By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
The most conspicuously vacant site of the ex-Huling Auto (briefly Gee) properties in West Seattle may not be vacant much longer: A development proposal and sale are being explored.
A mixed-use (apartments and retail) project is on the drawing board. The city Department of Planning and Development website has an early-in-the-process entry for a potential project with “five floors of residential over 55,000 SF retail” and “Parking for 534 cars (underground)” at 4755 Fauntleroy Way SW.
That’s the site stretching along the west side of Fauntleroy from Edmunds almost to Alaska, including the former Chevrolet showroom and lot.
Here’s what we have found out from John Wunder of Associates West Real Estate, longtime representative for the Huling properties:
Wunder stresses that this is a very preliminary proposal – “early in the due-diligence period” – but they should know within two months at the most whether it will proceed. The development site potentially would also include the old used-car lot at 40th/Alaska as well as the site of Howden-Kennedy Funeral Home, though not the adjacent Shell station.
The property would be sold, rather than leased as was the ex-Huling site that is now better known as West Seattle Trader Joe’s.
The height suggested by the preliminary information on the city website, five floors over retail, is likely not as high as the site is zoned for; in the West Seattle Triangle (and vicinity) rezoning approved by the City Council at the end of last year. As part of that package, most of the site was upzoned to NC3-85, which means larger commercial spaces and a maximum height of 85 feet (generally, that translates to eight stories).
Wunder says he has no other comment right now, since no deal has closed, nor has a formal proposal been submitted to the city – this turned up on the DPD website because they took the very first step in the process, an initial consultation.
And just for caveat’s sake, we note that even before West Seattle Produce‘s time on the site – they’re now across the street, as you know – there was a 2008 development proposal that went nowhere; we reported on it once in May of that year, and it never even reached Early Design Guidance. But we’ll continue to follow up on this one and bring you new information when it’s available.