Monitoring the “Whole Foods hole”: Citizen Q, city A

June 6, 2009 at 10:56 pm | In Development, Safety, West Seattle news | 36 Comments

While much of the attention regarding the stalled Whole Foods development at Fauntleroy/Alaska/39th has focused on what will happen to, and in, the huge hole – one WSBer has been worrying about the road alongside the hole. She contacted the city to express her concerns and wanted to share the e-mail she received, regarding how it’s being monitored — read on:

Thank you for contacting the Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) with your inquiry about the hole near Fauntleroy Way and SW Alaska Street. SDOT Shoring staff continue to monitor the excavation and installed shoring system at this project.

We were aware of existing cracks within the roadways adjacent to this excavation from the start of this project. Based on the results of the monitoring points and the latest report from the Department of Planning and Development’s geotechnical special inspector, the excavation appears to be stable at this time with no significant movements. SDOT will continue to monitor this site and follow up with The Riley Group on their site evaluations.

I hope this information helps. If you have any further questions, please contact me at (206) 684-9250 or via e-mail at william.bou@seattle.gov.

Sincerely,
William Bou, P.E.
Civil Engineering Supervisor, Shoring Review & Inspection
Seattle Department of Transportation

When we interviewed Mayor Nickels a week ago and asked him a question about this site, he also mentioned monitoring (third part of this story). As for the site purchase reported to be in progress as of two months ago – when last we checked with the prospective new owner, he had “nothing new” to report – we’ll be checking again soon.

36 Comments

  1. I just love how, when asked, “nobody knows nuthin’ “. How hard could it possibly be to just be upfront and keep us apprised of the latest ongoings. I just don’t get it.

    I went with a friend this afternoon to Kent to go to the WinCo out there. As I shopped, I commented that maybe this is what should go in at 39th and SW Alaska. I know I’d definitely shop there lots, whereas I probably won’t be at Whole Foods very much. They’re simply too expensive for my budget, and, besides, I live a half block from Met Mkt., good enough for me.

    Comment by JanS — 11:23 pm June 6, 2009 #

  2. Winco sounds like mechanized food, ultra cheap and krap. No thanks. I’ll gladly pay extra for what is going down my throat. Think about it.

    Comment by brown — 12:36 am June 7, 2009 #

  3. JanS, I travel to Winnco regularly due to the fact that it is much less expensive than the stores we have in W. Sea. They are employee owned, which keeps the cost down. As long as you are not looking for a posh fancy store, its the place to go. I did a compare of pricing, bought exactly the same things as I would at Roxbury Safeway and it was $46.82 less. That’s quite a bit to me. You have to bag your own groceries, but that minimal amount of work is definately worth the savings. To Brown, its not krap, its the same products you buy in Safeway, QFC, and Thriftway. Those 3 stores are are nice to shop at, but remember that nice comes at a price, which you pay for.

    Comment by coffeeisgood — 7:20 am June 7, 2009 #

  4. brown, have you ever actually shopped at WinCo? It’s an employee-owned Co-Op. Fantastic prices, high quality, and a produce section nearly the size of the Admiral Safeway. Bulk Foods are about the size of the Super Supplements. It’s the best deal around, even for us healthy eaters.

    I’m still concerned about the hole in the ground from a safety perspective. I still haven’t seen that addressed, though the community has been asking for months. Is it going to take a car going over the edge and into the hole to get them to put a more substantial barrier up?

    Comment by Amy — 7:30 am June 7, 2009 #

  5. I would advise not going on a saturday if you can avoid it:) talk about a crush of people… but i think they are open 24 hours so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find a convenient and less crowded time to go.. I would love to have a local WINCO.

    Comment by JoB — 8:49 am June 7, 2009 #

  6. The problem isn’t with Whole Foods. The residential part of the project is what is dragging it down.

    Comment by wseye — 9:18 am June 7, 2009 #

  7. Amy you must not go to the one on 212th in kent I would not feed my dog that produce…

    Comment by JEFF — 9:27 am June 7, 2009 #

  8. The key with Winnco is do not go on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. I go early in the morning, either weekdays or Sunday morning before 10. I stock up on pantry items, and get my produce daily at Tonys.

    Comment by p — 9:33 am June 7, 2009 #

  9. My wife says, “Fill it up with water and West Seattle will have a new swimming pool at least.” She is joking, of course, but…

    Comment by Mike&Kate — 9:42 am June 7, 2009 #

  10. So a giant hole in the ground doesn’t violate any zoning laws or codes? Is this not the legal definition of an “attractive nuisance” I’m no lawyer…but their surly is a way. Jeez, if someone parks cars in the front yard of their own home (private property) the city can cite you. If you let too many weeds grow in your front yard or accumulate too much garbage, the city can cite you. Maybe their are neighborhood covenants. Again their must be something a good lawyer can come up with to put some pressure on people (owners, politicians, government).

    Comment by Near Alki — 10:42 am June 7, 2009 #

  11. Speaking of parking, wouldn’t that hole would make a great park & ride spot for bus commuters, especially when we get the new
    RapidRide service?
    A 3 or 4 floor garage with a park on top, a la Freeway Park.

    Comment by old timer — 11:00 am June 7, 2009 #

  12. I agree that this “hole” foods has become nothing more than a nuisance brought upon by what should be criminal negligence. There “must be something a good lawyer can come up with to put some pressure on people (owners, politicians, government).” Yes, there probably is, but the lawyers have already been bought up by the owners, politicians and government who don’t care whether or not that hole persists. Unfortunately we’ve come to a point in our society where community and the will of the people mean absolutely nothing in the face of big business and the flow of money from one hand to the next.

    Comment by austin — 11:08 am June 7, 2009 #

  13. Jeff, I was just at Winco yesterday, and the produce was a whole lot better looking than what I see almost daily at my local Safeway. I have no idea when you last shopped there, but I was impressed.And, yes, this was the one on 212th in Kent.It’s definitely not a Whole Foods, however, but if that’s where you want your hardearned dollars to go, then I hope that you get your wish soon. From the little information we’re getting here in WS, I think that you’ll have a bit of a wait, though :)

    Comment by JanS — 12:32 pm June 7, 2009 #

  14. Yes, old timer, I’m ready for that too. The hole’s already dug and I think it was going to have underground parking anyway, right? A nice lid space, shuttle service to the water taxi, more desirable than the P&R space under the bridge…sounding better every day.

    Comment by GenHillOne — 2:03 pm June 7, 2009 #

  15. We can only hope this hole doesn’t stick around as long as the “QFC” hold on Stone Way in Fremont/Wallingford. That thing’s been there for years now, hasn’t it? Awful.

    Comment by Dreamland — 3:33 pm June 7, 2009 #

  16. What I would LOVE to see in the hole is a Trader Joe’s – I was at the Ballard location last week and the cashier mentioned he hears about 50 requests a day for a W. Seattle TJ’s…and maybe it could be combined with a park & ride structure to be double useful space.

    Comment by Sandi — 3:51 pm June 7, 2009 #

  17. I couldn’t agree more about Trader Joe’s. Depending on my location and day of the week, I shop at either the TJ’s in Burien, Queen Anee or Capitol Hill. We really need one in West Seattle!

    Comment by Jen — 4:44 pm June 7, 2009 #

  18. JanS, you probably didn’t intend this, but to someone like me who’s never been to Winco, hearing that its produce is better looking than Safeway’s sounds like a lesser of two evils comparison. :)

    Comment by Jill — 4:47 pm June 7, 2009 #

  19. The way things go here I am waiting for the headline ‘Car Falls into Whole Foods Hole’ very soon.

    Comment by may — 8:24 pm June 7, 2009 #

  20. I miss the old Safeway at 40th & Stone Way. Sure, it was a dump, but at least I could buy food there.

    Well, West Seattle has outdone Wallingford: Our hole is bigger.

    Comment by KBear — 10:11 pm June 7, 2009 #

  21. Must be an election year, for the Mayor of a large city to put up with questions like some of these. Even the commenters don’t want to talk about cracks in pavement. :)

    Comment by Michael — 1:54 am June 8, 2009 #

  22. Has anyone called the Pothole Rangers?

    Comment by KBear — 9:05 am June 8, 2009 #

  23. Best comment of the day!!!!! Wish we had flowers and balloons to send over.

    Comment by WSB — 9:07 am June 8, 2009 #

  24. what i like about met market is the color scheme and the way things are displayed. (don’t like the prices, but..) I hate those sterile or bright red colors a lot of the stores have. Softer colors definatley have a calming effect as you pull out the big money for your groceries. In this country if you want to save money you have to drive fifty miles to get there,buy a memebership, shop in a warehouse and then bag your own groceries. As far as the hole goes-they should rename it. “Hole Foods.”

    Comment by sea-sea — 11:28 am June 8, 2009 #

  25. Trader Joe’s! Trader Joe’s! Trader Joe’s! Where do I sign up!!!

    Comment by FauntleroyBabe — 12:11 pm June 8, 2009 #

  26. I think we should put the new skatepark in The Hole. It would draw national attention as a skateboarding destination.

    Comment by grr — 2:52 pm June 8, 2009 #

  27. anyone who thinks met market or the morgan junction thriftway are cheaper than whole foods needs a lesson in economics…..

    Comment by shaggy — 8:53 pm June 8, 2009 #

  28. Should we be worried that the Whole Foods sign has been removed?

    Comment by DW — 10:59 am June 9, 2009 #

  29. It came down a few weeks ago almost immediately after we showed a photo of the vandalism that cut holes in it, taking out the “w” – TR

    Comment by WSB — 11:01 am June 9, 2009 #

  30. I love how people feel it’s a safety issue (too much time on your hands perhaps?), and if a car were to go into it, I would worry about that person’s safety on a whole lot of fronts. I think we would just like to know what’s going to happen because it’s exciting to add something of value to our neighborhoods. I agree with the Trader Joe’s suggestion, they have good stuff AND good prices. Safeway is decent for the basics, but Met Market is just too expensive.

    Comment by C — 7:58 pm June 9, 2009 #

  31. Austin et al – Are you saying that the hole in the ground is more of a nuisance than all of the vacant buildings that exist in the surrounding few blocks? And that the hole is less attractive than the run down buildings and weed-speckled asphalt that were previously on the site? Puhleeeeeze…how is a hole a nuisance to you?

    I for one am happy that the area is getting some much needed development. Even when Huling Bros was in operation, that entire area was an eyesore.

    Comment by TH — 10:41 am June 10, 2009 #

  32. I fifth-sixth-seventh–I’ve lost count!–the motion for a Trader Joe’s. Burien is far, far away when refrigerated/frozen goods are involved, especially now that the sun has returned.

    Comment by rockhills — 10:09 pm June 10, 2009 #

  33. Have you noticed that the Whole (Paycheck) Foods sign is gone, also with the engineering firms and a couple of other signs associated with the project? Who ever owns that bulldozer is losing money with that sitting there for months. I don’t this it was the wind. We need Harry Potter to solve this mystery, AHHHHH The sun is solving all of our issues, it makes everyone so happy. It feels so good to have to back.

    Comment by tfine — 11:29 pm June 10, 2009 #

  34. The Whole Foods sign came down almost immediately after our recent report about the W’s being cut out of the sign. The other ones have been coming down every so often. The developer’s off the project pending litigation, for example, so that one made no sense.

    Comment by WSB — 11:37 pm June 10, 2009 #

  35. Can we start a Trader Joe’s petition? If they built one, people would come. The fact that there are (will be) 2 other stores nearby wouldn’t affect TJ’s…would just take sales away from the other two.

    Comment by Jennie — 12:44 pm June 15, 2009 #

  36. They’ve been deluged with requests, believe me … we’ve covered this over and over in our three years of doing this. They won’t ever directly comment but supposedly the problem is that West Seattle is considered to be over-grocered, with the new QFC coming in, theoretically a Whole Foods coming in (we’re making one of our periodic checks today on how the whole situation is going), and all the existing stores. But if you want to send in your two cents again anyway:
    http://www.traderjoes.com/contact_us_selection.html
    Choose “location requests” in the dropdown.

    Comment by WSB — 1:12 pm June 15, 2009 #

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