Breaking news: BlueStar to build on ex-Huling showroom site



This just in from BlueStar (which also provided the rendering shown above – we’re heading out for a different angle on the existing building so you can better compare the before/after):

BlueStar Management, Inc., of Shoreline, Washington announced today plans for “Gateway Center,” a mixed-use project to be developed on a one-acre site at the northeast corner of Fauntleroy Way and SW Alaska St. (adjacent to 39th Avenue SW).

The site is directly across the street (39th Ave. SW) from Fauntleroy Place, another BlueStar Management, Inc. project set to break ground in May, 2008. Fauntleroy Place will feature Whole Foods Market, Hancock Fabrics and 170 apartment homes.

BlueStar is also the developer of Spring Hill, a mixed-use development at the 5000 block of California Ave. S.W. in West Seattle, which is currently in the permitting phase.

Preliminary plans for Gateway Center include more than 100 residential units along with 47,000 square feet of commercial space on two floors. Marketing for the commercial space is underway.

Gateway Center Fast Facts*:

-6-Story building (four floors of living space above two levels of commercial)
-3 floors of underground parking (250 individual stalls)
-100+ residential units
-47,000 sq. ft. of total retail
-Construction is anticipated to begin in late 2009
-Completion expected in early 2011
-Commercial leasing is available now!
-Contact for leasing – Robert Mitchell, Associate Broker, 206-455-1165

*(subject to change)

ADDED 10:20 AM: The logo on the rendering is for Collins Woerman, which is also the current architect on Fauntleroy Place (here’s BlueStar’s page for that project). If you haven’t read before about Spring Hill, which is also mentioned in BlueStar’s press release above, here’s our most recent coverage. We’re now working on a “roundup of announced West Seattle megaprojects” to post later today, since it’s now getting to be almost difficult even for us to keep up with, and we track ’em (among other news) for a living!

32 Replies to "Breaking news: BlueStar to build on ex-Huling showroom site"

  • flowerpetal March 26, 2008 (9:52 am)

    I’m having trouble wrapping my brain around which space this is. Isn’t the NE corner of Fauntleroy and Alaska where the gas station is? Can you tell us which part of Huling Bros. occupied the space we are talking about?

  • WSB March 26, 2008 (9:55 am)

    THE showroom. Across 39th. North side of Fauntleroy. WIll add more location info in a moment but am searching for a file photo I have which will also clarify.

  • beachdrivegirl March 26, 2008 (10:08 am)

    Who knows maybe this is can be space for the trader joes everyone on the forum is talking about?!?

  • WSB March 26, 2008 (10:15 am)

    Every development that comes up is suggested as a TJs location – it even came up briefly at the California/Alaska/42nd project meeting we covered yesterday — sooner or later they’re bound to be here.

  • JenV March 26, 2008 (10:21 am)

    so this means even less parking for the bowling alley?
    all this development is getting just a little out of hand. How many more people can we squeeze into one neighborhood?

  • grr March 26, 2008 (10:36 am)

    I thinkt it looks GREAT, even as a rough sketch. Looks like they’ve really thought about the parking thing as well!
    I’ll gladly take nicely designed brick and trees as a gateway building/complex ANY day over a bunch of old, dated used car lots. It’s SO easy for me to visualize a beautiful gateway area on all sides of that intersection full of thriving local business and office space.

    Imagine NOT having to commute and having your office on THIS side of the bridge…

    -doubt TJ’s would be interested, since Whole Foods is in walking distance.

  • Aim March 26, 2008 (10:36 am)

    I’m ok with more development in this particular case, as the eyesore that is the ex-Huling lot is horrendous. However, I’m a little concerned about the rendering. It looks very “Bellevue downtown” to me, and not very “West Seattle.” It would be nice if developers would take into account the neighborhood and design something that suits WS’s unique personality. I truly hope the living spaces are apartments. We’re pretty oversaturated on condos and very short on apartments.

  • villagegreen March 26, 2008 (10:51 am)

    I agree that the rendering looks any new building in Bellevue (or Seattle for that matter). I often hear it stated that people wish developes would take into account WS’s ‘unique personality’. Could someone explain to what type of building would meet that criteria. Are there any new buildings in WS that people are happy with?

  • WSB March 26, 2008 (10:53 am)

    VG, that’s a very constructive question, pun not intended. We have spoken with a lot of developers in recent months while covering the WS building boom and we hear them honestly struggle with that question, including the Conner Homes folks yesterday (story here). Is it even POSSIBLE to do new construction that fits in with the character of a community full of older buildings? If so, what would it look like? The Conner folks, for example, plan brick touches on the lower two floors of their California-fronting building, hoping that will help.

  • Frank March 26, 2008 (10:56 am)

    Any plans to handle the increased traffic in the area because of the added residential units?
    Didn’t think so. The traffic around that area is bad now…wait till the added cars get on the roads from this and the other two developments.
    It’s at the point I dread going to the junction for anything, a place I used to like going to just to walk around. With the lack of parking and increased traffic I’ll be staying away unless I absolutely have to go there :-(.

  • WSB March 26, 2008 (11:07 am)

    Frank – there’s a plan in the works to address the Fauntleroy corridor – Councilmember Rasmussen is involved – this came up yesterday at the Conner/Junction discussion. I have a question out to Rasmussen’s team to find out more.

  • JT March 26, 2008 (11:07 am)

    Big improvement. I agree about the concept of a nice *gateway*. Right now when you get off the bridge it looks like you’ve landed on hwy 99.

  • Aim March 26, 2008 (11:10 am)

    My take on building to fit into west seattle: real brick and awnings go a long way. Storefronts on the street level should look more “homey” and less “shopping mall” – see Southcenter Blvd or downtown Bellevue for What Not To Do… parts of Belltown have pulled it off nicely – fitting the new in with the old by keeping the street level in the “warmer” feeling styles as opposed to the cold steel and glass look. See 1st Ave about 4 blocks north of the Pike Place area for an example. (unless it’s changed since I was last there)

  • Jan March 26, 2008 (12:16 pm)

    As much as I’m amazed at how man units there will be between just the two BlueStar builds, I am willing to give these guys a chance to start a trent of making thatugly corridor something that will welcome people. A tree lined boulevard, some shops, a restaurant or two…and then take into the mix what will happen when the Tervo’s property sells and is developed. This could be an opportunity for great things for that part of West Seattle if done right. I am just sooo glad it won’t be another car lot…enough of that. And remember, they’re not even gonna start on this until late 2009…that’s a long way off…

  • Jan March 26, 2008 (12:17 pm)

    a TREND, not a “trent” :)

  • Jan March 26, 2008 (12:20 pm)

    oh, and maybe, just maybe, it will spur Alki Lumber on to fix up their property just a ya think?

  • JimmyG March 26, 2008 (12:46 pm)

    I don’t think the rendering is all that bad and I’m like some of the rest of you, the empty lots there now could really use something in their place. It reminds me too much of the 70s when so many businesses just closed down and made the area look deserted.

    Seems like only yesterday on my way home each evening when I’d be forced to play “Frogger” with the Huling Bros. car dealers racing across Fauntleroy. Those were the days…

  • David March 26, 2008 (1:09 pm)


    Funny. Way back when the ‘dealer’ dispute was going on and the Hurling left, and the new dealer was pretty much screwed, I TOLD my partner that this was all to push out the car dealership so they could sell the land as more valuable condo space. Fast forward two years…TA DA! Condos! Shocking. Turns out selling/using the land for high density condos will make more money than a ‘car lot’. It was bound to happen.

    I’ll even predict the next major move. Alki Lumber. The lumber dealership right down the road (next to KFC). It will very soon (if it hasn’t already) be too expensive of land to use for that purpose and whoever owns the land will sell it or reuse it for more condo/office development.

  • scian March 26, 2008 (1:28 pm)

    WSB asked ~~ Is it even POSSIBLE to do new construction that fits in with the character of a community full of older buildings? ~~

    Consider the newly remodeled libraries sprouting up around town. North-westy looking, older character but totally modernized in some cases. These could at least inform those aesthetic questions as a starting point for design.

    Another example…there is a newer community building right at the center of town in Gig Harbor that is old and new at the same time. Plenty of others no doubt with a little further investigation.

  • denny March 26, 2008 (1:34 pm)

    If I were to look at the 3 Junctions, or Alki commercial, for a “West Seattle” look, I would say breaking a large building/development into smaller storefront facades with a mixture of periods/styles (brick, wood, glass) so that it looked more like a neighborhood than a big building. Also, making the walking area interactive and broken up into smaller spaces. Then set back the apartments above so the height isn’t as imposing.
    I think Mark Wainwright posted about this in relation to what Capeluto didn’t do on Alaska (not calling either out, just example).
    Not sure if that’s what others mean.

  • grr March 26, 2008 (4:23 pm)

    integrating some craftsman style eaves, etc., would help..Lots of brick helps. Trees are good.

    Personally, I LIKE chrome and glass..but I think there’s a great compromise…as long as it lets LIGHT in :)

  • pam March 26, 2008 (4:53 pm)

    Wow, thanks for your amazing work on that map. It’s incredible. Whoa.

    I’m floored by the intensity of all this development – we just got here last year and we’re already swirling with the change. I’m good with most of it, I just hope for a few things:

    >>Trader Joe’s, hello, can I get a witness?!
    >>Movie theater, ANY movie theater. I’ll take a megaplex or an indy dive, whatever. I hate going to Southcenter. Bah. (Yeah, I know,downtown. I get it.)
    >>Better local bus service. With all that everything crammed into the junction, and all those extra peeps with their cars, I fear we’ll lose some of the happy walkable character of the junction. I’ll probably never see my dream of lovely sidewalk cafes on Cali, but hey, if Metro could make it a LITTLE more convenient to get there without the car… half an hour is too long to wait for a bus.

  • add March 26, 2008 (7:27 pm)

    pam – what about the Admiral Theatre? Better than nothin’!

    Re: WS “look” – I thought they did a good job with that old craftsman that condos were built around on California, down near the sub shop – where the architects office is. I always liked that (small) development – but that was designed and built back in the “old days” … maybe 5-6 years ago??

  • GenHillOne March 26, 2008 (7:31 pm)

    Pam, have you been to the Majestic Bay theater in Ballard lately? I would completely back any efforts by the Admiral to go in that direction. Nice, clean, retro (cartoons before the feature!) yet modern, and FIRST run movies. Oh the possibilities!

  • N March 26, 2008 (8:23 pm)

    Pam, you took the words out of my mouth. A multiplex, even one that shows crappy popcorn movies, is welcome in my book. They bring foot traffic to the area, which brings restaurants, which brings a sense of vitality to the ‘hood. While we’re at, how about a Barnes & Noble somewhere around here? It sucks that there’s no decent place to buy books and magazines in the Junction area. Seattle is supposed to be one of the most book crazy cities in the U.S. Come on!

  • Kat March 26, 2008 (8:26 pm)

    Anyone else concerned that this rendering will not be at ALL like what they will build? I’m still feeling confused and in the dark about the “Massing” and picture changes for the Whole Foods property. Man, I hate being cynical…

  • chas redmond March 26, 2008 (9:44 pm)

    Okay, WSB, here’s a wizardry challenge. Take all the developer’s 3D renderings and make a google flyover of what all this will look like.

  • add March 26, 2008 (10:17 pm)

    N- there is a huge Barnes & Noble in Westwood Village!

    Plus, Square One books in Jefferson Square is small but has a good selection and is an independent book seller .. a rarity these days.

  • JenV March 27, 2008 (12:15 pm)

    amen add- I fully support Square 1 over the big boys any day. N- if you’re looking for used books, look no further than Pegasus in the junction. Best used book store EVER.

  • SLK March 27, 2008 (4:25 pm)

    I wouldn’t mind having a larger bookstore closer to the WS Junction (Westwood Village is not within walking distance for me). However, I do also like Square One books, and they can order any books they don’t have in stock.

  • Indaknow March 27, 2008 (6:09 pm)

    I do understand the people who would like another Barnes and Noble further north. I never imagined how much I would enjoy having one within walking distance from our house; it really is a community gathering place even if it is the “coffee-shop professionally staged” kind of gathering place. Actually, I never imagined how much I would enjoy Westwood Village (sorry, to me it will always be Village not Towncentre or whatever it is really named now) since the remodel. I still wish they had put the multi-plex theater in as original planned, that would have great. I just feel lucky to have a library, grocery store, bank and post-office within walking distance. This comes in especially handy the one or two times a year it snows! The new pizza place is awesome too!

  • DALYDBL March 27, 2008 (6:43 pm)

    I’d really like to see a hospital with an emergency room go in at this location. West Seattle needs one, especially if the viaduct goes down…

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