Developer/owner of West Seattle properties forced into Chapter 7

August 21, 2009 at 8:03 pm | In Development, West Seattle news | 24 Comments

That unfinished building at 35th/Avalon is owned by developer Michael Mastro, as are several other West Seattle properties, including the LLC holding a stretch of land near the south end of Harbor Ave (once proposed for a development called Aqua Bella) and the parent company of the West Water apartment/condo-conversion complex in Morgan Junction. Tonight seattletimes.com reports that Mastro has agreed to go into Chapter 7 bankruptcy (explained here), after three banks took action attempting to force him to take on that status. What this means to his properties here (and elsewhere) isn’t clear; we had contacted the company a few weeks back to ask for comment on the status of the 35th/Avalon property, but received no reply. The most recent activity on the property involved the boarding up and fencing of its previously open street level (as shown in our photo, taken earlier this week).

24 Comments

  1. nice…. an almost finished building. right in time for fall and winter. that wood looks thirsty.

    maybe whole foods can move in.

    Comment by sam — 8:07 pm August 21, 2009 #

  2. Very sad. I have heard he is an old-timer in the business and has been building for some time. These are the ominous signs regardless of what Bernanke tried to spout today about us coming out of the recession. Look around, the signs are ALL AROUND us. This is not just some builder’s bad luck. It’s time to batton down the hatches because we are moving toward a One World government and our economy is being held together with chewing gum. We will all need to be working together to make it soon enough. Sorry to hear this happened, I am sure it is devastating for him.

    Comment by vmv — 9:04 pm August 21, 2009 #

  3. Its an unfortunate situation, and I hope that all the folks that are contractors of various sort as well as subs to the project have a financial safety net. I hate to see this sort of thing affect small businesses that may be involved.

    Comment by homesweethome — 9:17 pm August 21, 2009 #

  4. ATTENTION DEVELOPERS!!!! Don’t come to West Seattle, dig a hole, slap your crap up and deteriorate our single family neighborhoods if you don’t have ALL the cash in the bank to roll your project. We’re tired of your high-density (new OR converted) garbage that not only will congest an already over populated area, but sold in a non-discerning way that further deteriorates our way of life here. I make absolutely NO apologies for being sick of how down hill West Seattle has gone; this type of building incites.

    Comment by WTF — 9:19 pm August 21, 2009 #

  5. And we have other stalled developments on a smaller scale … one townhouse site along Calif SW between Alaska and Morgan Junctions that got to the foundation stage … same for the townhouse site at Avalon/Yancy … Anyway, re: other businesses. I had been researching the 35th/Avalon site status before tonight’s Chapter 7 news, and there are various liens filed (as with Fauntleroy Place) … TR

    Comment by WSB — 9:26 pm August 21, 2009 #

  6. geez, if this continues, West Seattle will have to file for federal disaster relief. I hate that these things are happening to the entrance to our lovely peninsula. It stinks.Maybe as part of being allowed to develop property they have to prove that the money is there. Makes sense to me.

    Comment by JanS — 10:01 pm August 21, 2009 #

  7. How sad – this sort of situation hurts many levels and groups of people.Businesses not paid, likely many will loose their jobs.

    I have to take issue with saying this was a residential or single family neighborhood or that it degrades its surroundings. It was nice to see someone try to make something of the fenced off corner full of brambles and gravel. Although with fall coming on and all that wood exposed it’s not gonna be good.

    eileen

    Comment by eileen — 10:12 pm August 21, 2009 #

  8. Someone needs to contact the city. There is no fire protection in this building (sprinklers) nor any fire proofing. This is what happened to the big fire in Renton. This building is just waiting to catch on fire.

    Comment by Donn — 10:32 pm August 21, 2009 #

  9. This corner was going to be parking for a Monorail stop, remember? That was before West Seattle’s favorite son Greg Nickels caved to the downtown developers (remember Washington Mutual).
    The whole saga is mighty sad…

    Comment by DavidL — 10:34 pm August 21, 2009 #

  10. It disgusts me but at the same time, the sewage system is not designed to handle the density of condos and apartments in vast amounts here in West Seattle. The more they were trying to build, the more pump stations are required, which you all see as randomly placed parks with a bench. No joke, there’s one on Admiral Way on your way down to Alki, it’s a weird spot for a park but required to be there since it’s part of the waste sewage system added to handle the extra capacity of crap from these places.

    Comment by Mike — 11:00 pm August 21, 2009 #

  11. That site should have been a Park n’ Ride. It’s been cursed ever since I’ve lived in West Seattle. Everything that was planned for that square chunk of dirt has failed to reach fruition. I would dig down and see if the remnants some kind of ancient race isn’t buried under there.

    Comment by Steve — 12:03 am August 22, 2009 #

  12. has anyone linked this anti-developer sentiment to the voters’ disapproval of ex-mayor nickels?

    imo, nickels is very much a developer.

    Comment by kb — 2:44 am August 22, 2009 #

  13. I live just down the street and wondered why work stopped. Now its an accident of sorts waiting to unfold. Yes a park-n-ride would have been swell or even a small little dog park green space with a water feature or something. I think my new name for it will be “Eyesore on 35th.”

    Comment by Babs — 5:36 am August 22, 2009 #

  14. This is a shame because it is literally the perfect place for a building like this – next to a bus stop that goes right downtown, near grocery stores up the hill and a walk away from services at the junction. Also, getting out of the ground is the hardest part of building structures like this, and to see it come this far only to sit unfinished is really heartbreaking. I hope that another developer buys it and finishes it soon. I would hate to see it go through the winter like this.

    @Mike, the sewage system is perfectly able to handle these additional apartments. What our planet cannot handle is luxury homes built on septic next to lakes and water bodies, which is killing puget sound – the more houses and condos and apartments on sewer the better.

    Comment by kstineback — 7:14 am August 22, 2009 #

  15. kstineback, actually you are wrong about that. Our sewer systems cannot handle more apartments and condos. I’ve talked to my dad about this, he spent 30 years handling projects just like that, trust me… he knows, he’s been there and done that, he had to deal directly with all those politicians and developers that paid each other off to get what they want. The system is overloaded now. Ever go down to Alki and smell the Renton sewage? That’s what the pump at Alki handle, the crap all the way from Renton. It goes to treatment plants that then pump it way out into Puget Sound.

    Comment by Mike — 8:06 am August 22, 2009 #

  16. vmv is right in that this is an established investor/developer and I’m shocked that it’s come to this. Certainly not a good sign for the less-experienced. I hope something can be made of the project.

    -

    “Someone” Donn? Go for it!

    Comment by GenHillOne — 8:28 am August 22, 2009 #

  17. There should be a rule in West Seattle that if you can’t build on schedule, we’ll take your hole in the ground, unfinished building, abandoned car lot, and make it into a park. Imagine if Huling Brothers and Hole Foods was like Central Park in NY. Huge win for WS.

    Comment by Creighton — 9:15 am August 22, 2009 #

  18. Chapter Seven: “The chapter of the Bankruptcy Code providing for “liquidation,” ( i.e., the sale of a debtor’s nonexempt property and the distribution of the proceeds to creditors.)”

    That means this property will soon be for sale at a fire sale price. It also means that there are many unpaid contractors and other parties who may suffer financially as a result.

    Comment by wseye — 9:50 am August 22, 2009 #

  19. So does this project have enough money to finish? Donate it to the homeless.

    Comment by Jiggers — 12:52 pm August 23, 2009 #

  20. Part of the south side of the building on the 2′nd floor has been boarded up (on the inside) as well (after the windows had been put in).

    Comment by LB — 5:22 pm August 23, 2009 #

  21. So that smell on beach drive near mee kwamooks is sewage? Sick. That is alarming.

    Comment by brown — 4:49 am August 24, 2009 #

  22. Relax folks, another developer will wind up with this for cents on the dollar and make a killing. It is too far along to not be finished…there is a ton of equity built already…great location and with a terrific view.

    Comment by Chris — 10:16 am August 24, 2009 #

  23. No, you can’t smell the treated sewage, which is odorless and ALMOST to drinkable standards, and then is dumped many hundreds of yards offshore in a couple hundred feet of water.
    -
    What you are smelling is the various algae blooms and seaweed die-offs common in Summer.

    Comment by dawsonct — 1:28 pm September 3, 2009 #

  24. Whenever I go outside all I smell are condo blooms and developer die offs…

    Comment by 37Ray — 2:15 pm September 3, 2009 #

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