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Sweeney Blocks East: Realizing a Vision

Located in the West Seattle Triangle neighborhood, Sweeney Blocks has an interesting backstory. Planned for the site of what’s now Alki Lumber & Hardware, it’s the passion project of the Sweeney family who founded the company more than a century ago. The Sweeney family and HB Companies, two third-generation West Seattle families, are teaming up to redevelop a property in an area soon to be transformed by transit. With roots in real estate dating back to the 1950s, HB is an experienced business and investment management entity of the Hewson and Breiner combined family offices. The project aims to breathe new life into the area, providing multifamily housing, lively retail, and community spaces that will energize the neighborhood. We are thrilled to see these families come together to bring positive change to the community they care about.

The design pays homage to the site’s history and reflects the family’s wish to honor the community that supported the business for decades. With the client’s historical attachment to the development keen in our minds, we’re excited to take over as Architect of Record to bring it to life. Our job now is to guide this unique project through the construction phase while staying true to the design.

The site conditions at the Sweeney east block present interesting challenges. One example is the nearly 20-foot change in grade from the front of the building to the alley. An inviting, landscaped through-block hill climb connects residents to the alley and public transit to the east. The sidewalk along 36th is extra-wide and slopes steeply, resulting in retail spaces on three different floors. Distinctive boardwalk structures provide level seating areas for landscaping and for retail and restaurants to spill out onto, mitigating the slope of the sidewalk and enlivening an otherwise unused liminal space.

To create these striking structural and civil engineering features, we’re marshalling the talents of our entire team to generate the detailed drawing sets that will ensure a successful building. “That’s key to delivering on the intent of the design,” says Michelle Kinsch, principal at Tiscareno Associates. “It takes being open to the client’s needs and aligning everyone—architects, contractors, and consultants—on that core value.”\

Designed by Ankrom Moisan, Tiscareno Associates is the Architect of Record.

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