West Seattle development: Ex-Charlestown Café site work expected to start Monday

ORIGINAL REPORT, FRIDAY NIGHT: Four years after the end of its run as a restaurant, the much-vandalized ex-Charlestown Café building is in its final days. Dan Swallow from development firm Intracorp told WSB late tonight that they plan to “break ground” on the site Monday; city records show the demolition permit was issued a week and a half ago. 14 townhouses and 13 live-work units are planned for the site; the Southwest Design Review Board OK’d the plan six months ago. (WSB file photo)

MONDAY UPDATE: The actual building demolition is not planned until next week, we’ve confirmed on followup.

18 Replies to "West Seattle development: Ex-Charlestown Café site work expected to start Monday"

  • rockyraccoon May 30, 2015 (3:44 am)

    Just sad.

  • gina May 30, 2015 (4:15 am)

    Going to be a busy area. Four projects on California between Charlestown and Andover.

  • cindi May 30, 2015 (7:20 am)

    Yay old decaying site will be dealt with! I’m not anti-development, but does every new project in Seattle have to be a big, gray, ugly box? Is that it? I’m sure they are nice inside, but geez. Even the LA Fitness building threw on some brick – so I know alternative finishing materials ARE available to modern architects. That new building across the street from it is a good example.

  • Bryce May 30, 2015 (7:22 am)

    I’ve only lived in West Seattle since 2011 so the cafe has been closed the whole time. So at this point I’m happy to see redevelopment on the dilapidated site. But looking back through the archives on the blog I can see why longer West Seattle residents are sad to have seen it go.

  • WSince86 May 30, 2015 (9:09 am)

    On the good side …… The speeding on California has really slowed down through here!

  • Jim May 30, 2015 (9:36 am)

    I collected my newspapers at the Seattle Times shack next to Penny’s Dog House on this site, before it moved North to Zestos parking lot (McDonalds). Then worked at Country Kitchen, Dakota Coffee House, and Meal Makers at this building. Eventually married my Shack Manger too.

  • wetone May 30, 2015 (9:38 am)

    WSince86, so true. The bad thing is it’s moving a lot of traffic and speeders to the side streets as one can get where they need to go much quicker. Not a good outcome for area residents. Very poor planning on city’s part.

  • Mrs.T May 30, 2015 (10:54 am)

    My favorite thing about all this construction on my block is that they are at it 7 days a week from dawn to dusk. Oh, that and all the new places who now have a nice view into my back yard.

  • JanS May 30, 2015 (11:58 am)

    wow…Penny’s Dog House…long time ago…and I’m not a native Seattleite, although it feels that way.

    Penny’s Dog House, and the IGA and Chevron station at Calif. Ave. and Charlestown… (moved here Jan. ’75, lived in house at Calif. and Andover)

    The cafe is disgusting looking, with all the graffiti that should have been cleaned off every week by the developers/owners of property…I wil not miss that !

  • JanS May 30, 2015 (11:59 am)

    Mrs. T, I feel your pain…I live right across the street from Element 42 and Adm. Safeway..and remember the constant construction…not fun !

  • WSince86 May 30, 2015 (12:26 pm)

    Wetone & Mrs. T – totally agreed.

  • Raincity May 30, 2015 (12:55 pm)

    cindi – the budgets for these projects are controlled by the developers, not by the architects. It’s their “business model” that drives down building finishes and costs not necessarily choices by the architects.

  • NW May 30, 2015 (3:13 pm)

    IF I HAD SPACE ON OUR PROPERTY OR KNEW OF SOMEONE WHO COULD USE THEM I WOULD REACH OUT AND TRY TO SAVE THE RHODEDENRONS FROM GOING TO OUR LANDFILL/ RECYCLE. THERE MUST BE SOMEONE IN OUR COMMUNITY WHO WILL OR ALREADY IS ,HOPEFULLY, GOING TO RESCUE THEM. THE RHODIES ARE OF COURSE OUR STATE FLOWER ALSO. PLEASE SOMEONE WHO READS THIS POST BY ME NW TRY AND GET THERE ON THE DAY THEY START DEMOLITION AND TALK WITH THE CREW THERE AND SAVE SOME OF THE RHODEDENRONS THAT SURROUND THE PROPERTY!

  • westseattledood May 30, 2015 (4:53 pm)

    NW – I have expressed my interest in adopting the rhodies.. I am hoping to meet with them on Monday AM to ask to transplant a couple of the rhodies if it is allowed. I have many memories of going in for buckwheat pancakes and admiring the red rhodie

    At this point, I think it likely many others have the same interest so it seems promising they’ll be taken care of if allowed.

  • NW May 30, 2015 (8:49 pm)

    That’s great news westseattledood these and many other such plants are a strong part of our regional identity and culture! I am happy to hear you have taken an interest and hope others do too. I would join you early am come Monday but I will be at work. If there are no takers for a small rhodie on the north side of the lot please somehow let me know and I would like to give it a home I have been eyeing it. I will keep an eye out here for further info on the blog. I do a fair amount of plant rescue in West Seattle should someone care to start a plant rescue group with development like it is now there is a lot to be saved!

  • miws May 31, 2015 (7:22 am)

    Just a reminder; in a comment in another article (Charlestown Court demo related?) the Friends of Morgan Junction Park, responding to one of NW’s comments, expressed an interest in rescuing some plant/trees.

    .

    Mike

    • WSB June 1, 2015 (7:13 am)

      Update: The actual building teardown is not expected until next week, we’ve confirmed this morning, following up on what “groundbreaking” this week means.

  • Svdp June 1, 2015 (6:53 pm)

    I remember when that was Meal Makers! My first real job was as a hostess there! So sad to see them urbanize West Seattle so much.

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