Another ‘unlawful detainer’ action pending for West Seattle Athletic Club

June 16, 2014 at 4:28 pm | In West Seattle businesses, West Seattle news, WS Health Club/ex-Athletic Club/ex-Allstar Fitness | 19 Comments

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

For the second time this year, an “unlawful detainer” action is pending against the ownership of West Seattle Athletic Club in North Delridge. That’s the formal term for a legal action that could result in eviction. As reported here in February, the first case was called off on the eve of a court hearing, and the lawyer for the club’s landlord, H-P Properties, told WSB at the time, that was because club ownership “came up with a payment sufficient to reinstate the lease.”

Documents available online showed that case was formally closed in early April. But court records show that a new “unlawful detainer” action was filed one month later, on May 2nd.

A hearing was set for June 4th, then rescheduled for this morning. As we had done on the February hearing date in the previous action, we went to the Regional Justice Center in Kent, where these types of cases go before a court commissioner at whatever time one or both parties show up on the appointed morning. However, the morning ended without anyone appearing on behalf of this case; reached by e-mail later, H-P Properties’ lawyer David Tall told us that the “hearing (was) reset for 6/30 pending payments to be made before such date.”

That was the entirety of his reply, so we don’t know what payments are expected. However, a document filed with the court on June 2nd as a declaration of landlord John Pietromonaco says that when this second “unlawful detainer” complaint was filed May 2nd, “the sum of $244,971.58 was due.” Then, his declaration added a 5% late fee for May rent, also added the June rent of $110,000, and totaled up the bill as $594,516.23.

(The same document shows that the payment made back on February 11th, closing the first case, was $286,000, more than half what the landlord listed as the balance at the time, and shows that $144,493 in payments have subsequently been made, as of June 1st.)

In the past, West Seattle Athletic Club owner Sam Adams has declined comment. But we have called WSAC and asked them to please put us in touch with whomever, whether Adams or another club/company executive, can comment on the current situation. We will add any response we receive.

Adams took over the former West Seattle Allstar Fitness at 2629 SW Andover in March 2013, after its former owner’s bankruptcy case led to the sale of its assets for $75,000.

SIDE NOTE: When we reported the since-closed “unlawful detainer” case in January, we also mentioned a lawsuit that Adams’ clubs had filed against two companies, Allstate Financial Group and Barratt Leasing, accusing them of breach of contract involving billing, among other things. According to court documents, that lawsuit was dismissed “with prejudice” (meaning it cannot be re-filed) in late March.

19 Comments

  1. These jerks sent my boyfriend a collections notice for unpaid membership fees after he had cancelled his membership, and it doesn’t sound like he’s alone in having this happen. It will be a great day when they finally close and stop their shady business practices.

    Thanks for the update, WSB!

    Comment by KittyJorts — 5:34 pm June 16, 2014 #

  2. I’m NOT a member so I can’t speak to what they’re doing (or not) but they need to be careful and manage the business well, since they have lots of competition (new expanded Anytime Fitness, YMCA, smaller gyms, heck LA Fitness coming soon).

    Comment by David — 5:48 pm June 16, 2014 #

  3. Their rent is $110,000 per month? I can’t imagine how they could ever bring in enough revenue to make money.

    Comment by rob — 6:00 pm June 16, 2014 #

  4. Maybe a bunch of current/former members could band together and sue them for issues and force them to be close (either directly or through making them spend money on legal costs).

    This operation, regardless of ownership, has been shady for years now, and needs to be shut down.

    Comment by Ray — 6:01 pm June 16, 2014 #

  5. $110,000 a month for the space?!? 1.22 million a year to lease that space?!? Can’t even begin to imagine the cash flow required to support that and pay employees, maintain equipment let alone make a profit… Insane…

    Comment by TBone — 6:04 pm June 16, 2014 #

  6. I changed the credit card to be billed in person but they keep billing the old (cancelled) card. Zero notice dispite my continued check-ins at the facility until a letter identifying the debt was sent to collections. The collection agency seemed rather unsurprised by my call and quickly cleared the debt – for less than I legitimately would have paid for the time period at issue. Horrible way to run a business.

    Comment by Shannon — 6:16 pm June 16, 2014 #

  7. I workout here practically every day. I have for many years (back when it was AllStar). It went through a really bad period but has gotten a lot better over the past 6 months.

    It’s not fully recovered yet but they have been working on it and you can definately see improvement.

    At this point it would be a shame if they closed. There isnt a compareable gym in west seattle and wont be until LA Fitness opens but thats still a year away.

    I hope they don’t close. I dont want to have to find another gym or have to go downtown everyday.

    Comment by B — 8:39 pm June 16, 2014 #

  8. I agree B.

    Comment by maplesyrup — 9:32 pm June 16, 2014 #

  9. I agree with B. It’s not perfect but has gotten better over the last six months. It’s far better and cleaner than the YMCA. Hope it continues to get better; this gym has helped me stay healthy for a long time.

    Comment by John — 10:03 pm June 16, 2014 #

  10. I agree B.

    Comment by mozabo — 10:37 pm June 16, 2014 #

  11. Happy for you guys that your gym has gotten better and I get that you need a good gym, but I would prefer that this shady person closed down for good. I have heard a myriad of stories by many, many people who have been screwed over by this guy. He is not a good businessman/person. I have my own really negative experience with them too.

    I hope this is goodbye. I’m sure a better gym will show up. There is a high demand.

    Comment by i'coveredinbees — 11:52 pm June 16, 2014 #

  12. I agree, the gym went downhill, and has slowly started to make a comeback. However, the management side and business side is terrible. We had issues with billing and payments, and it took over three months for them to clear it up, only after we stated we would file a complaint with the State Attorney General. The business side of it is far from reputable. If it could be taken over by an organization that has strong and solid business ethics, treated the customers correctly, and became a part of the community, then it would be a thriving business.

    Comment by C — 9:07 am June 17, 2014 #

  13. I think the power play between the ownership group and the owner of the property is unknown to all. We don’t know what the whole story is or why things aren’t being paid. I hope they are able to pull it all together and continue the uphill climb they have been on. I for one love the new TRX class. The staff seem to be happy and I have noticed a huge improvement on cleanliness.

    Comment by Jen — 12:16 pm June 17, 2014 #

  14. MANAGEMENT…??? THIS CLUB/BUSINESS HAS NO MANAGEMENT…THOSE THAT THINK IT DOES SHOULD START GOING TO THE Y !!! THE PLACE HAS GONE DOWN HILL BUT IS GETTING BETTER…WHAT PLANET ARE WE ON HERE ?…IT IS STILL FILTHY, FILTHY, FILTHY. WHAT PART IS GETTING BETTER??? MEMBERS OF THIS CLUB DESERVE BETTER.
    LET’S DO THE DRILL AND GET THE CLUB IN THE HANDS OF SOME COMPETENT OWNERS/BUSINESS FOLK B4 THE COST TO RESURRECT THE ONCE BEAUTIFUL CLUB IS COST PROHIBITIVE. HELLO L.A. FITNESS.

    Comment by G-BONE — 1:16 pm June 17, 2014 #

  15. So this is not an official West Seattle Club response but here is what I understand:
    There is an on going Battle between LL and WSC owners regarding promised repairs that have not been completed. Sometimes you just have to do things a certain way. These are private matters and all one can do is guess at the content at this point. The Club will be just fine!

    BTW – WSB, you math is wrong – Amount due plus 5% plus 110k is NOT 590K. Nice way to embellish a point though!

    To those who support the club – Thank you!

    LA Fitness? Be careful what you wish for. Especially if you are expecting a better level of cleanliness or customer service. Its just not in their DNA – read the reviews for their clubs once the honeymoon is over and the club has been around a while.

    Comment by Anemployee — 12:45 pm June 18, 2014 #

  16. Anemployee, we didn’t “embellish” anything and I didn’t do the math – it is from the court document filed by the landlord. You can get it yourself from King County ECR Online (where there are many documents, all the way down to efforts made to serve the summons) but I’ll save you the trouble and reupload it for free (ECR charges 15 cents a page), since you’ve chosen to make an unfounded accusation:
    .
    http://westseattleblog.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/DECLARATIONJOHNPIETROMONACO.pdf
    .
    $594,516.23 is the balance as of June 1, 2014, per the landlord, his lawyers, and that document filed with the court, which traces the account back to November. – TR

    Comment by WSB — 12:58 pm June 18, 2014 #

  17. I am so thankful that I bailed on this gym while I could. They have a bad reputation now for sending people to collections when they have the audacity to need to quit for whatever reason. I had a terrible experience there and will likely never join another gym because of it.

    Comment by sgg — 10:54 pm June 18, 2014 #

  18. To everyone who is a current member of this place (I am a former member and employee when it was still Allstar) and are worried about i t “closing down”, you fears are unfounded. If Sam Adams loses his lease and has to go under, the facility will still be there. Someone will snap it up, re-open it, and manage it much better than Mr. Adams could even come close to. That facility is the only one of it’s kind anywhere near that part of West Seattle and too valuable for someone not to take over operations. As far as everyone thinking that L.A. Fitness is going to be some sort of wonderful experience when they open in West Seattle, be prepared to be disappointed. They are a cheap, poorly-run operation and not member-oriented or employee-friendly at all. L.A. Fitness is worse than even 24 Hour Fitness, which is VERY poorly managed. The best outcome for current WSAC members would probably be if Sam Adams gets out of the business ASAP.

    Comment by Bradley — 2:10 pm June 20, 2014 #

  19. Bradley- That’s been my feeling since day one of Sam Adams’ ownership. He has been owner for over a year now and there has been a VERY small amount of improvement. My membership rate is still very low ($70 a month which includes myself and my husband- that’s $35 each!!). We’d be happy to pay more per month if that would help the club look less shabby. Don’t want to pay a dime more, though, until the class schedule gets back to where it used to be, they patch up all the holes in the walls, maintain the pool properly, and get some of those “out of service” signs off the cardio machines.

    Comment by kate — 4:42 pm June 20, 2014 #

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