By Jack Stubbs
Late last week on Thursday, August 2nd, a 79-unit development planned for West Seattle was denied approval at an Early Design Guidance (EDG) meeting. At the meeting, project applicant Caron Architecture presented preliminary plans to the southwest board on behalf of property owner Capeluto Development Company.
The project, located at 4508-4510-4512 California Ave SW in the West Seattle Junction area, calls for the construction of a six-story project that will include approximately 12,500 square feet of street-level retail/lobby space and 19 below-grade parking stalls. The 79 proposed units will be a mix of studios, one- and two-bedroom units.
At the meeting, the applicant team presented its three proposed massing options to the board and discussed the neighborhood context around the project site in the West Seattle Junction neighborhood. The primary West Seattle guidelines that the applicant team is looking to prioritize with the project, according to the submitted plans, are encouraging positive street-level interaction and creating an architectural concept that fits into the surrounding neighborhood context.
The applicant’s preferred massing option includes a recessed upper facade from California Avenue and provides deck spaces facing the street, and emphasizes a visual connection with the street. Additionally, the building’s lower facade looks to provide an appropriate transaction from the adjacent buildings, according to the plans.
Following the applicant’s presentation, the board ultimately requested that the project return for a second EDG meeting, according to Wendy Shark, public relations specialist with the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections. In terms of feedback to the applicant, the board recommended that the team work on further developing its preferred massing option and minimize the number of blank walls in the project plans. Additionally, the board recommended that the applicant work on integrating the stair tower with the north facade and further study the project in relation to the streetscape and adjacent buildings.