The proposed low-income apartments at the Federal Way Public Schools’ former “bus barn” at South 320th and 11th Place South property must be stopped.
As we learned a few months ago in the Federal Way Mirror, an application for a permit to put an apartment complex with commercial on the ground floor at the old school bus barn is underway. The proposal is for a low-income development with 308 apartments on less than 10 acres. Developer, DevCo Inc. gets grants to build these apartment complexes by calling them low-income. In addition to building them, DevCo remains the landlord as well.
DevCo has three different applications for low-income apartments in Federal Way and one has already been permitted to be built by Costco. Yet, another is being worked on with the location on 336th, according to Matt Herrera.
The proposed development at the bus barn is far bigger than anything else in Federal Way. And why put it at the highest point where it will tower over everything, dwarfing all nearby buildings and peering down into one of Federal Way’s oldest and most unique neighborhoods? The design of these buildings is ugly too.
They look like Monopoly apartments, featureless and unremarkable. They will dominate our skyline, twice as high as the Extended Stay motel next door. This is the wrong place for such giant buildings.
The school district bus property was paid for with public dollars, yet the public has not been involved in the development plans.
I feel this fight is really for the heart and soul of our city. If the public is not involved in the development plans on public property, and if the input they give to the city is not included in the plan, then who controls our neighborhoods and lives? More than 30 people wrote letters to the city with specific ideas and complaints, and almost none of them made it into the city’s requests to the developer. Just about every tree on the land will be removed as well.
Stopping this kind of development is why this city was founded. I hope folks will realize what an ugly development this will be and join me in letting the city, the school board and superintendent know how you feel. It is not too late, the decision can be appealed, and I hope we can stop this poorly thought-out proposal and come up with something better.
Leah Boehm-Brady, Federal Way