(WSB photo of ‘The Hole,’ taken last month)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
WSB has confirmed with two sources that the longrunning legal case involving the idled West Seattle development called Fauntleroy Place, but better known as ‘The Hole,’ has been settled.
That’s according to both the bailiff for King County Superior Court Judge Susan Craighead, who has been on the case, and one of the myriad attorneys representing the many parties involved.
Neither bailiff Jennie Cowan nor the lawyer had (or could divulge) details of the settlement, and there is no paperwork in the court system so far – so that’s all we know at this point, but we are continuing to work to find out additional information. There had been a motion hearing scheduled in the case this afternoon, but bailiff Cowan says that when lawyers informed the judge that a settlement had been reached, the hearing “was stricken.”
The case had gone to mediation at the suggestion of Judge Craighead, as we reported here in April, while a second trial date continued to approach. It’s a complicated case, and the judge already had rendered one decision back in November, to settle whose liens had priority. (That decision was appealed; we’ll be checking on its status.)
The big question for most West Seattleites, of course, is whether this will lead to the resumption of development at the site. Judge Craighead had repeatedly expressed concern about its safety, and suggested that it was important for the West Seattle community to see something done with the site sooner rather than later. At one point earlier this year, she ordered a foreclosure sale, but in February, it was called off at the last minute when the concern that wants to take possession of the site, 3922 SW Alaska LLC (associated with the owner of Madison Development), put up a $7.7 million cash bond.
Ground was ceremonially broken for Fauntleroy Place in June 2008; it was slated for a new Whole Foods Market (they have long since pulled out of the project), a new Hancock Fabrics store, and apartments. The development stalled later that year, and the squabbling over why and who was to blame has been at the heart of the legal fight.
We’ll add to this story as we find out more.