We’ve received a pre-meeting update from Mark Wainwright with Our Town West Seattle, the community group keeping a close watch on this project and the restaurant’s fate; the group met last Thursday to look ahead to this week’s Design Review meeting.
Mark says there’s a new architect for the Petco plan, Sienna Architecture, based in Portland but with a Seattle office. He adds, “The project design is, in a word, better … this design may have the potential to be Petco’s nicest store.”
Click ahead to read what else Mark says:
“The main message at the meeting was to ‘keep our eyes on the prize,’ which is still fighting for ‘the best’ for our community. Whether that means keeping the Charlestown CafÃƒÂ© as-is, or working for a better development that would offer a new home to the CafÃƒÂ©, additional retail, and possibly some (much needed) housing options, we still don’t know.
“But our key messages still are:
“1. We want the best thing for our neighborhood. What the Charlestown CafÃƒÂ© represents to our community won’t be replaced by a big Petco store or by many other large retailers who could go there. Whatever happens on that site, we want it to make our community better.
“2. The landowner and developer have not been responsive to our many requests to meet and talk about the project. The project does not exist ‘on an island’ – it has value and importance because of the surrounding community, so the community has an inherent stake in what happens there.
“3. Lastly, when and if we do meet with the project stakeholders, we’ve been hard at work assembling smart people with good ideas about what could happen there. We haven’t driven a stake into the ground and said ‘we don’t want anything to change”, because we understand how unrealistic that would be. We’ve been working to come up with our own ideas about the kind of changes we’d like to see there.”