Korean firm plans design center and housing complex on waterfront site in West Seattle

YMSA USA LLC wants to build a complex at 1307 Harbor Ave. S.W.in West Seattle that will have executive apartments, office space and a design center for a Korean manufacturer of sports gear and apparel.

The city has issued a determination of non-significance for the project, which would be on the site of the former Alki Tavern.

Public appeals are due to the Washington State Shoreline Hearings Board by Jan. 30.

YMSA is an entity of Youngone Corp. of South Korea, a manufacturer and distributor of sports gear and outdoor apparel that was founded in 1974. Youngone recently became majority owner of the local company Outdoor Research.

Miller Hull is the design architect, and Rhodes Architecture + Light is the architect of record for what it calls Harbor Avenue Campus. Rhodes’ website says the firm also did a live-work remodel at 1663 Harbor Ave. S.W., called the Youngone Building, for the same owner.

The project at 1307 Harbor Ave. S.W. received city design approval with minor conditions, following last year’s positive recommendation by the Southwest Design Review Board, but no permits have been issued for it yet.

YMSA paid $4.85 million in 2012 and 2013 for seven parcels, several owned by Salty’s restaurant. The family-run Alki Tavern closed on St. Patrick’s Day of 2013, after 38 years in business.

The site faces Elliott Bay and overlooks the Don Armeni Boat Ramp and Alki Trail. It is near the Seacrest Ferry Dock, where the downtown water taxi is located, and there are condominiums north and south of the site.

The site totals 21,000 square feet, though much of its sloped and unbuildable.

The six-story complex would have north and south stacks above a podium level. The north stack would house 15 residential units, and the south stack would be office space. They both would be set back from the street, with a corner knocked off the south facade to create a large deck on the third level. Parking for 27 vehicles would be above grade.

The old tavern and other small structures would be demolished.

Plans filed with the city describe about 24,000 square feet of housing, 13,800 square feet of office space, 8,000 square feet for light manufacturing, 2,800 square feet of restaurant space, 2,500 square feet of retail and a roof deck.

The net size is about 66,000 square feet, with a footprint of about 14,000 square feet.

The project value is listed as approximately $20.7 million.

In Korea, Youngone is the distributor for Nike, The North Face, Puma and other brands. The Korea Economic Daily says Youngone is the country’s largest outdoor gear purveyor.

Architect Tim Rhodes said he couldn’t speak directly on behalf of his clients, who he said were traveling to trade shows, but he offered a general outline for the project.

He said the structure will be concrete and steel, and the units likely will be apartments for company personnel and traveling executives. Public records show a covenant with the city that prohibits condominium sales.

Dozens of Youngone staffers will work in the building, which will contain a design center, meeting space, a “liaison center” and 30 sewing stations, Rhodes said.

No tenants have been signed for the retail and restaurant spaces, he said. Tiffini Connel of West Coast Commercial Realty is representing the bi-level restaurant space.

Given the city’s DNS decision, said Rhodes, “In a perfect world, we get our permits in the next few weeks. The client is very excited about moving into construction and cleaning up the site,” which has been fenced off and vacant for years.

He estimates construction will take about 16 months.

A pedestrian breezeway will pass through the building, said Rhodes, with public stairs and a water feature leading from Harbor Avenue to California Avenue Southwest. “It will not be closed off. It will not be gated. It’s a public campus.”

An old triplex on the hill built in 1927 will be demolished, and its foundation as well as areas along the public stairs will be landscaped with native plants and nurse logs.

The team also includes Chinn general contractor, Swenson Say Faget structural engineer and shoring, Magnusson Klemencic civil engineer, GCH landscape architect and Two 9 Design (interiors).


Miller Hull / Rhodes Architecture + Light


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