A Last-Minute Effort to Stop the Destruction of Alki’s Historic Stone Cottage

Comments

1

Yeah.

I'm not seeing the point.

Nothing here is that historic, actually.

Replace it with a 40-100 story residential tower ASAP.

Welcome to the End of the 20s ...

2

It should be noted that it is certainly the case that it will be replaced with luxury condos/apartments. Certainly one type of housing that Seattle is not in desperate need of.

3

@2: anything built there will need to meet Mandatory Housing Affordability code requirements. Pay in to the Office of Housing fund, or provide a percentage of affordable units on-site.

it's something.

5

Any chance we can take the $110k and pay our current homeless to move it stone by stone back to the beach?

@2 We have a housing shortage. Every new unit puts a roof over someone in Seattle's head. Hint: it's never the wealthy that end up without a roof.

6

This is an example of a dysfunctional housing system. The building should be preserved for historical reasons. For whatever reason, it won't be.

The developers should buy property up the street, and build the condos there. But they can't. That's because Seattle only allows multi-family dwelling in teeny-tiny parts of the city. It has nothing to do with height -- you can't convert a house to a duplex, but you can build a large McMansion. This results in very high development costs, and a result, high rents. The only way that we'll have affordable market rate housing is if zoning changes everywhere (like they just did in Portland). If that happens, then preserving a building like this becomes a no-brainer.

7

@5 You're not contradicting yourself there?

More condos for the wealthy does zip to address our housing crisis. Although I suppose the sooner we turn this city into one giant office park the sooner no one will want to live here and that might reduce the cost of housing.

8

Maybe Sawant can live in it.

9

@7 Oh good another basic housing debate. The only way to house people is by building housing. It doesn't matter what type of housing you build, every new unit in a housing-constrained city keeps a household from being kicked out of the city or onto the street. Imagine these as apple trees - even if they're "luxury" apple trees, we end up with more apples in the city and more people get to eat.

I get that you are ok with high housing prices and low affordability because you want to save the character of the city. But can you really not imagine a city with both enough housing and character? Have you even seen the proposed housing on this lot before calling it an office park?

10

@9 I can imagine it but the concept of preserving neighborhood integrity seems to be totally alien to density at all cost philistines. Include incentives for historical preservation and preservation of neighborhood integrity in re-zoning legislation and I am on board.

11

@9 "The only way to house people is by building housing. It doesn't matter what type of housing you build, every new unit in a housing-constrained city keeps a household from being kicked out of the city or onto the street."

That must be why there are luxury condo towers sitting empty in major cities all over the world, right?

Eventually poor people will magically evade the sheriffs, oligarchs, billionaires, money launders, investment banks, and corrupt property management groups and... end up there. One day.

This would be true if the mighty market actual acted like you fetishists fantasized. But here in realty it does not.

"Why Manhattan’s Skyscrapers Are Empty"
https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/01/american-housing-has-gone-insane/605005/

"Towers of Secrecy: Piercing the Shell Companies"
https://www.nytimes.com/news-event/shell-company-towers-of-secrecy-real-estate

"HALF of Manhattan's new luxury skyscraper condos sit unsold and empty after foreign oligarchs appear to lose interest in the New York property market"
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7897219/HALF-Manhattans-new-luxury-skyscraper-condos-sit-unsold.html

"RICH PEOPLE CAN’T STOP BUYING LUXURY APARTMENTS AND NOT USING THEM"
https://theoutline.com/post/3754/luxury-apartments-nyc-affordable-housing?zd=1&zi=to7g5j33

13

The Stranger is asking for donations to support their "progressive journalism" yet they're spending their time covering this clearly conservative project of blocking housing AND peddling in conservative NIMBY arguments about rich developers.

Are you guys really a "progressive journalism" outfit?

14

@6 "The developers should buy property up the street, and build the condos there. But they can't."

What led you to believe multi-family dwellings are impermissible on Harbor Ave. SW / Alki Ave. SW?

15

@1 and @13 see clearly.

I am so tired of Seattle's endless vanity projects to 'save' some f***ing shack that's full of rats and asbestos and bad wiring that should've been demolished decades ago.

16

@13 I think you are misreading the post but I'm glad you 'progressives' are making sure that our millionaires have proper housing.

17

@13,

I don't think preservation of unique and/or historical architecture really has a political bent to it. Though if it did, I don't think it'd be remotely challenging to make the case that such a bent would be liberal or progressive. It's rooted in nothing but an appreciation for some cultural element after all.

18

If you can look around at the horrors 2020 has wrought and think to themselves "the best, most important, most urgent thing I can do with the limited money I can afford to donate is to move a useless decaying building because some people think the building is pretty and enjoy looking at it," something has gone terribly wrong.

20

@19 Ah 'racism'. You are really going to rupture something there with that ludicrous distortion of logic.

21

Tear it down.

22

@12:

There is an older former rental duplex at the end of my block someone purchased more than a year ago (asking price was $1.8 mm, don't know what they actually paid, but the tendency in my neighborhood has been for units to sell for over asking). They came in, gutted both units down to the studs, remodeled them and put it back on the market for $2.4 mm - and they've been vacant since the sale. Meanwhile they tore down the detached double garage behind and are building a third luxury townhouse that will no doubt go for low seven figures - assuming they don't turn it into a residence for themselves.

They literally are doing BOTH things simultaneously: kicking people out of perfectly usable existing housing stock in order to flip it for a hefty profit AND building luxury accommodations that the displaced tenants will never be able to afford.

23

I don't give a shit for an old rock house. Tear it down. Don't tear it down.

However, it's an obscene and provable lie that any all development is a net social good. We've allowed delusional free market fetishists to write most of the laws, buy the politicians, and game the system for so long we're now totally desperate. And desperation doesn't change facts.

You are smoking meth if you think anyone is building affordable housing near a beach.

But I do appreciate the irony of the same people who were JUST screaming hysterically about "saving our parks," and vilifying impoverished mentally ill campers — not giving a shit about housing those poor people — suddenly super concerned about housing (for millionaires) and totally dismissive about the same sort of park-like luxuries (historic preservation, neighborhood character) during a crisis.

The one consistent theme: "Won't somebody think of the millionaires!"

24

@12 What the fuck are you talking about, Bess? Christ. You make less and less sense every desperate incarnation.

25

@22 true. When I was at my barber today before pictures, someone called another one of the barbers who had his new place cancel on him and he couldn't get back in his old place where he wasn't late on rent even though it was half empty. They probably sold out to a developer and weren't going to admit that.

26

@22 We have project we put on hold on the east side adjacent to a luxury development that has been completed for over eight months and is empty. I have never even been able to trace who actually really owns it. I have never seen a sales agent.

My neighbors here on the north end of the Hill on ether side of me do not live in their condos. They are/were high-end rentals. Empty during this entire pandemic. Flouting board rules and just piling up fines.

The two stately homes a bit northwest of us are beautiful large old empty third/fourth homes. The people that own one of them evacuated to a sprawling rural ranch to ride out the pandemic in May. Not once been back.

The other, at least a five bedroom I think, I have never ONCE seem people in other than cleaning staff. And I've lived here for 16 years.

There are likely a dozen more empty homes in this neighborhood because "homes" are investment du jour for tech millionaire/billionaires. I live in a neighborhood with fewer and fewer actual neighbors.

"Build it and they will come" is provable horseshit.

27

There are clearly no real problems in Seattle/West Seattle/King County b/c this is on the table.

28

@27: Ever heard of multitasking?

29

@27 I hear it's filled with people paying $3k a month in rent and not living there, and this is a problem we need to solve.

30

Time to tear it down and move on. Sure, it's a cool building and I really appreciated the story behind it, but nobody really knows what to do with it. If they did, we'd get artist's sketches of how it would look at its new location rather than some imaginary view.

The choices seem to be to tear it down and build 15 condos or wrap it in a fence and let it decay until it goes the route of the Seven Gables theater... then build 15 condos. I don't really see a good argument for the latter. This goes for quite a bit of what gets called a landmark these days. It's more about preventing development for a few years than preserving the building.