(June aerial photo of “The Hole” by Long Bach Nguyen)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
“The Hole” has a new name, according to plans filed with the city Department of Planning and Development: Spruce West Seattle.
Nine and a half months have passed since the project/site formerly known as Fauntleroy Place was auctioned off to an entity of Madison Development Group (WSB coverage here), and many West Seattleites have been waiting and watching to see what, if anything, will happen with the long-idle site. Work stopped in fall 2008 after site excavation; a lawsuit ensued; and once that was finally settled (in June of last year), foreclosure and auction led to the sale.
Back in May, we finally got a short response from Madison owner Tom Lee, who said they expected to have an update “soon.”
No word since then – but a revised plan was filed at the DPD this week, making it a matter of public record.
The notation on the online records said only that the plans were revised for changes in levels P1, P2, and P3, and “new name for the project.” The specifics weren’t available online, so we first put out an inquiry to Madison on Wednesday. No reply to date, so we went downtown to look at the hard copy of the plans (a huge, heavy table-size sheaf).
The name Spruce West Seattle is on every page of the revised plans.
And there’s one other big change suggested by the plans: No supermarket, it appears. You might recall that the last version of the plan – under previous ownership – looked like this:
In the current version, it appears that the space where, in that July 2008 rendering, you see a Whole Foods (which officially pulled out of the project exactly two years ago, when it was obvious the terms of its lease would not be fulfilled) will now be a large fitness club.
The potential supermarketlessness may not surprise you, given that Trader Joe’s is now open across 39th, QFC a couple blocks west on Alaska, and Safeway remains in Jefferson Square (not to mention, the Admiral grocery stores, including the less-than-year-old Safeway, are not that far away). but for those still holding out hopes of a Whole Foods, it does not appear this will be the site.
What about the Hancock Fabrics store in the original plans, to replace the one that closed before the previous building on the site was demolished?
We didn’t get a ton of time to go over the revised plans – as our turn at the DPD came up fairly late in the day Thursday. Hancock hasn’t answered our messages over the past few years regarding whether they were still in the project; we didn’t see their name or any other additional retail mentioned, but final word on that will have to wait for the formal announcement of the site’s future.
We did check with the city planner who’s been on the project all along, Michael Dorcy, and he replied this afternoon that he hasn’t even seen the construction-plan revision yet. He also said that he had been contacted by “the applicant … about submitting a Master Use Permit revision for the project,” but that if it’s been submitted, he hasn’t seen it yet either. That all means there’s no answer yet to the question we intended to ask – whether the changes in the project reflected in the newly filed plan will trigger another round of Design Review. (Even under original ownership, before the project stalled, the major change resulting in the design shown above had sent it back for a post-approval re-review.)
As always, we will continue following this and other projects; WSB coverage of West Seattle development is archived here, newest to oldest.