By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Right across Fauntleroy Way from the suddenly much-discussed “Whole Foods project” (4755 Fauntleroy Way), a new development proposal has just emerged: A freestanding one-story drugstore with a drive-thru window.
This is notable in the context of 4755 Fauntleroy across the street, because, for most of the year that project has been under review, it’s been described as intended for a drugstore as well as the Whole Foods Market and about 370 apartments.
The drugstore envisioned in renderings for 4755 originally was supposed to have a drive-thru window, but reviewers didn’t like the resulting traffic flow in the supposedly walk-through middle part of the project. So finally at a recent review meeting, architects announced the drive-thru was out. Then at a subsequent meeting, developers admitted that losing the drive-thru might have cost them the drugstore, too.
The potential pharmacy tenant was never signed, the 4755 Fauntleroy project team has repeatedly said, so we don’t know who they were negotiating with. This new proposal at 4722 Fauntleroy does not (yet) have a company name on the documents, but we’ve found clues to one possibility.
Here’s what we have found about the new proposal so far (which does NOT, we should make clear, involve any of the same property owners or development firms as the other side of the street):
A site plan was filed July 23rd for the proposal at 4722 Fauntleroy, the site that’s currently home to West Seattle Produce and Suite Arrangements. City records show the applicant to be Michigan-based The Velmeir Companies. It maps out a “single-tenant retail pharmacy building,” 14,500 square feet, roughly the same size as the nearby Trader Joe’s.
The prospective pharmacy’s name is not mentioned, but the client list on Velmeir’s website includes the drugstore chain CVS, which has locations in multiple states but currently not in ours, according to the corporate website. And we have found that this is one of at least four similar projects that Velmeir is pursuing in the Puget Sound metro area right now. There’s one in Burien’s Five Corners area; also one on lower Queen Anne, at the current site of Kidd Valley Burgers; this story mentions it’s now proposed for a one-story, 16,000-square-foot pharmacy. Then, yet another one is pending along North 45th St. in Wallingford (described as single-story retail). Neither of those three mentions the potential pharmacy by name, but yet another Velmeir proposal in Renton (with mentions CVS in a city document about the development.
The new West Seattle proposal at 4722 Fauntleroy site has two types of zoning, according to documents for this project – from four to eight stories – but again, the proposal on record so far lists a standalone single-story retail building, with 58 parking spaces, which the “site plan” sketch says would be twice what’s required. The drive-thru window is shown on what would be the south side of the new building, with separate entrance and exit driveways off Fauntleroy, and parking is shown north and east of the building.
We are following up with multiple sources including Velmeir; meantime, we have confirmed with the city that this project will require Design Review, as does anything in an NC zone over 4,000 square feet.
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