Southwest District Council receives reply to “The Hole” letter

(May 17th photo by Christopher Boffoli)
Two weeks ago, Southwest District Council co-chairs Chas Redmond and Erica Karlovits, along with West Seattle Junction Association executive director Susan Melrose (photo second from right), hosted a visitor at “The Hole” – Natalie Quick (photo left), a spokesperson for Madison Development, whose owner owns the entity that holds the note for the stalled Fauntleroy/Alaska/39th project. The tour (WSB coverage here) was in response to the letter that Melrose drafted and the SWDC sent in April, pointing out safety and aesthetic concerns at the long-idle site. But a written response didn’t come till now: Melrose announced at tonight’s SWDC meeting that it had just been received, signed by Quick. Shortly after the May 17th tour, a few steps were taken – tagged tarp was replaced along the fencing, and “they did get out there with a weed-whacker,” as Melrose put it tonight. But now, she told the council, they’ve addressed other issues. For one, she said, they don’t have a solution for the issue of “The Hole” being right up against the sidewalk with nothing to stop, oh, say, a car from going in, but “they’re working with SDOT.” She says they have “agreed to remove the chain-link fence surrounding the park,” the small triangle adjacent to the site’s southeastern corner, and to maintain “the park.” And she says they will create a more aesthetically pleasing backdrop on that corner, including “a reinforced wood fence,” as well as making public the reports about the condition of the shoring on the north side of the site. Last but not least, they’re “committing to actually checking up on the site,” Melrose reported. We’ll add the letter itself when we get a copy. (More from the SWDC meeting coming up next – including the hour of discussion with Deputy Mayor Darryl Smith.) ADDED 8:55 AM THURSDAY: Here’s the letter – actually more like a memo – in its entirety, just forwarded by SWDC co-chair Karlovits.

12 Replies to "Southwest District Council receives reply to "The Hole" letter"

  • Ken June 2, 2010 (11:32 pm)

    Let’s build a Trader Joe’s there. That will solve several problems all at once.

  • old timer June 2, 2010 (11:54 pm)

    ” the issue of “The Hole” being right up against the sidewalk with nothing to stop, oh, say, a car from going in…”
    Why is this more of an issue than that of a future building right up against the sidewalk?
    What will keep a car from going thru the wall or window or
    door of that building?
    Nothing except an alert driver.
    Cars don’t just up and decide to go on a drive-about without
    someone putting the key in the ignition.
    And yes, you have to put it in park and set the brake when you’re finished.
    Sounds as if these folks are making a good faith effort, maybe not press the advantage lest it all be lost.

  • Cheryl June 3, 2010 (3:58 am)

    Blah blah blah. I’m sure we’ll be stuck with this gaping hole for years to come, ocassional weed whacking or not. What a shame.

  • Fiwa Jcbbb June 3, 2010 (8:23 am)

    Trader Joe’s is apparently already going in to one of the old Huling buildings, at least according to an employee at the U-district Trader Joe’s.

    As for the Whole Foods hole, if Joel Horn and his cast of pinheads had listened to me, that site would be nearing completion as West Seattle’s Park-N-Ride mixed-use Monorail terminal, and we would be gleefully going downtown without our cars, saving energy, and doing it more cheaply and faster than “light rail”. Instead they ignored me and followed the wishes of developers along California who insisted that the monorail project serve their tenaments and the whole project was scrapped as too expensive. Yes, I’m still bitter, no I’m not over it (not over XL either), and yes I could probably use counseling. Still, it seems like this stalled project is a prime opportunity to grab an ideally situated hunk of land for SOME form of RAPID transit to link west Seattle with downtown.

    • WSB June 3, 2010 (8:38 am)

      The TJ’s is a joke meme. Nonetheless, for anyone who missed it, as first reported here in late April, besides various Trader Joe’s employees at other branches pointing this out freely though the corporation itself refuses to confirm it, there is a DPD application for the Huling Buick showroom site that says it’s for a Trader Joe’s.
      However, this is not the first time there has supposedly been a deal to bring one to WS (42nd/Admiral was supposedly a done deal right before we started doing news in 2006) and until the corporation and/or property owner confirm it, it’s not ‘official.’
      Back to “The Hole,” he mixed-use park-and-ride concept came up in the discussion with Deputy Mayor Darryl Smith, also at last night’s SWDC meeting, which is the next story up … TR

  • sam June 3, 2010 (9:01 am)

    I mentioned it before when the West Seattle Junction association issued their draft letter, but why doesn’t any-one bring up the state of the road at the southwest corner of the site? It was bad before, but it seems to be deteriorating even more rapidly since they created this hole. the huge crack in the road just keeps getting bigger.

  • DW June 3, 2010 (9:05 am)

    With two signed tenants and presumably, guaranteed revenue, can’t a new entity move forward with the development while the lawsuit works itself out separately?

    • WSB June 3, 2010 (9:27 am)

      The issue remains how the contractors from the original project were going to get paid – and that’s what the court arguments keep focusing on (motions for summary judgment), even before the full consolidated case comes to trial this fall, IF it is not settled sooner – The terms of the noteholder taking over the site entirely have to do with the resolution of those liens, among other things. They’ve made a half-million dollar payment, according to the paperwork we’ve seen, but the remaining $1.5 million awaits resolution. Which reminds me that it’s time to call Whole Foods, whose “occupancy” was supposed to take effect this month, and which was reserving disclosure of its plans at least until then, per last time I talked with them … TR

  • ericak June 3, 2010 (9:50 am)

    Sam – We did bring up the issue of the road deteriorating with Natalie Quick when we did the site visit. We have asked for a report to the public on the site’s shoring to determine if this is a contributing factor.

  • cjboffoli June 3, 2010 (9:59 am)

    old timer: Hopping a curb with your car and striking a building, or even smashing through a plate glass window (things that seem to happen fairly frequently in our area) is quite different than what is essentially driving off a cliff and falling 30-40 feet. The latter is much more likely to be fatal.

  • Ella Sharp June 3, 2010 (10:41 am)

    Fiwa Jcbbb – Good Post, that would’ve been great!!! PS – I’m not completely over XL either, doubt I’ll ever fully recover!!! It was a little validating, however, the recent outing of Ben Roethlisberger for the dirtbag he truly is!!! But I digress, A park and ride mixed use monorail terminal would have gotten a lot of us out of our cars. Too bad they thought they knew better.

  • sam June 3, 2010 (11:09 am)

    ericak- thanks for following up-that is good to know! I don’t think I’d seen a report that it was mentioned, so maybe I missed it.

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