New opening date for West Seattle Whole Foods Market: Summer 2018

9999007- The Whittaker (01-11-17)

After a few recent reader questions about the status of West Seattle’s future Whole Foods Market, planned for the north side of The Whittaker (WSB sponsor), we checked around – and just found out the new timeframe for its opening.

When last we checked, in June of last year, a Whole Foods spokesperson told WSB that the store was expected to open in the “second half of 2017.”

This afternoon, responding to our inquiry about the current timeline, Susan Livingston from Whole Foods told WSB: “We look forward to opening our doors in Summer, 2018.”

She added:

I’m delighted to share that we’ve updated our plans since we last shared them with your readers. Some of the new features include the addition of a tap room with lots of seating, an expanded Prepared Foods department with additional venues, and improved pedestrian connections. As with any project, weather and other factors can impact our schedule, but we’ll share details about our grand opening as we get closer to the actual date.

Livingston says that the “new features” are part of what has pushed back the timeline, and that it’s not unusual for “big-box anchor tenants” in projects like this to take longer than first expected.

When construction of The Whittaker (4755 Fauntleroy Way SW) began two years ago, WF was the only signed commercial tenant. Then last August, four more tenants were announced – MOD Pizza, BECU, CityMD, and T-Mobile, as shown in the latest site map above (the yellow spaces are still available, and one of them – AOL – is set aside for a restaurant). The aforementioned already-announced businesses are expected to open later this year, as are the apartments in the north building – the south building at The Whittaker is already leasing.

50 Replies to "New opening date for West Seattle Whole Foods Market: Summer 2018"

  • aj January 12, 2017 (5:57 pm)

    I find it interesting that they didn’t build this second building first, considering they have had an anchor tenant for it from the beginning. Do we have a reason why they did it this way?

    • Kate January 12, 2017 (7:02 pm)

      I’ve been wondering the same…

      • WSB January 12, 2017 (7:23 pm)

        When they broke ground in 2014, they said they were working south to north. It’s in our story. The south building is smaller, as shown on the site diagram above showing the signed business tenants.

        • aj January 12, 2017 (8:47 pm)

          I have no doubt that that was the intended plan from the beginning, it just doesn’t make sense to me from a business standpoint. If I were the company building this/collecting rent from these businesses, I think it would’ve been my priority to start and finish the building that was going to house the business that was interested in it. The fact that the building itself is bigger, which also means has more apartment above it, I find it bizarre that the larger building wasn’t done first, thus having Whole Foods (and now other retailers) open sooner. This project was announced over two years ago and everyone knew a Whole Foods was coming, now we have to wait another year and a half before we have the anchor store. It’s going to be hard to entice businesses to rent the spaces that are available now in the completed building because there is no draw (anchor store) to that area yet. 

          • Wsgal January 13, 2017 (8:48 am)

            It’s a huge loss if they miss the at least 400,000/month they miss from not opening 1/2 those rental units and wait a year until WF is open. 

  • Jeannie January 12, 2017 (6:38 pm)

    I’m particularly intrigued by the “NOT A PART” building. 

    • BH January 13, 2017 (6:37 am)

      The “Not A Part” is the pre-existing building and parking lot.  I think it’s the Masonic Losge.

      • WSB January 13, 2017 (7:15 am)

        Yes, it is. While it’s not part of the project site, the impact of the project resulted in The Whittaker’s developers regrading and upgrading the lodge’s parking lot.

  • JayDee January 12, 2017 (7:37 pm)

    Made on Demand pizza (Judging by the icon)  Wow, we’ve been crying out for Pizza on a Tortilla since…when?  At least there is a BECU presence. PCC may be evicted and re-established by the time WF is open for business.

    • Peeb January 13, 2017 (8:20 am)

      Pizza on a tortilla? What are you talking about?

    • Joel January 15, 2017 (3:07 pm)

      I can’t wait for Mod Pizza! It is so good. 

  • Becky P. January 12, 2017 (7:54 pm)

    PCC

    will come back bigger and stronger way before whole foods evens has an opening ceremony. 

    • WS January 13, 2017 (8:49 am)

      I really hope so, they aren’t even set to close til May now- and they say Building will take 1.5 years but likely be a year delay. WF was supposed to open early 2017. 

  • M January 12, 2017 (8:44 pm)

    Summer 2018? I was not expecting it to take that long. 

  • WGA January 12, 2017 (9:29 pm)

    My guess is the construction sequencing had to do with the tenancy and adjacencies.

    The apartment building to the south is smaller with smaller commercial spaces and could co-exist with ongoing construction to the north.

    The larger building with Whole Foods would have been tough to operate with construction going on to the immediate south. For example, the WF loading zone may have been blocked due to construction.

  • Chas Redmond January 12, 2017 (9:49 pm)

    From what I understand the BECU presence is also an absence from the south end of West Seattle. This isn’t a new location, it’s a relocation of their Safeway Roxbury location. Which is too bad because there’s plenty of market and customers here for both locations. If the Safeway location closes I’ll be really disappointed because there is no problem of access to that location and I predict a huge problem of access for anyone NOT living in the Triangle for their new location. But maybe that’s just me.

    • Morgan Cali January 12, 2017 (10:36 pm)

      There’s a BECU ATM in the Shell parking lot, next to Thriftyway at the Morgan Junction.

      • AMD January 13, 2017 (6:32 am)

        Not at all the same.

        I can’t apply for a mortgage at an ATM.

        • Kimbee2 January 13, 2017 (8:28 am)

          Seems to me if it’s true that BECU is planning to close at the Roxbury Safeway, then they aren’t serving the people that need them most- and that in-store branch is always busy. Lower income people need the support of local credit unions, not banks.  If you agree, please speak up and let BECU know!

          • ACG January 13, 2017 (1:20 pm)

            It is true that BECU will be closing the Roxbury branch once the new location farther north in this building opens. Spoke with one of the employees there and he confirmed it. 

          • ACG January 13, 2017 (1:26 pm)

            Forgot to add in my other post… when speaking with the BECU employee, he said that a new BECU branch has opened in Old Town part of Burien. BECU felt that the Burien branch could support the south end needs, so they were moving the Roxbury branch to the new location farther north in West Seattle. They felt the branch in Burien and Roxbury would be too close together.  

        • Marge January 13, 2017 (8:42 am)

          Use their website..

    • JanS January 14, 2017 (12:23 am)

      Chas…there will be almpst 300 parking spaces, covered, set aside for the businesses exclusively, including BECU…which is located right above the parking…why would it only serve the triangle? 

  • Bettnort January 12, 2017 (9:51 pm)

    How can it possibly take another 18 months to finish the Whole Foods?  

  • Stephanie January 12, 2017 (10:20 pm)

    Ha!  What a joke.   Then it will get pushed back to 2019.  Hello people are already living in the apartments.   What is taking so long on the store?   I blame Trump. 

  • Trickycoolj January 12, 2017 (10:24 pm)

    Dang, with PCC on the outs for a while too this is really going to hurt the grocery stores that are already struggling to keep up with demand of increased residents.  I’ve completely given up Sunday/Monday shopping and am considering Amazon delivery (if I didn’t think it would be stolen from my porch) because it sucks to go to the store and see completely empty shelves and major produce items gone until the next delivery (usually Tuesday). I was hoping WF would start taking some of the squeeze out of TJs.  Wish the south end would get more grocery store love.

    • WS January 13, 2017 (8:50 am)

      Amazon prime now will deliver PCC and so will

      instacart-they have their entire inventory in the apps. 

  • BEB January 12, 2017 (10:32 pm)

    When we moved to West Seattle from Queen Anne in 2013, we were told a Whole Foods was in the works. Like others, I’m amazed it has taken so long. However, we had a similar situation on Queen Anne, where the Whole Foods building sat empty for a very long time. A very puzzling business strategy. 

    • WSB January 12, 2017 (10:49 pm)

      Arriving in 2013, you missed most of the backstory: In 2006, WF was announced as main tenant for what was going to be Fauntleroy Place, basically across Alaska from The Whittaker. The development broke ground in 2008 and then things fell apart – nothing to do with Whole Foods, everything to do with the original developer. In 2010, WF announced it was out of that development – by then, just a fenced-off hole in the ground – because commitments had been missed and the building might not ever happen. Finally after a foreclosure auction and lawsuit, that project went ahead, eventually Spruce, with LA Fitness taking all the space that was going to be WF. // Meantime, in November 2012, Whole Foods was announced as the main tenant for what has since been named The Whittaker. And then a whole separate brouhaha erupted over the fact WF is non-union. The mayor tried to derail it. Packed City Council hearings ensued. This all added time to the timeline for the project overall, but work finally started in 2014 and no speed bumps have erupted since then … TR

      • BEB January 13, 2017 (7:20 am)

        Ah…interesting! I do vaguely remember looking at the budding LA fitness and thinking “wasn’t that supposed to be a Whole Foods?” I had forgotten about that. Thank you!

  • Jeannie January 12, 2017 (11:36 pm)

    Who could forget the infamous Hole from a few years back? Thanks for the blast from the past, WSB!

  • anonyme January 13, 2017 (6:34 am)

    PCC/Whole Foods shoppers can’t easily switch over to conventional grocery chains.  Looks like a whole lot of travel off-island for awhile.

    • ACG January 13, 2017 (9:08 am)

      I agree. I was hoping Whole Foods would be open during the time of PCC’s closure so I could temporarily still shop close to home.  The idea of traveling off peninsula is a big bummer. I tried PCC’s online delivery thru Amazon, but they screwed up my order to the point where they cancelled it and so I had to make a trip to the store anyway.  Perhaps the online service will be improved, but the selection choices are pretty small anyway. Does anyone know how long it takes to get to the Columbia City store?  The thought of sitting on the WS bridge in traffic just to get groceries just makes me sad. Wish conventional stores carried the things I needed. 

      • WSB January 13, 2017 (9:17 am)

        The Columbia City PCC is not that far. I had to drop off and pick up someone there a couple times recently and it was a pretty easy trip – at night, anyway.

      • TuesdayJane January 17, 2017 (8:44 pm)

        15 to 20 minutes to Columbia City PCC, traffic depending. It’s a great store. I really enjoy shopping there when I’m in the area.

    • JanS January 14, 2017 (12:24 am)

      oh, good grief…

  • Neighbor January 13, 2017 (9:40 am)

    Attention PCC shoppers-

    This is the perfect year to try out a CSA! There are over a dozen in our city! Some deliver to your home, business, or at a close convenient neighborhood location!

    Hundreds of your neighbors already are members and are eating better produce, cheese, bread, etc than anything you can buy at any grocery!

    My family has been Helsing Farms for years now and love it! We get amazing veggies, fruits, and yogurt every week. Your supporting local farms and in Helsing Farms case a multi generational farm which has been run by two women for over 20 years!

    • ACG January 13, 2017 (10:40 am)

      Thanks for the tip. I just looked on the Helsing Farms website and things looked good!!  It seems that they only deliver certain months of the year. Is that true or do they deliver fruit/produce year round?  If it is only in certain months, what do you do in the months that they do not deliver?

      • sue in Gatewood January 13, 2017 (12:24 pm)

        We use Full Circle  http://fullcircle.com/ and they deliver year round, once a week, to my front porch. In addition to fruits, vegetable, etc., they have milk, yogurt, meat, baked goods…. YUMMM

        • ACG January 13, 2017 (1:27 pm)

          Thanks, Sue. Will check them out!!

        • JanS January 14, 2017 (12:28 am)

          I used to use Full Circle, but our apt. building front doorstek (it’s just a little stoop), is right next to a walk through from our back parking lot. It’s used by God and everyone, even thogh it says private property. After having my produce stolen for the 6th 0r 7th time, and the replacement box not nearly what I wanted, I gave up on that. Have used Instacart for delivery, and they bring my order right to my door. It’s personal shopping right at the store, not from a warehouse facility. But I’m 1/2 block from Met Mkt, and across the street from Adm. Safeway…and for the moment 1.5 blocks from PCC.  I have many refrigerators in the neighborhood besides my own :)

    • Marge E. January 13, 2017 (12:21 pm)

      great ideas!

  • Lindsey January 13, 2017 (11:58 am)

    PCC Columbia City is only about 15 mins away from PCC West Seattle.

  • Neighbor January 13, 2017 (12:42 pm)

    @ACG- your correct in that Helsing only delivers spring through fall, everything they provide is grown right here in Washington so we are eating what is available seasonally. We do order storage shares which allows us to have heirloom squashes and other storables, you can order canning shares. For the most part during the winter we either shop at the farmers market or PCC, so we will be probably be making trips to Columbia City during the construction.

    I really can’t say enough about the quality and quantity we have been eating from the farm.  I also have loved meeting neighbors and exchanging ideas of recipes when we pick up our boxes!

  • Ah Clem January 13, 2017 (4:06 pm)

    So two more years of lane and sidewalk closures?  Where is the livability?

    • JanS January 14, 2017 (12:30 am)

      every place else except that block?

  • Jon January 13, 2017 (8:32 pm)

    Man, I can’t wait for The Lofts at SoDoSoPa to open! Summer 2018 seems so far away!

  • Steve January 16, 2017 (1:52 pm)

    Year-after-year Whole Foods has been impacting negatively on the Junction while they dither around about their plans.  Susan Livingston might be “delighted” but I’m not delighted that  the impact of their endless construction will continue well into 2018.

  • Jorden January 24, 2017 (9:00 am)

    This sucks! One of the reasons we are moving here is to be on top of the store! Huge bummer.

  • Lisa January 24, 2017 (9:59 am)

    I’m so bummed that PCC is going to close up long before WF will open. I like shopping online, but I also like getting out to do my shopping and this will just lessen my options. I’m also one of those West Seattleites who hates to leave the peninsula unless I’m doing a staycation…. lol!

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