So says Charlestown Cafe owner Larry Mellum, in an e-mail response to our inquiry about a note that a reader saw posted at CC, saying it looks like the project that posed the most immediate threat to the restaurant’s future is indeed stalled, or maybe even dead. (Background: First word of CC losing its lease was a year and a half ago; the community started rallying to save it last March; most recent Design Review meeting on the Petco store proposed for the cafe site was last August our last report on the project’s nonprogress was in December.) Tonight — here’s what Larry just e-mailed to WSB:
By all indications it appears that Madison Development has pulled out of the project. The Landlord’s agent, Rick Megenity, and I spoke last Friday and that is what he said.
Further, he indicated that Madison has not responded to the Landlord’s requests both in writing or verbally to tell them what is going on. Nor have they been able to meet the formal time lines for development that were laid out in the agreement between them. All that being said, Madison has NOT and I repeat HAS NOT formally backed-out. I don’t however believe that they have to. Because by virtue of their non-performance the contract likely has been breached. What this means without putting words in anyone’s mouth is that the Landlord is likely to proceed in finding some other means of re-development at the Charlestown location. They have indicated that this is how they would hope to proceed. In my conversations with them, we discussed putting some type of multi-use facility here that would include space for a restaurant suitable in size for a “Charlestown-like” location to be included. Although they cannot or will not lock themselves into anything at this juncture, I believe they would like it developed in that way.
So, there you have it. It looks like the community and ‘Charlestown has won the “first round” and by all indications we could be here for a long time to come. If not in our current form it will be in a form suitable for the landlord to receive what he wants — which is more rent out of the property, BUT STILL HERE situated with a couple of other retail and/or office tenants.
Thank you for your inquiry … and to all of West Seattle, thank you for your overwhelming support. It is truly humbling.
Charlestown Street Cafe
We had checked both with Petco and with city planners in the past few weeks; Petco said only that they hoped to stay in West Seattle one way or another, city planners said they hadn’t heard anything in quite some time. (Previous WSB coverage of the Charlestown Cafe situation is all archived here.)