West Seattle Whole Foods project: A sign and a permit

May 20, 2009 at 9:22 am | In Development, Triangle, West Seattle news | 34 Comments

The latest vandalism to the “Whole Foods Coming Soon” sign at the idled construction site at Fauntleroy/Alaska/39th has morphed it into a display of the site’s nickname, “Hole Foods.” (Last incident, you’ll recall, involved a date change.) We also have a bit of news on the stalled project; its revised land-use permit was officially issued on Monday, as the end of a process triggered when the design changed last summer and the project returned for Design (re-)Review. We checked with city planner Michael Dorcy, who’s assigned to the project, and the permit issuance is not necessarily a sign of anything changing – it was the result of action put into motion long before the site was put up for sale, lawsuits erupted, etc. (Here’s the site’s official city permit-info page.) We also have checked back with Matt Segrest, the local investor who’s been working to put together a deal to buy the site (reported here in April), and his update was simply “nothing new.” UPDATE: As of Thursday, the sign is gone.

34 Comments

  1. It was funny when it was a date change – and it looked like it was just tape put on there that could be removed without damage, but this is just wrong.

    Comment by Sue — 10:04 am May 20, 2009 #

  2. Oh just take down the silly sign. It’s garbage anyway. It’s NOT coming in 2010. Even IF they magically got restarted in Aug or Sep this year, the thing won’t be finished until 2011 or later (if this project happens at all, which I give about a 15% change).

    Comment by I had heard — 10:18 am May 20, 2009 #

  3. I would like to know who we, collectively, as a community can bitch to about this fiasco. What was supposed to be a welcoming gateway into our community has become a blight that no one seems to want to answer to/for. So we just have to put up with an ugly fence, some weeds and a n ugly hole in the ground until someone gets off their rearend and makes this better? And across the street is the G-d awful ugly Huling property?

    So this guy who is trying to buy the property hasn’t yet? How do we find who DOES own it, and how do we hold their feet to the fire?…and boy, this wouldn’t look very good in Whole Food’s portfolio, now, would it? Where do the straight answers come from? I’d rather have Hancock’s and Schucks back…

    Comment by JanS — 10:28 am May 20, 2009 #

  4. This is only pointing out what most of the neighborhood is thinking. So yes, WF, take down the sign and whoever actually owns the property at this point (and would be liable)? How about strengthening the barrier. It wasn’t taken very seriously the first time it was brought up, but how tragic if a car ends up 30 feet down in the hole.

    Comment by GenHillOne — 10:29 am May 20, 2009 #

  5. It’s a water retention pond right now and I assume will be for years to come.

    Comment by Mike — 10:45 am May 20, 2009 #

  6. I don’t call this vandalism. I call it social commentary.

    The hole in the ground is a travesty. It is hideous and a blight on West Seattle. If they want to put up a sign, which to me is more of an insult than anything else given the circumstances, I say that sign deserves a little “adjustment” to reflect what the site really is. It’s not like the missing W’s makes the hole in the ground any uglier. Nor will it delay the process further. It is, however, very fitting.

    Comment by Rasmus — 10:57 am May 20, 2009 #

  7. Fill it up and stock it with trout.

    Comment by 4th Generation Born-N-Raised — 11:39 am May 20, 2009 #

  8. yesterday my wife and i drove by the pit, and once again lamented the fact that this project — hole or whole — isn’t destined to be a trader joe’s.

    Comment by bridge to somewhere — 11:40 am May 20, 2009 #

  9. Had to laugh – “Hole Foods”!
    If only all vandals were this poignantly targeted with their tags.
    As to the reality, holding feet to a fire will only cause burns, not the gusher of money needed to fill the hole with something useful.
    Maybe a site for the elusive skatepark?
    Certainly a site for future ‘community clean-up’ efforts, as debris and detritus will accumulate.
    ‘Change we can believe in”
    just not always for the better.

    Comment by old timer — 11:40 am May 20, 2009 #

  10. I hope it’s stalled forever. We really don’t need a Whole Foods — we have quite a few grocery stores in WS already. Thriftway is like Whole Foods, but better (and not a massive chain).

    Keep em out, I say.

    Comment by blaster99 — 12:28 pm May 20, 2009 #

  11. Bwuahahahahaha… It might as well be the biggest community pool in the state. Thanks for the big HOLE in the ground you have left in W.S.

    Comment by jiggers — 12:49 pm May 20, 2009 #

  12. Is the WSB promoting malicious property destruction? I bet that sign is worth more than $50.

    Comment by CB — 12:50 pm May 20, 2009 #

  13. i love the person who did that. that is NOT vandalism. priceless, thanks :)

    Comment by ellenater — 12:56 pm May 20, 2009 #

  14. The site has the topography of a skatepark. Why not pour some concrete and let loose with it!

    Comment by Sage — 1:12 pm May 20, 2009 #

  15. Since WSB stated that it was “vandalism”, I think a smart guess would be no, CB.

    Comment by dq — 1:12 pm May 20, 2009 #

  16. is it just me, or is there a serious, discouraging thread of humorlessness afoot in the comments section of WSB these days?

    Comment by bridge to somewhere — 1:17 pm May 20, 2009 #

  17. self-absortion can’t be good for your health..

    Comment by jiggers — 1:21 pm May 20, 2009 #

  18. I agree with you “bridge to somewhere”…Definitely lacking humor. I drove by that the other day and got a good laugh out of Hole Foods.

    Comment by b\\\'smomma — 1:44 pm May 20, 2009 #

  19. Well, it was naughty to destroy the sign, but far worse in my opinion to have destroyed an entire city block by turning it into a giant mosquito breeding pond. Frankly, I think the sign is more appropriate now (not to mention pretty hilarious).

    Comment by KateMcA — 2:01 pm May 20, 2009 #

  20. If we hadn’t called it vandalism, which it is, we would have been accused of promoting vandalism, believe me. You all obviously have opinions about whether it is or isn’t, and that’s why the opinions in WSB are YOURS – not OURS, we don’t editorialize any more (with one rare exception during last year’s snowstorm) — but the fact is that someone damaged a sign that didn’t belong to them, so the term “vandalism” does not connote rendering a judgment on its merit or potential humor, simply accurately describing what happened here .. datapoint .. TR

    Comment by WSB — 2:12 pm May 20, 2009 #

  21. So does WSB have a policy on showing photographs of vandalism? Why not show the Easy Street vandalism or photos of gang-related tagging? Isn’t just showing a picture of it promoting it?

    Comment by Donna — 2:20 pm May 20, 2009 #

  22. deep breaths people. keep clam.

    Comment by bridge to somewhere — 2:43 pm May 20, 2009 #

  23. Welcome, ghost of Ivar. Which reminds me it’s time to check on that house …

    Comment by WSB — 2:51 pm May 20, 2009 #

  24. It would make a nice bowl for a SKATE PARK! (No, I don’t skate).

    Comment by 22Blades — 3:55 pm May 20, 2009 #

  25. bridge to somewhere: What’s funny about a huge hole in the ground that makes our neighborhood look bad? There are funny things posted on WSB, this ain’t one of em!

    Comment by blaster99 — 5:59 pm May 20, 2009 #

  26. In general, we don’t show photos of tagging. And we don’t show photos featuring profanity (or if there is a reason to show it – such as the recent police request to show the Chief Sealth tagging in hopes it would help lead them to the people responsible for the costly vandalism/fire inside – we would blur the profane word/s. In general, we keep this a PG, at most, site).

    Comment by WSB — 6:25 pm May 20, 2009 #

  27. Whole Foods is a publicly traded company, and since the stock price tanked, the investors have decided to 100% pull the plug on the Interbay location. It’s not going to happen, and the interbay lot/hole is up for sale.
    What makes us think they won’t pull out of this property too?
    This is SO much boo hoo over a plastic sign.
    Maybe the person who did it is an angry stock holder.

    Comment by The oldest codger — 6:33 pm May 20, 2009 #

  28. This sign “editing” made my day! It made the ugly hole in my neighborhood more, um, interesting?
    I am sticking with my P-Patch idea…

    Comment by Lucile 2 — 9:28 pm May 20, 2009 #

  29. I like the skate park idea. I don’t skateboard either but it’s never too late to start.

    TR, what was the snowstorm exception?

    Humorless people, you suck it dry. You just do.

    Comment by ellenater — 11:43 pm May 20, 2009 #

  30. After the snowstorm I wrote something in somewhat official editorial format about the need for local government agencies to better communicate. Second half of this:
    http://westseattleblog.com/blog/?p=13143
    We have since been able to communicate that in various forums – some county folks, for starters, invited us up to chat shortly afterward, and a local community advocate and I snared an audience with a city leader on New Year’s Eve, to get a few points in while memories were fresh. The county has since made strides toward more Metro communication, for example.
    .
    Tomorrow morning, in fact, I’ll be in Renton speaking with a group of local PIOs (not sure about the government/private mix) as part of a media panel talking about the evolving news landscape and how we the media – “new” like WSB, “old” like conventional sources – can best be served by what they do, and vice versa. Should be interesting.

    Comment by WSB — 11:54 pm May 20, 2009 #

  31. Oldest Codger – do you have any actual reference source for Whole Foods abandoning the Interbay site? Also, what hole are you talking about- looks 99% complete when I drove by it.

    Comment by My two cents ... — 4:32 am May 21, 2009 #

  32. Typical, make a big distructive mess and walk away leaving it for someone else to clean up. What a waste of valuable space in the junction. We dont need a stinkin HOLE foods, we need a Trader Joes and I WANT THE FABRIC STORE BACK!!!!!! leaaving WS without a fabric store AND the construction obsticle course on the other side of the bridge makes it IMPOSSIBLE to get fabric.

    Comment by sophista-tiki — 7:56 am May 21, 2009 #

  33. Whole Foods has been forced by the courts to continue the Interbay location

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2008674426_wholefoods27.html

    Comment by Mike — 4:11 pm May 21, 2009 #

  34. On a side note, there’s nothing to prevent Whole Foods from filing for bankruptcy and stopping all locations being built.

    Comment by Mike — 4:12 pm May 21, 2009 #

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