Community Post

Preview of New Catholic Community Services Building

While many proposed developments languish in the current economy, the one area where there’s some life is for public service agencies. One of the projects that is moving forward is the new mixed-use building on the Catholic Community Services property at 23rd & Main. The project is going up for its final design approval tomorrow at 6:30pm.

The project will replace the existing surface parking lot with a new 4-story building containing 51 affordable family apartments, 2,300 square feet of ground-floor retail space, and 71 interior parking spaces.

The retail space of the project will be along 23rd, north of a residential entrance. The side along Main includes office space and a community room.  Vehicle access to the 2-floor parking garage is off of 24th, with a connection to a small strip of at-grade parking spaces next to the existing building on 23rd.

The project is seeking board approval for departures (aka variances) from development regulations for the east side of the building along 24th Ave.  The Neighborhood Commercial zoning of the block requires there to be active entrances or commercial spaces at street level, but that side of the new building presents a largely blank wall of a parking garage. Unable to afford a fully underground parking garage, the architects propose to mitigate this with landscaping and a green wall.

Here’s some architectural renderings from the design proposal:

View from 23rd & Main (looking northeast along 23rd)

View from 24th & Main (looking northwest along S. Main)

View from 24th & Main, showing facade along 24th

0 thoughts on “Preview of New Catholic Community Services Building

  1. Any views of the 24th Ave face from the Yesler end? The view shown is broken up by residential windows and is respectably attractive. The unbroken garage wall at the Yesler end could be pretty grim, and is across the street from fairly small scale housing.
    See this example ( ), from a West Seattle grocery store at Fauntleroy & California as a great example of how NOT to blend into a neighborhood of small houses. It’s been there for at least 5 years: the trees aren’t helping much are they?

  2. Note that this project only covers the southern 1/3 of the block. The one-story building along Yesler Way remains, and will obscure most views of the north side of the new building.

  3. I walk past the current Catholic Communicty Services building several times a week and the grounds of the are usually littered and uncared for. Will that be the status quo of this new addition as well? Doesn’t look promising.

  4. The website says “available to families making 30-50% of the median income” but that’s higher than was mentioned in the formal documents I read a few months ago. It’s also the first mention of “families” I’ve seen.

    The rumour I had heard was half-way housing, and I wonder if they’re trying to gloss over that fact. I’ll try to report back.

    As a resident of the “small scale housing” across the street I’m pretty unhappy to have this building moving in, and CCS’s attempt to replace the green space on that street with parking stalls. Many dozens of pedestrians walk through their every day, to/from the high school, to buy groceries, or walking their dogs.

  5. As a nearby neighbor who walks along 24th Ave and Main St. fairly regularly this project seems like a general improvement to the entire site in my mind and would put a lot more windows onto most of the block. Yes, the ground floor along 24th is fairly windowless as noted, but the building still seems an improvement over the large surface parking lot to me that sits empty after hours and on weekends. The 24th Ave side of the new building will mostly face a church across the street and the Masonic Hall next to the church. This building looks more appealing than most of the existing building that seems rather bunker-like and will remain as is. Agree with nem that the site is rather litter strewn a lot of the time, but perhaps new development will encourage overall cleaning up of the entire site since people will be living there, not just commuting in to work at the building.

  6. this looks more like a prison than anything else. even in husky purple.

    it is a shame that we couldn’t get something more architecturally interesting and “timeless” (insert prison metaphor here i guess).

    even the Stranger points out the beauty of the other corners (

    shame on CCS and their “architects” if this is the best they can do. that corner deserves something stunning to match the beauty of the other three…

  7. who asked any of you? what do you mean ‘we couldn’t get’. It’s not yours. Please show a picture of where you live and work so we can write silly notes about them as if they’re ours.

  8. Always challenging to visualize what it will be like to live by, work by or just be around. Or how it plays with the other nearby buildings, many of which are historic and really interesting. For the next 100 years, long after all of us are gone. It will be part of our cityscape and the legacy we leave.

    Block long three and four story boxes just look dead. They seemed to have broken things up on the front along 23rd into one very pretty and one pretty ugly building. At least the width of each is smaller. On the 24th side, there are clearly two structures where the separation could be enhanced and be really nice instead of that weird wall with stairs.

    I’m still having trouble because I figure a better color scheme or arrangement of painted areas would change the look quite a bit.

    How it fits and either enhances or brings down our neighborhood is worth not settling and very worth aiming for the best. I’m not used to translating the renderings to reality, but I figure some people are and hope they comment more constructively than I can.

  9. I wish CCS would clean up its lot – why is it so dirty? I was hoping that they woudl clean like they used too – only it is so dirty and gross that I don;t want any building going up with the same maintence person that oversee the old building – they do not live here so they do not care. I wish they cared as they interject on their website – is this more of the same? Why do they want us to live in filth?

  10. The grounds of the CCS property are never cleaned up of all the garbage. Residents around there can expect more of the same – lousy management, litter all over the place and dumping of the dysfunctional – take a tour of their family properties – you will not be impressed