Update: Mayor tells SDOT to reject ‘alley vacation’ for 4755 Fauntleroy Way megaproject

July 16, 2013 at 11:58 am | In 4755 Fauntleroy, Development, West Seattle news | 186 Comments

(NEWEST UPDATE BELOW: Response from regional Whole Foods exec, added 5:35 pm)

ORIGINAL REPORT, 11:58 AM: Mayor McGinn has told SDOT that he will not recommend City Council approval of the “alley vacation” request by the 4755 Fauntleroy Way SW (“Whole Foods”) megaproject. We’ve just obtained a copy of the memo from the mayor’s office – read it here or embedded here:

Mayor's memo opposing 4755 Fauntleroy Way alley vacation


The memo’s ending summary:

… it is difficult to see how the alley vacation proposal meets our public benefit standards when it does not support equitable economic development as stated in our Comprehensive Plan, does not support community vibrancy and walkability, and does not support our local urban design plans. It is the position of the executive that because this project is not in the public interest, we will not forward a recommendation to approve this alley vacation request to the City Council at this time.”

The project just passed Design Review last week, and has also been approved by the Design Commission, which reviews projects that require alley or street vacations, as does this 370-apartment, 600-parking space proposal. But other reviews are ahead because of the alley-vacation request – in fact, they were part of a separate followup we were working on when this broke – including the city Transportation Commission. (P.S. Since we believe in credit where credit’s due, hat tip Slog.)

ADDED 12:19 PM: As one commenter has pointed out, “alley vacation” isn’t exactly an everyday phrase. Here’s our basic breakdown: If a developer wants to buy and include city-owned right of way – part of an alley, or a street, or a “street end” – in a project, that right-of-way has to be “vacated” by the city – as explained here. West Seattle projects for which alley vacations were approved include Admiral Safeway and Spruce (formerly Fauntleroy Place, aka “The Hole”); one was also approved for the not-yet-begun Equity Residential (formerly Conner Homes) two-building project at California/Alaska.

(added) Here’s the east-west alley, looking to Fauntleroy from 40th, that the developers are asking for, along with part of the north-south alley:

Further south on the site, their proposal includes a “midblock connector,” seen here in the west-to-east view:

ADDED 12:36 PM: If you haven’t already read the mayor’s memo – he specifically calls out the non-union Whole Foods Market as cause for concern:

We have a strong commitment to social and economic justice at the City of Seattle. One of our core economic development goals is to provide fair and livable wages and benefits for our residents. The Economic Development elements of Seattle’s Comprehensive Plan contain clear language to this effect: “seeking a greater proportion of living wage jobs that will have greater benefits” and “support key sectors of Seattle’s economy to create jobs that pay wages that can support a family, provide necessary benefits, and contribute to the vitality of the City including, but not limited to, the industrial, manufacturing, service, hospitality and retail sectors.” The primary retail use in the proposed project is a 41,000 square foot Whole Foods Market. There are already seven large supermarkets within a mile and half of the site, at least six of which offer employer-paid, comprehensive affordable health benefits for full and part-time employees and their families, as well as family-supporting wage scales.

Family health benefits and employee wage scales offered by the proposed anchor tenant are
significantly lower than other similar businesses, particularly for the growing percentage of employees who work part-time. In addition, if the City is going to transfer its assets or otherwise help grocers build new facilities, we should encourage grocers willing to locate in underserved areas identified as having low food security and poor food access, consistent with the strategies identified in the City’s Food Action Plan.

Whole Foods remains the only signed commercial tenant for the project, confirmed its developers at last week’s Design Review meeting; they said they might lose the unsigned drugstore tenant because they pulled out the much-criticized drive-thru window that had been proposed. The Whole Foods (and supermarket-oversupply) arguments made by the mayor above have also been voiced at prior project meetings by representatives of United Food and Commercial Workers Local 21, which, as noted in our preview of last week’s Design Review meeting, is spearheading a campaign called “Getting It Right for West Seattle” seeking a “community benefits agreement” for this project.

1:50 PM UPDATE: More background: It’s been almost exactly one year since we broke the news this development was in the works. It spans everything along 40th and along Fauntleroy between Edmunds and Alaska *except* the Alki Masonic Temple and its parking lot. Here’s the Fauntleroy view, as photographed today:

Here’s our February report from when the alley-vacation application was announced. According to the city website, the next steps in the process would be the SDOT recommendation – which, as noted in the mayor’s memo, he says should be thumbs-down – and then a public hearing before the council’s Transportation Committee, which is chaired by West Seattle-residing Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, which in turn would make a recommendation to be considered by the full council.

ADDED 5:37 PM: We’re expecting comment from the development team, no later than tomorrow. In the meantime, we just received unsolicited comment from Whole Foods’ regional president Joe Rogoff:

I wanted to contact you directly because the information that Mayor McGinn shared in his letter regarding Whole Foods Market is factually inaccurate and it’s important for us to set the record straight. The vast majority – 70-80 percent, depending on the store – of Whole Foods Market’s team members work full time and that will be reflected in the team members we hire for our West Seattle location. That’s opposite of many other supermarkets, where part-time employees are the norm.

We do more than provide team members with fair and livable wages and benefits. We create a great place for our team members to build a career. We offer training, competitive benefits, stock options for all team members, gain-sharing and much more. Company benefits include a team member store discount of 20-30%, health care coverage for domestic partners and a health spending account to help cover health care expenses. Nearly all of our part-time workers can participate in our health care benefits. Our average wage for non-leadership Team Members in our Seattle stores is $16.15/hr. which is excellent for grocers.

In addition to our team members, we are also committed to the health and well-being of the communities where we do business. In every local community, we cultivate valued partnerships with a wide range of organizations – from school districts to non-profits to academic institutions. Programs like our Local Producer Loan Program and funds made available through the Whole Kids Foundation to add salad bars and school gardens are examples of this commitment to community. In addition, quarterly 5 Percent Days provide direct funding to local non-profit partners.

We’re proud to have been part of Seattle since 1999, and that our 6 metro stores now employ over 1400 Team Members. Many of those Team Members live in West Seattle, and they’re excited to work in their immediate community. We’re also looking forward to being part of this vibrant community as we are in so many others – socially and environmentally conscious citizens who contribute in many ways. This store will employ another 150 or so Team Members, most of whom will be local.

We’re reaching out in hopes to meet with Mayor McGinn very soon to share the facts and discuss how Whole Foods Market is absolutely in line with the City’s core economic goals.

186 Comments

  1. Definitely not voting for him now. Can’t believe he’d leave a blighted corner as is because the anchor tenant is not a union shop.

    Unions are useless in this day and age anyway.

    Comment by DW — 12:06 pm July 16, 2013 #

  2. I wasnt thrilled about the big buildings but it would be sooo great to have whole foods in the neighborhood. Such a fantastic store!

    Comment by mb — 12:07 pm July 16, 2013 #

  3. If it’s being rejected because of a flawed design, that’s one thing. But rejecting it because of some esoteric concept like “livable wage and benefits” reeks of stupidity.

    Comment by DW — 12:10 pm July 16, 2013 #

  4. What is a “alley vacation?” That makes no sense. If you’re going to use some kind of lingo, then please explain it.

    Comment by Chris V — 12:11 pm July 16, 2013 #

  5. I encourage the city council to do the right thing and approve this alley vacation. The community wants Whole Foods and the quality work and reputation of the developer to take that corner and develope it.

    Comment by Sharonn — 12:14 pm July 16, 2013 #

  6. The mayor is smart to not permit a competitor in the neighborhood who won’t pay your neighbors living wages. The other grocery stores in West Seattle DO provide good compensation plus health benefits for their employees. Do you really want to trade human well being for a building and the profits of a known greedy bastard? C’mon West Seattlelites—we know you’re better than that.

    Comment by GM — 12:17 pm July 16, 2013 #

  7. I’m adding a paragraph for anyone new to development discussion. Here’s the city explanation of street/alley vacations, too:
    http://www.seattle.gov/transportation/streetvacations.htm

    Comment by WSB — 12:17 pm July 16, 2013 #

  8. I support the Mayor’s decision on the basis of 2 fundamental values that benefit the people of West Seattle: access to vibrant public space, and protection of living wage jobs. These goals do not negate development, they simply require better development that does not come at the expense of a safe, sustainable, and socially just community.

    Comment by mp — 12:17 pm July 16, 2013 #

  9. Idiot mayor. They’ll end up killing this project and we’ll be stuck with a ugly polluting gas station and empty asphalt lot, which has no “walkability” right now,just a vacant dead junk of property,generating no jobs. There’s no living wage there now,hasn’t been for many years. Just ridiculous micromanaging.

    Comment by David — 12:20 pm July 16, 2013 #

  10. The Stranger did a great job summarizing the letter. It basically says that the city won’t give its land to Whole Foods since there’s no public benefit to the project.
    http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2013/07/16/mayor-mcginn-rejects-street-vacation-request-for-west-seattle-whole-foods-megaproject

    Comment by Al Lee — 12:21 pm July 16, 2013 #

  11. Sounds like someone is looking for votes prior to the primary next month.

    Comment by Maris — 12:27 pm July 16, 2013 #

  12. Finally! Not a McGinn fan, but he is right on this issue. Alley and street vacations need to meet serious standards and criteria.

    Comment by Mike — 12:27 pm July 16, 2013 #

  13. That site shares the same alley as the Masons aka Illuminati

    Comment by West Seattle — 12:31 pm July 16, 2013 #

  14. Put a stop, period, to building more apartments and condos. The bridge cannot handle anymore and traffic has become horrendous. Is anyone protecting West Seattle from being overbuilt, which it already is in my opinion.

    Comment by HC — 12:31 pm July 16, 2013 #

  15. HC – I’ve been feeling that way for the last 8 years. Glad there is finally some support being voiced by many people in the last year or so.

    WS – “I told you so!”

    Comment by enough — 12:44 pm July 16, 2013 #

  16. I use to work for the City of Los Angeles Street Vacate Department about 25 years ago. I was straight out of college.
    It was pretty simple. A home owner would approach us and mention a piece of unused City owned right-of-way they’d like to purchase that’s adjacent to their property . An example is a dead end alley not used and grown over with blackberry bushes. The two adjacent homes at the end of the alley may get together and decide they each want half of that unused alley thus increasing the size of their backyards. Once I remember the adjacent homeowner wanting the entire alley, after getting a notorized letter from the home on the other side of the alley saying they don’t want any of the alley property.

    My job was to perform a site visit to determine if the right-of-way was indeed not used and not worth the City keeping. I would do a feasibility study on it’s cost and present that to the person asking for the City property. 4 out of 5 times the party would pay the amount and obtain more land. They would need to do a lot line adjustment.

    Of course, the next person in line now realizes that the alley doesn’t go past their property anymore so they want to buy their portion of the alley, knowing what the cost will be.

    That’s just a small example. I was in the department for about 24 months.

    Comment by Cowpie — 12:44 pm July 16, 2013 #

  17. Sounds like politics – “you want your alley vacation, then give us something we want.” Seems fair if we’re giving up public land.

    Comment by EmmyJane — 12:46 pm July 16, 2013 #

  18. This is an outrage. Who is one man to determine what economic development is sufficiently “equitable” or “vibrant”? Just let businesses open. That’s how society progresses.

    Comment by Grant — 12:46 pm July 16, 2013 #

  19. Holy Buckets! An ethics-based stand versus a major developer in this town? Alternately, ANY stand against a major developer in this town?
    .
    Right on, Mr Mayor. Right on.

    Comment by McBride — 12:46 pm July 16, 2013 #

  20. “Lack of Livable Wages”
    .

    Will he insist that Easy Street Records also pay “livable wages” to its staff?

    Comment by West Seattle — 12:51 pm July 16, 2013 #

  21. ” in the neighborhood who won’t pay your neighbors living wages”
    .
    Easy Street Records pays its new staff minimum wage too, with no benefits. Should we kick them out too?

    Comment by West Seattle — 12:53 pm July 16, 2013 #

  22. @DW My union wage job is what allows me to afford shopping @ Whole Foods. I support the store, regardless of its union position, but I also encourage them to organize their store. That being said, why should the city feel compelled to give away tax payers property to big $$$$ corporation/developer?? Change the design, meet the guidelines, get the alley given to you… Even a simple union guy can figure that one out…. Enjoy the race to the bottom.

    Comment by Live Better, Work Union — 12:54 pm July 16, 2013 #

  23. Kudos to the mayor on this one. The developer is completely ignoring the public streetscape experience on Alaska and 40th. Whether it is a Whole Foods or another corporate tenant is irrelevant. What matters is does the project provide a vibrant, urban experience for the community and can the building design support it should this giant anchor tenant vacate…can it be flipped easily to accommodate another tenant(s) so the ground floor doesn’t sit empty. We do need to take these alley vacations more seriously to protect the urban environment for future generations. Perhaps the developer can go back to the drawing table and design a project that works within the urban grid of what is right for West Seattle vs trying to plop down an anywhere USA footprint that does nothing for the public streetscape experience.

    Comment by WSR — 12:56 pm July 16, 2013 #

  24. Kudos to the mayor on this one. The developer is completely ignoring the public streetscape experience on Alaska and 40th. Whether it is a Whole Foods or another corporate tenant is irrelevant. What matters is does the project provide a vibrant, urban experience for the community and can the building design support it should this giant anchor tenant vacate…can it be flipped easily to accommodate another tenant(s) so the ground floor doesn’t sit empty. We do need to take these alley vacations more seriously to protect the urban environment for future generations. Perhaps the developer can go back to the drawing table and design a project that works within the urban grid of what is right for West Seattle vs trying to plop down an anywhere USA footprint that does nothing for the public streetscape experience.

    Comment by WSR — 12:56 pm July 16, 2013 #

  25. I am grateful to Mayor McGinn not only for not blindly bowing and bending to developers’ demands, but for describing in positive terms the priorities and benefits the public deserves. There isn’t always a conflict between the public interest and lining the pockets of builders and developers, but when there is, it’s noticeably rare for our elected officials to take a stand in favor of the public. See also: Deep Bore Tunnel.

    Comment by Ben — 12:57 pm July 16, 2013 #

  26. He’s sided with every developer in town until now, come on now. Lets be real. This has nothing to do with development, he’s getting pressured by the Union so he can get reelected. That’s why he’s now involved. He thinks some of us believe he is doing this to support West Seattle. Laughable

    Comment by WSSgal — 12:58 pm July 16, 2013 #

  27. I think the mayor has a very valid point- I support his decision. I do think the land should be developed- but really we do not need another grocery store! How man do we really need. How about giving us something we don’t have like a real movie theater? More shopping? Even another target would be better than whole foods.

    Comment by wsmom — 1:12 pm July 16, 2013 #

  28. “streetscape experience on Alaska and 40th”
    .
    So what should it looks like?

    Comment by West Seattle — 1:18 pm July 16, 2013 #

  29. “Who is one man to determine what economic development is sufficiently ‘equitable’ or ‘vibrant,’” Grant? The one we elected to make exactly these kinds of decisions, that’s who!

    Comment by LocalResident — 1:18 pm July 16, 2013 #

  30. Why don’t require West Seattle Produce or the used furniture store or the pawn shop or the truck/boat storage to provide “vibrant, urban experiences?”

    Comment by DW — 1:19 pm July 16, 2013 #

  31. Put a bike lane down aisle 5 ! How about a nice urban small park. Give West Seattle a break from the condo sprawl. We could call it Huling Park ! Oh! It’s all about the money.

    Comment by Billy — 1:24 pm July 16, 2013 #

  32. No more building in West Seattle! Is there any way to stop all this craziness!?

    Comment by West Seattle — 1:31 pm July 16, 2013 #

  33. Isn’t there a park developement tied to all this, which is a added public amenity as well as new frontage and infrastructure? Does it phsically have to be on the vacated alley right of way?

    There is plenty of current and happy, nice workers for Whole Foods, they don’t have problems with staffing – so living wages is not an issue and it shouldn’t be used as a veto. I also think that Whole Foods employs lots of people in their stores which is nice.

    Throw a couple of bike racks in the vacated alley to make McGrinns happy.

    Comment by McFail — 1:38 pm July 16, 2013 #

  34. So what if McGinn is doing this for his re-election bid? It’s gotten a lot of people talking about the nature of our current glut of development projects. Once an alley’s vacated, it’s not coming back!

    Comment by Frugal WS — 1:41 pm July 16, 2013 #

  35. Good decision. Hope it sticks.

    Comment by Give Me an Alley, Free — 1:43 pm July 16, 2013 #

  36. Is West Seattle Produce, Easy St. Records or any other businesses, that are being noted by some commenters, currently asking for alley vacations? If so, then your analogy holds some water. Otherwise, not really.

    Comment by Cwit — 1:44 pm July 16, 2013 #

  37. Oh good g-d, who gives a crap about Unions anymore? REALLY McGinn? As if this has anything to do with anything. My guess is there is something MUCH bigger at play here since as noted above, he hasn’t really seemed to give one whiff about any other developer carving up West Seattle (and the rest of this city) like it’s just one giant piece of delicious cake. I call bullsh*t.

    Comment by Cheryl — 1:45 pm July 16, 2013 #

  38. McFall – the only tie between the park site the city is buying across the street and this project is that the public benefit plan includes $25,000 to get the future park through the “public outreach process” and to the brink of design – as we reported here:
    .
    http://westseattleblog.com/2013/05/happening-now-4755-fauntleroy-way-back-before-design-commission

    Comment by WSB — 1:47 pm July 16, 2013 #

  39. I have lived in WS since 1989 when I was 9. My son and I are always town between WS loyalty and our desire for a more urban apartment lifestyle. I have been waiting for this project for years as a potential location to live. Sigh. If they don’t finish this project soon, I am moving downtown to via 6.

    Comment by Don't Make Me Move Downtown — 1:47 pm July 16, 2013 #

  40. I wish the mayor would help DELRIDGE get a real grocery store and achieve equitable economic development, community vibrancy and walkability.
    So upsetting that all the development interests focus on areas that are already developed instead of bringing up the entire West Seattle neighborhood.

    Comment by fulana — 1:51 pm July 16, 2013 #

  41. i just want a whole foods. its better than whats there now! plus, pretty sure it would have a positive impact on home prices. just sayin’…

    Comment by Amanda C. — 1:53 pm July 16, 2013 #

  42. The apartment/condo building madness in West Seattle has to stop– and the buck stops here! If you think the morning commute on the Bridge is a nightmare now, just wait until this project is finished. It’s time to say enough is enough.

    Comment by Doug — 1:54 pm July 16, 2013 #

  43. Cheryl, you should read a little about unions. Then you would know there are PLENTY of people who care about their existence.
    http://www.aflcio.org/Learn-About-Unions/What-Unions-Do/The-Union-Difference

    Comment by fulana — 1:54 pm July 16, 2013 #

  44. This is a complete over reach by an outgoing Mayor. There is no way he gets re-elected. If you like or dislike Union business’, you have the right to either work for or not work for them. You have the right to shop at them or not shop at them. But trying to prevent them from moving in is outrageous and that’s coming from a card carrying Union Member. The Project passed design review. If they need to pay some more money to get the Alley, then work out a Deal. But these threats do nothing. The space is already there people, they aren’t tearing down Cupcake Royale (Non-Union shop), to build the place. Face it, West Seattle is changing, it’s been changing for many years. This isn’t the Country, it’s part of a major City. If you don’t like expansion and progress, then move away! You also have that choice. Getting in the way of Progress like this, is anti-american. If someone wants to build something that they have studied and feel there is a need for, why would you want to prevent them from doing so? It’s such backward thinking. If they fail in doing so, it’s their loss. But why rail against it?

    Comment by NotTryingToArgueOnline — 2:09 pm July 16, 2013 #

  45. Looks like McGinn is looking to get some Steinbrueck voters in WS!

    Comment by Kgdlg — 2:11 pm July 16, 2013 #

  46. Seems rather clear the Unions gave more money to Hizzoner than Whole Foods did.

    I am sure they will hasten to rectify that to make sure the Mayor makes a “living really good wage” to satisfy his personal need for social justice on the individual level.

    (The clown called me this weekend with some pitch to get me to vote for him or donate money,it was very garbled and made him sound like Forrest Gump after a couple of drinks, ignoring that the number is on the “do not call list” (and I do not accept the self-given exemption politicians made for themselves to call people regardless. Only an idiot disregards a citizen’s demand to be let alone and he appears to be working becoming the Grand Poobah of idiots.))

    Comment by Jim P. — 2:11 pm July 16, 2013 #

  47. The point about the number of grocery stores in the surrounding area is quite valid.

    The point about benefits and living wages is not. Let the people decide if they want to work at Whole Foods or another grocer that offers benefits.

    Comment by Mike — 2:14 pm July 16, 2013 #

  48. Forgetting about the Mayor, Whole Foods and unions for a moment, the question I’d like to ask is why do we want alleys in the first place? The urine-soaked, garbage-strewn ones downtown seem more like a blight than a “public benefit.” Portland has virtually no alleys in its downtown area (probably because of its smaller block size) and seems the better for it.

    Comment by Daldart — 2:16 pm July 16, 2013 #

  49. I am 100% behind the Mayor and this position. This is the LARGEST multiuse development in the history of West Seattle – not just any development or any business. Developers want us to hand over public property for what? An EIGHTH grocery store with lower pay and benefits, and with a CEO saying Global Warming is a myth, Obamacare is Fascist, and worse? Terrible design, traffic/parking nightmare. The developers can do better and I’m glad we’re demanding just that. This is a no-brainer. Thank you, Mayor McGinn. I hope the City Council respects this.

    Comment by AlkiGrl — 2:19 pm July 16, 2013 #

  50. Is it November yet?

    Comment by West seattleite — 2:21 pm July 16, 2013 #

  51. I’m glad to see the Mayor is finally standing up for the people of Seattle. Don’t give away public assets!!

    Comment by kathleen — 2:27 pm July 16, 2013 #

  52. Let’s vote on it. I vote no. Glad we got a Mayor that is not corrupt.

    Comment by Donna — 2:31 pm July 16, 2013 #

  53. Without taking a position (although I sure am excited about the WF hot food bar), wouldn’t the developers have to “pay” for the alley? The alley vacation will not be a “give away” will is, WSB?

    My experience on this land use issue is that Council will set a price for the developers to pay for the alley, so they can buy it and use it in their project. So, the idea that the City will just “give” it to the project I don’t think is valid.

    Comment by kgdlg — 2:34 pm July 16, 2013 #

  54. What do you need Wholefoods for? You got PCC.

    Comment by Donna — 2:34 pm July 16, 2013 #

  55. Thank you, Mayor McGinn, for taking a stand against the “development at any cost” status quo. We do need wise, sustainable development that enhances our neighborhood and makes it a better place, long term. We don’t need to bend over backwards and bind the future to a short-sighted plan by a developer focused single-mindedly on short-term profit. We can do better.

    Comment by J — 2:39 pm July 16, 2013 #

  56. “PLENTY of people who care about their existence.”
    .
    Really? Very few Americans join unions. Only 7% of Americans are in private sector unions.
    .
    As the joke goes: how many people work at Boeing? About half of them.
    .
    Are the workers at Easy street Records unionized and getting livable wages and benefits or is it only businesses whose politics we disagree with that McGinn should block on those standards?

    Comment by West Seattle — 2:42 pm July 16, 2013 #

  57. KGDLG – “Giveaway” certainly is subjective – but no, it is not given away, it is sold. For the exact verbiage from a city document I’ve linked in the story in at least one place:
    .

    Initial Filing Fee: – $450 non-refundable filing fee,

    Post Hearing Fee: – $300 for all property, but $150 for single family residential zoned property,

    Appraisal Fee: – the actual cost of the appraisal; but $600 is the cost for single family residential zoned property.

    Vacation Fee: – the full appraised fair market value is required for streets and alleys that have been a part of the dedicated public right-of-way for 25 years or more.

    If real property is conveyed in satisfaction of the vacation fee, the property must acceptable to the City. The full appraised value of the land will be credited against the vacation fee.

    The petitioner also bears the costs of providing any information necessary for the review process such as project drawings, maps, EIS and traffic analysis as well as other costs such as the cost of review by the Design Commission.

    How is the vacation fee determined?

    The vacation fee is established by an appraisal done by a certified independent appraiser. The fee is the fair market value for streets or alleys that have been a part of the dedicated public right-of-way for 25 years or more (most Seattle streets) and for streets abutting upon bodies of water (vacated in limited circumstances). The fee is ½ the fair market value for streets or alleys that have been part of the public right-of-way for less than 25 years.

    When a project is nearing completion, the City contracts with an appraiser for an appraisal summary report. The cost is typically $5,000 or more and is the responsibility of the Petitioner. The appraiser is provided with relevant project information, including conditions imposed on the vacation. The appraiser will discuss the project with the Petitioner and consider any information such as utility easements or conditions that may affect the land value. It is the responsibility of the Petitioner to provide the appraiser with any information that may have a bearing on the valuation.

    The vacation fee is determined by the appraisal process as required by Code. The fee is not set by the City, and the City has no authority to negotiate the fee. If questions are raised concerning the appraisal, a second appraisal may be requested and an independent review of both appraisals may be required. This cost is the responsibility of the Petitioner.

    Appraisals are time-sensitive and will generally be considered valid for a period of 6 months. Any significant delay in the payment of the fee may require an updated appraisal. The street vacation fee must be paid prior to the passage of the final vacation legislation.

    Comment by WSB — 2:43 pm July 16, 2013 #

  58. (aside) Wishing for forum software that automatically deletes “idiot”, “clown”, etc., and forces people to actually construct a reasoned argument instead of piles of inflammatory language.

    Comment by J — 2:44 pm July 16, 2013 #

  59. “Don’t give away public assets!!”
    .
    They’re not, they will pay market rates for the land. Which, by the way, is not valuable at all:
    .
    http://imgur.com/WMg3ADm
    .
    Take the money from the sale and give it to the hobos.

    Comment by West Seattle — 2:48 pm July 16, 2013 #

  60. I say good, they could make better use of the space. Yes, I know it’s been a long vacancy but only Whole Foods has signed up. Do you really want to have a Whole Foods, it’s garbage and we already have too many grocery stores, although several being good and/or sell similar/better products and are locally owned (PCC, Metropolitan Market, Thriftway). I don’t want to see the local companies with a commitment to better products and service suffer from a glorified safeway. Plus, out of all the grocery stores this will significantly promote much more traffic than any other grocery store in West Seattle as it is a well recognized chain and isn’t in a walker friendly area compared to the other stores.

    Comment by Jim — 2:48 pm July 16, 2013 #

  61. “. Do you really want to have a Whole Foods”
    .
    .
    Can I decide for myself or is that banned by you?

    Comment by West Seattle — 2:57 pm July 16, 2013 #

  62. Along the lines of what HC and AlkiGrl said, When more people move here to live and shop in such a large development, not to mention some of the other development happening on the main drags of WS, will we get improvement or expansion of the transportation infrastructure to accomodate the population increase that we desperately need? I fear the city will do nothing but leave us with the burden of greater commuting/parking nightmares to deal with ourselves.

    Comment by East Coast Cynic — 3:01 pm July 16, 2013 #

  63. After their experience with “The Hole”, and now this slap, I’d be very surprised if Whole Foods continues to pursue a presence in West Seattle.

    Too bad for those who would like a job, union wage or not.

    Remaining to be seen, how a development can be structured without that major tenant and still be viable.
    After all the time/money spent thus far, I wonder if the current project will be shelved/sold and we will end up with another festering sore like the one @ Alaska & California – space markers contributing nothing to the community and psychologically draining to the neighborhood.

    I hope 4755 Fauntleroy are able to continue with something that will work for all, but my expectations are on a short leash.

    BTW – Will someone who keeps spouting the words “Vibrant, active, enhanced pedestrian retail , etc.” when describing what is required for new developments please give real examples?
    The only vibrancy I see in West Seattle occurs when we close the streets and put up tents for the Junction Festival.

    Comment by old timer — 3:06 pm July 16, 2013 #

  64. Dear Don’t Make Me Move Downtown: Really? You stayed in West Seattle to wait for your more urban lifestyle to come to you here? I don’t think so. If you really wanted a more urban lifestyle, you’d have moved downtown a long time ago. Fess up… you’re really a developer in sheep’s clothing.

    Comment by CanDo — 3:07 pm July 16, 2013 #

  65. Real “progressive.”

    Comment by pro WS & pro wealth — 3:23 pm July 16, 2013 #

  66. Maybe the city wants to keep it for a light rail hub?! A girl can dream.

    Comment by Seaview — 3:24 pm July 16, 2013 #

  67. The ONLY things Unions care about these days is how much power and money the leadership can grab. They have forgotten and now ignore the rank and file.
    They forcably take a portion of people’s EARNED money and give NOTHING back beside a pitance when they go on strike, yet THEY pay themselves six figure salaries and use the money collected to pander and suck up to politicians, and like the WEA, us it to file lawsuits to subvert the will of the people.
    Ask a Union leadership member how long it has been since THEY worked (it they ever did) in the field their members are working in.

    Comment by Ex-Westwood Resident — 3:25 pm July 16, 2013 #

  68. I’m pro density but wish we could fill all of those spaces with non-giant apartment buildings. It’s really tough for smaller, local businesses to afford rents in those types of places.

    Comment by james — 3:45 pm July 16, 2013 #

  69. At least they didn’t dig a hole before the plugged was pulled. The drugstore has bailed and now WF will bail because they don’t need the headache. It will sit for two years and then end up being a furniture store and a Men’s Warehouse.

    Comment by CW — 3:46 pm July 16, 2013 #

  70. Seems like extortion to demand a living wage in exchange for a building permit – the two things have nothing to do with each other.

    And personally, I’d rather have a brand new Whole Foods than the junky facade that’s there right now.

    Comment by DW — 3:49 pm July 16, 2013 #

  71. Much as I love Whole Foods, kudos to the Mayor for speaking out against this development. I wish we had something like WF down near the south end somewhere…

    This new development, one of (too) many, looks like it’s own city. We should not only be worrying about the intense concentration of grocery stores, but of apartments/cars/humans.

    Comment by anonyme — 3:51 pm July 16, 2013 #

  72. Thanks WSB, I knew you would have a direct link to the wording. So, basically, the City will make the developer pay fair market value for this slice. I am not sure that represents a “giveaway” to me. Like I said before, I think WF brings a hot food bar option to WS that currently only exists way up north at Metro Market. I have not heard of WF putting other grocers out of business when they move into dense areas, since I think the grocery marketplace is heavily segmented (i.e. do the same folks shop at WF and Safeway?) We personally won’t likely do our shopping at WF but it would be a nice option for to-go food.

    Comment by kgdlg — 3:57 pm July 16, 2013 #

  73. Didn’t Mayor McGinn agree (and even push for if I recall correctly) a couple of the public street vacations now taking place downtown in Belltown?

    I doubt many of the bars, clubs and restaurants that are located right there and will benefit from the street vacations are Union. Many probably pay minimum wage, and the poor and homeless can’t afford to eat or drink in those establishments.

    Seems a bit hypocritical to me.

    Comment by JimmyG — 3:58 pm July 16, 2013 #

  74. I have lived in West Seattle all of my life. If the Mayor would take the time to drive to the project site, or any other uninformed person, they would see that there is already an existing alley. All the developers want to do is move it south. It is so transparent that this is about Whole Foods as a none union shop, that only the turnips who fell off of the truck would believe otherwise. My future vote just fell off of the turnip truck with the other turnips. This is merely the exchange of an gravel alley with a gas station on one side, next to a funeral home and another used car lot on the north and another used car lot on the other south side. This alley is ugly and never used, except by transients who urinate and leave beer cans on the “public property”. And for this, the Mayor is willing to give up an alley, a connector street with a living garden, sidewalks etc.? This project has received hudge public support to get to where it is now, to include changes in zoning etc. This concept was introduced by the city to the community, “The Triangle”. The Mayor’s resent biased public comment, should be exposed for the real reason it was made, not for the false excuses put forth by him in his letter. West Seattle Lifer

    Comment by West Seattle Lifer — 4:03 pm July 16, 2013 #

  75. Just a thought…is it just a “suggestion” that McGinn has made? Is SDOT forced to reject because he suggests it? Does this go through the Council? If it does, won’t they likely go the other way anyway because it’s election time? Could McGinn’s letter just be a posturing thing? Just a thought.

    Comment by neoyogi — 4:05 pm July 16, 2013 #

  76. Definitely unions putting the pressure on McGinn. Those of you thinking anything better will come of this are deluding yourselves. Whole Foods will pull out, a new mayor will be elected, the project will sit vacant for years, and eventually a new mega-project will be built.

    There’s no stopping the densification of West Seattle. And transportation options won’t be improved until we reach a tipping point. This project looked nice. What should be rejected is the piece of sh*t being built across the street. LA Fitness good. Whole Foods bad. Ha! What a joke. Let’s let this project sit vacant for 5 years and maybe we’ll get a new mega-project with a Bally Fitness.

    Comment by villagegreen — 4:06 pm July 16, 2013 #

  77. If the city doesn’t have a use for the alley and it’s not serving a public interest they should sell it.

    Union jobs and number of grocery stores already near are completely irrelevant in this context.

    Comment by skeeter — 4:07 pm July 16, 2013 #

  78. If you think McGinn sucks, take a look at the mayoral candidates for November’s election — they all suck too.

    A Forbes article today states that there won’t be any reason to join a labor union once Obamacare takes hold.

    Wholefoods is growing and developing in other areas.

    Comment by Seattlite — 4:21 pm July 16, 2013 #

  79. About time somebody said no to development that tears down community. The proposed “new” alley would be super unsafe. No pedestrian in right mind would walk down while trucks unload, back into stalls across the pedestrian way. It is a CRAZY proposal. Step back, and propose a good plan, then I’ll say yes. Go Mayor McGinn!

    Comment by SW — 4:32 pm July 16, 2013 #

  80. Neo – I have noted the process above – SDOT reports to the mayor, but the council does not. So theoretically, so far as I’ve found, SDOT can recommend rejection, but the council could still approve it. Then the mayor could veto it; after that a vote of at least six councilmembers is needed to override a veto, per http://www.seattle.gov/leg/clerk/guides/ceg_howabillbecomesalaw.html and if they override, it’s final and it becomes law.

    Comment by WSB — 4:33 pm July 16, 2013 #

  81. As the construction cranes in West Seattle and downtown demonstrate, it’s a hot development market, and will be for some time. The Mayor is right, we can do better, and the City need not turn over its property for project that doesn’t benefit all of us. That vacant lot won’t stay vacant, but once built, we are stuck with the building and the tenant.

    Comment by steve — 4:39 pm July 16, 2013 #

  82. While I’m not super thrilled about the idea of hundreds and thousands of new people to-ing and fro-ing over the bridge at rush hour because of all this new development in our hood, I think it’s a bit ridiculous to resist it. Seattle is certainly not making any more land for it’s burgeoning population to fill up – I think it’s go dense or get out from here on out. This is a city, after all. Maybe all of these new people will create the impetus we need to get better public transportation over here?

    And is someone actually using that alley for anything productive or useful right now? I, for one, am sick of looking at the wasteland that is the triangle area as well as embarrassed that it is the first part of West Seattle that most people see. Why are people freaking out about Whole Foods, but not the LA Fitness that’s moving in across the street? LA Fitness is a whole lot less useful to most folks and will employ a whole lot less locals.

    Comment by Raindog — 4:47 pm July 16, 2013 #

  83. Mayor McGinn’s position is not fair & it is disingenuous. It is not right for Johnny Come Lately to attempt to squash a development once it has already met the communities excellent design criteria. The fair & appropriate way to protect employees livelihood in Seattle is through public policy, which applies to “all,” and not to single out specific developments for biased reasons. If you don’t like the store’s positions – don’t patronize them, educate people as to why, but don’t stand in the way of those who want to. This project does serve the public good by replacing an ugly alley with a lovely, pedestrian friendly one that will open onto a new public park. However, your letter does not.

    Comment by WS Mom — 4:54 pm July 16, 2013 #

  84. Really there is no need for a Wholefoods in the area, after the curb appeal wears off is this community really going to be able to support it as their primary grocery store? It is so absolutely overpriced.

    Comment by Eastwood Jones — 4:56 pm July 16, 2013 #

  85. @kgdlg “hot food bar options… only exists way up north at Metro Market.” Umm, every locally owned restaurant at the Junction is a hot food bar option if you order it to go. What is the point of bringing in yet another grocery store that offers nothing new, when the only result will be to undermine existing businesses, most of them locally owned? I’m happy to have breakfast at Easy Street Records and lunch at Husky Deli, instead.

    Comment by AlkiGrl — 5:03 pm July 16, 2013 #

  86. Raindog – Data point since you bring it up – when the project across SW Alaska, now known as Spruce, was originally approved under different ownership, it had an entirely different retail plan – Whole Foods and Hancock Fabrics, plus some space for a few smaller stores. Whole Foods ended its involvement with that project in 2010 when the terms of their contract weren’t met – no building had been built and at the time did not appear to be on the brink of being built. Hancock Fabrics at some point down the line (they have never publicly commented, nor did they ever answer our inquiries) decided it didn’t want to be part of it either. And so, Madison Development found LA Fitness as a tenant. It fit in a design revision that had been proposed before Whole Foods left the plan. But the project still had to go back to the Design Commission for “public benefit” review before the alley vacation was finalized and construction could begin – we covered that hearing in December:
    .
    http://westseattleblog.com/2012/12/were-really-happy-to-get-the-hole-filled-new-owners-team-discusses-spruce-west-seattle-at-first-public-review
    .
    Nobody from the public showed up to comment; SDOT’s rep said she was fine with the revisions.
    .
    TR

    Comment by WSB — 5:08 pm July 16, 2013 #

  87. If anyone thinks that development won’t happen there because of this think again. Will Whole Foods truly NOT build there if the vacation is denied? If not Whole Foods-/ something else will go there– just a matter of what/how it will be an enhancement to that area. Hey WS- what do YOU think would be a good fit there- because something will be built. How many of these structures are going up with that 2 word mantra “retail space” on the ground floor uttered by developers- and what kind of retail will that be. There’s (obviously) no way to stop development- but it sure would be grand to have some great new businesses as part of that growth.

    Comment by Gene — 5:09 pm July 16, 2013 #

  88. For those of you unfamiliar with this project, there is already an existing alley. This project requires that the alley be moved and the city requires improvements. Lots of improvements. Pretty neat concept. Read up on what is going on with this project before you try to get educated by many of the uneducated in this current BLOG FEST. Go to http://www.westseattleblog.com and search for 4755 Fauntleroy. You might learn something. West Seattle Lifer

    Comment by West Seattle Lifer — 5:19 pm July 16, 2013 #

  89. McGinn has clearly been bought by the union on this one – their endorsement set this up. He’s running for re-election and it’s obvious. I will be voting for someone else – likely Murray.

    Like development or not, this building is a significant improvement to current state of the block. It puts density where we want it in WS, 1/2 block from RapidRide, walking distance to Junction. It brings a balance of new businesses to our community. It makes the area much more walkable.

    Something big will be built there, this is not nearly as big as what could be built there.

    I would support Council to again reject McGinn’s attempt at “leadership”.

    Comment by Denny — 5:46 pm July 16, 2013 #

  90. I nominated McGinn for endorsement at at the 34th District Democrats nomination meeting, and I an utterly disgusted by this. I renounce my nomination and condemn this brainless NIMBY ass kissing. I’m switching my vote to Murray.

    Comment by Peter Leahy — 5:48 pm July 16, 2013 #

  91. Making a decision zoning based or one based on a design decision is one thing – basing (in part, or all) a decision on who the developer is leasing space to being based on being another grocery store or their business model/choice is another thing. I really hope the Council votes for the vacation of the alley.

    Comment by My two cents ... — 5:49 pm July 16, 2013 #

  92. “If the Mayor would take the time to drive to the project site, or any other uninformed person, they would see that there is already an existing alley. All the developers want to do is move it south.” –West Seattle Lifer

    Can’t disagree more with your above viewpoint. Once that land is transferred from publicly owned to privately owned, it can be redeveloped in the future to however an owner sees fit b/c it will then be privately owned. It’s not just ‘moving it south’ it’s taking that land and making it privately owned and as such the pedestrian connection could be lost should the site redevelop again in the future. Having alleys in Seattle breaks down the suburban scale of the superblocks and allows for pedestrian permeability. Doing something that is better than the blight now does not make it right. This developer can do better. We need to protect our urban form for all future generations. We need to think 50-100 years out. Someone said above that Portland doesn’t have alleys but they do have smaller block sizes. That means a better scale and better pedestrian permeability throughout the urban neighborhood. Our block sizes in Seattle are different and having the alleys that are publicly owned helps protect us from supersized, car oriented Northgate style development. If we allow alley vacations without appropriate public benefit and streetscape activation, we set our neighborhoods up to fail for future generations. Drive up to Northgate and take a look at what the supersize blocks look and feel like. We don’t need this in West Seattle. If a large grocer wants to come into a neighborhood like this, rather than plopping down an anywhere USA, super sized footprint, design it to fit within the urban context of the specific neighborhood it is coming into. They can do better and hopefully this decision will get them to care enough to take a look at what is appropriate in this site’s context. Corporate tenants back out of lease contracts, some go out of business…there are a myriad of reasons why this project could become vacant down the road. The building needs to be designed to support and activate the public realm regardless of who the tenant(s) is/are. If WF backs out or decides to relocate, can this project be flipped to a variety of other tenant(s) should it become empty. Not likely with how it’s designed which means it would/could sit empty and that is not better. I’m sure the developers are reading this. You know you can do better…so be willing to have the conversation with your corporate tenant, adjust your design to fit the neighborhood and do better.

    Comment by WSR — 5:50 pm July 16, 2013 #

  93. Would the decision be different if the business leasing the space was a union based office supply store?

    Comment by My two cents ... — 5:51 pm July 16, 2013 #

  94. If you’re going to work for a grocer, Whole Foods is where you want to be.

    Can you really imagine a viable project that will better suit West Seattle?

    http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/careers/benefits-us-team-members

    Comment by Amazed — 5:57 pm July 16, 2013 #

  95. The Junction needs another supermarket as much as it needs another Shell station. Good call mayor.

    Comment by junctioneer — 5:58 pm July 16, 2013 #

  96. leverage, it’s leverage for power. It is not connected to anyone or anything it is an orchestration for power, present or future. I am powerful so pay me my due and maybe I will let you proceed.

    Comment by lookingforlogic — 5:59 pm July 16, 2013 #

  97. Interesting how many of the people who are against the project and in support of the mayor think that they speak for everyone. You don’t. Whole Foods is a reputable company that pays a good wage to its employees. That land is currently almost entirely unused, that alley is fallow and overgrown, and I cringe every time I drive or ride by it. The developers will pay market rates for the “alley vacation”, something that happens all the time in Seattle, by the way. This is ill-considered, uninformed politics. The mayor has just lost my vote.

    Comment by W Sea Neighbor — 6:01 pm July 16, 2013 #

  98. I totally agree with the basic complaint that the building project is just simply TO BIG!! This is not what West Seattle needs – it’s just gross. I hate Whole Foods and will not shop there. The pedestrian alley issue is MAJOR and a very important point that Joe Rogoff did NOT address. Mega-projects are just not the right thing for our cool, small town vibe. Traffic, congestion, nondescript blocky bores-ville: here we come. PS: I will always pick TJ’s over WF!!!

    Comment by sara — 6:03 pm July 16, 2013 #

  99. McGinn gets my vote. Absolutely.

    Comment by Great News — 6:06 pm July 16, 2013 #

  100. If you are looking for an alternative for mayor, check out https://www.peterforseattle.com/
    He’s really great at understanding the various neighborhoods in our city, including West Seattle. Might not be someone on your radar!

    Comment by Cami — 6:06 pm July 16, 2013 #

  101. If you’re going to work for a grocer, Whole Foods is where you want to be.

    Can you really imagine a viable project that will better serve West Seattle?

    http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/careers/benefits-us-team-members

    Comment by Amazed — 6:06 pm July 16, 2013 #

  102. If “alley vacation” gets past or through the city council then why should the property not be put up for bid to get top dollar value as the money goes back to city (general fund) ???? Maybe it could help recover some of the money tax payers spent on the new park property across the street. Soon to be one of the most expensive parks in the city’s history per sqft. (10,000sqft) and will be over $2 million when done. But I guess it helps the developers get top dollar for rents and leases.

    Comment by wetone — 6:10 pm July 16, 2013 #

  103. I patronize Whole Foods and like their store. I do however think that there are too many grocery stores in that area and it would put the jobs had at other stores in Jeopardy.

    What about putting the whole foods in a location that needs revitalization? I agree with several others. Here in the comments that the Delridge area would benefit greatly from this influence in its area. Look at what it did for the Interbay area!

    Please think about the effects of the community with this mega project. You are about to cause a cluster f*#k with this development. Fauntleroy can’t support this kind of traffic in that area.

    Comment by WS Citizen — 6:10 pm July 16, 2013 #

  104. This is like kicking over a sandcastle. A destructive act.

    Heaven forbid we sympathize with the developers, but really, think of all of the work that the architects, etc. have put into this. When has McGinn ever designed a building or done something creative like that?

    Comment by 49th Aver — 6:11 pm July 16, 2013 #

  105. Let the market decide what stores stay open or close. If this proposal is so evil it will end up like the Ben & Jerry’s location.

    This zoning was vetted and passed years ago — we can’t suddenly proclaim that we are shocked! “Shocked I say that gambling is going on here!”

    Comment by My two cents ... — 6:25 pm July 16, 2013 #

  106. Joe Rogoff for Mayor!

    Comment by Zanna — 6:29 pm July 16, 2013 #

  107. Weren’t folks just recently complaining about the fact that having jobs in West Seattle might alleviate the commuting nightmare? Now, we’re balking on a project that might provide some of those jobs?

    What jobs DO pay a living wage anymore? Unless, Google opens an office in WS, good luck finding a tenant that pays those kind of wages.

    Comment by G — 6:41 pm July 16, 2013 #

  108. I bet former Mayor Nickels looks at this BS, snickers, and has a mug of “Mountain Fresh” Rainier beer.

    I look at this BS, snicker, and have a can of Milwaukee’s Best Ice. Then another, and another, and, well, you get the picture…

    Comment by Hole Food — 6:56 pm July 16, 2013 #

  109. It’s about to get ugly.

    Comment by Last53BusRider — 7:13 pm July 16, 2013 #

  110. You guys are cracking me up. As if this is going to stop Whole Foods. My goodness people, they’re committed. Listen to you carry on about better ideas for this site and where WF should build instead. They’re coming and I for one couldn’t be happier.

    Comment by schwaggy — 7:23 pm July 16, 2013 #

  111. Hard to be sympathetic to out of state developers coming in and trying to force through a project that mainly benefits their stock holders, not us: Fortune 500 Corporation Lennar and Weingarten Realty Investment, another Fortune 500 Corporation

    Comment by localyokel — 7:43 pm July 16, 2013 #

  112. Why do we need another grocery store? Whole Paycheck…I mean Foods is a waste of space. Right on Mayor! Clean up West Seattle! Maybe folks will move back to Ballard and we can get back to being a FAMILY neighborhood here in West Seattle!

    Comment by F16CrewChief — 7:57 pm July 16, 2013 #

  113. Mayor McSchwinn throws another gutter ball. To base a stores union or non-union status as a basis for vacationing the alley is about as funny as the transit “bulbs” in west seattle.
    To base this on other competing businesses make sense too. We can’t trust competing stores to… Well… Compete on their own terms, so we need the city to be a Nanny here.
    What’s nice now is that since the employment generated by the vacant properties as well as the city tax income from these vacant lots are so incredible, what’s the point of any building there. Let’s just leave the eyesore.

    Comment by Lance — 8:04 pm July 16, 2013 #

  114. So, folks do know that Whole Foods CEO John Mackey labeled Obamacare first as “socialist” then as “like fascism”?

    Think what you will, but that doesn’t seem a good fit for Seattle to me. And if you look into what others say about their “organics” and Whole Foods’ negative impact on the “organics” food chain it can be enlightening.

    Comment by WS — 8:28 pm July 16, 2013 #

  115. I looked at the story WSB referenced on the old spot (now to be LA Fitness). Here’s the “public benefit” for that Alley Vacation:

    The public benefit, as summarized in the presentation:
    *”Pocket park” public open space in right of way bulb at southeast corner
    *$25,000 to Seattle Parks
    *Wider sidewalks
    *More landscaping
    *Flexcars
    *Pedestrian weather protection along Alaska/39th frontages
    *Undergrounding utilities along 39th SW (not required but the project team says they decided to do it because it would be “ugly otherwise”

    I saw a much longer list from this new project. They have stepped up. Let’s get digging.

    Comment by Denny — 8:48 pm July 16, 2013 #

  116. The mayor is not fighting for “the people”. This is grandstanding, similar to the Tunnel. He probably didn’t know this development proposal existed. He’s wasting time and money by using his ranking to delay projects that have been planned and approved by his staff.

    McGinn is looking for the trendy vote. If this doesn’t go through we’ll all be ashamed when this lot get turned into poorly planned townhouses and absolutely no public amenities or job creation.

    Comment by McFail — 8:56 pm July 16, 2013 #

  117. The mayor got this one correct, but it took him too long to speak up.

    Comment by dsa — 9:06 pm July 16, 2013 #

  118. Can anyone say quid pro quo???

    Comment by West seattleite — 9:18 pm July 16, 2013 #

  119. Wait, Mayor McGinn’s is after Charlie Staadecker’s NIMBY, anti-density mob of SFH owners now?
    .
    Wow, the election must be here because McGinn’s weaving his positions around like a drunk on Aurora Ave at 2am. Next he’ll change his position on the tunnel!…Oh wait….

    Comment by West Seattle — 9:47 pm July 16, 2013 #

  120. Well argued WSR.
    .
    It doesnt seem likely that WF would fold up their plans just because there was push-back to get more in exchange for being allowed to purchase public land that forever alters how big a city block is.
    .
    I see the mayor’s position as one of “hey Seattle, ask for more, don’t sell the community short.”
    .
    But if WF DID pull out due to being asked for more, would that jeopardize the entire 300 apt complex? If so, that is an awfully fragile contingency. . .
    .
    I personally don’t get why one of the existing 7 supermarkets in the area isn’t sufficient, but whatever — market forces can decide that fate.
    .
    Asking any tenant to sweeten the deal in exchange for the alley is simply good negotiation.
    .
    WS doesnt need to bow and scrape to get someone in that spot now that the US economy as a whole is climbing out of the hole.
    .
    We are an awesome community and should know our worth and not be too cowed to ask for it.

    Comment by MellyMel — 10:01 pm July 16, 2013 #

  121. Haysuess effing kreist! It’s very sad to read about this in regards to a grocery store, an apartment project, a town home, or other. NIMBY

    I get that everyone has feelings, and I get that this blog is the way to post and vent, and I hope you all feel good about it too!

    Why hasn’t nickelsville received the same coverage?

    More importantly, why are so many people on this blog so condescending about what is happening here in west Seattle?

    I’ve only lived in west Seattle for 12 years, and it’s a wonderful spot to live! The people, new and old, make it great. And more importantly, the enthusiasm for this place is great! Why wouldn’t anyone want to live here?

    West Seattle, train your replacements.

    Comment by Denster — 10:05 pm July 16, 2013 #

  122. WS — Wholefoods’ CEO, John Mackey, was right on about Obumacare being socialistic. Canada’s and most of Europe’s socialistic healthcare systems are failing big time because it’s so costly. That’s why USA’s labor unions are now squawking because they finally realized the exorbitant cost of socialized healthcare.

    Seattle already pays enough taxes to cover the mismanagment of King County and the state.

    Comment by Seattlite — 10:10 pm July 16, 2013 #

  123. WSR, Fact, this alley vacation will require that the new connector street be used for public benefit forever and ever, in perpetuity. Look at the plans. There is already an alley, they just want to move it, which requires a vacation. Oh yes, they are paying $$$ for it. Do you think that they are going to build out the buildings on either side of the connector, tear them down, relocate different commercial tenants, most of these leases are for 45 years, kick out all of the residents, and rebuild the entire project to face a lawsuit by the city to do something different with the connector. (This connector connects Fauntleroy with 40th Ave. S.W., at the end of which will be a new city park, on 40th, in large part due to this project, which the developers are contributing to. I wonder if the Mayor even knows about this park?) I don’t think so. That is your protection. As far as Whole Foods goes, those who live in West Seattle know that the plans for a Whole Foods has already passed the litmus test by them. There is now going to be an L.A. fitness where the hole in the ground was. The West Seattle YMCA is supporting the current project and I don’t hear an out cry of public opinion opposing the competition the L.A. Fitness is going to give the “Y”. This is a union bias that has gotten to our Mayor, pure and simple. West Seattle Lifer

    Comment by West Seattle Lifer — 10:17 pm July 16, 2013 #

  124. Denster, we have covered the encampment PLENTY in the five years since it first set up in West Seattle. You don’t even have to take my word for it – browse the archive (reverse chronological):
    .
    http://westseattleblog.com/category/nickelsville-encampment
    .
    TR

    Comment by WSB — 10:21 pm July 16, 2013 #

  125. As my monthly budget unfortunately demonstrates, my family spends a lot of our income eating local. We love husky, the brewery, bakery nouveau, to name just a few. This is not mutually exclusive. I can eat at all these places and love and support them and still want the option of picking up a hot meal on the way home at WF for less than 10 bucks. The QFC food bar sucks (sorry my opinion) and PCC and metro market are too far north for us (we live almost to the city line). This will very much fill a niche need in the junction that I don’t believe will hurt existing businesses. Remember that there are 400 new apartments here, all bringing their money local to shop in WS?

    Comment by Kgdlg — 10:27 pm July 16, 2013 #

  126. If not a whoole foods then maybe the city could build a park and ride like they built in burein.

    Comment by Boy — 10:29 pm July 16, 2013 #

  127. The market will decide if people need another grocery store in West Seattle – it’s Whole Food’s risk to take. McGinn’s a posturing ass who’s been bought and sold.

    Comment by Mickey — 10:32 pm July 16, 2013 #

  128. Thank you, W.S. Lifer. I sincerely feel that much of the opposition to 4755 is grounded on an incomplete knowledge of the development. e.g. not knowing that the vacated alley will be used for public benefit in perpetuity.

    A small example… earlier, Junctioneer said that the neighborhood “needs another supermarket as much as it needs another Shell station.” This mixed use development will in fact replace a Shell station. Anticipation of the development going through is the reason why there are currently two Shell stations kitty-corner on Fauntleroy and Alaska (an admittedly strange sight).

    Comment by Grant — 10:53 pm July 16, 2013 #

  129. It really concerns me that the mayor is using OUR neighborhood for his political purposes. I’m also really sick of the union using OUR neighborhood as a pawn in their power struggles.

    I am a fan of my neighborhood becoming more vibrant. I’m looking forward to a quality grocery store that I can walk to that’s better than QFC (decent, but meh for meat, seafood, or any ethnic foods at all) and Safeway (sketchy!). If Whole Foods doesn’t go in there, who will? They need an anchor tenant, and any of the possibilities other than WF scare me.

    I do like the idea of getting rid of public alleys when possible. They collect trash, smell like piss, and take public money to maintain.

    Thanks mayor for keeping those blighted, vacant buildings! We really owe ya for this one.

    Comment by JVP — 10:57 pm July 16, 2013 #

  130. To, LOCALYOKEL, The city has run out most of the local developers by making it so difficult for them to do business here that they have gone out of state to survive. That is why there are so many out of state developers coming here, the grass is always greener. There is less competition from locals as a result. Ask a few local developers. West Seattle Lifer

    Comment by West Seattle Lifer — 11:06 pm July 16, 2013 #

  131. The site needs to be improved but not with a mega project. Just a regular sized project would be my choice. If the mayor’s opposition means the project gets downsized – even if it means a different developer – than I’m ok with that. Down with mega!!

    Comment by Been there — 11:50 pm July 16, 2013 #

  132. 2 QFCs, 3 Safeways, Thriftway, Co-Op, Metropolitan Market, Trader Joe’s – enough, please! I am so with the Mayor on this and more broadly for a halt to the overdevelopment of WS – enough is enough. I grew up here and it took us 10 minutes to get downtown when I was a kid, now, most of us spend ten minutes just trying to pass the on ramps onto the WS Bridge – this area is overdeveloped and being inundated and overrun with apartments, residents and new row housing developments, Stop, please! Look how ugly Ballard has become – is this what we want for WS, the most beautiful natural areas and neighborhoods in the city?

    Comment by GJP2013 — 11:56 pm July 16, 2013 #

  133. Comments against new developments again…Thousands of people move to Seattle every year, this is a vibrant city with many companies that attract educated people. Where do you want them to live? In the suburbs? Let’s build more of those, and let’s everyone drive wherever you need to go, so much better than walking! Would that be a solution? We can not all live in single family homes; with the influx of new people, environment, energy costs, etc., the math just does not work…Regarding the Whole Foods – it is a fantastic store, a lot of us cannot wait for it to open in WS! Comments like “whole paycheck” come from ignorance. Vast majority of items are regular prices, and their selection is amazing.

    Anyway, this mayor’s thinking is not the brightest and his “politicking” will damage our community. Hopefully neighbors understand that.

    Comment by Arianna — 12:27 am July 17, 2013 #

  134. Wow. The hysteria on behalf of whole foods and out-of-state developers. The developers can build whatever they bloody want, without the alley vacation. The city is not obligated in any way to privatize public property unless a development is in the public interest. This one isn’t. The developers can go back to the drawing board and work around our public property. Simple. If whole foods can’t accommodate a different format, then they are free to look elsewhere.

    Comment by AlkiGrl — 12:33 am July 17, 2013 #

  135. Development has become our local hot-button issue, but some of the points being made are just silly.

    * This site is a derelict vacant car dealership across the street from a pawn shop. Yes, I too want to preserve our local charm, but this particular site does not have any charm to preserve. Its an eyesore. So that bit of this discussion is moot to me or more applicable to other projects.

    * There is little the city can, or IMO should, do about regulating private businesses. They can not approve the project but they can’t ban additional grocery stores in a particular area, and they certainly cannot force a grocery store to open in a different area, however nice that might be. As a few others have said, if there are too many grocery stores in West Seattle, market forces will sort that out.

    * Development IS going to happen here. So long as apartments have so few vacancies and rents are at a premium, development is going to continue. You can’t stop it. What you can do is loudly and continually demand that the city, county and state all do their parts to ensure that infrastructure keeps pace with the development. Right now this is not happening, nor is it going to happen unless voters get very loud, as the city and Mayor McGinn have been quite explicit about refusing to add any additional capacity for cars under any circumstances. Even if those circumstances include thousands of new cars moving into the neighborhood. This is compounded by the changes that allowed developers to build without any parking offered, which also needs to be repealed. So yes, I expect traffic to get worse and worse as more people move in, and the only way that is going to be mitigated before it becomes a disaster is if the mayor, whoever he might be, and the city council keep hearing these same things from likely voters over and over again.

    Comment by Queenie — 1:43 am July 17, 2013 #

  136. Really Mayor??? The unsightly “hole” is bad enough and we should be grateful that Whole Foods even wants to return to our area with JOBS! Especially considering all the red tape and excruciating slow pace of government around here. Are these unsightly empty lots, chain link fences, and vacant buildings better than a new development offering something to the community? It’s sad this project is being put in jeopardy for the Mayor’s own political agenda. And why is Whole Foods being singled out when a lot of the jobs in this commercial area are minimum wage and offer even less benefits. This is pure stupidity!

    Comment by Dan — 2:01 am July 17, 2013 #

  137. “We have a strong commitment to social and economic justice at the City of Seattle. One of our core economic development goals is to provide fair and livable wages and benefits for our residents.”

    What a joke! What about increasing affordable housing so people can still live in WS?

    Comment by T — 4:31 am July 17, 2013 #

  138. Whole Foods is akin to Wal-Mart. You let that store go in and all the great little food shops that make the area what it is will be gone within 2 years. Looks like a common sense conclusion by the Mayor. Good job.

    Comment by RachaelB — 4:46 am July 17, 2013 #

  139. is that bellevue in the picture?

    Comment by w.s. maverick — 6:24 am July 17, 2013 #

  140. enough is enough

    Comment by w.s. maverick — 6:25 am July 17, 2013 #

  141. Mayor Mcschwinn is following the lead of Washington DC city clowncil. They just demanded that Wal-Mart must pay “living wages” (whatever that is?!?!) in order to recieve the permits to build THREE stores.
    Guess what???
    Wal-Mart said OK, we won’t build in DC, but somewhere else in the area.
    Good-Bye to the jobs that these stores would have provided.
    And just like in DC, if you think Whole Foods will cave to McSchwinn and pay their employees higher wages, or suddenly get sucked into the Union hole, think again. WF will pull out just like before and just look for a different place to build at.

    Comment by Ex-Westwood Resident — 7:25 am July 17, 2013 #

  142. Agree with T. The comment about “a strong commitment to social and economic justice at the City of Seattle” made me laugh out loud. Can’t wait to vote you out McGinn.

    Comment by RickM — 7:29 am July 17, 2013 #

  143. It seems pretty obvious there are several developer schills/marketing hacks posting on this site in favor of this development. Or maybe just one with several handles. I hope the WSB IP checks posts…

    Comment by sean — 7:40 am July 17, 2013 #

  144. @West Seattle:

    “No more building in West Seattle! Is there any way to stop all this craziness!?”

    YES…stop having children that you don’t need but only want!

    Comment by Cowpie — 7:52 am July 17, 2013 #

  145. @sean: hardly. Debating the alley vacation is one thing. But debating the merits of another grocery store, and whether it is in a union is simply crazy. Is this America? Do we really have to rally against something because we don’t want another grocery store? Let people vote with their money when the store is open. We can’t not “let” a sound store build here simply because we don’t like the store very much. And there’s no prevent development. I would love for West Seattle to stay the same, but it’s not. It simply has to grow with the city.

    The bottom line is people just really, really hate change and love a chance to attack large companies who try to develop in West Seattle. Except, of course, Trader Joe’s, which happens to by owned by gigantic Aldi.

    Comment by junctioneer — 8:33 am July 17, 2013 #

  146. I would think that SDOT and the City Council are not as naive as McGinn believes the public to be. There was an alley vacation already granted, directly across the street where Whole Foods was going to go and that alley vacation did not require nearly the public benefit that is being required by the proposal at 4755 Fauntleroy Wy. currently. Get over it. West Seattle Lifer

    Comment by West Seattle Lifer — 8:33 am July 17, 2013 #

  147. A reminder of some rules we have here. If you are going to participate in a discussion thread, you must keep the same handle for any comment you make IN that thread. We don’t require real names and we don’t require sign-ins but we DO need to keep some integrity in each discussion so that no one attempts to pose as multiple commenters. At least one comment in queue appears to violate that rule and will not be approved. Thanks – TR

    Comment by WSB — 8:47 am July 17, 2013 #

  148. The national Food and Beverage union just donated $50k to McGinn’s campaign yesterday, which I’m sure is entirely coincidental.

    http://slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2013/07/16/mike-mcginn-has-people-too

    Comment by DW — 9:15 am July 17, 2013 #

  149. @Sean, let’s ask posters to show their UFCW cards, too, eh?

    Comment by Mickey — 9:26 am July 17, 2013 #

  150. Obamacare, passed in 2010 and amended a few days ago will require employers with more then 50 FT employees to have healthcoverage by 2015.

    http://obamacarefacts.com/obamacare-employer-mandate.php

    Does this even matter?

    Comment by Dale — 9:33 am July 17, 2013 #

  151. The WSB missed one other already City approved King County “corporate takeover” of a public right of way, with no compensation to the neighborhood for the loss of that public right of way…
    .
    Murray Ave, see last pic on this page
    .
    http://whatnowwestseattle.wordpress.com/west-seattle-says/
    .
    The City gave it to King County with no public discussion of its loss or input from the public. McGinn is well aware of it, but could NOT care less. In other words, McGinn has no consistent value system or he can’t be consistent if he does have one… either way, he’s no leader, unless you like being lost most of the time…

    Comment by Ron Sterling — 9:47 am July 17, 2013 #

  152. Trader Joes is non-union, they gotta go!

    Comment by ab — 9:59 am July 17, 2013 #

  153. Thanks, Ron, just to be clear, our list – not represented as comprehensive – was just a mention of recent commercial developments that included street/alley vacations.

    Comment by WSB — 10:15 am July 17, 2013 #

  154. Who cares if there is another grocery store. And isn’t trader joe’s non-union? More competition among grocery stores means lower prices. I vote for that. I also vote they put in enough parking, but that of course is too sensical for Seattle. Also, lets get plastic bags back. I’m tired of BUYING them when I used to be able to recycle.

    This post brought to you buy a union donation to McGinn. Well played, political lie machine. I think that jobs are better than no jobs. So we’re going to deny people jobs because people with jobs refuse to allow people with no job to choose what wage they want to work for? What about young people that want to work to get some good experience? The views on “livable wages” are so myopic.

    And further more, you want to exclude a company from functioning in the area because you don’t agree with the CEO’s opinion on Obamacare? If that’s the Seattle standard for allowing businesses who’s the facist group? Get rid of everyone that doesn’t agree with you? That’s worked out super well in history.

    I get that people don’t go for these kinds of developments. I don’t either, but the reasons for excluding businesses and jobs from our community are kind of creepy.

    Comment by Tuesday — 10:51 am July 17, 2013 #

  155. @DW That was the hotel/restaraunt workers union. They endorsed McGinn months ago and don’t represent grocery workers. So it’s unlikely that played into it.

    Do you have the same qualms about business and developer money going to candidates?

    If McGinn is taking a stand on worker issues that labor cares about why is it wrong for labor to support him?

    Comment by Jorge — 10:52 am July 17, 2013 #

  156. If we are going to get something from a developer in exchange for an alley vacation, it out to be something that helps compensate for the loss of public access (the alleys) to the site. The compensation should relate to the loss and be of obvious public value, not unrelated & debatable issues like job quality.

    The current alleys are not good points of access to or through the site because they do not connect through to other streets (the east/west alley stops at 40th), or even within the block (the north/south alley dead-ends). I’m surprised that these were maintained & turned into pedestrian passageways in the City’s plan, as they don’t connect anything. Exclusively pedestrian streets that don’t connect well to major streets with lots of walking traffic tend to be little used and attract nuisances (i.e. vagrants & trash). Bottom line: these alleys were valuable for loading and unloading to the semi-industrial & commercial businesses the recently occupied the site, they don’t make any sense for a dense, mixed retail and residential project that is supposed to connect well to the surrounding streets and businesses so that folks find it easy to walk.

    The alleys should be vacated and compensation from the project should go towards pedestrian improvements to the Alaska/Fauntleroy intersection, the front door of the project. Right now, getting across that intersection on foot, or by bike or car, is confusing, unpleasant and unsafe. This is unfortunate give all the new development going on across the street and in the Triangle, and especially the new retail in the area. This intersection is also the major gateway to West Seattle & it should be gorgeous, like the rest of our community.

    Let’s get something out of this that will actually make an immediate and concrete difference for West Seattle. There has to be a better way to organize & beautify that intersection, both for cars and the many more people who would walk across the street to Trader Joe’s, or up to the Junction, if the sidewalks were inviting. I doubt McGinn is thinking about the quality of our walking and driving environment in opposing this, but we should!!! Let’s turn obstructionism into something positive for West Seattle.

    Comment by Morgan neighbor — 11:02 am July 17, 2013 #

  157. My street. No you can’t have it for your profit. At any price.

    Comment by 22Blades — 11:16 am July 17, 2013 #

  158. As we have written in previous coverage, there ARE pedestrian improvements included in the public-benefit package that the Design Commission signed off on (which is their role, before SDOT can proceed with its recommendation). Specifically, a crosswalk across Alaska right at the Alaska/Fauntleroy corner, between this project and Spruce. I’m expecting to write a followup this afternoon – waiting for a few more components – but we’ll include the full list, for those who have not read our volumes of previous stories on the project – TR
    .
    P.S. Reading the most recent comments newest-to-oldest, also, for Tuesday and anyone else raising the parking issue – at some point in the many reviews this project has gone through, someone actually suggested it had too MUCH parking by current city standards/philosophies – currently planned at about 600 spaces.

    Comment by WSB — 11:36 am July 17, 2013 #

  159. For crying out loud. When was the last time anyone took this alley? Does anyone in the public space even know it exist, or know it isn’t private property? This is silly.
    And the mayor deciding we don’t want non-union stores. Since when is that up to him? If Seattle folks don’t like it they don’t have to shop there.

    Comment by David — 11:53 am July 17, 2013 #

  160. Great Post Tuesday!

    May I remind you that shortly you will have the ability to get rid of McGinn in the Primary Election, just vote for anyone else!

    Comment by M — 11:56 am July 17, 2013 #

  161. I think these housing developments are also pointing out the lack of commercial, non-retail space in W Seattle. I can only think of a handful of buildings in W Seattle that would cater exclusively to “white collar” jobs. I don’t know how realistic demand for space in a 7+ story office building would be, but we could certainly help our commuting issue if we could convince medium-size businesses to move here where the people are. Is this too much of a fundamental change to W Seattle?

    Comment by Azimuth — 12:01 pm July 17, 2013 #

  162. Good lawd! How stupid do you have to be to be Mayor in the town? That guy is crazier then a one eyed cat watching two mouse holes. Who voted for this anti business socialist cluck?

    Comment by The Hulk — 12:06 pm July 17, 2013 #

  163. McGinn and DPD believe that reduced onsite parking will force people to abandon their cars and use alternate transportation i.e. bikes, bus, walking, etc… Yes I want to avoid huge parking lots with impervious pavements and heat sinks, but if a developer is proposing it to be all underground, who cares? It’s their money, don’t tell them they are wasting space by add too much parking…

    “if we can convince one person to get rid of their cars and rely soley on public transporation its a win” – not a real quote but I can imagine McSchwinn saying this…

    This is a main frustration of mine since we are seeing townhomes and row houses throughout Seattle being built with no onsite parking or having these tiny garages with skinny access driveways. Now we see our neighborhood streets flooded with cars parked everywhere.

    So now neighborhoods complain, and now we are forced to do zoned parking which won’t fix the problem and will be just more tax money to regulate it.

    Comment by McFail — 12:29 pm July 17, 2013 #

  164. fyi; re speculation as to whether our current mayor will still be in office next year; I attended 2 mayoral debates last night downtown; first event sponsored by City Club @downtown library; packed house, mostly older; only 5 male candidates invited to participate; Kate Martin showed up prepared, but was denied; second event, sponsored by the Stranger @Showbox; another packed house, 95% under 30, wildly entertaining and informative; all candidates invited; Kate rallied from City Club “slap in the face” and was fantastic
    ~
    btw, I’ve attended at least a dozen mayoral debates, watched others on seattlechannel, and I’m still undecided
    ~
    our current Mayor is far ahead of all other candidates in every poll; I suspect he will win the primary by a landslide; the primary will decide which of all the other candidates will have any chance at all of getting more votes than McGinn in November; at the Stranger debate, McGinn was highly favored, followed by Murray and Harrell; also learned last night that 35% of Seattle’s population is under age 35, so if youth turn out to vote like last time, pretty good chance he will continue to be our Mayor
    ~
    Steinbreuck has a lot of the over-50 vote, which is the demographic that votes heavily in primary
    ~
    so it’s not really just as simple as “anyone but McGinn”; if you don’t want McGinn to continue as our Mayor, it’s more about “who can beat McGinn” in November, and only one of the other candidates will get a chance to try, based on who votes, and who they vote for in August
    ~
    at this point, I don’t think any of the other candidates can beat him
    ~
    a couple interesting takeaways from the Stranger event, when it got down to top 3: McGinn, Murray, Harrell
    ~
    Harrell did not know how much the peak bus fare is ($2.50); he owns more than 1 home, primarily drives to work
    ~
    McGinn and Murray did not know that the Washington state minimum wage is $9.19/hr

    Comment by Diane — 1:07 pm July 17, 2013 #

  165. A tale of two alleys…

    http://s24.postimg.org/y56tn6opx/The_Pubic_Interest.jpg

    Comment by Grant — 1:31 pm July 17, 2013 #

  166. Diane – thanks for sharing your observations, as always.
    .
    This reminded me that I hadn’t looked up where the mayor’s race stood at this point in 2009, just for comparison’s sake. I loathe polls and while in TV worked really hard to make sure my newscasts engaged in actual election coverage instead of just “horse-race journalism.” I’m also leery of polls because, since they tend to take a sample of hundreds and try to project it to predict the behavior of hundreds of thousands, they can be wildly wrong.
    .
    So, that said, here’s a seattlepi.com story about a poll in the Seattle Mayor’s race, published exactly four years ago today, just a few weeks before the primary.
    .
    http://blog.seattlepi.com/seattlepolitics/2009/07/17/poll-nickels-leads-in-seattle-mayors-race
    .
    The two who came out on top weeks later, McGinn and Mallahan, were tied in that July 17, 2009, poll – for … fourth/fifth place.
    .
    I don’t have time to look around to see if there was ANY poll at the time that accurately predicted what happened.
    .
    Just a datapoint! – TR

    Comment by WSB — 1:32 pm July 17, 2013 #

  167. As much as people are hoping this event somehow impacts the overall scale of the development. It doesnt. That isn’t on the table.
    .
    McGinn and Unions are topics that are distractions.
    .
    The only issue is, do the developers get the alley vacation for what they are offering? Yes or no?
    .
    So, is West Seattle happy with it? I’d like the council to bargain harder.
    .
    The sentiment “we should be grateful that Whole Foods even wants to return to our area with JOBS!” I can not relate to at all.
    .
    It has the same ring of some crummy boyfriend who, when questioned, tells you that you will never do any better and are lucky he puts up with you at all.
    .
    Being “grateful” to the other party at any bargaining table is recipe for selling yourself short. Know your worth WS!

    Comment by MellyMel — 2:10 pm July 17, 2013 #

  168. It is a WEE bit more complicated than a bad boyfriend, MellyMell. Developers invest a lot of money and take a lot of risk in a project like this. Not just anyone can come in and do it, particularly on this site with all the environmental clean up that has to be done.

    Comment by Mickey — 3:06 pm July 17, 2013 #

  169. I have been so excited for Whole Foods to come and will be really disappointed if the Mayor undermines that.

    Comment by CMT — 3:07 pm July 17, 2013 #

  170. My one extra thought here related to the WF siting in the triangle is that grocery stores are a lot like car dealerships (ironic given the history of this site). In that they clump together and it feels counter intuitive (why so many in one place!?)

    But the reality is that grocery stores do some heavy duty data crunching before ever even getting to the place where WF is now in this project. They would not be a part of this project if they didn’t perceive there to be a very strong market for their product. I mean, look how long it took TJs to site in WS. Essentially, they were waiting for the demographics and density to support their product. My gut feeling is that WF has done an extensive analysis of the income distribution across West Seattle, and likely SE Seattle too since Beacon Hill and Columbia City are only 10-15 min away at night, and they have decided that there is now enough of a higher income concentration with a radius of the site to warrant the investment. Folks who shop at Safeway don’t necessarily shop at WF. This means there is a market to capture in this particular location. I am sure they will be competition for PCC and Metro Market, but as one commenter pointed out, perhaps this will lead to better pricing for everyone?

    I am not saying if it is right or wrong for WF to be here. But rather, that there are market forces (whether we like them or not) that drive these big decisions.

    Comment by kgdlg — 3:41 pm July 17, 2013 #

  171. Thanks TR; interesting; I had forgotten who the other primary candidates were in 2009

    Comment by Diane — 3:49 pm July 17, 2013 #

  172. The Hulk,

    Who voted him in? The feral children on Capital Hill. Since he probably has their vote again, he’s just trying to drum up new ones here in WS–too bad his intentions are so misdirected. What a buffoon and an embarassment!

    Comment by AdmiraLDweller — 4:57 pm July 17, 2013 #

  173. Unions — the folks who brought you the weekend.

    Comment by LivesInWS — 7:37 pm July 17, 2013 #

  174. Go McGinn!!!

    Comment by Patrick — 8:28 pm July 17, 2013 #

  175. Unions- The folks who brought You Socializm

    Comment by Lifetime WS — 9:28 pm July 17, 2013 #

  176. Love the letter, McGinn. Glad to see someone has the political will to say “no public land!” to a problematic development like this.

    Comment by Juggling — 10:54 pm July 17, 2013 #

  177. A large Park and ride underground element to the project would be great as this is a centrally located urban Hub for thousands of WS and island commuters . I support the pedestrian improvements to the mid block passage and want to be able to access what the Seattle Design Commission comments were in their last deliberation on this project. It should be public record.

    Comment by Jetcitygirl — 11:21 pm July 17, 2013 #

  178. Glad to hear that the parking situation isn’t the same as the other developments I’ve heard about. Thanks, TR.

    Comment by Tuesday — 11:37 pm July 17, 2013 #

  179. I believe that the last thing west seattle needs is Hole Foods. They fall short of any of our grocery stores. I don’t understand all these condos and apts being built with only a quarter of them having parking spaces. Next we’ll have parking meters all along california ave, so folks will start parking on residential streets which are already crowded. Oh, I almost lost my train of thought. While the City added Rapid Ride on several main arterials,they took away one lane on the same arterials, so when the buses stop, you can’t go around them so you sit there and no one can go thru the signals behind you, then everything just gets STUCK. The small, intimate community feeling that I believe we all moved here for, seems to be disappearing. It’s very sad.

    Comment by Bradford — 1:14 am July 18, 2013 #

  180. There should be no more Apartments going up and no more new residents that complain about the way we live because they want to over populate west seattle.

    Comment by West Seattle — 12:00 pm July 18, 2013 #

  181. I retract my previous comment. Said some thing I didn’t mean in frustration. Note to self: don’t comment when angry.

    Comment by Peter Leahy — 5:00 pm July 18, 2013 #

  182. This is very concerning, the fact that any, and I mean any public official would attempt to impede progress, investment, future tax revenues, development in such an overt manner is unacceptable. Really did he say this out loud??!!!

    There is something wrong with this guy!!

    While the unions did have a place in protecting worker’s right, they have so overplayed their hand…. Boeing and South Carolina.

    Comment by jbock — 11:37 am July 19, 2013 #

  183. What a great Whole Foods response. I really appreciate the inclusion of this letter… I wish people could have read it at the same time as the Mayor’s statement. A little correct info goes a long way! Also, it totally exposes the mayor.

    Comment by Tuesday — 10:06 pm July 22, 2013 #

  184. We should not give Whole Foods anything. The city should lease them the public land.

    The city doesn’t give private citizens anything- why give it to a corporation?

    Take the proceeds from leasing the publicly owned real estate to Whole Foods and put them towards improvements in the neighborhood.

    Comment by Mike — 2:41 pm July 23, 2013 #

  185. Actually, nothing is “given” – if an alley/street vacation is approved, the land in question is sold to the property owner/developer.

    Comment by WSB — 2:49 pm July 23, 2013 #

  186. The last thing West Seattle needs is another mixed used development with not enough parking and ugly architecture. For all that are buying into the Whole Foods hype, do some research. They are absolutely not what they seem. I was unsure about who I wanted for mayor, but due to this issue, McGinn gets my vote.

    Comment by Judy O'Brien — 8:47 pm July 23, 2013 #

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