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Journeyman
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I didn't realize that many were underway. And mostly in the Admiral area. Do you have more info on what's in demo or site clearance vs. digging shored holes, moving upward, etc.?

Great job on the summary.
 

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Journeyman
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I have my names wrong. I meant the Junction/Triangle. (I think I use the wrong name sometimes!) That's a ton of progress since my last walking tour a couple months ago.

Citywide this boom is starting to rank high among booms in total unit count. Better yet, they're nearly all good urbanity. We should have well over 8,000 units in projects within city limits either underway now or in the last year, not counting the 2,400 dorm beds. Some suburban areas are starting to boom as well, like Downtown Redmond apparently.

On the flip side, this region has permitted over 25,000 units in the four-county area before. Not all permitted units get built but most do. Even assuming an average of one year for construction (houses are generally much less, but big apartments are generally much more), we've probably seen regional construction peak well over double what we have now for all unit types combined.
 

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Journeyman
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Nova does look good, including the signs. I'd hafta move the sandwich board though.

Love the fact that a boarding house is going in. I thought these were mostly closer-in, though the Junction is a great place for them. It's 7 "units" but, what, 30 or 40 bedrooms rented separately? Seattle really is in the forefront (if not fully intentionally) on market rate affordable housing, at least for singles and couples. Even NY and SF don't have their act together on micro units, arguing about whether to allow units far larger than we already do.

Recently I read that Paris' cafe culture is partially due to its small housing units, and people treating cafes like extensions of home.
 

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Journeyman
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I wish some of these mixed-use buildings would start building 2nd level offices (ala the Broadway Building) in West Seattle. Seems like a no-brainer considering the increased traffic and commute time to DT.
That would be nice urbanism, and nice for chiropractors, realtors, small law firms, and others that focus on neighborhood clients. But it would also be harder to finance due to the added complexity and number of uses that need to align. Further, the rents tend to be low for those types in neighborhoods. Worse, demand would be hurt by the Junction and California having too much retail space outside the main core, which is putting a lot of "office" uses in retail spaces. So developers aren't likely to do that willingly.

That's without any attempt to separate retail and office tenants in terms of stairs, elevators, parking, etc. If separation is desired, then you waste space and add cost, or maybe get some of that back by making the office tenants/clients take two elevator trips.

I'm also not considering potential additional costs due to stuff like different column spacing for parking/retail/office/residential levels. Either you find a compromise that probably isn't perfect for anyone, or you put in expensive load-transfer elements that will add cost and time.
 

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Journeyman
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Glad to hear that. Looks like the last review item was approved for the building permit on Friday, and they either have a permit or will momentarily.

Gotta say, if you enjoy the DPD "activity locator," it's important to look at old permits for shelved projects too, not just the new ones. Lotsa veeery interesting stuff there including potentially reviving projects.
 

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Journeyman
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It definitely has some urban nodes. The Junction/Avalon area is the largest. Alki (point and shore), Admiral Junction, a scattering otherwise...
 

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Journeyman
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4)the mayors actions in this are costing jobs, meaning instead of minimum wage and no benefits they get zero wages and no benefits.
I agree that wages are the wrong thing to protest. But a supermarket doesn't add jobs...it takes them from other supermarkets, etc.
 

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Journeyman
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The same amount of groceries will be sold either way. This will support the same number of jobs either way.

As a contractor I like the point about construction jobs, but it's mostly not true either. Not building a particular project generally just moves the growth somewhere else. It's more a matter of what type of project gets built, and where...maybe other apartments, or maybe something more sprawly. To the extent that difficult regs make construction more expensive, it might reduce overall growth, moving some construction out of our region, in which case your point would be correct.
 

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Journeyman
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A supermarket like that would need probably 20 massive apartment buildings like that....350x20x1.5= over 10,000 residents.

This would probably be the best supermarket in the neighborhood, so I'd still root for it. And the 350 units would be a nice boost.
 

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Journeyman
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The Junction is a pretty big area. Lots of construction yes, but you'd have to walk a full mile to see all these projects.

That said, there's a quite a bit happening right near the main intersection...three or four within a couple blocks maybe?
 

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Journeyman
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Fiefdoms help nobody.

I wonder how much district councilmembers will control their districts, vs. group decisions. Hopefully this doesn't turn into the east coast, where aldermen have veto power in their areas. That's uncertainty, which turns into inertia, plus a ton of corruption.
 

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Journeyman
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If a district's councilmember has veto power, real or defacto, that's a problem.

Worse, it's inherently slanted toward NIMBYism. It's easy to stop a plan. The other six don't have a stake in it, and will tend to go along with it. It's much harder to get anything positive done, because the other six have to pay for it, and tend to want their share.

And what if you district rep doesn't agree with you on a topic? It used to be you had nine people representing you. Soon you'll have three, with the other six not caring what you think.

Seattle has been doing pretty well compared to most US cities. We've just screwed up one of the reasons for it.
 

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Journeyman
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Seattle loves putting developers under the screws.

The difficulty of alley vacations is a real problem, including places where there project is the whole block so nobody else needs an alley. It's purely a leverage point to get concessions from the developer. I get that it's public land that we're selling, but the cost and certainty should be easier.

But obviously that can be a massive cost -- both the concessions themselves and the cost of delay. I can only imagine how much design start/stop/redo work, land carrying costs, developer staff costs, etc., go into the added time. It's not easy or cheap for architects, engineers, and contractors to promise a team, keep working on the design/preliminary stuff, and have only hopes of when the various phases will move forward. It's about cost but also about the likelihood of happening. Developers will often pay seven figures, not counting land, for projects that get cancelled.

For that reason some developers try to resolve this well in advance, or go forward with dual concepts that either use the alley or not. If they choose "not" the result tends to be higher cost per square foot, maybe less ambition about large spaces (often key for hotels and major stores), or the overall footprint of the job.
 

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Journeyman
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Movie theaters are tough in an area like that.

As usual, parking is a big part of why. They need to be able to handle a large percenage of their peak visitor count with parking onsite or nearby, because they'd need to draw from a large area rather than the immediate neighborhood. But they're not a high-revenue (per hour or by customer) business model, so it's hard to build structured parking themselves. They can't rely on neighborhood parking, because their peak times are the same as existing peak times, which are based on restaurants and so on, and pay lots are disappearing anyway. That's in contrast to a downtown where offices and even retail peak earlier in the day.

A supermarket by contrast does huge revenue per person and people churn through more quickly.
 

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Journeyman
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That's also very hard to imagine. A 1-2 screen theater will have horrible staffing costs per seat. In an old, cheap building that might be possible, but paying for a new one....
 

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Journeyman
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Pretty soon the Junction will have way too much retail space.

Basic thing about retail...it survives when stores can make money, not when people think it would be nice to have.
 
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