Alki’s neglected Shoremont Apartments: Now federally owned

April 27, 2010 at 4:00 pm | In Development, West Seattle news | 32 Comments

“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.

32 Comments

  1. I always wondered about that place….thought it would make a great investment (if I had millions of dollars to throw around). Whoever ends up fixing it up could make a killing when the market comes back in a few years.

    Comment by m — 4:16 pm April 27, 2010 #

  2. so glad to hear the Shoremont may have chance at second life now
    ~
    one of the positives to come out of the horrible recession
    ~
    grateful this did not get demolished before the crash

    Comment by Diane — 4:40 pm April 27, 2010 #

  3. Wow, the City of Seattle is one huge paper tiger when they admit repeated citations and the owners (when they did own it) refusing to acknowledge the city. Guess that could be one department to save some dwindling tax dollars on.

    Comment by KT — 4:56 pm April 27, 2010 #

  4. Is it an historical landmark?

    Comment by Noelle — 5:03 pm April 27, 2010 #

  5. It would be wonderful if it can be cleaned up and rented again. I’m glad it wasn’t torn down and turned into the modern condo originally proposed.

    Comment by patricia — 5:07 pm April 27, 2010 #

  6. No, not a landmark.

    Comment by WSB — 5:10 pm April 27, 2010 #

  7. Thank you WSB!

    Comment by Noelle — 5:12 pm April 27, 2010 #

  8. this is one of the many properties purchased and neglected by PB Elemental. we have tried to work with them on one in the central area, to no avail. they basically let their creditors take back most of their vacant land without any regard for its upkeep in the interim. terrible.

    Comment by ktstine — 5:26 pm April 27, 2010 #

  9. Low income housing? Maybe prospective renters could help clean and fix it up.

    Comment by KatherineL — 5:59 pm April 27, 2010 #

  10. I just looked up PB Elemental to see some of their work. I was not impressed. We all have different tastes , and some may love what they do, but everything, to me, looked the same….boxes, stark, simply not very attractive to me, with very little “vision”.

    I’m so sorry that this happened to the Shoremont…hopefully someone with a little more vision re: the area will turn this into something that does Alki proud !

    Comment by JanS — 6:06 pm April 27, 2010 #

  11. Since we the people own it, why don’t we have a big work party to renovate it and then move in?

    Comment by Alki Bee — 6:20 pm April 27, 2010 #

  12. It is such a shame to see what’s become of that building. It was once one of my favorite buildings on the peninsula. Perhaps someone will now fix it up appropriately to get landmark status. I really hope it’s preserved, and if I had the money I’d buy it and do it myself.

    Comment by Aim — 6:30 pm April 27, 2010 #

  13. This is one of the last old school apartment buildings left on the strip, and i always thought it should be saved. It feels very summer share-ish, which i think is great. (think falmouth not seaside heights)

    Comment by nadj — 7:00 pm April 27, 2010 #

  14. Great, another great old building destroyed. Just like the Homestead Restaurant which has been neglected for so long now, that (sniffle) the owners will have no choice to tear down the NOW damaged building (after they sat on it for years) and build a nice new condo development or such. Jerks.

    Comment by Alki Area — 7:00 pm April 27, 2010 #

  15. Letting a beautiful building like this fall into disrepair says a lot about what we, as a people, value. Since we, the people, own it I think the big work party is a good idea. I’ve got a zillion things to do on my own house (I’m talking about you, galvanized pipes) but I’ll be there to help.

    Comment by Val Vashon — 7:03 pm April 27, 2010 #

  16. I hate to say this, but if The Fed owns it now it becomes just a small entry into a vast database of forclosures from failed banks they now “own”. Yikes. It could look like this for a very long time I’m sorry to say (hopefully I’m wrong)

    Comment by M — 7:50 pm April 27, 2010 #

  17. That building is sooo awesome! its sad to see it in the shape that it is in! I just hope that RP management does not buy it if it goes up for sale!!!

    Comment by Jamie — 9:02 pm April 27, 2010 #

  18. I have to move out now?

    Comment by Glocson — 9:03 pm April 27, 2010 #

  19. My Great-Grandmother lived here for years in the front right apartment, I always wanted to live in a place like that when I grew up.

    I haven’t been wandering around Alki lately, shame to see the place go to waste, or worse, get torn down.

    Comment by Allison — 10:42 pm April 27, 2010 #

  20. I am guessing lead paint, asbestos, and bad wiring as the tip of the iceberg for renovations.

    Comment by kg — 11:54 pm April 27, 2010 #

  21. PB Elemental has received numerous national and international awards for their visionary and innovative architecture. They are leaders at developing architectural significant modern (green) buildings. Unfortunately, like so many developers, this historic economic recession has halted their ambitious plans and many properties are going into foreclosure. That said, one could certainly make the argument that in this particular case, restoring this old building is probably in the better interest of the Alki community. Of course, that may prove economically prohibitive without some sort of grant. After all, potential buyers or renters are not willing to pay more than market rates for the abatements, lead paint removal, and all the new systems these old buildings often require. It’s always sad when a great old building (even if not deemed a landmark) is torn down to build something new (no matter how good the architecture), esp. when there are so many better demolition candidates. But sometimes it is an economic reality.

    Comment by Meghan — 7:30 am April 28, 2010 #

  22. Since the Fed doesn’t WANT these houses anyway (trust me, they don’t want to be in real estate like this)…why doesn’t the city just claim eminent domain, take it, then auction it off. The LAND alone is worth a million. Problem solved.

    Comment by Alki Area — 8:07 am April 28, 2010 #

  23. New site for Trader Joe’s?

    Comment by Morgan Junction Mom — 8:35 am April 28, 2010 #

  24. Glad to hear that at least there’s still some process in place.It could be an amazing building if the right person buys it.

    I walk by there every day with my dog and it’s really clear that all kinds of people are entering the place and vandalizing, squatting etc. It’s a potential fire hazard, and eyesore and I feel really badly for the neighbors.

    Comment by Jeff — 9:23 am April 28, 2010 #

  25. It would make a great community gathering place with a restaurant, a shop or two and some community space for community Groups. I’m thinking of something sort of like what’s been done w/ the Oddfellows Hall on Cap. Hill

    Comment by Lisa — 11:07 am April 28, 2010 #

  26. Hey Val Vashon, you can take all the guilt you like, but speak for yourself. This situation is no reflection on “us as people.” It is a reflection on corporate or even individual greed. Did you not notice that the original loan was for 2.2 million and yet there is now over 3 million owed? That means, someone got to pocket $800,000 but got only got a “bad credit” rating over the whole thing.

    Comment by AnotherIdiotInWS — 1:20 pm April 28, 2010 #

  27. There were several buildings in Belltown that were set for demolition that were rented out at a very low price to people who wanted to use then to start a gallery, or some kind of artisy shop. Kind of a bootstrap business. With a 6 month contract.
    Kept the street on 2nd just a bit cooler/safer/interesting for a while. Not sure who sponsored it. Seattle Art Commission?
    Might be workable for the first floor of the Shoremont.

    Comment by patt — 3:40 pm April 28, 2010 #

  28. Wouldn’t it be great for the boutique hotel or bed & breakfast that area really needs? Sigh.

    Comment by Eilis Flynn — 7:55 am April 29, 2010 #

  29. @Morgan Junction Mom- YOU NEED TO GET OUT MORE…Enough with that stupid Trader Joe’s crap. That’s so 2005.

    Comment by Larry — 10:52 am April 29, 2010 #

  30. What a shame. It used to be such a cute apartment bldg. How about a coffee house now?

    Comment by Lori — 5:36 am April 30, 2010 #

  31. I catch the bus in front of this building and I don’t like to stand to close to it. Through the broken windows you can see the mold taking over the interiors. ew.

    Comment by Melissa — 3:07 pm April 30, 2010 #

  32. What a great opportunity! This would make for a great investment assuming the math panned out!

    Comment by BusinessOwner — 9:18 pm May 2, 2010 #

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