“The Hole” on the Junction/Triangle border is far from the only stalled-development eyesore in West Seattle. This afternoon, we have new information about another one:
After receiving an e-mail inquiry about the status of the Shoremont Apartments site at 2464 Alki – at one point purchased by the development arm of an architect firm and slated for an ultramodern development, with a demolition permit issued – we’ve done some research the past two days, and have learned two things:
First – City records show repeated citations for violations regarding the building being unsecured, and overgrown. City inspector Michael Griffin – who laughed ruefully when we told him what we were calling about – tells WSB that the Shoremont’s (previous) owners wouldn’t even return phone calls, so it’s all been “an exercise in paperwork.” The city, he says, is doing its best to make sure that the building “is secure to keep transients out” – but even that has required repeat visits, and repeatedly replaced boards (we’ve retouched the tags out of this photo):
Griffin mentioned that neighbors had told him the building was to be auctioned off this month. Online county records show indeed, there was a foreclosure auction scheduled for April 2nd. Including delinquent interest, records say more than $3 million was owed on the site, which had been sold for $2.2 million two years ago. The inspector told WSB he was waiting to see the new ownership, if any, recorded before figuring out who next to start notifying of the violations at the site.
This afternoon, we found out who the “new” owner is: The federal government, according to Chris Sheehan, who is with Whidbey Island Bank, the new owners of what was CityBank of Lynnwood, which the feds closed a week and a half ago. Sheehan tells WSB the Shoremont was part of the CityBank assets seized by the FDIC when they closed the bank – beleaguered by bad real-estate loans. So – he didn’t disagree with our suggested assessment – it’s the feds’ problem now. As soon as we figure out who to talk to at the FDIC (it’s after-hours back East now, anyway), we’ll pursue further. (The site’s not yet listed here.) Meantime, as you can see from our photos taken this morning, the windows are broken, the grass is overgrown, and a once-stately apartment building continues to fall into disrepair.