Alki Homestead’s future: Restaurant, bar, spa, B&B?

September 17, 2009 at 8:54 pm | In Alki Homestead, Development, West Seattle news | 37 Comments

(Long-form full report has been added following this first short summary)
Quick summary from Alki Homestead owner Tom Lin‘s presentation that just wrapped up at the Alki Community Council: His architect and engineers say so much of the building was damaged in the January fire, compounding long-pre-existing deterioration, that the landmark would need to be “reconstructed.” Lin proposes doing that and adding 25,000 square feet of other buildings on the 15,000-square-foot site, with the potential end result a new Homestead, plus a bar/lounge “Seattle Auto Club” and a bed/breakfast “The Fir Lodge” (both names from its past), plus a wellness center/spa. The Landmarks Preservation Board will have to sign off on any proposal. Where will the financing come from? Lin says he hasn’t started working on that yet, but says that the perceptions nothing’s been happening at the site since the fire are incorrect, as the evaluation and planning work has been happening all along. Full report to come. ADDED 2:20 AM FRIDAY: Read on for the long-form story, with more photos:

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Eight months after a January fire blamed on Christmas lights shut down the century-old city landmark Alki Homestead, its owner stood before the Alki Community Council on Thursday night, in part to explain why it has stood unrepaired since then.

“I’ve been keeping very quiet about what’s happening, don’t want to get people speculating,” began Tom Lin. “But finally we have all the facts together, and we’re giving you this presentation.”

Though he acknowledged that an observer might say nothing has happened for eight months, Lin contended it’s been a whirlwind. He recounted February and March estimates “just to fix the fire damage” – $1,637,000 from one consultant, $1,850,000 from another.

Meantime, he said, while his insurance company was evaluating the situation, he “really couldn’t touch anything inside or outside the building.” He said he got the green light to “clean it up” in April, but couldn’t get that done till May.

Then, he said, he started working in earnest with consultants and engineers like Todd Ferbix of Ferbix Bykonen — described as specialists in historic preservation — and log-home builder Mark Fritch, whose great-grandfather, he said, built the Homestead (a letter from Fritch was published in this March update).

“We have done a lot of work,” Lin declared.

After that setup, he turned over the presentation to one of the people with whom he’s been working, architect Jeffrey Smith, who told the 50-plus attendees he’s been working on this project fulltime.

His main job before the Alki Community Council: To summarize the fire damage and the building’s condition. “It’s 100 years old,” he repeated.

He began by running through animated 3d graphics of the building’s structure.

He had historic photos, too:

And photos of the fire damage – this, Smith said, shows the center of the building, where the fire went through a stairway and up to the roof:

We published a photo of interior fire damage back in March, in a story about young men who were volunteering their time helping with some cleanup work – you can see a corner of the stone fireplace in our photo from that day:

At the Alki meeting , Smith said engineers think that whole center part of the building has to come out. Meantime, he took time to note some of the Homestead structural points that were “original,” and some that weren’t. Its entrance used to face the water, for example, he said. Its upper floor had been turned into apartments, which he said have fire and water damage. The landmark designation does not cover its entire interior, but rather primarily the dining room interior. The rear additions are “a disservice to the building,” Smith declared, and of “substandard construction.”

He segued into a mix of describing pre-existing flaws in the building – which Tom Lin later clarified were no secret, he’d known about them when he bought the Homestead X years ago. Among them, its concrete foundation, which he said included “beach sand” in the mix, with salt that was breaking down the concrete. That led to even more photos, like this one:

Smith detailed rotted concrete in spots around the building, part foundation, part supports like the photo above. Between rotten concrete and rotten wood, Smith said, engineers don’t believe any of the Homestead’s columns can be reserved.

His list of damage went on and on, including one wall inside the restaurant that was “settling” more than a fireplace, another interior wall that “took a beating,” and logs that had been rotting, like these shown outside the building (look closely at the ones under the window):

With a 3D program, he showed what little of the structure remained usable, in the engineers’ view (what you see at the top of this rendering is the floor of the Homestead’s 2nd story):

At that point, architect Smith handed it back to owner Lin, who re-stated, “we’re talking about the original building PLUS the fire,” before opening the next topic, “So what do we do with this building? (Immediately after the fire,) either I slept 3 hours or 10 hours, it was difficult trying to figure out (what to do). … (But) we need to find additional use for the Homestead to make it economically viable.”

Economic viability is a key point when considering buildings that are city landmarks — while it’s the city’s job to ensure a landmark’s character is preserved, it’s also not supposed to impede the landmark’s economic viability.

“We’re trying to save the building and trying to bring the Homestead back,” Lin said. “And to bring additional uses for the site so we can at least break even and have the Homestead for another 100 years to come.”

He outlined four “additional uses”:

*A bar (“more like a lounge, for people getting together”) that would be the Seattle Auto Club, same name as an actual club that met at what’s now the Homestead early in the 20th century (as detailed in May’s announcement that the building is considered one of the state’s most endangered historic properties)

*A banquet facility on the 2nd floor

*A “wellness center” – small gym, spa, hair salon, massage

*Bed-and-breakfast lodging that would be known as the Fir Lodge, the building’s original name, in a new building at the rear of the site. “Every room could have a theme,” Lin suggested.

City permit rules, as detailed here, raise some questions about bed-and-breakfast possibilities for this site, which currently has split zoning – part residential, part neighborhood commercial.

But “the whole focus on this piece of property would be the homestead … we hopefully would be able to bring back the building without the mistakes we inherited from before,” Lin said, adding shortly afterward, “I’m still getting e-mails, people want to book for their 50th anniversary next August!”

With that, architect Jeffrey Smith retook the floor for more specifics, as he clutched massing models for the potential project:

With so little of the building remaining usable, according to project engineers, is it really a restoration? he asked, answering himself – they’re using the terms “restoration and reconstruction.”

Part of that reconstruction would involve moving the rebuilt Homestead, which is “apparently slightly on the neighbors’ property,” Smith explained, so it has to come away from that line, and would also be moved east so that its entrance is closer to 61st SW.

Because they’re looking at covering so much of the lot with buildings, he said, they would be looking at a level of underground parking – “We can go down 9 feet safely. … accessed off the alley.”

By the numbers, the new buildings could total about 25,000 square feet, with about 15,000 square feet of land on the site, and about 6,000 square feet for the restaurant in the Homestead reconstruction; it’s split between NC-1 and L-3 zoning (explained here). Asked how many units might be in the bed-and-breakfast section, Smith said he didn’t know yet, stressing that the plan is extremely preliminary.

“It’s a very bold project,” said former ACC board member Peter Stekel, while expressing concern about access along an alley where neighbors already, he says, are unhappy with delivery traffic and other heavy usage. And, he wondered, where’s the money going to come from, “to develop this?”

“I have not gone as far as that yet,” Lin replied. “We’ll take it a step at a time; with existing economic conditions, really, there’s no money out there. I spoke to a good friend of mine who restored the Arctic Club … he said money is really tight right now but the permitting could take a year or more. Ask me today, I don’t know, but you just do a step at a time … it is what it is … a step at a time … to see how I’m going to finance this whole project, but I think there’d be enough interested parties out there. …”

Another question from an attendee: “So let’s say it’s two years before you break ground, what happens to the property between now and then?”

Lin: “I’d like to secure it, and fence it off.”

Another attendee: Would there actually be more logs involved, so that the buildings all look like they belong together?

Lin: “You want to tie it together but not be all log, to complement each other.”

And another attendee: “Sounds like you’re going to build a new log restaurant and make it look somewhat like the Homestead. Is that where you are going?”

When Lin’s reply vacillated a bit, architect Smith jumped in and said, “That’s why we say reconstruction. Yes.” But, he promised, as much of the material that could be reused, would be.

What about the famous rock fireplace? asked Cami MacNamara.

Smith: “We would take it apart and save it and put it back together.”

Many more questions than answers — including “The spirit of the Homestead is what we’re talking about bringing back,” enthused one person from the crowd.

WHAT’S NEXT: Alki Community Council president Jule Sugarman said now that the group has heard Lin’s plan, it will decide “what our position will be”; he asked for ACC members willing to take extra time to help the council decide that. Meantime, the Alki Homestead project would have to go before the Architectural Review Committee of the Landmarks Preservation Board before getting to the board itself, and if there is any kind of rezoning proposed, City Council approval would ultimately be required.

37 Comments

  1. The boutique hotel on Alki finally coming into play, since the Slices spot wasn’t approved. And after trying to sell the unprofitable and historically protected Homestead for years. Suspicious fire anyone?

    Comment by Alki Jim — 9:50 pm September 17, 2009 #

  2. Discussion of the proposal is welcome but not inferences of criminal activity. As we reported later the day of the fire, the Fire Department’s official ruling was an accidental electrical fire, blamed on “an excessive draw of power,” too many Christmas lights in the same outlet.
    http://westseattleblog.com/blog/?p=13569

    Someone who’d been in the restaurant days earlier sent us photos showing the corner where they had been decorating the dining room – TR

    Comment by WSB — 9:54 pm September 17, 2009 #

  3. Alki Jim…wayyyy outta line !!

    Boutique hotel is not the same as Bed and Breakfast. I think it’s a fantastic idea, if he can finance it, and the city approves.

    Comment by JanS — 10:04 pm September 17, 2009 #

  4. Did anyone ask if he is going to make an effort to keep the area in order in the interim, i.e. mow the grass, trim the shrubbery, etc. It’s getting to be an eyesore without basic exterior maintenance.

    Comment by AceMotel — 10:09 pm September 17, 2009 #

  5. I’m not convinced by Lin’s story. Did he not get insurance money, and why isn’t it being used to repair the building? I don’t think he understands just how important the Homestead is to WS. He made the mistake of thinking that this was an underdeveloped piece of land he could cash in on by developing it out at some point. I can’t see how the historic building could survive all the additions he is proposing. It isn’t the name that needs saving, it is the building.

    Comment by wseye — 10:46 pm September 17, 2009 #

  6. wseye. From what I understand , not much in the building can be saved. It will have to be replicated, and the Landmark Board will have top approve everything. He cannot just go do whatever he feels like. Now…outside maintenance is in order…at least mow the lawns, weed the weeds, trim the plants.

    Comment by JanS — 10:58 pm September 17, 2009 #

  7. the problem with MANY buildings that the Landmark Board’ has to deal with it that SOO many are simply beyond repair (or the cost TO repair is too prohibitive). Hopefully the Board won’t have their heads in some delusional cloud in hopes that someone will pile $ after $ into something that may simply need to be replaced in order to be safe. Sorry I couldn’t go to the meeting. I would have loved to see what the gentleman has planned.

    Comment by grr — 11:11 pm September 17, 2009 #

  8. The Homestead is not zoned to allow for a hotel so that cannot happen. A small B&B on the beach with the Homestead’s fried chicken sounds amazing! This place is going to get national recognition !! Thanks Tom for considering the wheelchair accessibility and the need for ADA compliance, the Homestead was a nightmare in a wheelchair. So glad to hear they are bringing the place back to it’s historical roots and making it safer (there was an electrical fire!)

    Comment by R.alki — 11:38 pm September 17, 2009 #

  9. The suggestions of foul play are silly, of course, but at the same time, it sounds like the owners are just throwing up any idea they can think of in order to brush off questions about what is going to happen to the property.
     
    Personally, I’ve never been a fan of the hyper-manicured gardening style exemplified by the Homestead of yore, but it’s still pretty darned sad to see pretty much every tree, shrub, and blade of grass on the property dying for lack watering.
     
    If the owners don’t have any idea what they might do with the place, that’s understandable, but does the fire absolve them of the responsibility of maintaining the grounds?

    Comment by rs — 2:10 am September 18, 2009 #

  10. Maintenance has to come within the codes laid out by the city. The question came up earlier along the way, regarding the condition of the building. If you believe a city code is being violated, you can file a complaint, but not maintaining landscape isn’t necessarily a violation unless it’s growing over the sidewalk, for example. Also, re: throwing up an idea, the architect Jeffrey Smith said he left his previous job to work on this full time. He and two engineers were mentioned as working on the project, which would suggest some $ has been sunk into the plan already. P.S. I just added the long form of the story – TR

    Comment by WSB — 2:44 am September 18, 2009 #

  11. Maybe I’m just a hopeless yokel, but it seems to me there’s a rather yawning gap between a claim on the part of the owners that an ARCHITECT has been hired to work full time on the project, while on the other hand it’s patently obvious that the owners stopped paying the part-time GARDENER months ago.
     
    When WSB defers to the assurances of future progress on the part of the property owners, and falls back to a “minimum legal requirement” defense of the neglegence of the landscaping, particularly for an historical site, I lose quite a bit of faith in the editorial staff.
     
    I do understand that WSB would prefer to have the advertising dollars of a successful Homestead bolstering its news-gathering operations, but at the moment the very strange editorial stance of WSB suggests that their objectivity has been rather seriously compromised for this story.

    Comment by rs — 3:33 am September 18, 2009 #

  12. RS, critiquing always welcome. However, to clarify, the Homestead never advertised with us and we never asked them to. I am not “deferring” to anything nor defending anything. I participate in comments because it’s part of our values as a participatory news site and there is often a lot more that I can share about a story because I covered it, talked to the people involved, sat through the two-hour meeting, etc., and it doesn’t all get into the story. Now I’ve been accused of being deferential to the Homestead and was in the past accused of being antagonistic to the Homestead so I guess it all averages out – TR

    Comment by WSB — 3:53 am September 18, 2009 #

  13. WSB, the fact that you have been granted access to the owners of the homestead is part of the problem.
     
    You’ve sat down and talked to them, so they’re real people with real faces to you, and the things they’ve said therefore seem so much more real and credible than anything a mere anonymous text-only plebeian commenter might peck out.
     
    The claim of “if everyone thinks we’re doing it wrong, we must be doing something right” is the last defense of any botched news operation (how, one might ask, would you ever know you were doing anything wrong?) You need to be better that that; internet-only news outlets can’t brush away criticism with that tired old dodge in this day and age.
     
    Instead, how about a little reporting? What insight have you gained from your meeting with the owners of the Homestead into their budgeting decision to fire a part-time gardener while taking on a full-time architect?
     
    Which of the many business proposals they presented did they seem most committed to? Did you make any attempt to sound out what options they might consider if none of their vague-sometime-in-the-future business plans panned out? Would they be willing to sell? Do they have the financial resources to get through a few years without the property producing revenue?
     
    I realize you’re new to the role of journalism, instead of just blogging, but when a property owner tells you that a site might eventually be a restaurant, a lounge, a B&B, a spa, or some combination of them all, then you really need to drop the neighborhood-booster cap, and put on the tough-questions hat.

    Comment by rs — 4:15 am September 18, 2009 #

  14. Hi, RS, you must be new, so a belated welcome. Not new to journalism, not in the slightest. I have worked as a journalist for more than 30 years – newspapers, radio, TV, national web news, local web news. It’s all on our “about” page.
    .
    Regarding being “granted access,” sorry to say, I have had no such access. Tonight (well, now it’s “last night”), sitting in a public meeting – which we publicized ahead of time, several times, open to all, the regular meeting of the Alki Community Council – with 50 people, was the first time I have been able to hear from Tom Lin in almost six months, as he has not answered our repeated inquiries about his plan for the property (and he acknowledged to the ACC tonight that he had chosen to be “quiet,” as you can see in the first paragraphs of the longer version of the story).
    .
    That’s what this story is about – his presentation to the Alki Community Council, not a sitdown interview. My one-and-only one-on-one conversation with him was when I found him in the front yard of the Homestead in March, on the day when a few community volunteers were over helping clean up.

    Comment by WSB — 4:47 am September 18, 2009 #

  15. Sorry, I smell a rat. While I believe the fire was accidental, I gave the owner the benefit of the doubt all of these months, thinking he was really just trying to work with the insurance company, and the potential new owners to restore the building so he could sell it. After reading this however, it sure looks to me like things have shifted back to the guy that was trying to build a hotel on Alki Beach, and is using the excuse of the fire to raze the Homestead as we all know it into a money maker. OK, an old log building, like any old building requires constant maintenance, the foundation and the rotting logs didn’t just happen since, or because of the fire. Whatever became of the log building construction expert who was involved early on? And if he’s been waiting to settle with the insurance company, where oh where did all of the funding come for this architect, and grandiose new plans?, they don’t come cheap. I think this is all smoke and mirrors, I would be very skeptical of a ‘B & B’ without seeing the plans, and the number of rooms, and floors. As far as giving a nod to keeping the historical roots of the old Homestead site, we might as well just call any of the new buildings down there after the original, lets, see we’ll call the Alki Bakery, the Seaside Pharmacy, and hang up a bunch of old pictures, that ought to do it.

    Comment by zerodacus — 6:08 am September 18, 2009 #

  16. rs, Tracy and the WSB are the best thing to ever happen to West Seattle news gathering. Tracy and team spend the time in public meetings that we can’t, then give us an objective recounting with the West Seattle angle we all care about.

    The blog is the first, hyper local source of info for every WS resident I know. Not sure how long you’ve lived here, or if you do, but ask around and you’ll find nothing but respect and admiration for the work they’re doing. Tracy has a long history with news production, which is why I consider her to be an extremely credible blogger.

    As you may not know, just because you want answers to your long list of questions does not mean the Homestead’s owners and vendors will provide those answers – and that’s no fault of Tracy’s. Maybe you should do a little asking yourself and find out how things really work before casting stones.

    Comment by Heidi — 6:32 am September 18, 2009 #

  17. Off topic: I want to commend rs for discovering a way to separate paragraphs using an actual blank line instead of a stranded period. I wish I knew how to format like that.

    Comment by Forest — 6:39 am September 18, 2009 #

  18. The “Bed and Breakfast” pitch was appealing to many in the room last night. Unfortunately, Seattle Municipal Code is very clear about regulations for B&B’s.

    1) they may only exists in existing buildings that are 5 years old or older

    2) you can only have 5 rooms

    3) you can only have 2 outside employees

    4) the owner must reside in the B&B

    The model for the addtional 25,000 square feet of new construction we were shown last night would not fit this critera at all. It was all be completely new except for 4 inner walls that were in the dining room and the fireplace of the log house, and that was not the building intended for the “Fir Log”.

    Tom or Jeffrey, if you read this, can you please let us know if you plan to apply for a contract rezone of this property to NC2 to fit your vision? Thank you!

    Comment by Cami — 6:52 am September 18, 2009 #

  19. I commend the blog for covering the meeting last night so thoroughly. That’s what the news media should do–report the news, and the blog does that extremely well.

    The key word in the presentation was the intention to “reconstruct” the building. The presentation and claim that most of the building structure is unsavable would be reviewed and evaluated by the Landmarks board.
    Particular attention must be paid to the landmarked characteristics of the building, which include much of the first floor interior and exterior, including the roof and features of the landscape. The kitchen and bathrooms are not landmarked.

    The plan presented implied taking down the building, building a new building much closer to 61st, eliminating much of the lawn surrounding the building, and building much more densely.

    New uses such as a bed and breakfast and event venue could be very attractive, but they will not be attractive if the historical character of this City of Seattle Landmark is lost.

    Comment by JB — 8:25 am September 18, 2009 #

  20. RS— Tom does not plan to sell the building in the future, the restaurant was up for sale at the time of the fire and there are new owners (who are wisely staying behind the scenes as there are some angry mobs out here in West Seattle–ready to go to war with Tom Lin.)

    Why is everyone so concerned about the landscaping? Haven’t you noticed your own backyard that is dry and yellow? The Homestead front yard looks just fine, try finding something else to get all hostile about. Just because this is a historical landmark does NOT mean it is public property.

    Comment by RAlki — 8:57 am September 18, 2009 #

  21. WSB, I knew she was the boss of WS and she can have your comment wacked at any moment, I feel comfortable knowing there is solid leadership out there to keep us in line.

    Comment by fluorescent carl — 9:11 am September 18, 2009 #

  22. As a fan of the old Homestead chicken dinners, I for one am enthusiastic about the ideas being presented by the owner. It sounds like he knows he has a lot of work to do, he understands that it will take a lot of time and money, and he’s putting together an interesting business plan that would be a great asset to the neighborhood on many levels. Cheers to his vision and his willingness to share his ideas with his neighbors.

    Comment by KSJ — 12:22 pm September 18, 2009 #

  23. I thought what Tom Linn and Jeffrey presented last night was great!
    They will use what they can out of building into the new one is fantastic. Bringing back the original Seattle Auto Club and using the second floor for banquets is wonderful.

    Tom your doing the Homestead Justice!
    Thank You

    Comment by Tami — 2:06 pm September 18, 2009 #

  24. I think its a great idea and WS is lucky to have someone so committed to putting the time and energy into bringing something into fruition that has the character of the old structures but new life and vibrancy. So often people resist change for no reason. I think the new plans certainly sound much better than leaving it a burned down rotting shell. Let’s support this great energy going into revitalizing the location.

    Comment by Andrea — 3:06 pm September 18, 2009 #

  25. A hotel, boutique or otherwise, isn’t allowed in NC-1 zoning.

    Trying to develop a property outside of code seems to be a familiar theme.

    Comment by AceMotel — 3:37 pm September 18, 2009 #

  26. After reading the coverage on the meeting that took place I believe there was never any intent on the part of the owner to fix the fire damage and return to the restaurant business. I truly believe that this has been the hope and intent of the owner since the Homestead was purchased, the accidental fire just opened the doors to them, so they could do what they had always wanted to. I think it would be a shame and a disservice to WS to have another piece of our history removed/changed. I was truly hoping to be able to patronize the Homestead again along with members of my family that have been going there since it first opened as a restaurant.

    Comment by wsmom — 4:11 pm September 18, 2009 #

  27. There was NO proposal of a HOTEL at all at the meeting and everything that could be used from the orignal buiding will be used on the New building.

    What was part of the new plans is a very small Bed & Breakfest which is a fantasic idea and should be no problems with zoning or going along with the Historial Alki Homestead.

    Tom Linn’s Plans have to go through two very strict aproval commitees.

    Comment by Tami — 5:04 pm September 18, 2009 #

  28. Bed and breakfast of this type isn’t allowed either, check your code. Do you know the zoning?

    Comment by AceMotel — 5:16 pm September 18, 2009 #

  29. Well, let me put my two cents worth in here. As a 4th generation Alki native resident, I vote for keeping it as Doris Nelson (lonnnnngtime proprietor/owner of the Homestead) had expressed it to be kept, in her wishes in her will. She wanted it to remain as it was, and always had been. Shouldn’t those wishes be honored?

    It is not only a Historical site for Alki and West Seattle, but Seattle in general. How many buildings that were built by our founding fathers are left in this city?

    It has always been a tradition for as long as I can remember, for any true Westseattleite to eat their with their families for birthdays, wedding party dinners, graduations, prom dinners, out of town guests….it is a museum of sorts. The old photo’s, the fireplace, the building itself, are incredible reminders of our forefathers to this city….my great-grandparents being some of those pioneers.

    Forget about a hotel, or any fancy smchmancy schtuff….keep it as close to what it has always been, as possible. Maybe a B&B would work…spa? Nnnnnah. We have enough tourists ruining our beautiful beach as it is. Resident’s can’t even park in front of their homes now, as it is.

    I do agree that the landscaping could be kept up better. Doris always had it looking so nice, even during the winter months….She took pride in the place, and was a fixture there for years. It felt like home, when you entered it and a good time, great meal and warm hugs and conversation were always there with Doris…Hoop t Do!!! (Her license plate on her pink Mustang, then on her Mercedes).

    My vote is to keep it the same, historically preserved as much as possible….and mow the lawn!

    Comment by 4th gen. alki girl — 6:25 pm September 18, 2009 #

  30. I agree, 4th Gen Alki Girl!!! Thank you!!! I’m a 25 year old who lives near the Homestead! : )

    Comment by XXOO — 11:45 pm September 18, 2009 #

  31. PLEASE PLEASE, LET’S FIGHT THIS. I will show up to a meeting and speak. I do not want this to happen!!!!!!!!

    I will do anything to stop this and hope Tom stops trying to change our community.

    Comment by XXOO — 11:48 pm September 18, 2009 #

  32. I was at the meeting on Thursday evening and I like to share my opinion about the project for what ever it is worth.

    In order for us as a community to make creditable recommendations, we need to recognize all the facts.

    1. The impression I got was that the building is severely compromised. The engineer hired by Mr Lin is a specialists in historic preservation, confirmed by a staff of Historical Seattle. If we want a second opionion, the community should get together and hire our own engineer. I personally don’t think that is offensive to Mr. Lin nor to his engineer. Just like getting a second doctor’s opinion.

    2. If our own engineer comes back with the same conclusion, then we have no choice but to support Mr. Lin’s decision to reconstruct the building. However, we have to make sure that the building will be reconstructed and not replaced by condos or townhomes.

    3. If our own engineer comes back with a different conclusion, then we should ask the following questions. How can the building be saved? How can we help to save the building? Is someone willing to take on the project at all costs if it can be saved?

    4. If the cost is too high for Tom Lin, is he willing to sell the property and let someone else do the work? Who is willing to step up to the plate and who has deep enough pocket to take on the task?

    5. We also should be concerned if a developer gets this property, what will the outcome be?

    6. All the future plans for the site is still too early for the community to support or reject. There is still time for us to diggest all the information.

    Sorry for going on and on. I am trying to be as unbias as possibile. Any thoughts?

    Comment by Alki_resident — 8:23 am September 19, 2009 #

  33. as far as all the zoning discussions. one word:

    variance.

    Comment by grr — 12:29 pm September 19, 2009 #

  34. Actually, to rezone the property, they need a contract rezone…

    Comment by Cami — 1:26 pm September 19, 2009 #

  35. Actually Cami, There will be many departments that have to give approval before this can happen.

    Comment by Tami — 9:06 am September 22, 2009 #

  36. Please stop talking about hotels and rezoning—-Tom is doing neither. He is not selling the property, he will not allow condos or townhouses. Over 80% of the building is compromised, it is not up to code, any engineer you hire for a 2nd opinion will tell you the exact same thing. FYI this is not a publically owned building, it’s Toms personal property.

    Comment by West Seattle resident — 9:13 pm September 22, 2009 #

  37. I fully agree with West Seattle Resident!

    Comment by Tami — 8:07 am October 13, 2009 #

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