Before you even ask … we already checked … all’s well …


More trouble for the OTHER new store Whole Foods was supposed to be opening in Seattle … our friends at just broke the story that the Interbay project has now devolved into a lawsuit. So before anyone could panic about the West Seattle project again, we checked immediately with Eric Radovich from BlueStar, which is developing “the Whole Foods project” aka Fauntleroy Place (final design rendering above), as we did the last two times questions came up, and here’s what he replied: “All systems go!” … On schedule for a 47,000 sf store with a completion date of February 2010 (only 17 months away!)…Digging as fast as we can before the weather turns …” He also adds that the BlueStar proposal across the street at the ex-Huling Buick site, Gateway Center, should have “updated drawings” available in about a month – here’s the one that was released when that project was announced in March:


23 Replies to "Before you even ask ... we already checked ... all's well ..."

  • Suits are not boring September 30, 2008 (5:21 pm)

    I know this may start a firestorm, but am I the only person who is kind of annoyed about Whole Foods coming in? We have 3 locally owned grocery stores carrying lots of great specialty items less than 3 miles from this location – PCC, Metro Market, and Thriftway. I would rather give my specialty grocery dollars to local companies and Whole Foods is too pricey for my daily needs.

    I know it is already cleared and currently being built, but that is just my two cents

  • bl@ster September 30, 2008 (5:35 pm)

    I agree completely. We shop @ Thriftway and couldn’t be happier with them.

  • dd September 30, 2008 (5:49 pm)

    Do you think that Blue Star would actually tell you if they were running into problems with Whole Foods? Of course it’s “All Systems Go!” He is a PR guy. ( No disrespect implied or intended) WF has been having problems for a while now with the economy, competition and the government looking into their merger with Wild Oats.
    I’d like to hear from Whole Foods, rather than Blue Star

  • ann September 30, 2008 (6:00 pm)

    I like to give Thriftway business too, but… I think Whole Foods is actually much cheaper if you buy their 365 brand. And, WF bulk section cannot be matched. I can’t wait for that.

  • CandrewB September 30, 2008 (6:29 pm)

    Thriftway fan, I will still go there more often than Whole Foods.

  • nunya September 30, 2008 (6:32 pm)

    There is absolutely no way to know what will happen until the building is built. Whole Foods would lose nothing by waiting until it is complete to back out and if they backed out now Blue Star would jeopardize their construction loan, kind of a “don’t ask, don’t tell situation. I will believe it when Whole Foods spends the money for store fixtures and moves in, not before.

  • Sue September 30, 2008 (6:34 pm)

    I am *very* excited by WF moving in. I don’t intend to do my regular shopping there – I shop at Thriftway normally – but I got very used to certain brands and items at WF when I lived in NJ and I missed having it close to me. I will be able to walk to the new WF, and that will save an awful lot of energy in taking the car to PCC. When they open the QFC, I’ll probably walk to that too – even more time to keep the car unused. When I have massive specialty shopping to do, I’ll still drive up to WF. I use PCC for more last minute items I can’t get elsewhere.

  • Barb September 30, 2008 (6:45 pm)

    I am very excited about WF. I won’t get staples there, but I cook a lot of stuff that requires speciality items and it will be nice to get them here instead of going to another WF.

  • GB September 30, 2008 (7:48 pm)

    I’m sure Whole Foods won’t be able to ‘back out’ of the commercial lease with Blue Star. Commercial leases tend to be long term and bulletproof, esp if space is being built to specifications. But..esp with this economic downturn…I won’t be shopping there. I’m going to support local business..PCC, Met Market and Thriftway.

  • WSB September 30, 2008 (7:52 pm)

    Of course we have a message out to Whole Foods too (they take a lot more time to respond). But depending on what else is up in the news cycle, every time there’s a rumble about Whole Foods something, I get ten notes asking about the local project, so thought we’d be proactive. Part of the fine print in the Magnolia problem is that WF wanted allegedly to downgrade from a 60Ksf store to 40Ksf … this one fwiw is 47Ksf.

  • grr September 30, 2008 (10:46 pm)

    shopping at WF is NOT more expensive, if you are a smart shopper. As an experiment, my wife and I took or regular grocery list to WF in South Lake Union. We made a few changes while we were there (because we saw some yummy stuff to try out).

    in the end..we spend $10 whole dollars more than we would have at Thriftway. Seriously. Be a smart shopper, and you can still get great quality-.

    what amazes me is that QFC is coming in, KNOWING that WholeFoods was on the way. I really don’t know how WS will support ALL of these stores. There’s not THAT many people here, even with all the new construction.

    I think PCC and MetMkt are going to suffer the worst from WF coming in. I don’t QFC is going to make a dent.

  • B September 30, 2008 (11:03 pm)

    OK, it is just me?? I think Metro and Whole Foods are priced about the same. Metro has some “mass” brands but for the most part. I’m excited for WF, but I also live super close so I’ll be walking. I’ll probably go to QFC for the regular stuff. I think the real looser is going to be the Safeway!

  • Cheryl September 30, 2008 (11:33 pm)

    Well, maybe if Whole Foods doesn’t go in… Trader Joe’s will!


  • Sue October 1, 2008 (6:43 am)

    B, I went into Metro Market once and thought the prices were outrageous – and that’s from someone who shops at WF. I honestly didn’t see the big deal about it, unless I perhaps lived near it. Wasn’t worth traveling to (in my opinion).
    I agree with grr that WF doesn’t have to be more expensive. I normally shop at Thriftway, and that’s not a cheap store. I like what I get, but I wouldn’t call most things discount priced unless there’s a sale.

  • westseattleite October 1, 2008 (9:15 am)

    Regardless of whether it’s cheaper or not I believe we should support more of our locally owned businesses. Everyone gripes about the development going on in WS, but if we don’t support the local community it’s going to end up all big box stores in the future.

  • Brandon October 1, 2008 (9:31 am)

    It’s not so much about about forcing out PCC,TW or QFC…it’s about stuffing Safeway. Yuck! Bring on TJ’s btw.

  • Suits are not boring October 1, 2008 (9:56 am)

    In defense of Metro Market, the article in the PI from August on grocery prices in the West Seattle area had Metro Market at 3rd lowest – below QFC, Trader Joe’s, and Safeway. While they have expensive stuff and yummy stuff, they also carry Western Family brand and the produce usually runs around the same as Safeway.

  • DW October 1, 2008 (10:54 am)

    At one point, I thought I heard a rumor (and it was only that) about Sur La Table taking the Gateway Center space.

    Any truth there?

  • WSB October 1, 2008 (10:55 am)

    It wasn’t a rumor – it was in one of our reports, quoting BlueStar as saying that’s one of the inquiries they have received. Nobody signed at last report.

  • C.A. October 1, 2008 (2:44 pm)

    Cheryl (re: Trader Joe’s), one can dream!

  • John October 1, 2008 (6:37 pm)

    Both Whole Foods and Thriftway are too expensive. Is no one looking forward to the QFC across the street?

  • WSB October 1, 2008 (11:21 pm)

    That’s the same story broke yesterday; our friends who edit that site even sent us the court documents. Whole Foods, meantime, still not commenting.

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