West Seattle Trader Joe’s: Permit process picks up

(Rendering provided by Trader Joe’s with the June West Seattle announcement)
Update for those who drive by the future West Seattle Trader Joe’s location (4545 Fauntleroy Way SW) and wonder when you’ll see signs of remodeling activity: There’s finally a bit of motion in that direction. If you have been following the saga, you know that last time we talked to a spokesperson for the property owner, the company told him they were about to officially apply for permits. That didn’t happen quite as immediately as expected, but the online Department of Planning and Development files are finally showing activity – and we know it’s brand-new, not just because of the dates, but because we’ve checked the online files for the site every day since the June announcement, so we know when something has changed. Putting it all together from the outside is a bit like assembling a jigsaw puzzle, but here goes: First, there’s a new, separate land-use permit application file here, with the summary:

Land use application to allow 29 parking stalls for a total of 76 parking stalls in an environmentally critical area. Project includes change of use from automotive sales and service to general retail sales and service (Trader Joe’s), modifications to front façade to create new entry and exit tower, elevator and stairwell.

The “fees and receipts” tab on the same DPD webpage indicates a variety of fees paid just yesterday, including one for the Land Use Information Bulletin, which means an official comment period is likely to open for this shortly, when you see a city informational sign go up at the site. And new contacts have been added, including a Redmond architecture firm, and a corporate contact at TJ’s HQ in Southern California. In addition, that page points to another case number for an additional address on the site – 4527 Fauntleroy Way – with its own set of fees marked as paid today. Meantime, according to the “inspections” tab on this DPD page, a “pre-application site visit” happened last week. We’ve had a request out for corporate comment for a few days, no reply so far, so reading the paperwork tea leaves yields the most information at this point.

23 Replies to "West Seattle Trader Joe's: Permit process picks up"

  • Lura Ercolano December 15, 2010 (10:22 pm)

    This makes me so happy!

  • sophista-tiki December 15, 2010 (10:56 pm)

    EEEEEEE me too!

  • WSnewbie December 15, 2010 (11:33 pm)

    I can’t wait, this will help out the area so much.

  • Diane December 16, 2010 (12:19 am)

    honest to god, this will be the most exciting thing to happen in West Seattle in a decade; happy, happy, happy

  • transplantella December 16, 2010 (2:01 am)

    “…but because we’ve checked the online files for the site every day since the June announcement…”

    And it is now only December? Hells bells, city government is steaming forward, full speed ahead! :-/

    So we may see signs of Trader Joe life round about 2020?

    Various parking permits, and surveys, and exterior design reviews, and public hearings, and whatnot non withstanding….

    I can’t wait! Maybe I’ll still be alive by then.

    • WSB December 16, 2010 (2:28 am)

      Transplantella – Not to counter the perception of the city process, as I know from so many stories we’ve covered that it CAN move like molasses. But in this case, so far, anyway, it does NOT appear to have been a matter of city foot-dragging. As noted in our earlier stories, linked in this one, TJ’s had not filed the formal application for a permit. We know this not only from watching the online files but also from directly checking with the DPD media liaison, asking him to check things that don’t appear in the online files, such as whether they had an application “intake” meeting scheduled – and every time we talked with him, they did not. Can’t vouch for what happens from here but so many people have been asking “nothing’s happening? is it dead?” that when we saw this concrete proof of some movement, even if “only” paperwork, we wanted to report it – TR

  • excited! December 16, 2010 (6:21 am)

    when is it slated to open again???

  • Alki Area December 16, 2010 (7:55 am)

    ER…what? Did anyone notice this line?
    “in an environmentally critical area.”

    Are you f**king kidding me? What about this industrial car lot/repair facility, is an environmentally critical area? It’s surrounded by a giant pit, bowling alley, lumber yard, and a Starbucks. This isn’t Waldens Woods. It’s not sitting on the bank of a lake or stream. It’s BEEN an industrial use lot for 50+ years. This chunk of land is no more (or less) environmentally “critical” then any other lot in the junction. They ALL (from Arts West to Easy Street) ultimately drain toward the Sound or some stream (everything does).

    Point is, it’s a little “crying wolf” to consider every dirty post-industrial lot as if it’s some pristine forest we’re trying to protect. Since we’re not “adding” any more impermeable surface and it will involve a lot LESS toxic mess than a car repair facility, any “environmental” review should be a simple gleeful rubber stamp.

  • Lynn December 16, 2010 (8:03 am)

    Just moved to Junction; can’t wait to walk to TJs! They are the best!

  • NotMe December 16, 2010 (8:46 am)

    Honest to God, I think you may be over-stating it just a bit.
    THE most exciting thing in a decade? For all of our sake, I sure hope you are just a little excited for a chain store to open. I hate to think there hasn’t been anything better in that period of time.

  • smash the state December 16, 2010 (8:47 am)

    TJs = TV dinners for yuppies.

  • K December 16, 2010 (9:04 am)

    When are they slated to open again???

  • 2wheels a-go-go December 16, 2010 (9:54 am)

    @Alki Area: You are the one who is crying wolf. A site that contains an “environmentally critical area” (ECA) is NOT wilderness. There are several types of ECAs that a site may have: steep slopes, liquefaction, wetlands, abandoned landfills, shoreline, etc.
    The ECA referred to in the Trader Joe’s application is a steep slope at the site’s NW corner. Any development on such a site must be reviewed for its impact on the slope, so as to prevent possible slides.
    Please calm down.

  • Lucky chick December 16, 2010 (11:37 am)

    Thanks, 2wheels. I get upset when people go off the deep end because they don’t understand what critical areas are and WHY they are critical to protect! We humans rarely do anything that doesn’t benefit ourselves, so rest assured the critical areas regulations are there for your own good. Usually :).

  • Stream December 16, 2010 (12:10 pm)

    I would also bet that once upon a time, there WAS a small stream that ran along that portion of Fauntleroy before it was paved over. The street basically runs along a small valley between two lengthy hills. There aren’t really any valleys that don’t have streams that run along their base. My guess is that the flow is now adequately handled by the gutters and the sewers.

  • 2wheels a-go-go December 16, 2010 (12:10 pm)

    Actually, you bring up a good point, Lucky Chick: the steep slope ECA isn’t there to protect the slope, per se; it is there to protect the property owner, neighboring property owners, and the public from property damage and personal injury.
    Without the city reviewing development in ECAs, ignorant property owner would simply build whatever they wanted, wherever they wanted, and then scratch their heads when the hillside slid down and destroyed their building or killed a couple people, wondering why the city didn’t do more to protect them.

  • hmmmm December 16, 2010 (1:22 pm)

    Their website doesn’t list West Seattle at all for a “new/upcoming” location. But Spokane is! :-)

  • kmjl0210 December 17, 2010 (3:28 am)

    I’ve got an inside contact, while Spokane will open first, the Fauntleroy store is hopefully happen in mid-late Spring :)

  • Bridget December 17, 2010 (7:57 am)

    Is this going to be just like the Whole Foods in West Seattle story?? Whatever happened?? I love Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods!

  • Sandra December 17, 2010 (12:54 pm)

    We LOVE TJ’s and have been going to their Burien store for years. Can’t wait to have one closer to home!!
    @2wheels and Lucky chick: Yes, I couldn’t agree more.
    @WSB: I really appreciate your coverage on this. Excellent and balanced.

  • Jamie December 17, 2010 (6:17 pm)

    Fan-freaking-tastic! So happy about this. It’s just 2 blocks from my gym, (the YMCA), which means after I go work out I can pick up some TJ’s mac & cheese, puff pastry bites and prosecco on my way home to undo my workout! yay for little things. (And yes, I’m being completely serious, I love TJs that much! lol)

  • duder December 17, 2010 (9:03 pm)

    Lame. All we need now is a wal-mart and a nascar stadium.

  • Lincoln December 21, 2010 (10:39 pm)

    @duder…Cuz an unused car lot is so very useful and olde world…The times are a’changin’ and I for one am pleased that area will become a useful place (unless you have some brilliant plan to make it wetland or something).

    My only concern is the traffic hold-ups that will inevitably occur. I don’t shop at the organic food place simply because I don’t want to hold up traffic at that horribly-planned “merge” in lanes (what genius thought of that?!) on Fauntleroy where everyone insists they have the right of way from the left and don’t bother to even use their turn signals to merge in to the actual lane, and rush through there just to by-pass one or two cars!…God-forbid we slow down to turn in to any establishment on that stretch of road!

Sorry, comment time is over.