Discovered this during our periodic peek into the online records for the various lawsuits pending related to what was the Fauntleroy Place site (map), nicknamed “Hole Foods” since currently it’s a huge excavation awaiting a development that’s still supposed to include a Whole Foods store (as well as Hancock Fabrics and residential units): The newest development is that a legal action seeking “judicial foreclosure” was filed in King County Superior Court last week, by a firm identifying itself as 3922 SW Alaska LLC (the official address of record for the site), as a third party intervening in the lawsuits and liens pending regarding the site. The documents say that new entity holds the note/deed to the site as of late June (with the note’s most recent valuation listed as $21 million).
You can read the “complaint for judicial foreclosure” here; here’s an associated document, an order putting off a motion for summary judgment by a party to one of the lawsuits, because of the “intervention.”
As soon as we found this, we sought comment from Foster Pepper, the legal firm representing the party seeking foreclosure. They have not called back.
So to make sure we’re interpreting the action as accurately as possible, we informally consulted a real-estate-transaction expert (not involved in the case) who tells us it’s not unusual for a new entity to be formed in a situation like this to take over the financial and other liability. He adds, though, it’s not so commonplace for judicial foreclosure to be sought instead of nonjudicial – this type, he says, tends to take longer.
Bottom line, though, it’s another step in the path to getting the site’s future resolved, but it’s the first time the word “foreclosure” has been formally raised in this situation, and it could lead to the property being sold at auction. As we reported two weeks ago, Whole Foods’ official stance is that they are still expecting to open a store there, but they are “watching (the project) closely” to see if the commitments in their lease will be met. (When ground was ceremonially broken in June of last year – WSB coverage here – a February 2010 completion date was projected.) Lots more to follow up on this, of course, as we have done and will continue to do.