Coming soon, but not that soon

If you have passed through the Fauntleroy/Alaska intersection lately, you might have noticed the big new sign on the side of the Schuck’s/Hancock building that Fauntleroy Place will replace, trumpeting “Coming Soon … Whole Foods Market.” Not that soon, according to the latest info from the project’s development/management company (more below the pic) …


We pinged Blue Star to find out the latest on how soon “coming soon” might be, and spokesman Eric Radovich was kind enough to reply quickly. He writes, “Timelines have been a bit of a moving target but suffice to say we would like to move forward as soon as possible with construction. We still have some work to do with the City of Seattle. The process of securing building permits from the city will likely take 8 to 10 months. It is possible that demolition of the existing structure and groundbreaking for the underground parking garage could begin as soon as late February 2008. If the above timeframes hold true we could begin construction in spring of 2008, with a 16-20 month buildout taking us to late 2009 for completion.”

He also notes that Blue Star will have a booth as part of its sponsorship of this weekend’s Summer Fest, and you can drop by to get more questions answered about Fauntleroy Place.

P.S. on the subject of the potential grocery-store glut once Whole Foods and the new QFC to the west arrive — anyone else notice that Target in Westwood Village is expanding its food aisles, with a slew of new refrigerated cases just arriving, and some shelf-shuffling under way on the south side of the store?

30 Replies to "Coming soon, but not <i>that</i> soon"

  • Jiggers July 9, 2007 (1:31 pm)

    Screw Whole foods..Trader Joe’s is way better.

  • Thomas July 9, 2007 (1:55 pm)

    I think I will move to West Seattle now.

  • Melissa July 9, 2007 (2:47 pm)

    I really hope the new Whole Foods doesn’t adversely affect PCC. WF is so danged huge and bright and colorful and candystore-like that I’m afraid too many people will disregard the prices. I don’t want it to end up undermining my local, beloved, always-treats-me-right PCC.

  • Nic July 9, 2007 (2:49 pm)

    I don’t see how “soon” and “late 2009” can be one in the same…

  • hello insomnia July 9, 2007 (3:56 pm)

    That whole Target reconfiguration has turned my world upside down.

  • Pete July 9, 2007 (4:03 pm)

    As for Melissa’s concern it’s worth noting that a PCC in Ravenna closed down in late 2000 pretty much as a direct result of Whole Foods moving into the neighborhood.

    The RBCA board meeting notes on the issue note that ‘PCC had two years notice that Whole Foods was coming to the area and tried very hard to survive and made efforts to “ramp up” the Ravenna store…Although in the history of the PCC stores it has often been the case that some PCC’s carried a struggling PCC until it was sustainable, in this case the Ravenna store is too much of a financial drag and they are trying to be responsible to the rest of the organization…’

  • Betsy July 9, 2007 (4:05 pm)

    It is my hope too that PCC does not get ignored when this goes down. Also, are there any other fabric stores in WS besides Hancock’s? Oh man! Rough!

  • Melissa July 9, 2007 (4:37 pm)

    Yup, Pete, that’s what I’m worried about. PCC is a union store, unlike WF, and I feel that shows in the customer service and responsiveness. Additionally, PCC makes a real effort to buy produce locally and to carry other products (meat, candles, etc.) made by locals. One can, if one shops carefully and selectively (bulk bins, sale items, and so on), spend relatively little there. Compared to Met Mkt and the so-called Thriftway, it’s downright cheap. All I’m saying is that I’m worried. And I value organics and sustainably produced groceries. And I can’t afford WF.

  • Katherine July 9, 2007 (6:59 pm)

    Get rid of the competition from PCC, which is owned by members and responsible to them, and corporate stores like Whole Foods will no longer need to be careful what kind of food they sell. PCC is about healthful food; Whole Foods is about profit. I’m worried about PCC, too. I don’t want to have to start going to north Seattle for groceries the way I used to.

  • herongrrrl July 9, 2007 (8:24 pm)

    Well, if all of us worried about PCC continue to shop there, hopefully they’ll survive. I have no plans to visit WF once they open because I believe in consumer loyalty, and PCC has mine. I also take heart remembering how WS turned its back on Ben & Jerry’s in favor of locally-owned Husky.

    And Betsey, no, there isn’t another fabric store in WS once that Hancock’s goes away. The next nearest is probably the Pacific Fabrics and Crafts outlet on 4th Ave in SODO, which is well stocked but not cheap (don’t be fooled by the word “outlet”).

  • Sage & Michele July 9, 2007 (8:27 pm)

    Just want to join the anti-Whole Foods, pro-PCC chorus. We’re also committed to the idea of PCC, but worried about them too. Whole Foods does a very good job of marketing its caring capitalist image and the richly saturated hues of its produce. A chillingly good job. It’s scary to see them menacing PCC.

    PCC is of course a union store, like most every grocery store in Seattle. Whole Foods is not just nonunion — it’s viciously abhorrently antiunion. It’s no exaggeration to say they’re the Wal-Mart of natural foods, with regard to employee relations, local growers, etc. etc. They’ve fired union organizers, spent millions on union avoidance consultants, and work hard to erode union standards in the industry. The Whole Foods founder and CEO even once famously said “The union is like having herpes. It doesn’t kill you, but it’s unpleasant and inconvenient and it stops a lot of people from becoming your lover.” Can’t wait for these darling new neighbors.

  • WSB July 9, 2007 (8:56 pm)

    One important note about Hancock’s. It will have a new store in Fauntleroy Place. Not sure what will happen between demolition of the current store and opening of FP, but we do know for sure that they are part of the new project (Schuck’s is not).

  • The House July 9, 2007 (10:33 pm)

    PCC does not offer anything special that you can’t get at most other retailers. If they become a victim of Capitalism Natural Selection, it’s not b/c of Whole Foods, it’s because of the customer base (consumers $$$ speak).

    As for unions, anyone who considers unions to actually do anything positive should do their research. Unions actually drive wages lower, promote laziness in the workplace and pad the pockets of the union organizers rather than the members paying dues. They are an outdated and useless part of the landscape in todays workplace. I worked in a union shop for 7 years and unions did nothing but take peoples money (not mine fortunately).

  • ivan July 9, 2007 (11:08 pm)

    I heartily endorse the comments by Melissa @ 4:37 PM and by Sage & Michele @ 8:27 PM. Anti-union Whole Foods will not get a nickel from me, ever, and I’m for running them out of WS altogether.

  • chas redmond July 9, 2007 (11:15 pm)

    Yeah, the Schuck’s guys told me that once they closed the closest would be the one on Roxbury in White Center. Beats going to Burien, though. Also, I lived in DC when Whole Foods bought out a local chain and then opened a store in my neighborhood. I went in there a few times because it was right outside the Metro and on the way home. Bad feeling from the staff about half the time and a lot of what I’d call quasi-organic stuff. Fancy, for sure, but PCC still will have plenty of business. So will Met Market and Thriftway. They each seem to cater to one or more specific niches. Macrina Bakery products, for instance, Met or Thriftway. Then there’s the QFC and Safeways – useful in their own right. I shop them all and look forward to seeing how Whole Foods will compete and what their specialty niche will turn out to be. Trader Joe’s still has better peanuts than anyone else and better pomegranate juice.

  • Jan July 10, 2007 (12:20 am)

    House…I love the bulk section at PCC…organic steel cut oats for 90 cents a lb. Can’t get that anywhere else around here…so, no they aren’t like all the other retailers around here. I’m lucky….I live within walking distance of Met. Market, Safeway AND Pcc..I can shope for the best for my dollar at all 3 places…it’s great…

  • Hills July 10, 2007 (9:17 am)

    I frequent the South Lake Union Whole Foods 2-3 times a week for lunch, and the employees seem great. They’re helpful, friendly, answer questions…they certainly don’t seem to loathe their job as much as some of you do for them.

  • Sue July 10, 2007 (9:31 am)

    I have never liked PCC. I go there when I’m desperate for some item and don’t feel like driving to Whole Foods. But I’ve never been impressed with PCC’s selection. I’ve also never been able to find an employee to help me when I need one. I’ve been equally unimpressed with Metropolitan Market. I have always liked Whole Foods and was thrilled to find out it will be 3 blocks from me.

  • TeaLady July 10, 2007 (11:30 am)

    I will happily continue to frequent PCC, Met Market, Safeway AND Whole Foods (when it opens). There are plenty of people to keep all of these stores going, don’t you think?

  • Sarah July 10, 2007 (12:04 pm)

    I enjoy PCC for some items, but Whole Foods has an entirely different purpose; I can actually complete all my grocery shopping at WF if I want to. Trader Joe’s is great, and cheap, but I’m wary of many of their products now after the revelations of how many of their organic products are produced in China. Also, TJ’s is horrible for produce. Obviously the farmer’s market is the best bet for that, but sometimes I have to go to a grocery store. TJ’s produce is so sad and looks like it’s been shipped all over the world.

    Also, everyone bashing WF’s labor practices – how do you explain how WF is consistently ranked as one of the best companies to work for? As a college student, I’ve known a few people that work at WF and each of them LOVE it. In contrast, everyone I’ve known that has worked at PCC was miserable. Not saying it’s a universal phenomenon, but from my observation Whole Foods employees are perfectly happy!

  • Dale July 10, 2007 (1:15 pm)

    For those who want to protect PCC, I suggest offering suggestions on how to increase the volume of their business. As a person who can’t eat wheat gluten, Whole Foods seemed to have a better selection of gluten free foods so I would suggest that PCC try to partner with the local business at the Junction that offers more gluten free foods. It’s a growing market. I’m also disabled so I’d like to see properly marked/signed Disabled Parking spaces wide enough so the disabled don’t have to squeeze out with canes, walkers and wheelchairs and there should be one space that is van accessible. It may be asking too much, but home delivery for seniors would be great along with allowing seniors to pay in advance into an account so they don’t have to worry about identity theft or fraud with credit/debit cards. None of us are getting younger. West Seattle has a unique character and any business here would do well to adapt to the unique expectations of that customer base. I always prefer to shop at union stores but I can’t if they don’t have what I need or aren’t accessible.

  • eric July 10, 2007 (2:25 pm)

    Whole Foods is non-union? Awesome. Outside of government/school employees (which make up something like 80% of union membership), unions are pretty much dead and with good reason. They’re ineffective and pretty much force companies into bad business decisions (see: airlines, automakers). If Whole Foods was such a horrible place to work, I suppose all of their employees would go work for other grocery chains, no?

    Bravo! I look forward to doing all of my shopping at Whole Foods (in 2009?!?!?)

  • hello insomnia July 10, 2007 (2:38 pm)

    The kitchen section of Apartment Therapy had a great discussion on WF, entitled, “Whole Foods = Whole Paycheck”.

  • loki July 10, 2007 (6:53 pm)

    Yo know, PCC used to be QFC, about 30-35 years ago. We liked their wine and cheese, but the miserable organic “Vegs & fruits” were probably a good reason for them to go away.

    Then, Safeway upgraded, and you know what? QFC was gone.

    AND, You know what? Bye, bye, PCC. The last time I went in there, HELLO, third world. Absolutely disgusting, isgusting – dark, dank rottng fruit and vegetables.

    Hello, and welcome Whole Foods, you have to be better.

  • Jan July 10, 2007 (10:54 pm)

    are we going to the same PCC? I don’t find it dark, and dank, or disgusting at all…and the employees have always been great to me. Of course, I get most of my veggies delivered from Pioneer Organics…I use PCC for bulk items…organic rice, oatmeal, etc, etc…I guess it’s all in perception…

  • Dis July 11, 2007 (4:01 am)

    I am always amazed when middle and upper-middle class Americans disparage unions, in light of the fact that the income gap is growing and (believe it or not) there is less class mobility in the United States than in Canada, Great Britain, France and most Scandinavian countries.

    The tax burden is higher, proportionally for those making between $80,000 and 400,000 than it is for those making more than $400,000.

    The top 1 per cent of earners make roughly 20 per cent of all income, while the great wealth in this country is flowing to the top 1/10 of 1 percent and more so to the top 1/100th of 1 percent.

    Corporate profits represent the fastest-growing and largest sector of economic growth.

    The only people who can honestly oppose unions are those top 1/10 to 1/100 of 1 per cent of income earners. And frankly, at that level of wealth, other people’s wages are hardly significant. All the rest of us need unions.

    And these disparaging people must be new to West Seattle. We have a long and proud labor union tradition here. If you think unions are “outdated and useless” you are sadly uninformed. We have one of the most powerful unions in the country right next door, and their employees enjoy high wages and excellent health and welfare coverages. As it should be.

  • Mags July 11, 2007 (6:06 am)

    I work in South Lake Union and though Whole Foods has great stuff and a miraculous cheese counter, it is very expensive (except the sodium free black beans at 69 cents a can). Many of my co-workers eat their lunches there, but the whole paycheck moniker sticks. Whole foods has also been in the news as of of late for trying to buy out their competition (perhaps so they could raise prices even more), but their deal might get squashed as anti competitive. I think that West Seattleites are very unique and will not get caught up in the glitz. As long as PCC stays in the right niche, they can co-exist with whole foods. Jeff does a great job with the wine section. They have their wonderful cooking classes and more. And, their board will have a couple of years to figure this thing out.

  • Sue July 11, 2007 (8:56 am)

    I was reading the West Seattle Herald yesterday and there was this insert about the Summerfest this weekend. On the back page is a full page ad for Whole Foods – says it’s coming to West Seattle at the end of 2008 (where they are clearly saying it’s 2009), and then it says it’ll be at the corner of Alaska & 30th. This is the same incorrect location that’s been on Whole Foods’ website for about 18 months now in their “stores in development” area. You’d think that if they’re going to spend the money to put an advertisement in there, they’d not only get the date right, but more importantly the address? Idiots.

  • eric July 11, 2007 (10:56 am)

    Dis…. you assume that I am rich apparently. I’m not, maybe if I was a government employee working in a union I would be.

    Look at the salaries of government employees – they are not exactly the working class and they make up something like 80% of the union workers in this state.

    I was non-union when I worked at the large employer in this region. I got great raises and had a wonderful working relationship with my boss. Of course, I had to actually perform to get raises.

    Pay and promotion should not be based simply on seniority. Only ignorant people with a entitlement attitude would expect such. But, that’s the area we live in, I guess.

    What’d the union guys get? token increases over the course of a multi-year contract and a nice little signing bonus.

    I was a union member at one point at a prior job – Teamsters Local 117. Let’s see, we got crappy pay raises on the threat of strike (which caused a lot of stress of many of my co-workers). Oh, yeah, and we got a minimal contribution to a pension that we could not contribute to or direct its investment. What a deal!

    The first time I met my union rep is when he drove by to inform me that I was REQUIRED to join the union and I owed three months back dues. What a service they provided me!

    I just love it when a company is summarily dismissed as a greedy corporation because they are opposed to being union. Last time I checked, the employees of any company can organize, so I suppose if they felt they were really getting the shaft, they would vote to unionize.

  • Jan July 12, 2007 (11:50 am)

    I suppose everyone can shop where they want…here’s another angle about Whole Foods….makes you wonder that if the CEO doesn’t have any integrity, what about the rest of the employees….and what does he really think of the customers…

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