A potentially big piece of the puzzle regarding future development in the area along Fauntleroy east of The Junction, in the wake of the closure of the Gee/ex-Huling dealerships, is clearer today with two things we’ve just learned: The first one is this new application filed by Harbor Properties for a 6-story mixed-use building at 38th/Alaska. We found it after learning that West Seattle Montessori School has sent home a letter to its students’ families informing them the school has to leave its current location, because part of the property has been sold to Harbor Properties (which is building “Mural” in The Junction) and is going to be developed into apartments. We have a message out seeking comment from Harbor Properties, but in the meantime, here’s the full text of the letter, a physical copy of which was provided to WSB by a source with ties to the school, followed by more info on the development application:
Dear Parent of West Seattle Montessori School:
This school began in 1980 in just the property that is now the preschool building. We grew quickly and were renamed as West Seattle Montessori School in 1985. Over the years we continued to grow and expand from that original two preschool classes and one 1st and 2nd grade class into a diverse campus that includes 5 preschool classes, 3 elementary classes, and our 6th through 8th grade Middle School program.
Through the years we made several offers to purchase the facilities that we rent, but were turned down. On February 5th, our landlord informed us that the preschool building property has been sold to Harbor Properties and will be developed into apartment buildings in 2009. Harbor Properties met with us to discuss how they could incorporate a space for the school into their property designs. They expect to begin reconstruction in early 2009 and would have the project ready for us for the school year beginning 2010, which would mean moving our preschool and lower elementary programs to an interim site this coming summer.
After absorbing the initial shock of this news, and in discussing this with our staff, we all agree that we want to try to keep all our classes together in one campus and are excited to seek a property that meets all our needs. We are now working with a commercial realtor and have been told that there are several properties available that could meet our requirements. We know what a supportive group of parents we have and hope that if you have any suggestions or leads for us, you won’t hesitate to share them.
The Board of Directors
West Seattle Montessori School
After getting that letter, we started checking city and county records for property ownership and development applications along that block of 38th. We found the development application filed for 4550 38th, which is the Huling-owned property immediately south of West Seattle Montessori:
As you can see on that city page, it describes the proposal as “Const of a 6 story mixed use bldg. (5) floors Residential, Type VA construction over one level commercial/parking garage.” The earliest date on the proposal is January 23, so this appears to have been in the works for at least two weeks. More later, when our research continues post-caucus.