For everyone asking about West Seattle Trader Joe’s – big news!

After another wave of “what’s up with the West Seattle Trader Joe’s and why hasn’t work started already?” we checked around this morning, and uncovered big news: The city’s decision on the project’s Land Use Permit will be published in the city’s next Land Use Information Bulletin, which comes out on Thursday, according to Bryan Stevens from the Department of Planning and Development. (That’s also noted behind the “land use” tab of this DPD page.) And sources suggest to WSB the decision’s a thumbs-up. That’s a major step toward the start of construction, though Stevens cautions, “The related construction permit will need to be obtained before work can begin. Corrections are currently being addressed by the applicant.” (If you are interested in all the minutiae, you can click through the tabs at the bottom of DPD project pages like this one for the TJ’s building permit, particularly “reviews” – the department now puts more detailed information online than they used to.)

Of course, we know the main answer you want is – when will it be open? Project documents we perused at DPD HQ downtown for this February update project a six-month construction schedule, so there’s still a chance it will at least be open in time for Christmas shopping. (And if you are completely new to this story – the location is 4545 Fauntleroy Way SW, the former longtime Huling Brothers Buick showroom; the building will get a new facade on its southeast-facing side, but the project overall for the 14,000-square-foot store boils down to remodeling, not rebuilding. It’s now been almost eleven months since the original announcement.)

17 Replies to "For everyone asking about West Seattle Trader Joe's - big news!"

  • gopherjoe May 3, 2011 (3:59 pm)

    Blah, blah, first it was June, then it was fall, now xmas. Sounds fishy to me

    • WSB May 3, 2011 (4:06 pm)

      Nothing fishy about it. If you are really interested, you are welcome to read through all the online documents I mention in the story. I’ve read most of them as well as others and it’s completely understandable why it’s taken this long. Not to say the process is wrong or right, good or bad, but it is certainly … extremely detail-oriented. Of course as we all have learned right across the street from this site, you can’t take a project for granted until it’s oh say OPEN … but in this case, things really have been progressing, just extremely slowly. – TR

  • cjp May 3, 2011 (4:07 pm)

    Yes gopherjoe totally fishy. Because financing and developing a multi million dollar project and working with a city and county beuracracy is simple, and should take no more than a couple months.

    Thanks for the update WSB. Its amazing how little people understand what is involved in opening a store, much less in these days of tight margins and finance. When When When?!?! When it happens folks, thats when.

  • KRM May 3, 2011 (4:14 pm)

    Thanks for the info WSB!! Excited for TJ to open.

  • CB May 3, 2011 (4:25 pm)

    All good things take time…

  • Nulu May 3, 2011 (4:37 pm)

    Tracy is correct, nothing fishy about it.

    Trader Joe’s got caught up in Seattle DPD’s notoriously difficult, bafflingly incomprehensible, time and money consuming Critical Areas Code.

    Seattle DPD GIS mapping service shows a portion of this site with a Critical Areas Steep Slope classification that kicks in an array of requirements under our Land Use Code and a Master Use Permit (MUP) that must be met before the actual building permit.

    The poor Arizona based applicant was probably in for an unanticipated surprise and over his head.

    Our codes are just another unknown cost our “greedy developers” must absorb.

  • gopherjoe May 3, 2011 (5:06 pm)

    You’re right CJP, I guess I’m just too ignorant and uninformed to even suggest that something seems amiss about a project that we are now being told “may” open by Christmas when it was originally supposed to open next month. And just to clarify, I never suggested in my admittedly pithy comment that this project is “simple” or that it should take “no more than a couple months.” Your words, not mine. My frustration simply stems from my excitement for the store to open as soon as possible.

  • islewrite May 3, 2011 (5:31 pm)

    Come to me, oh little jars of almond butter, made crunchy with sea salt and flaxseed….

  • olderwomenforobama May 3, 2011 (8:00 pm)

    I guess we are all just disappointed, after all it’s just a grocery store, for God’s sake ..It’s good for the economy, it’s good for West Seattle, it’s good for Trader Joes, why in the hell does it have to take so long to get it going .. Seattle should be happy to bring in new business ..Everything has got to be so difficult ..I get tired of driving to Burien to go to Traders, get this one going …Please !!

  • Lynn Taylor May 3, 2011 (9:24 pm)

    Thanks for keeping on this story – can’t wait for the TJ’s to open here. And the folks at the First Hill store tell me it’s not likely to take 6 months – they have heard about 3 months to redo the Huling property. Let’s hope they are right!

  • ElizabethElaine May 3, 2011 (11:17 pm)

    Yay! Wonderful news! Their garlic naan is like crack to me, and soon I can more easily support my $4 a day habit!

  • duh May 4, 2011 (6:23 am)

    Yeah, out-of-staters should be able to come in and build on steep slopes and in wetlands without gettin’ permission from some danged expert! Uh, unless I happen to live below that slope…
    All these wetlands, streams, and natural areas are a blight on the community! I say we let the developers pave ’em over!! It would take care of that coyote problem at the same time!

  • hatcher May 4, 2011 (6:34 am)

    Thanks for the update. I just can’t wait! : (

    Also, CJP, thanks for the condescending response. You are obviously smarter than everyone. Now we know.

  • Cali101 May 4, 2011 (7:55 am)

    I can’t wait can’t wait can’t wait for TJs in West Seattle! Crossing fingers it will open by Christmas, as would make Christmas shopping so much fun!

  • GretaGrace May 4, 2011 (8:14 am)

    You mention that this store is going to be about 14,000sf. How does this compare in size to other TJ stores? Bigger than the UDistrict store? Smaller than the Burien store? Just curious… Thanks!

  • Marcia May 4, 2011 (8:17 am)

    That’s what I figured would happen, as far as a time-line, as things usually go with permits, construction etc. Thanks for finding out this infor.

  • Lulu May 4, 2011 (10:01 am)

    Thanks for the update WSB! Any news you can provide us about this highly anticipated event is very much appreciated.

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