Across Burien, you can see construction is happening. New buildings are going up which will bring more housing and commercial space to the city. The following is a snapshot of some of the major private development projects currently under construction. These projects are not managed or owned by the City of Burien government.
You can view all current permit activity on the City’s new online permit map.
Kinect@Burien is a new mixed-use multifamily housing development coming to downtown Burien. In October 2020, the City sold an underutilized City-owned downtown parking lot for $1.75 million. The developer also purchased an adjacent property. The development will include ground-floor commercial retail space and 230 multifamily units with 20% of the units priced as affordable to renters at 80% area median income in accordance with the City’s multifamily tax exemption program. It will be built to LEED Silver environmental standards and provide underground parking for residents. Construction of the project included a local hiring program, a program to promote woman- and minority-owned firms, and a $250,000 donation to a Highline Public Schools apprenticeship program.
Developer: American Property Development
Address: SW 151st St and SW 8th St
La Serra is a 36-lot residential subdivision located on 8.04 acres in north Burien. The new single-family home development will be on the property of the former Bel-R Greenhouses. Access to the lots will be from three new public streets and three private lanes. Full street frontage improvements consisting of curbs, sidewalks, storm drainage, landscaping, and streetlights will be constructed on SW 124th St, 4th Ave SW, and the public internal streets. A common recreation area will also be provided with benches, picnic tables, and children’s play equipment.
Developer: Lennar Northwest Inc.
Address: 4th Ave SW between SW 124th St and SW 126th St
Affordable Housing Demonstration Program
The following three projects are part of the Affordable Housing Demonstration Program. The program provides incentives and flexibility for the development of affordable housing during a defined period, providing the City with an opportunity to evaluate potential barriers to the construction of affordable housing and make recommendations on changes to development regulations.
The development will create 95 studio units of affordable housing with supportive services and indoor/outdoor community spaces for single adults who are disabled and formerly homeless. Twenty-five units will be used to house veterans experiencing homelessness. DESC will continue to own and operate the building after completion.
Address: 801 SW 150th St
Estimated project completion: 2024
Habitat for Humanity – Burien
The development will include 40 affordable townhouse units across nine structures and 43 onsite parking spaces. Two units will be accessible for people with disabilities and include access ramps and parking. Each unit will have a designated outdoor area in either the front or back of the unit (or both) for use by the residents. There will also be a community center and open space. The homes will be provided in a mix of two-level townhomes and three-level multifamily structures that will be clustered around the community center.
Developer: Habitat for Humanity – Seattle—King & Kittatas Counties
Address: 511 and 515 South 136th St
Estimated project completion: 2024
The affordable housing development will include 27 cottages and 23 parking spaces. There will be a mix of studios, 1-bedroom and 2-bedroom units ranging from 350 to 650 square feet. There will be shared outdoor spaces as well as a community center building. All buildings will be 1-2 stories.
Developer: ecoTHRIVE Housing
Address: 12230 Military Road S
Estimated project completion: 2025
Burien Development Q&A
What is your local government’s role in private development?
The City plays an indirect role in development; it can manage or encourage (or limit) growth through permitting, zoning, and economic development. The City does not directly manage any housing or commercial buildings in Burien, however, there have been cases where, through a public process, City-owned land has been sold for private development. When that occurs, there is public discussion and criteria established to ensure that the development meets a public good, such as housing.
Community plans are another way your local government can help manage growth so that we meet the needs of the community living in Burien now and in the future. The Puget Sound region continues to grow and the need for housing and jobs will need to match that growth. For that reason, there are state and regional policies that the City must follow to help manage growth.
The community plans, which are informed by community and approved by the City Council, encourage development in areas of the city that can support smart and mindful growth and that can be supported by transit and amenities. These priorities help guide Burien’s Comprehensive Plan (which is undergoing a major update this year), the new strategic plan, and subarea plans like the Urban Center Plan (completed in 2019) and Ambaum and Boulevard Park Community Plans (scheduled to be completed in 2023). These community plans may lead to changes to Burien’s zoning.
What is zoning and what does it mean for properties that are being considered for new zoning?
Zones say how land can be used and what can be built on that land. Zoning governs activities, building types and heights, and design features. Activities and buildings that were established before the rezone may continue to operate. Future construction or new activities on a property with new zoning would need to meet the zoning laws in place at the time of new development.
I am a renter. What happens if the property where I live is rezoned?
A rezone does not necessarily mean that property owners will choose to redevelop. The City’s current planning efforts include strategies to lessen the impacts of possible displacement of residents and businesses. Additionally, Burien has renter protection policies that require landlords to provide at least 120 days’ notice before increasing rent by 3% or more or if they intend to demolish a building. Owners of affordable apartments (five units or more with at least one unit that is affordable to someone making 80% or less of the area median income) are also required to notify the City of Burien if they intend to sell their property. Additional resources for renters can be found at burienwa.gov/renting.