Speaking of former monorail land in West Seattle …

(which we were, on Saturday) … an excavation/”shoring” permit has just been issued for the vacant parcel at 35th/Avalon – if you drive by there frequently, you have probably noticed there’ve been stirrings of work. We discussed this project very briefly toward the end of this post three months ago; here’s another look at the architect’s current webpage for what’s proposed at that corner.

32 Replies to "Speaking of former monorail land in West Seattle ..."

  • CMP December 17, 2007 (11:48 am)

    Hmm, live directly across from KFC at one of the busiest intersections of West Seattle? No thanks! I love the drawings with Starbucks as a tenant. I guess the drive-thru half a block away isn’t good enough…or maybe not enough?

  • GenHillOne December 17, 2007 (12:55 pm)

    I actually think this looks pretty cool – and (gasp) six floors! That corner has been such an eyesore; and I hope it does offer reasonable rentals vs. condos for a change. The whole area is definitely going to go through changes in the coming year/s. As I was waiting for my gas tank to fill this morning, I took a long hard look at all of the empty Huling/Gee/tool rental business space (and reflected on the great WSB dialogs of past). With everything gone now, it’s mind-boggling. Much more space than I think I had envisioned before. The Alaska/Fauntleroy corner alone (used cars? and a tool business) is HUGE. Seems like just about anything short of HomeDepot or Costco could build there.

  • David December 17, 2007 (1:20 pm)

    The new building isn’t bad. Again, if you’re GOING to increase density, that’s the place to do it…an already high traffic busy road. And the Starbucks near isn’t a ‘real’ Starbucks. There’s no “inside” coffee shop, it’s just a drive thru. An actual coffee shop with seating isn’t a bad idea down there (Starbucks isn’t my first choice, but whatever)

    I had that same thought about the Hurling place a few weeks ago. With the multiple huge projects going on within a few blocks, I have the SNEAKING suspicion that the car dealer was more or less forced out so those huge empty lots could be turned into condo/housing/retail. Think about it. A car parking lot in that area, right across from Whole Foods, QFC, and these other projects? A car lot doesn’t seem like the best use of the land. I figure they made sure no one could buy the car dealership or keep it going, so it would leave, so this huge chunk of land could then magically be sold to developers to make new 6 story mixed use buildings. Don’t be shocked when you see the proposed land use shortly.

  • sw December 17, 2007 (1:25 pm)

    Perhaps one of these locations could be utilized to solve the Petco/Charlestown dilemma.

    I do hope the Hulings are looking at all options for their parcels of land. Their sizable land holdings have the potential to completely reshape that area of West Seattle (for better or worse). I just hope they don’t sell out to condo developers – duplicating the mess that has become of Ballard.

  • JumboJim December 17, 2007 (2:03 pm)

    Amen to that sw – Ballard has become a real example of urban re-development gone amuck.

  • JumboJim December 17, 2007 (2:04 pm)

    Or is it amok?

  • JEFF December 17, 2007 (2:24 pm)


  • GenHillOne December 17, 2007 (3:04 pm)

    Yikes jeff, friends don’t let friends yell online either.

  • m December 17, 2007 (3:04 pm)

    Jeff, I’m assuming 4bucks is Starbucks? Say what you want about their coffee prices, so even if you think it’s expensive, other people are clearly willing to pay those amounts for something they want to enjoy. Besides, SBUX is a major employer in this city and all of the jobs they create help drive our local economy which is good for everyone.

    And Petco should just leave WS altogether; we have enough local pet supply stores that we don’t need a massive chain store that offers crappy customer service.

  • nunya December 17, 2007 (3:39 pm)

    I don’ think this was ever monorial land, Mastro has onwed for quite a while. He is the original developer of the Verge Condos on Harbor Ave and some others in West Seattle.

    Huling did not need to go through the excercise of selling the dealership to develop the land, they could have done that at any time.

  • coffee geek December 17, 2007 (3:45 pm)

    Being the “coffee geek”, I’m not the biggest Sbux fan either. However, you have to give credit where it’s due. Sbux blazed a trail that the other (often times better) boutique brands travel down today. I’ll take Sbux over WalMart any day. ;)

  • Jan December 17, 2007 (4:46 pm)

    coffee geek…bite your tongue…we don’t ever mention West Seattle and Wal-Mart in the same sentence…it might go out to the universe, and the next thing you know….ewww…the thought :(

  • David December 17, 2007 (5:09 pm)

    I don’t care what coffee shop it is…just ‘some’ indoor spot would be nice. There’s only one REAL coffee shop in Seattle…Vivace’s…the only place I ever dare to actually drink espresso, not just get ‘flavored’ drinks (http://www.espressovivace.com/). If it’s not Vivace’s (which it won’t be, they’re not a chain), then who cares…it’ll just be spot for bad mochas and chai lattes. ;-)

    By the way, if you think coffee shop chai is chai, you’re mistaken. Stop by Travel’s (501 East Pine) on Capital Hill. They make ‘actual’ chai, the spicy drink from India, not the icky tasteless coffee shop version.

  • TO MUCH December 17, 2007 (5:50 pm)


  • JEFF December 17, 2007 (5:59 pm)


  • Bob Loblaw December 17, 2007 (7:18 pm)

    Jeff: See that key to left of the ‘A’? Press it.

  • willow December 17, 2007 (8:27 pm)

    nunya – Where have been all of my life??

    My God – someone who actually knows.

    Thank you.

  • grr December 17, 2007 (8:31 pm)

    David…I think you might want to pop by Hotwire Coffee sometime…Save yourself a trip to Cap Hil :)

    I like the looks of the building for that Corner. Imagine if some really nice office space gets built on one of the Huling Lots…just walk to work :) Of course..ya gotta resist the KFC smell everyday…

    and, since SBUX is just push-button coffee making now, you won’t have to worry about actually SMELLING the coffee coming from downstairs.


  • WSB December 17, 2007 (8:37 pm)

    We’ve had to delete a comment in this thread (and thank you to the person who flagged it while we were AFK for a while) because it consisted of nothing aside from insulting someone else who had participated in the thread. Would hope it would go without saying but clearly it doesn’t so we are adding it to the comment policy. No name-calling, no personal attacks. You can attack or dissect someone’s statement, their ideology, their position on an issue, etc., but if you just add a comment to call them an idiot (or worse) out it goes.

  • GenHillOne December 17, 2007 (9:20 pm)

    Said corner was/is Mastro Properties. I don’t think anyone attached it to the monorail project here though…?

  • GenHillOne December 17, 2007 (9:23 pm)

    Well crud, insert foot. I went back over the comments very carefully before posting – the headline for cripes sake. WSB, was that lot part of the monorail plan then?

  • chas redmond December 17, 2007 (10:28 pm)

    Jan, here’s a devil’s question – would you allow a WalMart somewhere on 16th south of Roxbury in White Center. It may provide a lot of jobs (alas, low-wage, few benefits) and it may provide a budget ease on some folks. Would it help or destroy Rat City? It would have to fit on the boulevard and probably better cited down by the Albertsons. But, would that be okay or is it NO WalMart period? (K-Mart maybe?) I’d actually like to see a little competition for our existing big boxes (Home Depot, Target). Remember, devil’s question.

  • WSB December 17, 2007 (10:32 pm)

    GHO, yes, all or part of the parcel was monorail property per this page we linked in the weekend post to which this post refers. 3295 is the official address. There’s even an aerial photo on the page:
    Reading back through the comments – we researched the transaction – don’t know how all the nitty gritty details worked out but it appears that Mastro was its original owner and then per county property records SMP transferred it back (the sale price is listed as $0) – maybe one of the former monorail insiders here knows something about how that all worked.

  • Jan December 17, 2007 (11:43 pm)

    Chas…I’m not sure if I’d like that. I’m just not a fan of Wal-Mart, period. But, yes, you’re right, it would help with employment in that area for sure, and help their economy. Would that neighborhood want to lose Albertson’s? I can’t remember, is there still an Albertson’s at 128th and 1st. Ave? That would actually be an OK place for something like that. Wal-Marts exist, and will continue to exist. I won’t shop there. I guess I simply worry that now that we have that huge parcel of land on Fauntleroy that is just screaming to be developed, we don’t want to give someone the idea…I don’t think a big store like that fits in with that part of town. I suppose whatever happens there will happen, I just hope it’s something worthy of the entrance to our fair peninsula.

  • Jan December 17, 2007 (11:48 pm)

    oh…and Chas…there used to be a K-Mart…where Home Depot is now…was not the most attractive place in the world, and one of the stores that they closed down. Do we miss it? I know I don’t, but I’m sure some do…

  • Picklemom December 18, 2007 (12:04 am)

    Very boring architecture, at least looking at the preliminary design. A real cookie-cutter building. It takes a professional architect to come up with something like this? You could plop this building down in the middle of Akron and it would look just fine. And how about including a plaza – some “people” space – with greenery and perhaps even a safe play area?

  • JenV December 18, 2007 (7:22 am)

    I would rather have a Starbucks in my living room and a Starbucks drive-thru in my back yard than allow a Wal-Mart ANYWHERE in West Seattle!!!

  • JEFF December 18, 2007 (12:21 pm)


  • chas redmond December 18, 2007 (4:11 pm)

    Actually I miss the old K-Mart. Not the store, but the abandoned store. Folks used to use the parking lot to race remote-controlled cars and I used to pace them on my bike. Once Home Depot opened the model car drivers disappeared. Anyone know where they went (like what abandoned parking lot they now use?)

  • Gina December 18, 2007 (7:10 pm)

    I believe that Mastro properties sold the land to the Monorail project, and was able to repurchase the parcel after the project fell through.

  • The Velvet Bulldog December 18, 2007 (8:35 pm)

    Just gotta give a little support to the architects (disclaimer: I’ve worked with architects for years) they design what the client tells them to and pays for. If the architect owns the land they’re building something on and the design is crap, then yeah, definitely go after the architect (since they should know better) but if it’s owned by a developer, then the architect is designing to the developer’s vision. I am surprised at the massing of this particular building – it’s very heavy and doesn’t correspond to the context of the neighborhood at all. (I know I’m gonna get called out on that – “correspond to a KFC and a Taco Time??” No, correspond to the other residential buildings in the area.)

  • chas redmond December 18, 2007 (10:41 pm)

    Velvet Building, I’m gonna call you on that. The new building will be adjacent to the entrance to the WS Golf Course, across the street from Redline and, as you noted, KFC, and on the other side a 7-11. If it’s Avalon you’re talking about, there are about half-a-dozen single-family houses left, the rest of Avalon is a canyon of condos and apartments separated here and there by a store or garage or shed or coffee shop or bridge abutment. Seems to me that it perfectly fits. Plus, it’d give us bus-riders something to look at besides an empty lot.

Sorry, comment time is over.