6,000-square-foot library two blocks to the south. The library system will sell that property at 11220 16th Ave. S.W. after the current library moves out, he said.

Smith said the existing library does not meet the needs of the community. The new library is being paid for with a bond approved by voters in 2004.

A notice on the project appeared in the Jan. 14 DJC.

 

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February 5, 2015

Capelouto has second mixed-use West Seattle Junction project
By JOURNAL STAFF

Capelouto Development Co. is looking to build its second mixed-use project in the rapidly densifying West Seattle Junction.

The developer is planning a seven-story building at 4505 42nd Ave. S.W., just east of California Avenue Southwest on Southwest Oregon Street.

Plans call for 46 apartments, nine short-term lodging units and 3,800 square feet of retail. Underground parking for 15 vehicles is also planned.

NK Architects is the designer.

A single-family house on the site will be demolished.

A city design review board will give recommendations on the proposal at a meeting at 6:30 p.m. today in Hatten Hall at the West Seattle Senior Center, 4217 S. Oregon St.

The residential entrance will be on 42nd Avenue. Two retail storefronts are planned on Oregon Street.

Sidewalks will be widened to allow retail activity to spill out onto the sidewalk. Concept images show outdoor cafe seating.

The building's second level is expected to have short-term lodging. Plans show a mix of one-bedroom and studio units.

A rooftop deck for residents will include a fire pit, dog run, barbecue areas and a community garden.

Capelouto also built Capco Plaza, which opened on the same block of 42nd Avenue in 2009. It houses a QFC grocery store, a liquor store and 157 apartments.

Also on the same 42nd is the 133-unit Oregon 42 apartments, completed last year. ConAm Group of Companies was the developer.

Several other large projects are underway on nearby blocks, the largest of which include Equity Residential's 206-unit project 4706 California Ave. S.W. and Lennar Multifamily Communities' 389-unit Whittaker project at 4755 Fauntleroy Way S.W. The Whittaker will include a Whole Foods grocery store. Weingarten Realty Investors is working with Lennar on the retail.


Plans call for 46 apartments, nine short-term lodging units and 3,800 square feet of retail.

 
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