Who’ll finish the Whole Foods site? New info on prospective buyers

April 8, 2009 at 1:15 pm | In Development, West Seattle news | 17 Comments

Hat tip to the Daily Journal of Commerce for reporting new information today about the Whole Foods/Hancock Fabrics site’s prospective buyers, following our report yesterday that Seattle Capital confirmed a deal IS still pending. Following up today, we reached Matt Segrest, who was quoted in the DCJ story (only available by subscription) – and here’s the statement he provided WSB (note that the name “Fauntleroy Place” is not mentioned):

The West Seattle Whole Foods site is currently under contract to be purchased by Alamo Manhattan, LLC. The firm will lead an investment team to purchase the property. Alamo Manhattan will also serve as the developer for the project. The project will feature a 45,000 square-foot Whole Foods Market, a 15,000 square-foot Hancock Fabrics and 184 apartment homes. Construction of the project began in Summer 2008 and all shoring and excavation work has been completed. The project is temporarily on hold as Alamo Manhattan is evaluating the transaction. No significant design changes from the Design Review Board approvals are anticipated.

“We are conducting due diligence regarding the purchase of the property and continue to be excited about the opportunity,” said Matt Segrest, Principal of Alamo Manhattan. “Negotiations are currently underway with multiple investors on the project. We expect to select an equity partner soon and be positioned to restart construction in the third quarter of this year.”

A resident of West Seattle, Mr. Segrest views the project in both professional and personal terms. “Of course I’m interested in the investment side of the opportunity, as I think it is going to be the crown jewel of the Alaska Junction for at least a generation. Additionally, having a large hole in the ground at the most visible location in my neighborhood is undesirable for me as well as my friends and neighbors. The opportunity to invest in my own community and to make a meaningful contribution to its urban landscape is particularly compelling to me.”

Matt Segrest is the Principal of Alamo Manhattan, LLC, and has been responsible for over half a billion dollars in new development throughout the West Coast, including over 1,750 luxury apartment and condominium units and approximately 76,500 square feet of mixed-use commercial space.

We have a request out to the site’s original developers, BlueStar, for comment, as they had told us they hoped to continue developing the project post-sale, as well as saying their other proposed projects in West Seattle (the Spring Hill mixed-use building south of The Junction (which concluded Design Review last September) and Gateway Center at the old Huling Buick showroom site) were hanging in the balance depending on what happened with the Whole Foods site. Also, as for more information on Alamo Manhattan itself, no website yet but the parked domain alamomanhattan.com is registered to Segrest.

3:43 PM UPDATE: Just talked to Easton Craft from BlueStar. He says they cannot comment on the Whole Foods site purchase situation (as we’ve reported previously, they are suing the site’s current ownership), but, regarding the other two West Seattle projects: “We are certainly working on the other projects we have in West Seattle – clearly the economy has caused a delay but we hope to move forward as quickly as possible. We hope that as we move into the next few quarters we’ll see enough (economic) recovery to move forward.”

17 Comments

  1. Great work WSB in tracking down the specifics. It is an exciting thought to know this will move forward and that someone who can do something about it cares about how it looks right now. As well, I agree Whole Foods would be a ‘crown jewel’ here. Positive thoughts!

    Comment by hopeful — 1:31 pm April 8, 2009 #

  2. Fill the hole. One less grocery store in the junction!

    Comment by Mike — 1:58 pm April 8, 2009 #

  3. “Alamo Manhattan” sounds like a computer generated nonsense word.

    Comment by austin — 1:59 pm April 8, 2009 #

  4. I’m delighted that someone with local connections is working on this project. I’m certain that will positively influence the outcome of the project, and I, like everyone else, am sick of the hole.

    I got a sewing machine pretty much the same week Hancock Fabrics closed. I’m not attached to Whole Foods (loyal PCC shopper here) but I want Hancock back!

    Comment by Kristina — 2:17 pm April 8, 2009 #

  5. Any info on this developer’s “half-billion in new development throughout the West Coast”? I’m curious to see how his professed concern for local communities has manifested itself in his development of luxury condominiums on other sites. Real estate investors sure have a delightful love for their communities, don’t they!
    .
    In any event, I’ll believe this is back on track when the money comes together and the construction crews start humming. Before then, it’s all the same contingencies and speculative schedules we’ve been hearing about for years.

    Comment by Sage — 5:03 pm April 8, 2009 #

  6. Thanks for the update, WSB–you rock as usual!

    Comment by Seacat — 5:39 pm April 8, 2009 #

  7. Agree with Sage! Hate to be cynical, but I can’t help it. And the name is indeed odd. Is it in honor of “Remember the Alamo” or The Manhattan Project?

    Comment by jeannie — 7:03 pm April 8, 2009 #

  8. P.S. I do admit, though, that I appreciate the quote from Matt (whether he or his p.r. people wrote it, it’s still nice). Here’s another development he handled. Hmmmm….

    http://www.weberthompson.com/pressreleases/prNeptune061214.html

    Comment by jeannie — 7:07 pm April 8, 2009 #

  9. I’m actually a huge fan of Whole Foods and can’t wait to have them here. MM will have to step it up…I also just discovered how much our Safeway’s SUCK. The one off Madison in East Capitol Hill has sooo much more selection and is so much nicer in so many ways.

    I love Whole Foods salad bar & hot food bar! Yummmm!!

    Comment by AD — 7:30 pm April 8, 2009 #

  10. A little development won’t be that bad…we need to stimulate the economy and put some people back to work. Besides, WF is one of he top 100 employers and they are focused on giving back to the local community. Truly a company with solid values and a successful business model that has grown large over time. I will welcome them.

    Comment by Christine — 8:11 pm April 8, 2009 #

  11. “Besides, WF is one of he top 100 employers and they are focused on giving back to the local community. Truly a company with solid values and a successful business model”

    Haha, you’re joking right? Top 100 employers, mmmm…nope. Solid business model, like not building more and cutting back on new locations because people are not going there and buying as much. Ya, that’s solid. Please…. Larry’s Market was “solid” just like this, ooops.

    Comment by hahaha — 6:28 am April 9, 2009 #

  12. Ummmm… actually they are. #22 in fact. Regardless of how you feel about them Christine’s right:
    http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/bestcompanies/2009/snapshots/22.html

    Comment by B — 7:24 am April 9, 2009 #

  13. “We are certainly working on the other projects we have in West Seattle – clearly the economy has caused a delay but we hope to move forward as quickly as possible. We hope that as we move into the next few quarters we’ll see enough (economic) recovery to move forward.”

    In other words ….. we have no idea when we will do these other projects but we hope sometime.

    Comment by KT — 8:54 am April 9, 2009 #

  14. The answer to my question could also have been “no, we’ve canceled them,” given some of what that group had said recently, so that’s why I asked and why I published their answer, vague as it is. We are also watching property records and legal filings a lot more closely wrt several key properties around WS as a result of the turn of events the Whole Foods site eventually took – TR

    Comment by WSB — 9:11 am April 9, 2009 #

  15. Yay! I’m really thrilled that someone with local ties is planning to fill the hole. At least it sounds like they have some interest (other than financial interest) in making some progress here. I’m with Kristina– I could care less about Whole Foods, but man I’ve missed Hancock!

    Comment by KateMcA — 12:28 pm April 9, 2009 #

  16. and then, if you want to laugh about the situation (big empty hole), the first episode of “Parks and Recreation” tonight is about a parks employee who tries to turn an abandoned construction pit into a community park.

    Comment by sam — 8:08 pm April 9, 2009 #

  17. I hope Blue Star does get to develop what they have planned currently. I think the “Gateway Center” project across from the WF will be a huge improvement than the old car dealership. I also heard that Petco might be the retail in that development. I would love a new pet store with parking!

    Comment by J — 2:34 pm April 10, 2009 #

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