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July 7, 2020

492-unit Alki Lumber redevelopment plan embraces wood, texture and heritage

Real Estate Editor

Renderings by Ankrom Moisan [enlarge]
A view of the two eight-story buildings, looking southeast from Fauntleroy, at the intersection with Avalon in West Seattle.

The east building at 4406 36th Ave. S.W. would have 12,000 square feet of retail and commercial space.

Architects have filed early designs for the redevelopment of part of the Sweeney family's Alki Lumber property in West Seattle.

The DJC first reported on the plans last year.

HB Management is the family's developer for roughly 3.5 acres in a half-dozen locations, beginning with two facing blocks.

Ankrom Moisan and Northwest Studio are designing the unnamed project. Both blocks have design review meetings with the city scheduled in August, though they may be conducted through an administrative process owning to the ongoing pandemic.

The overall plan is for about 492 units in two eight-story buildings, along with retail and commercial space and underground parking. Units will range from studios to two bedrooms, with between 400 and 900 square feet. Project size above grade is around 555,525 square feet.

The west block is 4440 Fauntleroy Way S.W. An S-shaped, 217-unit building is planned. It'll have about 161 underground parking stalls and 16,300 square feet of retail/commercial space.

The building's “long stacks” design is intended to suggest stacks of lumber, a motif that'll extend across 36th Avenue Southwest to the larger east block, at 4406 36th Ave. S.W. That S-shaped building will have about 275 units, 186 underground parking stalls and 12,000 square feet of retail and commercial space.

The architects write, “Alki Lumber has been in business since 1921. There is a rich palette of textures, forms, and features from which to draw inspiration. We are also interested in exploring wood and wood-like siding, playing with color, texture and directionality.

“Finally we are inspired by the barn doors and existing signage which has been part of the neighborhood character nearly 100 years.”

The west block's entry plaza would be oriented toward the cross-block connector on the east block.

Retail on the west block will be concentrated on the angled north prow, plus a few smaller bays on its southeast corner (at Southwest Oregon Street).

Retail on the east block would follow the same pattern, creating facing clusters across 36th. Parking for both buildings will be accessed from the alleys. (The east block is actually a half block; its neighbor across the alley is the 159-unit Aura apartments.)

Berger Partnership is the landscape architect for the project, which will be a short walk to Avalon Station — where light rail service may begin in 2030. However, Sound Transit has hinted the coronavirus-impacted revenue shortfalls may delay that and other schedules. And the exact station location hasn't been determined yet.

Alki Lumber and sister company Dearborn Lumber will stay in the neighborhood, moving during construction.


Brian Miller can be reached by email at brian.miller@djc.com or by phone at (206) 219-6517.

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