By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
WSB has just confirmed that the West Seattle Whole Foods Market is back on.
WFM spokesperson Susan Livingston confirms that to WSB this afternoon via e-mail: “We are moving forward with our West Seattle location at The Whittaker and will share more information on timelines for the opening once details are finalized.”
We inquired today after seeing WFM featured in the graphic shown atop this story – it’s the latest online map of which businesses are going where at The Whittaker (4755 Fauntleroy Way SW; WSB sponsor).
It’s been six months since the revelation that Whole Foods was backing out of West Seattle again, though its official statement at the time was that “Whole Foods Market has decided to delay indefinitely the opening of our West Seattle store.” The company overseeing the businesses in The Whittaker, Weingarten Realty, subsequently said that WF was working with it to find a replacement tenant.
Less than three months later came the news about Amazon buying Whole Foods. We tried multiple times after that – before and after the deal closed – to get a comment about whether the new ownership might lead WFM to reconsider the West Seattle store location; no reply.
Until now, the space has continued to be shown on the online Whittaker site map as available – you can see that in our August story about the signing of another tenant, Orangetheory Fitness. And then our routine check last night showed Whole Foods was back on the map – Weingarten pointed us to WFM for comment, and we just got the confirmation quoted above.
It’s been almost five years since Whole Foods was originally announced as the anchor tenant for The Whittaker (even before the mixed-use project got that name). That in turn was two years after WF announced it was no longer going into the project across the street that at the time was an inactive excavation site dubbed “The Hole,” since sold and finished as Spruce, with LA Fitness in the space where the grocery store was to be.
At The Whittaker, Whole Foods will join already-signed businesses T-Mobile (which is now open), BECU, MOD Pizza, CityMD, and Orangetheory Fitness. As spokesperson Livingston told us, there’s no timeline just yet – but we’ll continue to follow up. Before the March announcement, the company had told us two months earlier that it was expecting to open the store in summer 2018.