What Jack Miller wants you to know about his West Seattle Junction development project, Husky Deli’s future home

On Friday, we brought you an update on The Junction’s next mixed-use project, the one we discovered in city files three months ago – 4747 California SW, with an “all-West Seattle team” planning the development, including property owner Jack Miller, best known as Husky Deli‘s proprietor. As you saw in our Friday report, the packet for the upcoming Design Review meeting confirms Husky Deli will move into the new building when it’s done. And today, Jack Miller sent us this first-person explanation of his plan:

The Heart and Soul of Husky Deli and the West Seattle Junction
By Jack Miller

(WSB photo, 2017)

It’s been more than three months since the news broke about our plan to build a new building so that we can move Husky Deli four doors south in the West Seattle Junction. Since then, I’ve been truly honored to hear so many positive reactions. It’s also been a good chance to hear the questions people have about the project. I hope this little article will provide some answers and perspective for anyone who is interested.

Our goal, of course, is to keep Husky Deli going in the Junction and to give the next generations of our family a chance to shape it in their own image and make it a success.

Many people know that Husky has been around since 1932, when my grandfather, Herman Miller, bought a tiny grocery store called Edgewood Farms that operated in what is now the card section of Northwest Art & Frame. Right away, he put in an ice-cream machine in the front window, and then a soda fountain. Fresh-sliced meats and cheeses soon followed, and by the end of World War II, my dad, John, and my uncles had turned it into a full-fledged deli.

My dad moved Husky two doors north to our present location in 1969, three years after I started working here. In 1975, when he had a heart attack, I left college to fill in, and I’ve been here ever since. Just like society, Husky has evolved, and now we focus on ready-made convenience foods while still keeping the traditional deli, ice cream and specialty items. My kids have lived through all this and are grown up now, Kate (and husband Tom), John, and Tony – run a lot of the business day to day. Just like me, they love Husky, they love the Junction, and they’re the future.

But the future isn’t the exact footprint where we are now. Anyone who comes into Husky knows that we still look a lot like 1969 and that the structure needs some basic work, from the cramped restrooms to the up-and-down flooring to everything in between. My brother, Joe, who owns the building, has no plan to develop it anytime soon, and with the new Seattle minimum wage and other increasing costs, and being a small business we will be unable to shut down our business for an extended period of time to remodel. At the same time, we all agree that we need the ability to serve the ever-growing West Seattle population by updating and streamlining the Husky.

To make that happen, we are looking to move four doors south to where Sleepers furniture store and Bikram Yoga (which some of you remember was Junction Feed & Seed) are located. Those two buildings have a lot of the same big challenges that the current Husky building has. The buildings are in bad shape from top to bottom, and they are not landmark historical buildings worth saving.

So our plan is to start anew. The only way we see for us to put together enough capital for my children to create the Husky of the future and to stay in the Junction is to tear down these two buildings and construct a taller one on that combined site, with apartments on the top to help pay for the new Husky down below.

On first thought, this plan might not sound like something that would reflect the Junction’s low-scale character. We all have seen other tall buildings recently go in and start to create the feeling of a narrow corridor. That’s not what I want to create, and I don’t think it’s what most people want in the Junction. We think it’s important to keep, as much as possible, the feeling of our small-town, downtown West Seattle. So we want to create something different that really focuses on the Husky’s shop space instead of the upper levels.

The apartments above the store are set back to minimize the visual impact along California Avenue, and retain the historical retail storefront height. The project will contain a commercial kitchen and ice cream plant so we can continue to prepare our own food and make ice cream on site. (And yes, we will make sure that the beautiful Eric Grohe mural on the south side of the yoga building gets either reproduced or replaced with and updated mural on our new structure.)

We have been talking with the Junction Neighborhood Organization (JuNO) about our plan, and they want us to put together a building that sets a good example for future new buildings on that side of the Junction. That makes perfect sense to me. We are planning something with good neighborhood qualities and hopefully anything built after us will follow suit.

My biggest concern is that Husky will continue on in our family and serve the overall family of West Seattle – that we can maintain the traditions started by my grandfather 86 years ago, that we can update everything but still keep it cool, and that my kids can have the chance to feel like it’s theirs, too, so that they will put their heart and soul into it.

The Junction is all about heart and soul. It’s about actively local ownership, where you can meet the people who own and run the stores, where there’s an active business association that puts on really good activities, and easy transit (even light rail, which will come sooner than we think). It’s also about the common feeling that it’s our main neighborhood business district – the hub of our small town in the big city.

Throughout West Seattle, a lot of older folks who have lived here forever have sold their homes for huge amounts of money to younger families who moved in from all over the country. They were not originally West Seattle kids, but they really want to embrace West Seattle, and the character of the Junction, and want to be a part of it.

All of that sort of seeped into me as I grew up. My dad wanted us at Husky all the time. Even if we were running around in the backroom, he wanted us close-by. We helped make ice cream in the middle of the night. He had us running back and forth with ice-cream scoopers getting people cones because he wanted us active in it all.

We are blessed in the fact that we have been here long enough that we are a big part of the community.

When we move a few doors down the street, it might be a new building, but it’s going to be the same people. It’s become a huge comfort zone for me, being in West Seattle with all these people that we know. I know my kids agree, and I trust that West Seattle will feel the same way.

Thanks for reading this. If you have any questions or comments about our project, I would love to hear from you. Drop in the store and say hi anytime.

Again, as we reported Friday, the first Southwest Design Review Board meeting for the 4747 California SW project is now set for July 19th. The draft packet for that meeting, as linked in our Friday update, can be seen here (PDF).

99 Replies to "What Jack Miller wants you to know about his West Seattle Junction development project, Husky Deli's future home"

  • Heidi Carchano June 2, 2018 (9:59 pm)

    Thanks for taking the time to write about your vision, Jack!  Long live Husky!

    • Buck Cameron June 4, 2018 (6:16 pm)

      My family are also transplants to WS – we’ve only been here 30 years.  We love Husky, Jack and his family.  It would not be WS without them!  We don’t like many of the recent WS changes but Jack et al have obviously thought this through and we will certainly be behind them.

  • Margo June 2, 2018 (10:08 pm)

    I’m one of those transplants to West Seattle, and Husky’s is a big part of what makes life here so great for me, and my kids, who are West Seattle natives.  I think whatever makes sense to make ensure another 80+ years of neat food finds, seasonal favorites, delicious sandwiches, and amazing ice cream is the right choice. P.S. – my 1 year old just had her first ice cream there yesterday – shared with her 6 year old brother who had his first ice cream there 5 years ago. 

  • Abcgirl June 2, 2018 (10:09 pm)

    I appreciate the open letter, John is doing first and foremost doing what is best for his family, I dislike 7 stories and the shadow it creates, but huskies will do what they need to do to make it profitable.  Bottom line the junction and west seattle has lost the small community vibe, it is a concrete jungle with ugly architecture and developers who care nothing about the community and would never want rugs crap in their neighborhood politicians who create hostile business environment and could care less about the  middle class homeowner.  Very sad for those of us who have called this community home for generations, never believe that change equates progress, it certainly hasn’t been the case for west seattle and mr miller is cashing in on the current situation, its best for him and his family

    • Me June 3, 2018 (9:30 pm)

      Totally agree! So happy we left West Seattle 4 years ago. We spent 12 years there and loved it for most of that time but it is definitely not the same. We visit Husky Deli when we are over there (rare) but this idea is a huge turn off. We won’t be back. We can get ice cream elsewhere.

      • Tony S June 4, 2018 (2:48 pm)

        I guess I’m happy you left, too. 50+ years living in West Seattle and it’s evolved like everything else in life has. Some good, some not so good. Don’t know what you saw your 12 years here that turned it from just a super place to the depths of hell, but hopefully you’ll keep your promise.

  • Mariem June 2, 2018 (10:19 pm)

    Sad…

  • DEF June 2, 2018 (10:27 pm)

    Thanks for the thoughtful update, and good luck with the move!

  • NW June 2, 2018 (10:30 pm)

    Thanks for the letter wish them the best we all make decisions in our life my own is increasingly giving little to no care about West Seattle’s future where I have lived all my life. I am being priced out and frankly look forward to be out of here in the decade(s) to come. 

  • Mariem June 2, 2018 (10:32 pm)

    The junction has totally lost its appeal. Rarely go anymore. Of course it’s a business decision for husky, which is a special place, but doesn’t mean there will be lots of fans for yet another big building changing the junction in a bad way. 

    • Rose Tint June 3, 2018 (9:09 am)

      The Junction has totally  gained it appeal since the dead zone it was in the 80s with its scarce dining choices, closed storefronts, and general feel of decline. The build-up of housing (which led to restaurants new businesses & services), in the last decade has had enormous affects, putting THE JUNCTION on the map.I consider the complaints about dark canyon corridors caused by new buildings without real merit as California Ave runs north and south and this is Seattle renown for grey diffuse skies and shadowless days.I do not view West Seattle’s established architecture as anything to brag about.  There are virtually no visually iconic commercial buildings here.  Sure, there are the old brick structures and storefronts with period detail, but you must take a micro view to discover the few gems (and beware that many of our old buildings are unreinforced masonry that have not been seismicly upgraded like Los Angeles and San Francisco require). While conceding not one of the new commercial buildings is destined to become iconic either, at least they have re-vitalized West Seattle Junction.I 

      • dawsonct June 3, 2018 (4:02 pm)

        +1 on that RT. I’ve been here long enough to hear people bitch about our moribund business district and choices for adult entertainment (fine dining and interesting bars), and now many of the same are bitching about the thing that is bringing both to our neighborhood.Lived here for a while/forever, and don’t “like what WS has become? You were part of somebody else’s problem when you arrived on the peninsula. Get over it. The Jeanette Williams bridge isn’t a draw-bridge, and most who read this wouldn’t live here if that was, once again, the only way to get from downtown (or anywhere else) to WS.—-You live in a city folks, change, at times disruptive, comes with the territory. Cities that are NOT dynamic and always changing, are stagnant and dying. I prefer a vibrant community. 

        • My two cents ... June 3, 2018 (6:58 pm)

          @Rose Tint, @Dawsonct – Here! Here! Well said, succinct – objective and an accurate assessment.

      • Tony S June 4, 2018 (2:53 pm)

        Bravo and well said. I’ve got 50+ years here now, and hearing from people who have been here “12 years and I hate now” drive me up the wall. The junction was a dying ghost town for most of the 1980’s and 90’s. The landlords were deaf to the realities of their high rent, and immune to any actions that would arrest the decline. Fortunately economics took over.  Hey WS Whiners, remember when there were empty storefronts littered up and down those airy streets? Wasn’t that AWESOME! Remember when Penny’s pulled the plug? And Kress? And Shaffrans? And the only “going concerns” were Poggie, Joes Donuts and Angelos?  Yeah, I’d much rather have those good times than what we have now.

  • Sharon June 2, 2018 (10:35 pm)

    Love Jack and love Husky Deli.  So much community packed into one store.  I wish them well.

  • Pam June 2, 2018 (10:40 pm)

    So excited for Jack and the entire Husky family.  Updating and thinking of the future is a responsible decision.  I’m a West Seattle lifer,  not a transplant,  and I love the changes that have come to our community.  Congratulations.

  • Anne June 2, 2018 (10:52 pm)

    While I have not liked many of the new builds in & around the junction- I am 100% behind this project & am looking forward to replacing those 2 ugly buildings ( said my goodbyes to Feed & Seed & Wigwam decades ago) & seeing a new space for Husky Deli. Thanks To Jack & the entire Miller family for your continued commitment to West Seattle & the Junction. To the poster who commented that Jack is doing what’s best for his family- yes & hopefully it will mean many many more years of Husky Deli – but I whole heartedly believe it’s also best for the junction- this from a 70 year old lifelong  West Seattleite.

  • Mike June 2, 2018 (10:52 pm)

    Such an awesome history and evolution of one of the great West Seattle businesses.  Congratulations to you Jack and your family. 

  • John Smith June 2, 2018 (11:05 pm)

    As much as we dislike change, Husky Deli is a business, not a charitable organization.  People are allowed to sell or rebuild/develop their private property.  Other people will apparently have an opportunity for input on design aspects (unlike most, if not all single-family new houses), and a setback for upper floors is a nice concession to street-level aesthetics.

  • ANW June 2, 2018 (11:07 pm)

    Thank you, Jack! Humans are naturally resistant to change, especially if it’s related to something we currently love, but we’re with you! We believe in Husky and are looking forward to the new and improved! 

  • Mac Justice June 2, 2018 (11:24 pm)

    Very excited for Jack and the family! I think a fresh building just as a new generation is stepping in is the right thing to do. Glad to see our neighborhood growing and changing!

  • Julia June 2, 2018 (11:38 pm)

    Sounds good to me! Thanks for the update.

  • slc June 2, 2018 (11:39 pm)

    Jack, we love your vision and your willingness to work with the local community.  We look forward to many more years of Husky Deli – ice cream all year, sandwiches to go, meats, cheeses, lebkuchen at Christmas time!  Time marches on, and we either adapt or we fade away.  Best of luck to you – can’t wait to see the new Husky.  I’m not sad at all to see those 2 ugly buildings go.  But I’m a little sad to see the local furniture store go.  Hopefully they find a new home – perhaps down on Harbor Ave. in one of those big buildings with lots of space and parking?).  Thank you, Jack, for your vision and for your continued support for the community.  Those who don’t like it, you have choices and don’t have to shop here!

  • Wseattlite June 2, 2018 (11:40 pm)

    I’m a transplant from a whilst back, but have known Jack and his family for 2 decades now. His wish to retain the good whilst accommodating the inevitable future for his family and our community should stand as a beacon for the future.  I don’t like buildings that block sunlight, but it’s going to happen due to past decrees from past City leaders.  To retain Husky Deli as a part of the future is a huge win, and I wish the next generation the best of luck in moving ahead with the new foundation Jack is building for them.  The chapter after this next will be their’s to tell. I hope it is one of community contributions and so many good memories that Jack has provided so many of us.  For all of that, I thank thee Jack. 

  • Cnbailey784 June 2, 2018 (11:54 pm)

    Been around Husky Deli my whole life. Walking in the store to the wonderful smells is so calming & nostalgic. It is a little sad that is likely to change because part of that is the building and the feeling in it. But I can understand and respect the cost of staying in an old building needing repairs. I also agree that West Seattle had lost that small town feel (to me at least). It may feel like it to the transplants here only because they haven’t seen all that had been built. I truly hope that the new building doesn’t go to high. Good luck and excited to see the new location. 

  • Sandi June 3, 2018 (12:32 am)

    Good for you, Jack! I admire your consideration for the community in your development plans. Wishing you and your family the very best in this huge project and look forward to shopping at the “new” Husky Deli!

  • BornRaised June 3, 2018 (12:49 am)

    Good luck Jack. We wish you the best. I’m glad the older business owners can cash in on these boom times as well.As for the Junction, I will miss you. When this project, and the other project taking out the old JC Penney’s are complete, the Junction we knew is gone forever. Our only surviving longtime businesses will be 7-11 and Poggies. Or until the 7-11 is turned into an apartment building. We were lucky to have what we did for so long I guess. It makes me sad though.

    • Ws June 3, 2018 (9:33 am)

      There are plenty of places that have been around a while. And the ones that are gone, ran their course. I can’t understand why people want things to stay exactly the same forever? Maybe a suburb would be better suited for you. 

    • dawsonct June 3, 2018 (4:09 pm)

      Seriously!? You’re feeling sentimental over a 7-11!?Oy. Vey.

  • M.B. June 3, 2018 (1:32 am)

    I’m very excited to hear this! My husband and I love Husky Deli but as you’ve mentioned there’s definitely some issues with the building. For those of us with mobility issues the current shop can be a huge challenge to get around in. I’m looking forward to a space that’s more navigable and ADA-access friendly!

  • Gina June 3, 2018 (5:53 am)

    I feel older than dirt, I remember when this was the “new” Husky. And Hi-Yu Art was in the next block. Things sure have changed from the days of many, many empty storefronts and most places closed by five at night and on Sunday and Monday.  Bus service was more frequent and served more areas though. Can’t figure THAT out…

  • Angela June 3, 2018 (7:07 am)

    I’ve lived in West Seattle all of my life and now raise my kids here. We absolutely love Huskies. We are so excited for you Jack and family and the expansion of Huskies. Good Luck in the process! 

  • Dan June 3, 2018 (7:38 am)

    Great explanation of the proposed project. I like his pragmatic approach to the challenges growth creates. Rather than whine and complain about its affects, he seeks to take the opportunity to create an example that others might follow to make the Junction a more vibrant community. Kudos to you, Jack, for your vision and for being willing to invest in making the ‘new’ Junction a better place. 

  • Cid June 3, 2018 (7:48 am)

    I appreciate the vision to keep the “feel” of the Junction in tact while doing a needed update. The materials used (hopefully brick) will keep some of the character. Hate to lose the mural. Glad there has been efforts (like on Starbucks and Post Office) to preserve the others.

  • WS4Life June 3, 2018 (8:21 am)

    We all wish the Miller family the best with their new venture.  Please consider adding parking for the new apartment units as there is less and less for all the customers who shop at The Junction.  Jack can set the example for future projects by adding parking, which none of the new apartments seem to have done.  It seems irresponsible to not add parking spaces even if you think that less people have cars now than before, the city is trying to reduce the amount of cars on the streets with higher tag prices but it is not working and it will not work.  People love to drive their cars and they need spaces to park.  So do our customers, who will be competing with new tenants for the limited spaces that are available.Thanks from all the other business owners, workers, and residents in The Junction!

  • JeffK June 3, 2018 (8:21 am)

    We’ve been in WS 5 years now and Husky Deli is part of what the appeal continues to be.  I’m all for Jack’s plan to help keep Husky alive and well despite the change.  I’m glad he’s being open and sharing his plan to do something responsible and set an example.

  • JayDee June 3, 2018 (8:30 am)

    Thanks Jack. When my sister was undergoing treatment she made me park behind Husky Deli and go in and get a 1/2 pound of your wonderful red potato salad while she waited in the car because she/we liked it so much. I enjoy your feeling of being satisfied with what your life has brought you and your family.  Good luck with the relocation of the Deli.

  • Monty June 3, 2018 (8:34 am)

    Complaining about Seattle minimum wage and claiming to be all about community doesnt seem like a friendly message to workers in your community 

    • Sara Watson June 3, 2018 (9:14 am)

      The raised minimum wage means more people from outside the city coming in to compete for jobs.  It also means it’s much harder for young people with no or little experience to get hired.  Most of the minimum wage jobs were entry-level jobs.  Teenagers are now competing against older people with much more experience.  While I love having my fast food prepared by people who don’t think throwing boogers in the fryer is entertainment, it’s obvious that it’s much, much harder for young people to get job experience.

      • Rose Tint June 3, 2018 (10:31 am)

        Sara, I disagree.Anecdotally I can report that most of our 18 year old high school  daughter’s friends are employed.  Two work at West Seattle sandwich shops, one at Nordstrom and one at Trader Joes.Our graduating daughter has recently been hire by two Junction area businesses.  One a well established restaurant and the other her fitness club.In this full employment economy we have entered a new era of entry level job offerings for our young ones willing to work and possessing positive attitudes.

    • Rusty June 3, 2018 (11:54 am)

      Significantly jacking up the minimum wage, property taxes, etc. doesn’t seem like a very friendly message to local small businesses either. Not only are you driving fixed-income people who hoped to spend their retirement in their homes out, we’ve made it much harder for small businesses to open or remain. At least Husky Deli is doing what they can to remain and serve the community, and explaining how they plan to accomplish that. We should appreciate a local landmark business that takes the time to engage with the community they serve.Persepective.

      • dawsonct June 3, 2018 (4:12 pm)

        Minimum-wage workers, and there barely enough to get by wages, are NOT what is hobbling small businesses and driving up prices for housing in this town.Here’s a hint, we American’s have been blaming the wrong economic class for our Nation’s ills for far too long now. Wake the hell up.

        • Rusty June 3, 2018 (5:14 pm)

          Oh, I am so ‘woke’ as you say. Take your socialist failures elsewhere. It’s even worse than the crony capitalism we have. I worked for minimum wage when it was 3.25 – when I got my first apt. it was 5-something. You couldn’t live in Seattle on that, either. I got roommates, and worked my way up. Minimum wage is meant to be an entry-point, not the socialist pie-in-the-sky everyone should be able to support a family on it dream that economic nightmares are made of. I am too tired of failed economic illiterates like Kshama Sawant and her ilk telling me how great socialism is. It’s not, and no – we can’t just take over Boeing and re-tool it into making electric buses, either. FYI, capitalism has lifted more people out of poverty than any other economic system in history. We can do a lot better than the rampant crony-capitalism we see today, but not by copying failed socialist models. 

  • gorillita June 3, 2018 (8:34 am)

    Every time I read something about this, I look for info on Sleepers in Seattle.  Does anyone now what will happen to them?  Do they have plans to close/move y et?        

  • s June 3, 2018 (9:10 am)

    While, yes, Husky is a business and Mr. Miller needs to do what is necessary to help his family–I feel like he fully understands what is and what was wrong about the 7 stories.  A large setback on the top floors would definitely help make the street not feel like narrow and shady valley.  I hope the apartments won’t go too.  I understand we’re not a small big city anymore, we are becoming a proper big city; and with that comes inevitable change.  But I’m so glad that one of the new developers (Mr. Miller) understands.  Frankly, those (where Sleepers and Bikram have been housed)  were never the most attractive of buildings, and it’s possible the replacement buildings will be more handsome.

  • D-Mom June 3, 2018 (9:23 am)

    I hate all of these development projects and how they are changing West Seattle.  But I hate even more the money grab and lack of concern for what the community is losing by people who don’t live in our community. This one is different. I hope we get to see the benefits of a project done right by a longtime community member. And I hope they keep the barstool tables near the front window and door as they are now. 

  • Joan June 3, 2018 (9:40 am)

      I understand all his reasons to make the proposed change. I just hate the 7 stories that are planned. Like many others who live here, I love the low buildings and historic look of many, and the “small town” feel of the Junction. Let’s not completely lose it. I would welcome a 4-story building, but that’s not likely to happen in this world. Sad.

    • heartless June 3, 2018 (2:04 pm)

      Joan, I feel the same way. 

      I wish instead of a mix of single and 7 story buildings it was more of a standard 3-5 stories for each building. 

      The number of units would be the same and it wouldn’t have that towering feel that so many people are worried about.

      • WSB June 3, 2018 (2:08 pm)

        Since several have mentioned it: Most of the heart of The Junction is zoned for 85′ currently and under the HALA upzones (West Seattle’s public hearing is next Tuesday BTW, preview later) that is proposed for 95′.

  • Vicki June 3, 2018 (9:44 am)

    Your vision incorporates history and appreciation of the special small business core we have in West Seattle. Can anyone tell me what the blank box south of the Sleeper store is? It really could use a mural on Edmonds street! And seems that location is primed for multi use…

    • WSB June 3, 2018 (10:59 am)

      Do you mean the former bank, now Technical Analysis?

  • msea June 3, 2018 (9:45 am)

    Without additional housing there is no possible way to accommodate the hundreds of thousands of people that Amazon and other companies are streaming into our city. Building up is really the only way to go. The problem isn’t with Husky Deli’s plan, it’s with a city that lacks the leadership to do some thoughtful urban planning. At least Jack is trying to design the building in a way that make less impact on the neighborhood. Imagine if there was a master plan for the city that really thought about those who live here. Instead Seattle’s urban planning only favors developers who can buy themselves out of accommodating affordable housing into their larger projects and would never think to invest in architecture that could mitigate the higher density impact on neighborhoods. They get it up fast, get it up cheap and get out with their money. They run roughshod over our city government and that’s why West Seattle will end up looking like a giant strip mall —like Bellevue. I applaud the efforts of the Husky Deli folks, at least they are trying to work with the neighborhood. 

  • prayforrain June 3, 2018 (9:50 am)

    To those lamenting the changes, I get it.  I’m not a West Seattle native but I’ve been here for close to 25 years and in some ways having the small town feel was nice.  And who wants to be Ballard 2.0, right?  But consider that these types of re-development *are* going to happen whether you or I like it or not.  Would you rather it be done by someone from West Seattle, who I believe genuinely cares about the community, or some faceless developers from Bellevue, L.A., or even Beijing?  In that sense we’re pretty lucky.  Not all of the re-development will be done by community members with West Seattle’s best interest in mind.  As far as the rest of the development goes, you have to admit that the retail and dining options have vastly improved over the past 10-15 years.  I love that, and the activity I see every time I go through there tells me that a lot of other people like it too.  So good luck Jack & Husky Deli, I hope you all do it right.    

  • Karen June 3, 2018 (9:55 am)

    I’m delighted Husky is not leaving West Seattle but its moving is the least of West Seattle’s problems!  We need more diversity of approach in both our City and County Councils to solve the mess Seattle is in.

  • Imants June 3, 2018 (10:20 am)

    Thanks for the update Jack!  It is always great to see local business owners show they care.  Any negative comments here represent the vast minority or folks who haven’t known your family for decades.  We appreciate all you do for the community and we look forward to seeing this new chapter unfold for you, your family, and the business!

  • Sam-c June 3, 2018 (10:38 am)

    For those longing for the sun, vs the ‘canyon of tall canyons,’ try white center. Vibrant community with lots to offer, and lots of sun.   We had a hard time finding a good spot to stand in the shade during yesterday’s honk fest.  So many people looking for a shady spot.

    • Rose Tint June 3, 2018 (11:40 am)

      SAM-C, Looking at the mid-day (2PM) Honk Fest photos on WSB and the late afternoon (6:30PM) WSB photos of Thunderussy playing Easy Street show the same strong direct sun.The light on many days like today’s overcast skies is virtually the same all over West Seattle commercial areas.

  • Marie June 3, 2018 (11:46 am)

    So it seems no one minds the heart of West Seattle continuing to transform into high rises with no neighborhood character…. 

  • Norm June 3, 2018 (12:41 pm)

    Thanks for the update, Jack and WSB. Jack, best of luck in this venture and thanks for thinking of the rest of us, your neighbors and friends. I think that’s what makes West Seattle special, that thoughtfulness and looking out for each other. As to the building (s) they will come and go. 

  • Kathleen June 3, 2018 (1:09 pm)

    Husky Deli is the center of the West Seattle universe. We have had so many happy times there and my daughter has literally grown up eating Husky ice cream. At 15, her first employment goal is to work there and serve kids just like she used to be. Progress is inevitable so I sincerely hope that the new development will be sustainable, affordable for people who want to live in the junction, energy efficient, low carbon etc as model for development that isn’t about another corporation making money off of people who love to live in an actual community with amenities like an old time ice cream store and deli. 

  • Cratewasher June 3, 2018 (1:50 pm)

    Growth in the Junction has been good for the junction, there are more restaurants, active businesses and activity than ever in the area. Those nostalgic for the past are just that; nostalgic for the past; not victims of the future. 

    • datamuse June 3, 2018 (6:51 pm)

      It’s been nice to walk out of Mashiko or Jak’s after dinner to find they haven’t rolled up the sidewalks, for sure.

  • I. Ponder June 3, 2018 (1:57 pm)

    I moved to West Seattle in 1989 from Brooklyn, NY. From the first time I met Jack he made me and my young family feel welcome and part of the West Seattle community. That’s not always been the case. I was one of the ‘new people’ for a couple decades until the ‘old people’ died or moved away. Old-timers commonly believed they owned the place. Now I’m one of the old people on my street. I find the Junction to be much more vibrant with all the changes. I believe there were people who hated the idea of the farmer’s market taking over the street but it’s now a vital life force. At least those who feel West Seattle has been ruined are free move on to Arizona (or wherever dinosaurs go) and make room for new families. I’m very excited that the Husky family will continue their fourth generation of business in the updated Junction.

  • AJ June 3, 2018 (2:33 pm)

    This is very sad. I’ve lived here ally life, but I can’t wait to get out of here.

  • Usagi June 3, 2018 (2:46 pm)

    What about the business attached to the Husky Deli building? 

  • Marie June 3, 2018 (2:49 pm)

    What fantastic restaurants are in the new tall multi-use buildings that are local businesses ? Curious if the new developments are the real contributor as opposed to restaurants in existing buildings .  Just seeing what folks think. 

  • Matt June 3, 2018 (3:04 pm)

    Give me a break about creating a “canyon of shadows.”  Do you live on the street in the middle of the Junction?  Who is there for hours at a time who isn’t indoors shopping or eating anyway?  I for one enjoy going to the Junction for the shops and restaurants and other indoor pursuits; I guess I’m one of the lucky few who can still see outdoors in the shade.  I also tend to prefer not being in the sun all the time and getting sunburned or having to lather up with sunblock just to go to brunch; being outdoors for extended periods of time is simply more comfortable in the shade.  Now, having ranted that, I’ve lived in NYC and the tall buildings all the way to the sidewalk do create a claustrophobic feeling that I didn’t enjoy; that’s why I think it’s great Jack is planning this with a setback.  You will still have sun down California and won’t feel penned in.I haven’t been in West Seattle as long as some other commenters here, but it sounds like the Junction used to be like downtown White Center is now … I’m not sure what people find attractive about abandoned store fronts and old buildings; I guess nostalgia just makes some people feel safe.  I’ll continue going to the Junction for the great restaurants, shops, and people — and if it’s a little shady I guess I’ll just leave my sunglasses at home.

  • wscommuter June 3, 2018 (3:16 pm)

    @I. Ponder.  Amen.I moved to W. Seattle in 1984 … I remember then in the Junction the convenience of Tradewell and a butcher and fish monger across the street … Von’s … Shaffrons … Athon’s … and so on.  All gone and yet, the Junction is clearly better for it – old businesses died because the times – the economy – was changing.  So it is these days.  Sure, we’d all prefer the Junction remain at two story buildings, but that’s just not going to happen.  So get over it.  Instead, the Junction continues to re-invent itself with new businesses.  Anyone who has lived here for any amount of time has to acknowledge that there is far more pedestrian traffic and “buzz'” now than there was 15 years ago. I’m very grateful that Jack and the Miller family will continue to be part of the economic and social life force of the Junction.  That is, so long as Husky Flake stays on the menu … mess with that and all bets are off.

  • Westside 3 June 3, 2018 (3:25 pm)

    I appreciate Jack Miller’s stated care and concern for the look, feel and overall sense of community in the Admiral Junction.  But he’s taking it a bit too far when he talks about not wanting to create a narrow corridor because he will do exactly just that, even with a set back.  The plans call for a 7 storey building (same as Junction 47), with a finished building height of ’85 feet. Furthermore, claiming that the new property will retain the “historical retail storefront height” obfuscates the fact that a 6 storey apartment building will be on top of it. I would rather that Mr. Miller just be more honest about the consequences of the project.  He should state that the project is a tremendous opportunity for he and his family to ensure the future of their business in large part through the realization of profit by means of the development of their properties.  He and his family have the right to do these things.  Don’t make it sound as if consequences and gains of this development are secondary considerations.

  • LBC June 3, 2018 (3:35 pm)

    Is there any word on if Meserve Yoga Studio will be able to stay in the Junction?  Access to ice cream and deli meats are well and good, but the caring, challenging and healthy practice that is Hot Yoga will be by far more important force to the people in W S.  Jack, you are the landlord. I would like to hear that you are working collaboratively with the Hot Yoga studio to locate a spot so that West Seattlites can continue this healthy, positive, practice. Thank you.

  • dawsonct June 3, 2018 (4:07 pm)

    I just think it’s important to point out, West Seattle once used to be forested, and a terrific place to hunt for deer when the salmon weren’t running.Don’t like change? Tough, you’re part of the problem. Always have been and always will be.

  • Alex June 3, 2018 (4:41 pm)

     Thank you to the Millers.  The Miller’s plans are respectful to West Seattle with the set backs and parking for 50% of the units.  As part of the Urban Village, they are not required to provide ANY offstreet parking and they are taking a big risk putting in any parking since renters can opt out of a parking spot for reduced rent, e.g., park in the neighborhood to cut their rent.  So on behalf of the neighbors, let’s hope 50% of the renters don’t have cars and the other 50% choose to pay the fee to park in the building.  It would really be great if Bakery Nouveau could somehow bust into the new building and make their seating area a lot larger.   Can you imagine living in an apartment over Bakery Nouveau? 

  • BJG June 3, 2018 (5:17 pm)

    Since the days when we kids stopped on the way home from school to buy the great big dill pickles from the glass jar in the little bitty Husky Deli, we have loved the Miller family. The pickles were 25¢I think, and Mrs. Miller always let us choose.  (Yes, Brooklyn, we must be your dinosaurs and no, we are not moving to Arizona.)The Husky Deli owners are no less loved today, tall building or not. West Seattle would not be the same without them. Best of luck, Millers! You have a lot of decisions and hard work ahead.

  • Trish Walsh June 3, 2018 (5:38 pm)

    Really happy to hear about your plans for a new Husky Deli.  And I assume the old location will stay open till the new one is ready, else where will I get my smoked thuringer?(P.S.  Remember to consider parking availability!)

    • dawsonct June 3, 2018 (9:04 pm)

      You mean, other than the free parking directly behind their building, as it is right now?

  • Trish Welch June 3, 2018 (7:34 pm)

    Its one of the last of the places that takes me back to my favorite times at the junction.  I wish you the best Jack you have always been so great to my family so I support your move,  I will miss the old building no matter how run down it is.  It was like stepping back in time.  

  • aa June 3, 2018 (7:34 pm)

    West Seattle is not a small town.  It is a neighborhood of a large city.  Making believe it’s not, thinking that a 7 story bldg will ruin your small town life, is  just part of the fantasy that we live in a cute little offshoot of the city that can remain untouched by growth.  And I think moving the deli to a clean new location is a great thing.  The current space is old and worn out, the floors aren’t level,  it’s a mess!  Why begrudge people a clean work environment?  

  • Nick Nussbaum June 3, 2018 (8:03 pm)

    I understand that it’s not going to be possible to keep the old one story layout. I also hope that the new plan might include a few parking spots so a disabled person can park and buy a cone.However I wish that the replacement building has more than a setback to create character. Large blank panels of synthetics are going to be as grim and boring here as they are everywhere else. Is it possible to put some ornamentation on the building; a frieze of ice cream cones in all the flavors or some decorative lighting would help a lot without a lot of cost.

  • jordan June 3, 2018 (8:50 pm)

    I grabbed dinner , some ice cream and a gallon of milk at Husky Deli last night.   The place was packed and the layout really doesn’t work for them anymore. To hear they’re going to build a new location is awesome news. I for one like the retail on the street and apartments above, especially in the junction where people can get everything they need within a couple of blocks.  I actually trust a life long WS family to do,it right and as they suggest, set the bar for those that follow.  Best of luck in the new space, I can hardly wait. 

  • Jort June 4, 2018 (3:37 am)

    It’s pretty unbelievable that a beloved small business owner and private property owner feels the need to write open letters to the community begging them for their tepid acceptance, just so he can do his part to alleviate the housing crisis in our city. We we should be cheering this development, letter or not, local entrepreneur or not. The city of Seattle and its dedicated citizens chose this specific, small part of West Seattle as the ONLY place where this type of building can be built. People should expect these buildings — and nobody should have to prostrate themselves before the community begging for forgiveness for it. It’s embarrassing.

    • datamuse June 4, 2018 (7:53 am)

      Seriously, you look at a zoning map of West Seattle and most of it is single family residential, with a few patches of lowrise and midrise and even fewer areas for commercial use..I don’t understand all the objections to chains, either. I love local, but that doesn’t exactly describe 7-11, Petco, or the long-gone Godfather’s pizza, does it?

  • Ivan Weiss June 4, 2018 (9:54 am)

    @Jort:Maybe Jack Miller wrote that letter because, unlike you, he cares about his community.

    • Jort June 4, 2018 (10:15 am)

      * citation needed

      • Calires June 6, 2018 (7:48 pm)

        Your entire commenting history serves as a citation.  The man seems to care about the people in his community (including those who don’t wish to live in an apodment and bike to their jobs at Futurwise), not just the concepts of urban villages, public transport and bike paths.  

  • Rico Maloney June 4, 2018 (9:54 am)

    A true cornerstone business for decades, Husky has needed a facelift for a long time.  I admire the plan to have a seamless move, and keeping it in the family feels great.  Looking forward, frankly, to additional upgrades in the California Ave. business district.  Most of the structures are outdated and don’t constitute the best use of the land.  This is a bold move we will watch with great interest.

  • BJG June 4, 2018 (11:34 am)

    Jort, only you would find Jack’s lovely letter to his friends and neighbors embarrassing. Let him speak for himself. He did not “need” to do anything. He chose to because he cares. 

  • Jon Wright June 4, 2018 (11:37 am)

    I am delighted to be living in a dynamic, thriving neighborhood. I have lived in sleepy, stagnant places and they weren’t nearly as interesting. Looking forward to a new-and-improved Husky Deli.

  • WS for life June 4, 2018 (1:42 pm)

    I grew up in West Seattle  it is my hometown and now my children have grown up here as well and we all grew up loving Husky Deli and their ice cream and as much as the current location is very loved and brings a rush of nostalgia every time I step in I also understand the need for an updated space, I am very happy to hear that they will get to do this and stay close to their roots, the unfortunate part of this is simply the7 stories 4-5 would be so much better it would still add housing but has less visual impact,  the junction has changed and most of it is for the better, the unfortunate part is simply the height of the new apartment buildings and the lack of parking which is truly what keeps some of us from enjoying the “newish” local restaurants. We try but after circling around 5-6 times to find any parking spot we usually decide to venture further away to a place where we can actually park because families use cars and with a few kids in tow it can be a challenge to have to walk a mile to go get dinner or have ice cream.  I fully understand that more people are using transit and uber and such but many people eventually have families and require the use of a personal vehicle to get everyone to and from, such is life, and the need for available parking lots….  

    • Patti Scott June 4, 2018 (4:03 pm)

      Huskie deli and mortins drug store saved my familys life. My sister had cancer at 7 years old. Mortins provided gifts for chrismas and Huskies provide special foods. I am forever greatful

  • hw June 4, 2018 (7:48 pm)

    Glad to see Husky Deli get new digs. The current store feels so dirty my family won’t even step foot in there. Definitely time for an upgrade and good for them for prioritizing keeping their business in the community (and family) for years to come. That said – why only add 1 bedroom apartments? Affordable housing is impacting families too, and many families can’t comfortably fit in 1 bedroom apartments. I certainly hope they decide to add some 1bed + den or 2 bedroom units. otherwise, they are only adding units for the transplants you all complain about.

  • Mrs. A June 5, 2018 (12:59 pm)

     We wish you all the best Jack!  We have lived in WS for 19 years – it wouldn’t be WS without Husky Deli.  We live only a few blocks away and go at least weekly.  Jack and the staff are always kind and helpful.  Both our kiddos had their first ice cream at Husky, and our son (10) hopes to work there when in high school.  The growth of a neighborhood is inevitable, but LOT of thought went into the decision to move to a more modern building.  I look forward to seeing the new digs – and thank goodness Husky is staying in the neighborhood!

  • JC June 5, 2018 (3:28 pm)

    I Love Husky Deli.  However, the preferred option #3 is called an ‘Urban Village’ concept which doesn’t require parking.  Having lived in W. S. for over 30 years, the traffic has only gotten worse and worse.  Hope all those folks who will be living in the apartments really like ice cream cause us old folks in the surrounding neighborhoods won’t be able to find anywhere to park!!

    • WSB June 5, 2018 (3:44 pm)

      Nothing built there REQUIRES parking. As noted upthread, the “preferred” concept DOES include parking, just omitted on one line of what is, as noted, the draft packet- the official one will be out closer to the meeting date.

  • Wes C. Addle June 5, 2018 (4:30 pm)

    I must have the best luck of anyone that shops and dines at the junction.  I mean I have NEVER not found a free parking spot in any of the free lots that surround the junction in the 8 years I’ve lived here.  Not that it can’t happen, but I always read how no one can find parking.  It’s just strange to me.

  • WSMom2Three June 6, 2018 (8:11 pm)

    Congrats and good luck Jack!  We love your vision and Husky Deli and wish you much success…thank you for your transparency!

  • John June 6, 2018 (9:36 pm)

    Jack and Husky are the best, and I wish them success with the future. As a priced out refugee of West Seattle, it’s nice to not stress about the changes taking place any longer. Change happens, you have to accept it. Some of it for the better. 

  • gorillita June 8, 2018 (7:17 pm)

    I realize it may be too early, but I want to know 1) will Sleepers reopen somewhere else? 2) What will be done with the current Husky Deli location?

  • Vicki Price June 8, 2018 (7:51 pm)

    Dear Einar aka Jack True West Siders will always have your back! Let the construction begin!! We have seen a great many changes in our community over the years …including the day you made me try your new flavor (At the time) salted caramel. I was not ready to share the space in the cone but I am now a split scoop fan! You are the heart of West Seattle, your legacy will live on with your kids at the helm, just as when you took over. I will always be LOYAL to the Miller Family and Husky Deli. We have made your store a part of our family traditions my Mom made her cheese balls for many years with Husky Cheese! You have helped us with weddings, Christmas Eves…too much to mention! Hope you do a Private Party to close the old shop and one to Open the new one!! Love , hugs and Kisses to you and Heidi  Love, Ragnar’s lil sister!

  • Mike Monteleone June 13, 2018 (12:08 pm)

    Love your sandwiches and ice cream, hate the dirty windows inside and out. Guess there’s no stopping progress.

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