BULLETIN: Fauntleroy Place (aka ‘The Hole’) case settled

June 3, 2011 at 11:56 am | In Development, West Seattle news | 18 Comments

(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.

18 Comments

  1. Hurray, progress

    Comment by Diane — 12:13 pm June 3, 2011 #

  2. A pit… just like the one in Pawnee. :)

    Comment by Tuesday — 1:19 pm June 3, 2011 #

  3. Yay, it’s settled. But that means it can still be a catchwater basin for years to come until someone actually agrees to build on it. It can still be an eyesore for some time.

    Comment by Petert — 1:34 pm June 3, 2011 #

  4. Absolutely true. Among the many parties with whom we are inquiring today is the one that had been fighting to get the rights to take it over – and of course we’ll know more once there are some details of exactly what the settlement entails – TR

    Comment by WSB — 2:08 pm June 3, 2011 #

  5. Maybe we can get a skate park out of it in the interim!

    Comment by Lola — 3:09 pm June 3, 2011 #

  6. WS needs a party supply/costume store. Buriens is closed, southcenters is too far, and champions downtown is a pain to get to

    Comment by cashmere — 3:12 pm June 3, 2011 #

  7. Another dog park please….Love Westcrest, but it is sooooooooo far away! Fetch, doggie, fetch.

    Comment by Mr.Teach — 9:53 pm June 3, 2011 #

  8. I’m liking Cashmeres idea. I know that it was probably suggested as a small part of a future structure but I’m envisioning a 3 story tall square city block costume emporium which would become the regional “Powells” of costume stores. Could really put WS on the map as a tourist destination “must see”.

    Comment by Glenda — 10:29 pm June 3, 2011 #

  9. Will Hancock fabrics return? For the make-your-own-costume crowd?

    Comment by Neighborly — 10:59 pm June 3, 2011 #

  10. I predict that it will get developed soon enough, similar to the original plans EXCEPT: reduced retail space to make way for more residential, to make it “financially viable” for the “developer.” This seems to be the trend.

    Comment by bolo — 11:12 pm June 3, 2011 #

  11. Yes! A new Dog Park would be Awesome! Never hurts to dream!

    Comment by Noelle — 11:27 pm June 3, 2011 #

  12. We have questions out to a dozen more people than provided replies. Since we discovered this on a Friday, some may have been out of the office. I did reach the PR executive who has in the past spoken for the entity that has been trying to take over the site, and she acknowledged my inquiry. I’m hopeful of more information on Monday – there’s still nothing in the official court files, but at some point the settlement would have to be placed into writing and presented to the court. For the person asking about Hancock Fabrics – while Whole Foods had spoken with us on and off about the project, up to the point where they confirmed they were pulling out because the terms of their lease had been violated (no store to move into by 2010), Hancock has never chosen to respond to inquiries. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 11:30 pm June 3, 2011 #

  13. Hancock had a 99 year lease on the site, and I doubt they will give that up. They are an odd bunch of people at that anyway. So whatever gets built will probably need to include them as well.

    Comment by Spam — 6:04 am June 4, 2011 #

  14. Hancock was a great place!! Maybe you don’t sew, craft etc. Spam

    Comment by rmp — 9:08 am June 4, 2011 #

  15. Uhm, yeah … You do all realize the settlement doesn’t designate what businesses will lease the retail space, don’t you? (Dog park is unlikely unless the city decides to take the land under imminent domain … Not gonna happen.)

    Comment by Peter on Fauntleroy — 10:27 am June 4, 2011 #

  16. Where did you get any facts about what Hancock Fabrics had in regards to a “99 year lease?”

    Comment by NotMe — 10:31 pm June 4, 2011 #

  17. Spam is right, but I thought hancock actually owned the land. (We are land owners next to the project and that’s what we were told) I know that rebuilding the fabric store was part of the agreement originally.

    Comment by sworks — 10:50 am June 6, 2011 #

  18. loved the Handcock Fabrics store- it was so WS!!!!

    Comment by denbol — 10:09 pm June 7, 2011 #

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