Update: Eastside woes aside, Conner says Junction “makes sense”

ORIGINAL 12:04 PM REPORT: If you saw this report in today’s Seattle Times regarding an Eastside foreclosure on property owned by Conner Homes, the developer for the California/Alaska/42nd parcels in The Junction, you may have wondered about the status of Conner’s West Seattle plans. We have phone and e-mail messages out to company owner Charlie Conner requesting comment. We also are checking online land/court records and so far have not found anything unusual. The most recent official activity regarding the 2-building proposal was its final Southwest Design Review Board meeting April 23 (WSB coverage here). Note that the official owner of the Junction property is 4700 California LLC (for which Charlie Conner is the contact listed in state records), which bought it in 2000; county property records say $1.4 million was the price for the western parcel, $2.1 million for the eastern parcel.

1:30 PM UPDATE: Charlie Conner just called us back. Regarding West Seattle (where the photo shows him at a 2008 meeting for this project), he says, “Different project, different company. West Seattle very much still makes economic sense.” Why? conner.jpg“Anything that’s worth more than what you paid for it!” (Note the links above regarding these parcels having been purchased in 2000.) “The other (Eastside) projects don’t make economic sense,” though he is hopeful of getting one of them back. Conner added, “What I can tell you is, everybody that works for me is paid in full. Only people that I owe money to are the banks and a contractor i’m paying on a monthly basis … we delivered all the homes to the customers that had presales …I take my commitments pretty seriously.” So what’s the status of the Junction project? “The drawings will be resubmitted to the city.” And he says he’s hoping to meet “in the next couple of weeks” with “a few folks in The Junction” whom he says are still not happy “with the process … (I want) to talk to them about that and see what else we might do to make sure everybody likes what we’re doing, and then we’ll be moving forward with (Master Use Permit) approval and the alley vacation … so we’ll be ready to start next year.” We asked about financing? He says they “haven’t even looked” for it yet because of the market conditions. We also asked him about rumors that the site is or will be for sale. “Everything’s always for sale,” he said wryly. “Are there buyers out there who’d want to pay me what it’s worth? Probably not.” However, he reiterated, it is not currently listed for sale and they currently are “NOT marketing the property.” The city’s official project page for the current proposal is here.

6 Replies to "Update: Eastside woes aside, Conner says Junction "makes sense""

  • John July 9, 2009 (1:58 pm)

    I think the banks should seize his W. Seattle properties to pay for what he owes them on the Eastside. What a deadbeat. These developers helped inflate prices and now bail on their debts.

  • westseattleite July 9, 2009 (3:05 pm)

    Let’s hope we don’t end up with a bunch of knocked down buildings and another whole in the ground.

  • JEM July 9, 2009 (3:27 pm)

    I think it’s going to be a long, long time before anything happens at the corner property at the Junction. Which is a-ok with me!

  • PSPS July 9, 2009 (7:42 pm)

    Re: they “haven’t even looked” for [financing] yet because of the market conditions and we’ll be ready to start next year and Everything’s always for sale — Let’s face it. The money isn’t there and the economy won’t support the proposed project for many years to come. I agree that this will help avoid having another 10-year hole in the ground. These same market/economy conditions are what will scuttle the new Safeway monstrosity and the 42nd & Oregon travesty. These are all good things.

  • Jeannie July 9, 2009 (9:40 pm)

    Certain sleazoids should not be trusted.

  • S July 12, 2009 (7:19 am)

    The Conner family has been in this business for years and have been very responsible. This is unfortunate and sadly happening to many developers. It is impossible for any developer to get bank financing right now.

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