Junction QFC opening side notes: The T-shirt, the owner, the door

(Our main story about the QFC opening, with a store tour and the ribbon-cutting ceremony, is here)

Just before the ribbon-cutting on Wednesday morning, that video shows a little side moment regarding the new West Seattle Junction QFC store and the building it’s in: You see QFC’s Kristin Maas acknowledging a woman showing off her “Ask Me About The New QFC” T-shirt. We thought she was one of the many employees gathered outside for the ribboncutting — until later, when she introduced herself via Facebook chat as nearby resident Adree-Rose, saying, “I’m the QFC T-shirt girl … just happy that all the construction is gonna be gone.” She had the T-shirt made about a month ago. A few minutes after her cameo during the ceremony, store manager Jeff Brown acknowledged the long-suffering neighbors in his remarks:

As for that “long time coming” — nobody knows that like Leon Capelouto, the longtime Junction entrepreneur who owns and developed the building for which the new QFC is the “anchor tenant.” He was acknowledged by QFC president Donna Giordano in her brief remarks at the ceremony:

Then he joined the crowd streaming into the store, pausing for a few words with her and others along the way (you’ll also see Adree-Rose “the T-shirt girl” in the video again):

We caught up with him just inside the store’s entrance, by the Starbucks kiosk. How does it feel to see the store – the building – finally open? “Unbelievably good,” he grinned.

We weren’t covering West Seattle news when this project began. The first serious mentions in WSB archives are from early 2007, just before demolition began at the site (which housed buildings including a Hollywood Video store – this item includes a demolition photo). Then there was a Design Review meeting in summer of 2007 (read it here, and see what you think about how it turned out, compared to the concerns voiced back then). As you see in that story, the project’s design was in part shaped by the fact that the once-planned monorail was going to whiz right by on Alaska. As for one of the concerns at that meeting, about an entrance on Alaska – here, photographed inside the store during our pre-opening preview tour, is the result:

As for the Office Depot that’s also supposed to be going into this building, Capelouto told us in our most recent sit-down interview that it’s still in the works (though the space does not appear to have progressed much); we have been leaving messages at company HQ for their perspective and have yet to receive a reply. The only other tenant Capelouto has announced is Desert Sun Tanning. Meantime, the Altamira Apartments over the store plan to start move-ins the first week of October, according to this tweet.

11 Replies to "Junction QFC opening side notes: The T-shirt, the owner, the door"

  • Mark Wainwright September 17, 2009 (10:26 am)

    That Alaska St. entrance was to be something more than just a door, I recall. I was a vocal part of that discussion and didn’t want that long, blank facade on Alaska to go without some activity on it. Obviously the comments about a “sidewalk cafe” at that location went away in the administrative meetings with the planner. I’ll be talking to Michael Dorcy at DPD about this one. A mistake for sure, and now we’ve got two long, blank facades along that street that don’t serve to connect the Junction to the Triangle very well.


  • dawsonct September 17, 2009 (11:13 am)

    Yep, pretty lousy. Two blank faces staring at each other. What do the designers or developers care? They don’t have to look at it every day.
    Ak. between 41st & 42nd will be ugly for a long, long time.

    I hope someday those with money and power start taking seriously their civic responsibility and remember their decisions impact generations of their fellow citizens.

  • dawsonct September 17, 2009 (12:06 pm)

    Before you TJ’s DORKS get going, what we REALLY need in WS is a live butcher and a good cheese shop, preferably close to BakNouv.

  • JanS September 17, 2009 (12:26 pm)

    dawson…he won’t be near Bakery Nouveau, but The Swinery opens next week near California SW and SW Hanford…butcher, artisinal cheeses, bacon, bacon, bacon, pates, sandwiches, and more.

  • dawsonct September 17, 2009 (12:41 pm)

    Yeah, I know. He was within our grasp; I could almost taste the bacon, only to lose it to Admiral!! AARRGH!! CLAYCAMP!!!

    Okay, I’m just being a whiny little baby. It’ll probably do me some good to walk down there any time I go, anyway. And if I purchase too much to carry, I can always take the #55 back to the Jct.
    Looking forward to it. DON’T DISAPPOINT!

  • nash September 17, 2009 (2:43 pm)

    New QFC… worst experience… hated it! Too many employees standing around and in the way. I plowed into quite a few trying to just get my groceries and nobody telling me where to find things. Just, “whoops sorry”. Won’t be going back there anytime soon.

  • TAKI 183 September 17, 2009 (3:14 pm)

    How disappointing that they went ahead and stuck us with that long blank facade on Alaska despite all the concerns voiced about it.

    That long blank wall will make a nice canvas for graffitti taggers.

    Maybe that’s the ‘synergy’ Capelouto was talking about.

  • CSD September 17, 2009 (8:34 pm)

    I wonder if there is going to be a memorial service for the Jefferson Square Safeway?!

  • smg September 17, 2009 (10:38 pm)

    The new QFC feels like Capitol Hill; nice, but if I wanted that, I would live over there. I’ll continue shopping elsewhere.

  • dorkas September 17, 2009 (11:26 pm)

    QFC sucks…why would anyone shop there? Totally overpriced.

  • CSD September 18, 2009 (7:58 am)

    It’s human nature to resist progress. I’m sure the Jefferson Square Safeway would be delighted to have you as their last remaining customer.

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