Status check: Idled West Seattle Whole Foods project

Some who closely watch the Fauntleroy/Alaska/39th site that has become better known as “Hole-In-The-Ground Foods” have pointed out that more of the idled construction equipment has moved off the site in recent days and weeks. So we launched a new round of checks, a month and a half since it was revealed the Fauntleroy Place site is being sold. First – we went to the Ledcor Construction site office across the street.

They’re still open (though prominently posted as “not hiring”), they describe the project as “on hold,” and they say the equipment was moved to another job site where they needed it. Next – a check with Seattle Capital, which spoke with WSB for our late January report; no callback yet – the main contact is out of town. After that – a check with BlueStar, the original developer. Eric Radovich says they cannot comment on where things stand now, but they are still hopeful they will be chosen to continue with the project under its new ownership – and he reiterates that their other two West Seattle projects, Spring Hill (5020 California) and Gateway Center (the optioned Huling Buick site immediately across from Fauntleroy Place), are up in the air depending on what happens with Fauntleroy Place. We also contacted Whole Foods‘ regional spokesperson Vicki Foley, who replied with this:

I contacted our Regional Construction Project Manager and he said that although we know that the ownership of the project is most likely changing, Whole Foods Market has a fully executed lease with benchmark dates that we are expecting the LLC to honor regardless of ownership.

That would be Fauntleroy Place LLC, still in county records as the official owner of the site, whose current “governing persons” are listed in online state records as Seattle Capital and BAJ Capital (owned by Christopher NeVan but dissolved earlier this month, per state corporation records).

14 Replies to "Status check: Idled West Seattle Whole Foods project"

  • CB March 12, 2009 (3:17 pm)

    Man, I hope we don’t end up with a permanent hole like they have on Stone Way. Credit is tight right now, and construction money is hard to come by. Best of luck to them.

  • JanS March 12, 2009 (4:23 pm)

    well, we could always fill it with concrete and have a community pool…

    sounds to me like passing the buck on one wants to be the one responsible for saying that it’s not gonna happen. They all need to sit down and have a tete a tete , I think, regarding who’s doing what.

  • JJ March 12, 2009 (4:36 pm)

    I prefer the Whole Foods Hole.

  • Ikonoclast March 12, 2009 (4:50 pm)

    Just because Whole Foods has a ‘fully executed lease’ doesn’t mean there isn’t an escape clause where the developer makes Whole Foods whole (no pun intended?) if the project is cancelled.

  • JanS March 12, 2009 (5:42 pm)

    wait…I can hear it coming…..wait……wait….listen……

    how about a Trader Joe’s there…..hehehe

  • David March 12, 2009 (5:59 pm)

    Of course it’s canceled. It’s never going to happen. Maybe in 2 or 4 years when the economy picks back up. But NO ONE is going to devote resources to this ‘hole’ to fill it with a high end grocery store when there are 2 grocery stores (QFC, Safeway) within 2 blocks, plus the additional ‘bonus’ of high priced condo/apts which aren’t needed anyway. So this project is dead. They’ll find one way or the other to wrangle out of it…a lawsuit or two may follow, but Whole Foods will not appear.

  • Iggy March 12, 2009 (6:37 pm)

    I feel so sad about Hancock Fabric. That place was always busy, and, especially now in a down economy, their inexpensive do-it-yourself products would be a plus. There aren’t that many fabric stores left, so Hancock was a real prize for West Seattle.

  • KT March 12, 2009 (6:42 pm)

    If they aren’t going to do anything, how about getting the construction crap off the sidewalk and part of 39th Ave? While they are at it they could take down all the free advertising signs on the fence that mke it look ike the outfield of a minor league stadium.

  • nunya March 12, 2009 (7:08 pm)

    Whatever equity they had in the project has dissappeared and no one is doing zero down construction financing. They should have kept the parking lot.

  • Dale Swanson March 12, 2009 (8:29 pm)

    I wish that the City required the property owners put up strong barricades around the site. Much of this is protected by a cyclone fence which offers very little security.

    I fear a car/or worse going off Alaska into the Abyss. That’s a 40′ drop, at least.

  • DW March 12, 2009 (8:49 pm)

    Has West Seattle always been this optimistic – geez!

  • changingtimes March 12, 2009 (9:11 pm)

    omg! so sad trader joes isnt part of the know the queen ann store said that the ballard store opened last week just down the hill from them…..why cant westside get one :(

  • p March 13, 2009 (9:09 am)

    I know from a very reliable source that TJ’s is horribly difficult to deal with when it comes to their property. Basically they want the building owner to build the space completely to their specifications at no cost to Trader Joes. What building owner has the financial resources to do that? Maybe if they ever got the retail space built on 35th in the Highpoint area a TJ’s could go in there…..

  • WSB March 13, 2009 (9:35 am)

    Already ruled out. They’re not developing that for a grocery – they say there was no interest because this area is overgrocered (present and future). Of course given the story we just broke … always in motion, the future is (paraphrasing Yoda) – TR

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