Update on Fauntleroy Place update: Everybody stand down

Just alluded to this on the original post from late last night: Eric Radovich from BlueStar, developers of Fauntleroy Place (plus the forthcoming Spring Hill), says the artwork we posted, given by a rep from his company to project neighbors who showed it at last night’s JuNO meeting, is NOT a new look for the future home of Whole Foods/Hancock Fabrics — he says it is for MASSING ONLY. That means showing the approximate size and space that will be taken up by the buildings, but not their colors, decks, setbacks, etc. — he says the drawing was done so that Whole Foods could see where its entries would be. Radovich says there is not a final, final rendering yet for what Fauntleroy Place will look like, past this one that’s on the BlueStar website now:

… but architects are “on the brink” of the next one, which he reiterates will follow what the Design Review Board stipulated in previous reviews. He requested that we take down our photo of the drawing; we are honoring that request, and we have his 24-hour phone number for comment on anything else that turns up in the future. We apologize on all fronts for the fire drill – once in a while, that’s what happens in newsgathering/reporting, in all media – you report something quickly, and it turns out there’s more to the story; we are committed at WSB to as close to a perfect accuracy rate as we can get, so we certainly can, and will, do better.

16 Replies to "Update on Fauntleroy Place update: Everybody stand down"

  • willow March 12, 2008 (3:06 pm)

    WSB – THAT is a wonderful excuse.

  • WestSeattleMom March 12, 2008 (4:03 pm)

    ha! I guess they’re on notice that folks in West Seattle will stand up and be heard if they try to throw something ugly at us. Thank you WSB, you’re a powerful force to be reckoned with! I had planned to come home today and write a letter to BluStar, Whole Foods and the Design Review Board over what I perceived as grievious bait and switch from your earlier morning post and rendering. Now I can just make dinner!

  • Jen V. March 12, 2008 (4:13 pm)

    yay- it’s slightly less ugly! ;)

  • alki rez March 12, 2008 (4:15 pm)

    WSB – thanks for the follow up. I second WestSeattleMom’s comment. I guess I can put the torch and pitchfork down.

  • Keith March 12, 2008 (5:01 pm)

    WestSeattleMom, your comment cracked me up. :) And I totally concur.

  • Jack Loblaw March 12, 2008 (7:18 pm)

    I predict that the Whole Foods will be hideous just like the POS across the street from True Value or the ultra POS just south of 7-11 across the street from Uptown Espresso.

  • Kat March 12, 2008 (7:34 pm)

    I hate to be Miss Doom-and-Gloom but I don’t believe that excuse for a second. Why would a second drawing be necessary for “Massing”? From what I remember, the entrance to the Whole Foods is about the only thing that didn’t change from the first rendering to the second. I, for one, will remain ever vigilant!

  • Carole Allen March 12, 2008 (8:24 pm)

    I can’t believe changes in the “massing” sketch would be approved by the Design Review Board. I attended many of the meetings for the bldg going up at Calif/Charleston (burned out Schuck’s site). If these people get the same treatment, the Board will put the kibosh on such changes.

  • acemotel March 12, 2008 (8:43 pm)

    good point, Kat. Why not use the current sketch for massing, etc? Why is it necessary to employ a designer and draftsperson to draw a whole new complex to account for MASSING? doesn’t make sense.

  • chas redmond March 12, 2008 (9:23 pm)

    Here’s a little brief on massing with respect to architecture. Here’s book one can buy and read to learn about why one would “mass” a structure before actually designing it.

  • MrJT March 12, 2008 (9:29 pm)

    I have spent nearly 2O years in commmercial and residential planning/design/construction, and have never heard the term “massing”. The word they wanted use is “a pile”.

  • chas redmond March 12, 2008 (9:45 pm)

    My experience with BlueStar is from several years’ worth of quizzing them at presentations, visiting their booths at appropriate shows, calling them up on the phone with further questions. My take is that they aim for thoroughly modern, efficient, green-aware and implemented, energy-efficient, site conscious and area/neighborhood aware structures. I am inferring from these encounters that they are practiced in the use of modern tools such as thermal factor determination, and the use of a number of math-based algorithms to enhance both the efficiency of their designs and the cost-productivity of building and maintaining these. I don’t think they are pushing one over. Here’s a take directly from the City of Chesapeake, Virginia, design guidelines for architects and developers working within that city’s limits – it directly addresses why one would use “massing,” and why it’s being used now by more advanced firms in more progressive urban areas:

    Building massing—the building size,
    relationship of height to width, and
    overall shape of a building’s volume—is
    influenced by the building’s use,
    physical and legal site constraints
    (zoned height limitations and required
    setbacks), and existing adjacent build-
    ings. Massing should express the
    building’s function, respect the local
    context and scale of adjacent buildings,
    and contribute to a pedestrian-friendly
    environment. Massing should be
    compatible with the size, height, and
    shape of existing adjacent buildings as
    seen from the street and public areas
    and safeguard the provision of light,
    air, and views at street level. Where
    appropriate, building form should
    be compatible with existing adjacent
    buildings and reflect the prevailing local
    Use consistent and/or complementary
    building materials.
    Use horizontal expression lines to
    visually define the base, middle, and top
    and integrate perceptible human scale
    Step down to the street / step back from
    the build-to line with increasing heights.
    Use building massing to define the
    street space, frame views, and establish
    Buildings of varying height should be
    organized to create a visually distinc-
    tive, balanced, and memorable overall
    form when viewed from a distance.
    Building massing should provide light,
    air, and views at street level. Organize
    buildings to control the impact of
    shadows and mitigate against the
    impact of wind.

  • chas redmond March 12, 2008 (9:49 pm)

    Now that we’ve seen the storm, I’d like to actually see the massing drawing again – and maybe a further look up and down both Fauntleroy and Alaska to other potential developments so we could get the “feel” of what massing those areas are going to undergo. At least they are both wider than the usual West Seattle arterial so the structures might fit in better. I will say that Ballard is beginning to look like a rather mundane midwestern small city – and that is NOT a compliment.

  • Mr. JT March 13, 2008 (7:24 am)

    Thanks chas redmond..

  • WSB March 13, 2008 (7:33 am)

    Ditto on the thanks to Chas. There are great experts out there … for example, it didn’t really work into my JuNO posts, but the same night the FP drawing turned up, former Design Review Board member Vlad Oustimovitch, who’s active in many WS community groups, spent half an hour-plus at JuNO explaining the Design Review process to attendees and how best to work within it to make a difference. I think it’s time for kind of a primer here on how the whole thing works – I knew nothing about it till we started covering DRB meetings a year or so ago (it just doesn’t come up in TV news coverage!) and I have seen neighbor involvement truly make a difference in some cases. For starters for anyone who cares, the city’s explanation of the Design Review process is in this “community guide to design review” (PDF). As Vlad noted in his JuNO presentation, many cities don’t even have anything like this opportunity for involvement in the development process, at all.

  • Jiggers March 13, 2008 (4:46 pm)

    Does anyone know when the Rocksports lease ends for good. It would be a clue that the big dig will soon be taking place after they close on that end of the junction.

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