West Seattle, Washington
After 2 1/4 hours in a room last night with the Southwest Design Review Board and a hearteningly sized group of onlookers, here’s what we can tell you about the big building that’s to go up on the east edge of The Junction, where Hollywood Video etc. once stood:Read More
This Times article about a shelved QFC project in North Seattle got us thinking, again, about the pending supermarket projects here in WS. We dug back to last July to revisit this P-I article that included developers’ hopes that both the 4100 Alaska project (reportedly with QFC) and the Fauntleroy Place project at the Schuck’s/Hancock corner (left), with Whole Foods, would both have begun construction by now. In reality – 4100 Alaska has gone through demolition, but the rest of the pre-construction process isn’t done yet; the next Design Review Board meeting about it is one week from Thursday. And Fauntleroy Place is still making its way through the city-permitting process; its website now says construction is expected to start by “mid-2007” (late summer/early fall was mentioned in this Herald story a few months ago).
Or so it appears, at the only motel in West Seattle, where the Travelodge sign is now tarped over. Tried calling; no answer. Checked the Travelodge website; it says only “dates for this property are not available on our system at this time.” Hmm. (On a somewhat-related note, why IS that the only motel or hotel in WS? We kinda get the Alki angst over the lodging proposal there, but surely there is room somewhere within our borders for a nice non-B&B place to stay … you’d think. We had one a century ago!)
First the Fauntleroy Place plan … now this: After 60 years in the car biz in West Seattle, the Huling family’s getting out of it, per the P-I. You can read more here about the Spokane-based car company that’s taking over.
We’re just trouble magnets today. After the drama of the 35th (and surrounding streets) shutdown earlier (see posts below), on our way home from an evening outing just now, the Fauntleroy/Alaska intersection got blocked, as we approached it, by a police car arriving to check out a three-car smashup that appeared to have happened moments earlier. Didn’t look too serious, but the city 911 log page does show a fire-engine callout, so things may be a little jammed there till later tonight.
You’d think it would have been relatively simple to turn the ex-Rainier Roaster into the future drive-thru Starbucks. Out with the rotisserie/in with the espresso machines, up with the sign, hello world. But noooooo. Exterior work has been going on for what seems like weeks; we’ve wondered if they’re perhaps planning to gold-plate the building. However, this might be a sign of progress: Another permit for the project just got issued today … for installing “alarm and video equipment.” And the store is now listed on the SBUX website as “coming soon.”
A shiny new city land-use alert sign (the posts look like they just came out of the lumberyard) is now up in front of the Schuck’s/Hancock Fabrics parking lot that eventually will make way for Fauntleroy Place. No new milestones on its city DPD tracking page; the architect’s site (it’s craftily framed; follow “what we do” to “business/commercial” to “mixed use” and find Fauntleroy Place there) says construction will start in 2008 — we wondered, is it really that far away? Maybe so, given that several city agencies/commissions still seem to have some questions (or so you’d gather reading the last page of these minutes from last month’s meeting of the city Design Commission).
Got a closer look Friday at two of the higher-profile projects around WS: In The Junction, raised-crosswalk work has begun with an extensive dig-up on the east side of the southern block (near Petco). One observer noted he thinks the city should be putting up ground-lit crosswalks (as in White Center) instead of these speed-bump crosswalks. Too late now … Over at the ex-Rainier Roaster, workers were doing something with the second-story siding as the drive-thru Starbucks transformation rolls on. Wondered if they’re going to turn the 2-story building into a 1-story facility for SBUX, but the permit aps say “non-structural improvements.”
Almost three weeks after the ex-Rainier Roaster/future-drivethru-Starbucks site near 35th & Fauntleroy closed, some signs of progress … a chain-link construction fence is up … more remodeling permits are in the works. Of course we feel compelled to mention you do have other options for drive-thru coffee in the meantime … including Red Cup in The Junction and Sleepless near Alki.
Months after we first got a tip that Rainier Roaster at Fauntleroy & 35th would be transformed into West Seattle’s first drive-thru Starbucks … it’s finally about to happen. After a reader wrote to tell us that RR has a sign up saying it’s closing as of this Saturday, we checked the city permits … and there it all is, plain as day. Let’s see … Alki, Admiral, Morgan Junction, Westwood Village, three Safeways, Westwood QFC, and the “half” would be WV Barnes & Noble. Don’t we need just a few more?
Just noticed the big banner across the closed gate of Hertz Equipment Rental, previously AA Rentals, on Fauntleroy. Marquee says it’s moved to Sodo. So what’s next for that spot? Another Huling expansion? Or perhaps … another condo/grocery combo? Nah, guess we’ve got enough of those on the way.
The Blue Angels have arrived and all’s right with the world … Oh wait, there’s a little something wrong. A tipster sent us a link to the Whole Foods Market webpage mentioning the upcoming West Seattle store … just one little problem … the address isn’t quite right, unless Fauntleroy Place is moving way far away from Fauntleroy!