Mixed Use Redevelopment of Wedgwood Center Proposed

As the Daily Journal of Commerce recently reported, Security Properties has recently submitted pre-application materials to the Seattle Department of Construction and Inspection (SDCI) for the redevelopment of the Wedgwood Center, which includes the entire parcel that spans from the QFC to Homestreet Bank.  Security Properties is a a multi-family residential developer and manager with a significant presence in Seattle and is currently developing a $193M residential tower in Belltown.

This is the very first step in what may be a long process before there is a detailed development concept.  This process seeks initial feedback from the city on a “new mixed-use grocer, retail, and residential development at 8400 35th Ave NE in the Wedgwood neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. All of the existing buildings currently onthe site will be demolished.”  The applications go on to describe the new development as a 340,000 SF structure which includes a new grocer, retail space(s), and 280 unit residential space above an 80,000 SF below-grade parking lot.  The site plan submitted with the pre-application materials seems to indicate that there are two structures divided by mid-block parking access off 35th Ave NE.

Security Properties_Initial Site Plan_06282022

Security Properties initial proposed site design.

Given that this is so early in the process, we would encourage everyone to take this initial draft with a big pinch of salt.  There is still a lot of work that Security Properties and their design team will need to work through as the design concept goes through early design guidance from the city.  No doubt there will be ample opportunity for the community to get involved as well.  However, our understanding from speaking to the current owner is that the property has not yet been sold and the sale of the property is contingent upon Security Properties navigating successfully through their due-diligence process and overcoming other logistics.

As we have consistently said, this was very much a reality that we have been preparing for. The redevelopment of the Wedgwood Center was always inevitable at some point due to the economics of the site and the demand for housing in the city. (Note: This is a reality elsewhere along the 35th Ave NE business district as well.)  Our message has also been consistent to the current property owner and all potential developers.  The Wedgwood Community Council welcomes redevelopment in our business district which is consistent with the Future 35th Ave NE Plan (link to plan [read more about this plan here]).  While it is not a formal neighborhood plan and adopted into the city’s comprehensive plan, the Future 35th Ave NE plan is a unique community-led plan which represents the clearest voice of our community for what it envisions for our neighborhood business district. The WCC wants to be acitve and constructive advocates for those who voluntarily and genuinly demonstrate adherence to the Future 35th Ave NE Plan.

Join us on Tuesday, July 5th, when we’ll no doubt discuss this at our WCC July board meeting.

18 Replies to “Mixed Use Redevelopment of Wedgwood Center Proposed”

  1. I agree that redevelopment of the Wedgwood Center is long overdue. Hopefully the NIMBYs can contain their fury.

    1. Loss of local businesses, more overpriced apartments, a big pay day for the developers, just what the neighborhood needs.

  2. I agree with the comment that this project is long overdue, and it’s great to see a grocery store as a potential tenant, and know that some of the existing tenants are part of the planning. The project will certainly be in compliance with local zoning codes, so there’s no opportunity for the NIMBY’s to say that it’s not. That said, I encourage the community council to request a traffic study that will consider the impact to local streets – especially on 30th Avenue NE, 31st Avenue NE and NE 85th Street. In the case of NE 85th Street, it has high pedestrian traffic, especially with Wedgwood Elementary, and I hope that sidewalk improvements / additions will be required between 30th Avenue NE and 35th Avenue NE as part of the project development cost, in order to maintain safety. This should include replacing the sidewalk on the south side of NE 85th Street (which has many trip hazards) and installing new sidewalks on the north side of NE 85th Street. 280 residential units will certainly add significant vehicle trips on these side streets, and may also add significant resident parking on NE 85th Street – both east and west of 35th Avenue NE. These parking concerns will also affect construction workers, which should also be considered in the planning / review process.

    1. As someone who lives on 85th, I agree that sidewalk improvements on 85th, west of 35th, certainly should be part of the plan. The current sidewalk in the south side of 85th is not wide enough for strollers, leaving many to walk on the street instead of the sidewalk, and I have seen multiple people trip on the uneven sidewalk. I would also love to see a sidewalk on the north side of 85th, where my house is. I think that narrowing the lane with on street parking and sidewalks and eliminating the chiquains will actually slow traffic and make the street safer for pedestrians.

  3. As a resident of the neighborhood, one of the reasons I hose to live in this area is the walkability and the close proximity to a grocery store and coffee shop. While the grocery store has since closed, I still support the other businesses in the center. I have greatly appreciated that Van Gogh is a woman-owned business. I have my hair cut at the Wedgwood Salon, and love that I can walk to these businesses. Van Gogh is a key meeting place for local residents. The outdoor space has been a key component of that gathering. One concern I have about the new development plan is that it will force small, independent businesses like Van Gogh out, as it will be difficult for such small, independent businesses to survive multiple years of closure during development. I also worry about the lack of outdoor space in the development plan. It is important to protect our small businesses and maintain outdoor spaces. I would love to see the city push for developers to design outdoor options and push for more plantings like green or living roofs, rooftop gardens, small balconies that can offer residents a bit of outside space to sit and maybe even grow something. We all benefit from plantings, even when they are up on roofs, and we benefit from maintaining our small, independent businesses that are core to the sense of neighborhood identity and community.

  4. Too many units squished together to make unhealthy living. Where are the trees and green spaces in this plan. I came from LA many many years ago. The insensitive way of developing more expensive cracker box living spaces is a slap in the face to what has been Seattles biggest asset. A city with much nature to enjoy. Seattle development has made a grave and stupid error in destroying exactly what has been the most loveable and liveable aspect of seattle in the past. Nature.

    1. Please don’t take this as me arguing with or disagreeing with the premise of your point, but Washington has a Growth Management Act which requires cities like Seattle to develop a comprehensive plan to direct density in order to limit sprawl and protect nature, open space, and our agricultural resources. The property is zoned for the type of development proposed in order to provide more housing to those looking for it. Limiting housing units and density like this does, among other things, a) increases pressure on developing outward into our open spaces, b) expands our city’s/region’s reliance on automobiles and other climage damaging land uses, c) limits the housing units available to people looking for homes – driving up costs and exacerbating the housing affordability issues our city/region faces, and d) prevents the density necessary to sustain the types of businesses that our community has asked for to create a walkable business district.
      Not everyone wants/needs a large single-family residence. For example, the Jasper apartments in our community has been a great resource for those who love this neighborhood but no longer find it possible to maintain their house any longer. The people in the Jasper, and other renters in our neighborhood, have been great neighbors and assets to our community.

    2. I agree! This sounds way too big!! 280 units?!? I hope we can stop this. I understand the sellers want to make money on their land but I wish they would take the neighborhood into consideration. This will have a big impact in a NEGATIVE way. Will they be condos? Or apartments?

  5. I have lived in this neighborhood for many years and have seen the changes. I still miss the Matthew’s Grocery and Wedgwood Cycles, but change is inevitable and I embrace a new vision for this space that provides housing and fulfills regional commitments under the Growth Management Act protecting our region’s critical areas and natural resource lands. I am pleased to see a grocery in the plans that would restore the ability to walk to get groceries.

  6. Many of us seniors living in, and around, Jasper chose to rent/live here precisely because there was a walkable to grocery store! Since QFC closed a year and a half ago – and which has been empty since April 2021 – that is no longer an option for those who no longer drive. Yes – those of us who are computer savvy can order on line – but we like to see what we are buying! Having to rely on a friend or neighbor for a ride is not always an option! As a frequent patron, and diner, at the Wedgwood Broiler and at Van Gogh coffee shop – and also at Home Street Bank – I hate to think of all the noise, dust and construction disorder in the neighborhood – as well as the traffic this will affect!

  7. 280 is too many for this little corner. What is the Jasper? 70? 80? Draw it down a bit please. You will still make lots of money.

    1. Hi Rob. Not that you asked and you’re very welcome to your opinion. But, the Jasper has 91 units. The Wedgwood Center property is approximately 2.7X bigger than the Jasper property and zoning has increased since the Jasper was developed. So, whatever is built on the Wedgwood Center property will be 1 story taller than the Jasper.

  8. I appreciate that we need more housing but suspect the proposed apts will be very expensive and low and middle income people will not be able to afford to live there. I am also concerned about the traffic on 35th NE and also think a traffic study is needed. Finally, if families do move in, are there enough spaces in our schools to handle the influx of students? I think someone from the school district should also be at the table.

    1. Considering new houses in this neighborhood go for $2-3 million, I can guarantee these apartments will be more affordable by comparison.

      The schools need students. Wedgwood elementary has just 2 kindergarten classes this year, down from 4. Let’s welcome some new neighbors to our wonderful community.

  9. I shed tears as I read, “All of the existing buildings currently on the site will be demolished.” My Grandparents bought their house when everything around them was still trees. I never saw the area at that state, but it gives perspective on how much this area has grown. I grew up with Matthew’s Red Apple, Pay Less/Pay ‘n Save, First National Bank (now Bank of America), the Wedgwood Broiler, and a cute little asphalt ramp for pedestrians to walk up, or ride your bike up, to the “center,” which is now the Bank driveway. Obviously, things change and there’s little we can do about it. However, what this is talking about is literally going to destroy what makes Wedgwood what it is!!! It’s not just the charm. But the convenience of the stores, especially a grocery store. You take that away, and the point of living there, over other places, greatly diminishes. Just because you CAN do something, like over populate an area to make more money, doesn’t mean you should. Our city isn’t just ‘dying’ due to it’s drug use, homelessness, and crime, though clearly those are a large part of it. Our city is dying because what makes Seattle, errr…. MADE Seattle so unique and wonderful, something we could all be proud of, and light up whenever we talked to non-locals about it, was the charm. It was about community. Someone in the comments mentioned the seniors who live in the area and I’m glad they did, because by going thru with this plan, you’re taking away a sense of familiarity, convenience, and comfort from those in a time when those things matter that much more. The seniors are the people who bought their property when it was on the outskirts of the city. I understand that time pauses for no one. But not all “growth” is beneficial. This is a beautiful neighborhood where people walked their dogs, greeted one another, knew one another, knew their grocer, their banker, etc. And while not all of that still remains, do not take the little bit that’s left by overpopulating the area, and raising the height of buildings past a housing neighborhood height, meaning taller than an average house. As far as Franks comment about the schools needing students go, again, this area is full of seniors. So simply because the schools are down in population, doesn’t mean there’s a reduction in overall population. The people who live in this neighborhood love it for what is in the talks of being destroyed. When QFC took over Matthew’s Red Apple, many of the homeowners tied a yellow ribbon around the trees in front of their homes in protest. That was the beginning of what this is now. The little shopping center was the heart of the neighborhood and what makes it Wedgwood. Please don’t snuff out what little is left of the charm, and the heart, of Wedgwood.

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