BULLETIN: ‘The Hole,’ aka Fauntleroy Place, goes for $32 million

(WSB photo of ‘The Hole,’ May 2011)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

We’re at the King County Administration Building downtown, where the stalled development site formerly known as Fauntleroy Place, better known in West Seattle as “The Hole,” has just been auctioned off, three years after development stalled and collapsed into a court fight.

After the case was settled back in June, the resulting foreclosure sale was scheduled for today, and happened without much fanfare, shortly after 10 this morning, as part of the regularly scheduled foreclosure auctions.

Pending completion of paperwork, payment, etc., 3922 SW Alaska LLC is the winning (and only) bidder, announced by King County Sheriff’s Office fill-in auctioneer Dave Easterly, at $32.3 million. See and hear for yourself:

3922 SW Alaska LLC has been the on-the-record noteholder; it’s an entity linked to Madison Development. Its bid was submitted in writing.

Now what? We had checked with a spokesperson for 3922 earlier this week, and the response we got back yesterday was: “We are confident and hopeful that the next steps determining the future of this site will take place soon, but it would be premature to discuss any details at this time.” We are of course checking again; it should be noted that Madison has a page on its website for Fauntleroy Place, listed as 64,000 square feet of retail, 180,000 square feet of apartments. They also have a project under way in West Seattle right now – Element 42, the apartments on the southeast side of the Admiral Safeway site.

Under previous developers, the project was scheduled to have a Whole Foods Market as well as a Hancock Fabrics store (the latter, to replace one torn down on the site), but Whole Foods formally pulled out of the project in July 2010, since terms of its lease – to have a store ready to go by a certain date – were not fulfilled.

More to come! (Footnote: No official comment from Madison by day’s end. Hopefully next week.)

93 Replies to "BULLETIN: 'The Hole,' aka Fauntleroy Place, goes for $32 million"

  • April October 7, 2011 (11:02 am)

    I know this is only my wild dreaming… but i would love to see a real movie theater in West Seattle. Someone please tell the developers because i’m sure they’d love to know what i think. ;-)

    Admiral Theater doesn’t count for multiple reasons.

  • WS mom October 7, 2011 (11:03 am)

    This is good news. Stay tuned for further developments huh?!

  • Amy October 7, 2011 (11:11 am)

    That is a wonderful idea April!

  • JN October 7, 2011 (11:35 am)

    Awesome! Finally something will be done about that eyesore. Hopefully they will do something nice to help anchor the development in the Triangle area.

  • timeslid October 7, 2011 (12:01 pm)

    And with 180,000 square feet of apartments, does that come with one more lane on the bridge?

  • Always confused October 7, 2011 (12:03 pm)

    The movie theater IS an awesome idea. I’m surprised I haven’t heard it before! Let’s get some buzz goin’ :)

  • westseattledood October 7, 2011 (12:13 pm)

    Can we talk Madison?

    I don’t suppose a Fred Meyer would fit in there by any chance would it? Not the sprawling burb floor plan, but a streamlined urbanized concept with same product prices? Can we have that please?

    If you’re not too interested in that, how about a couple of movie theaters configured so that theater-goers wouldn’t further mangle traffic. Can you do that for us?

    Thanks Madison.

    Talk again soon.

  • SJC October 7, 2011 (12:16 pm)

    My Husband and i are with April! Admiral theater is great, but when we want to see a new movie, we have to leave W. Seattle. We’ve wanted someone to build a big time movie theater here for the past 3 years. We Vote Movies!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • watertwoerjoey October 7, 2011 (12:20 pm)

    Dang, I just putting on my do-rag and grabbing my hacky sack to head up the “occupy the hole” protest!

  • Diane October 7, 2011 (12:24 pm)

    bring back Hancock Fabrics; WS Fabrics is wonderful and fills a niche, but I miss having a huge everything I could possibly need to make/re-design clothes with fabrics and all notions at full range of prices

  • coffee October 7, 2011 (12:25 pm)

    well at least we dont have to listen to the trader joes comments….
    I am wondering what will go in there besides more apartments.

  • Diane October 7, 2011 (12:27 pm)

    oops, forgot to say; so VERY happy that this is finally going forward

  • johnny Davies October 7, 2011 (12:31 pm)

    Wasn’t “3922” the previous owner?? Did they bankrupt the property to buy it back at a lower price at auction or something? Maybe my memory on this isn’t correct.

  • sarah October 7, 2011 (12:52 pm)

    Wish list:
    1. Yes! A movie theater!
    2. Deffinately bring back Hancock Fabrics – I really miss it!
    3. A good family style restaurant – like a Charlston with better food (no offense, really).
    4. Welcoming, interesting, and quality architecture and landscaping. No more boring ugly boxes!

  • LivesinWS October 7, 2011 (12:53 pm)

    The Admiral Theatre is fine with me — most movies aren’t worth full price and what’s a few weeks wait anyway.

    But I’d really like Hancock Fabrics back. I have to go to Pacific Fabrics in Sodo or even farther to look at what I need for projects.

  • YYinWestwood October 7, 2011 (12:53 pm)

    My suggestion: Elliot Bay Brewery w/a movie theatre! (something like McMenamins in Oregon) With the ability to have live music (which can be handled by Easy Street).

  • JAT October 7, 2011 (1:19 pm)

    Monorail barn, station and park-and-ride?


  • Neo-Realist October 7, 2011 (2:43 pm)

    We need a really good Chinese Restaurant in the worst way.

    No more Apartment/Condo contruction without more public transit and transit capacity.

  • Mike in the Junction October 7, 2011 (3:03 pm)

    Darn- I would have bid if I would have know. Rich Dad / Poor Dad says get your money into real estate.

  • JN October 7, 2011 (3:03 pm)

    It would be a great spot for a light rail/monorail station with some retail and residential spaces, you know, the kind of development that attracts business and a vibrant culture.

  • KatherineL October 7, 2011 (3:12 pm)

    32 million…and 77 cents? When they’re talking millions, they can’t round it off?

  • anonyme October 7, 2011 (3:24 pm)

    A movie theatre would be awesome. A few years back a realtor told me that there would be a multiplex built at Westwood Village, but that never happened. It’s getting harder and harder to go downtown, and I’d rather just stay in the hood anyway. We’ve got better restaurants, too.

  • Pam October 7, 2011 (3:41 pm)

    An auto parts store… fabric store.. JCPenney please come back….. so many options of things we need to return.

  • pigeonmom October 7, 2011 (4:02 pm)

    Hey, I know!
    How ’bout a pizzajoint/nailsalon/apartmentbuilding.
    West Seattle needs MORE of those! ;-)

  • two four six October 7, 2011 (4:10 pm)

    How about including a town hall-type space for meetings, concerts, etc?

  • RS October 7, 2011 (4:16 pm)

    Well if we’re voting…I’d take the Whole Foods again (or a Fred Meyer, or some other handy local store), or the rail transport for sure. Not a fan of the large theater chains, but I guess if EBC and Easy Street ran it you’d have my vote! :) I think someone else in the household would vote for Hancock Fabrics…

    Speaking of Charlestown, does anyone know what the future plans for that site are?

  • skeeter October 7, 2011 (4:19 pm)

    I know you’re gonna kill me for this but I’ll say it anyway. I’d love a Red Robin in West Seattle.

  • MMB October 7, 2011 (4:20 pm)

    I too wonder why WS needs to have so many more apartments and condos built when the transit and road systems are so sucky. I recall when we were told that WS was to become an urban village – some time ago now. Seems like we got the density but not enough support or modernization of transportation. I can’t bike due to physical limitations and the 21 bus is a woeful option. Leaving very early for work and trying to drum up a carpool with co-workers as I want to do my part, but sheesh. I’ve lived in WS since 1990 and the number of commuters has burgeoned since then – partly due to retirees moving out, younger peeps moving in, but seems to be nudged quite a bit by housing unit availability. Love having all the folks, but hate the traffic.

  • JN October 7, 2011 (4:48 pm)

    MMB, you are spot-on. West Seattle seems to be incredibly under-served in regards to transit. We got screwed on the monorail and seem to have stagnated since then. I think it’s high time for West Seattle to revive that concept….And the BRT system does not seem like it will go any faster, anyway.

  • CB October 7, 2011 (5:12 pm)

    32 million dollars to buy a hole in the ground… I’m surprised it went for so much. Perhaps this is a leading indicator the economy will get back on it’s feet if a developer is willing to risk so much capitol.

  • DJ Allyn October 7, 2011 (5:17 pm)

    Is this the going price for holes these days? If so, I have a small hole in my back yard I could sell. Ought to be worth at least $50k…

  • guest October 7, 2011 (5:24 pm)

    Wow, great ideas but it will come down to dollars. Movie theaters aren’t making big bucks. The one at N’gate is empty. I say an LA Fitness and a Fred Meyer. Freddy’s is my favorite store and West Seattle needs one. I drive to Ballard when I need a later than 9pm hardware. LA was looking for a spot here. I cancelled my Allstar for the cleaner and cheaper LA Fitness. Developers want those kind of leases. They won’t go out of business and are more secure.

  • DJ Allyn October 7, 2011 (5:25 pm)

    Oh, and put me down for the movie theater option.

    Also, how about a moratorium on more apartments and housing for a while? Build the infrastructure that will allow us to move around first, before adding more traffic to snarl us up.

  • Huski October 7, 2011 (5:25 pm)

    There’s money to be made in building apartments/retail. No money in transit. So we get more buildings, and no light rail.

  • dd October 7, 2011 (6:11 pm)

    Johnny Davies,

    Yes, I think you are correct. That is a typical move these days. But as usual, this news, while imnportant doesn’t say that anything will happen with our hole anytime soon.

  • ZD October 7, 2011 (6:35 pm)

    Yes to a movie theater!

  • MMB October 7, 2011 (6:39 pm)

    RE: the promise of more retail: beware! I work in South Lake Union. We employees of Amazon were sold the idea of tons of retail but really – it’s mostly expensive restaurants. There’s Whole Foods, which is good, but lots of empty retail space. Would love to see salons, post office, drugstore, dry cleaners, etc., but so far the much-ballyhooed move to the area doesn’t seem to have attracted many businesses besides Tom Douglas’ restaurants.

  • Cclarue October 7, 2011 (7:02 pm)

    Nordstrom;) or a Rack. :) it’s ok to dream right?

  • Sadie October 7, 2011 (7:30 pm)

    I would not like to see anything come in that will hurt our wonderful, local businesses. West Seattle Fabrics is great and I hope they grow! Hancock, while handy, had unimaginative fabric and always felt dirty. I would like to see a movie theater but not at the expense of the Admiral.

    I agree, we do not need more apartments and condos without parking and more public transportation.

  • Sv October 7, 2011 (7:44 pm)

    A new elementary school?

  • JN October 7, 2011 (8:01 pm)

    Why doesn’t the city open up the possibility of a public/private venture regarding light rail/transit? Light rail and streetcars have proven to be big investment attractors in Portland and other cities, why not here? That’s what they did with the South Lake Union Streetcar which, btw, works great. Now, if only they could do something to give it R.O.W, so it is crazy fast and reliable….monorail?

  • Pat October 7, 2011 (8:27 pm)

    Where is WS Fabrics? I sure miss Hancocks

    • WSB October 7, 2011 (8:43 pm)

      West Seattle Fabric Company (WSB sponsor) is in the Admiral District, just north of Blockbuster. 2210 California SW, where Click! used to be. http://www.westseattlefabriccompany.com

  • SD October 7, 2011 (8:33 pm)

    I’d like to see a West Seattle transit hub at the hole. The rail would head around West Seattle – 35th to Westwood Village, swing back on California Ave, down Admiral to Alki, and return to the hole via Harbor Ave. Can be done in more than one loop (south loop, north loop, central loop) to make sure that it is convenient for people to take without wasting a lot of their time waiting for the transit.

    The transportation hub at the hole would have frequent rapid transit to downtown Seattle, lots of parking, and services (dry cleaning, daycare, drugstore, clothing alterations/repair, grocery store, real meals/real food to go, Starbucks, wine bar, computer & office supplies, etc.) Convenience to do all your errands including picking up a nutritious delicious dinner on your way home.

  • Cclarue October 7, 2011 (9:04 pm)

    No more housing PLEASE!! Transit w retail !!

  • Alki Area October 7, 2011 (9:33 pm)

    “No more Apartment/Condo contruction without more public transit and transit capacity.”

    Seriously? Do you know HOW many buses pass through California/Fauntleroy daily? There’s MORE than enough mass transit in the Junction. It may not be trains or hovercraft or whatever you folks want, but you could live there and EASILY not use a car to get downtown. Sure, I’d LOVE it to be a park & ride light rail stop with retail/apts above…but do you really think the public’s in the mood for ANOTHER Sound Transit budget request?

  • Bob Loblaw October 7, 2011 (9:33 pm)

    I’ll throw a vote out there for a Trader Joe’s. Have you been to one? They are really neat and would be a great addition to West Seattle.
    (Seriously, though, we’ve all long dreamed of a mulitplex with modern architecture and restaurants in West Seattle. Please no more dwellings stressing our infrastructure and roadways. Pretty please)

  • Dude Ranch October 7, 2011 (10:20 pm)

    Dang, I was saving up to buy that hole for myself.
    The buyer was probably the lender to some developer that defaulted on the loan. Often the lender will buy a foreclosed property for a price equalling the amount they are owed – they are just going to lose the difference anyway, if it goes for less.
    When they do that the do not have to “recognize” the loss because they just convert the asset from a loan to a property of the same market value. And they can try to prep and sell it for a better price than it would have gone for at a distress auction.

  • Nick October 7, 2011 (10:29 pm)

    Bob, in case you didn’t know they’re already making a Trader Joe’s about 100 feet east of the hole. Anyway, I also really like the idea of a legit movie theater there.

  • Dude Ranch October 7, 2011 (10:30 pm)

    It would be nice to do something significant with that property, since it is in such a significant location. The problem is the economics of some really cool ideas like movie theaters, sports complexes, etc are not very strong for the owner.
    I am less interested in a retail center, because I prefer a strong focus on the Junction as the retail area. I’d rather keep that area strong vs. draw people down into the triangle.
    I also am not that keen on more apartments. We have tons of apartment and town home capacity and I don’t like the traffic impact either.
    What I would like is work-loft space. There are some great multistory work buildings in Fremont that are great for small offices and small companies. I would love to do a tech startup in West Seattle and encourage more entrepreneurs to locate here. That would keep traffic off the bridge because more people would stay here to work. That corner in particular is great because of the transit stops including rapid ride, and proximity to the cool, hip restaurants that top employee talent likes to have near their workplace.
    Plus – easy bowling parties!

  • pdog October 7, 2011 (10:52 pm)

    Instead of Hancock’s I’d like to see a Michaels.

  • Aman October 7, 2011 (11:01 pm)

    I think a coyote refuge would be a nice use of the space. Thank you.

  • LyndaB October 7, 2011 (11:29 pm)

    i think i like the idea of people visiting and then leaving our little neck of the woods. :)

  • Exhausted October 8, 2011 (12:54 am)

    I like the hole. For those who want to expand light rail–we need to pay more taxes.

  • JN October 8, 2011 (12:55 am)

    How about the giant ball pit, like the joke sign proposed at the Greenlake hole? :)

  • Westside J. October 8, 2011 (2:33 am)

    I say fill it with water and build an island in the middle.

    We don’t need any more apts.

  • WSLifer October 8, 2011 (6:25 am)

    Hey – I’m surprised no one has mentioned a hotel for that site. WS has NO HOTELS and guests who don’t want a B&B have to stay downtown or south. How about a boutique hotel (probably best to be from a chain, so that prices can be reasonable), parking below it in the hole, and then retail at street level, including a restaurant?

  • Trina October 8, 2011 (7:19 am)

    I second that for a theater for first run movies

  • Scootergrrl October 8, 2011 (9:30 am)

    Would love to see a Cinebarre go into that space. If you haven’t been to one, it’s a current movie theatre with full menu/bar service. No box development please.

  • cashmere October 8, 2011 (11:08 am)

    party supply store!!!

  • Amy October 8, 2011 (11:50 am)

    Love the idea of a boutique hotel in the Junction. I’ve often wondered where I’d have visitors stay if I couldn’t fit them all in my house.

    A first-run movie theater would be great, but I would prefer one run by Landmark Theatres, not a big chain multiplex.

    I’d also love to see a big fabric store return – if not Hancock, then Pacific. And please make it big enough to hold a variety of classes and offer sewing/crafting space for groups.

    I would like to see a Fred Meyer in West Seattle, but don’t think the Junction is the best place for it. There are enough grocery stores there already, especially with Trader Joe’s coming. (Yes, I know FM is more than groceries.)

  • Michael Kelly October 8, 2011 (11:51 am)

    A theater would be out of business in the first year. Get a clue if you are not bidding on the hole shut up. Bring on the apt.

  • Heath October 8, 2011 (12:02 pm)

    Oh please, no more apartments. We need. To fix the transportation problem before we move more people over here. In terms of retail, I am happy with Admiral, but a cinnebarre style theatre wouuld be cool. I miss Hancock.

  • Greg Glad I am not Mayor October 8, 2011 (12:26 pm)

    West Seattle Is growing bring on the apartments. Reality

  • Davidyc October 8, 2011 (12:40 pm)

    If I had to guess, it’s just the lender buying it from the owner. The lender probably just bid the amount it is owed from the owner, thus the large one time bid. No real developer would pay that much in today’s real estate market. The lender can bid that much just because it is owed that much. If it went for a ‘real’ auction, I bet the price would be much lower. Like everything else in today’s economy.

    • WSB October 8, 2011 (12:53 pm)

      Hi – The case is a complicated one, as we’ve been covering for months and months. The entity that purchased it is the entity that moved for judicial foreclosure sometime back. So you may be right that technically it’s not a case of Entity A walking up to Entity B with a suitcase stuffed with enough $100 bills to total $32,385,000 and change … but there was a minimum bid because of liens etc. that had to be paid off. The settlement in this case, reached in June, has never been fully made public – at least not anyplace we have found it – only an isolated document here, document there. – TR

  • sun*e October 8, 2011 (1:07 pm)

    I vote for both a movie theater AND a great Chinese food restaurant – I’m still having Ho-Win withdrawals.
    Like “Health” said – a cinebarre style theater would be so cool! Maybe the “eat” part could include Chinese food. :-) And, please, please, please no more condos or apartments. We really do need to fix the transportation problem first before we move more people over here.

  • wsmom October 8, 2011 (4:09 pm)

    A movie theater is an awesome idea, I’d like to see an old navy as well.

  • Joe Aitken October 8, 2011 (4:30 pm)

    I’d been tossing my Pepsi cans over the edge and down into the hole. About 1 per day. Now where do I put them?

    We don’t need more housing. We do need anchor tenants that will support the existing neighborhood.

  • anonymous October 8, 2011 (5:42 pm)

    West Seattle is in desperate need of a really great, clean sports bar with good food… I am so sick of having to go to dungeons with frozen deep fried food to watch football

  • I miss the sonics October 8, 2011 (5:47 pm)

    Joe aitken switch to coke number one soft drink.

  • West Seattle Barb October 8, 2011 (6:57 pm)

    Please put in a state-of-the-art multiplex cinema!!! With really good buttered popcorn and underground parking that doesn’t cost more than a movie ticket costs. You can put just about anything else in the building you want, but please give us NEW RELEASE MOVIES. Thanks (and good luck).

  • smokeycretin9 October 8, 2011 (7:13 pm)

    we need anothe Shucks Auto Parts and a Cinnabon.

  • heather October 8, 2011 (7:35 pm)

    I too would like: a light rail stop, a movie theater that runs current films, a Kinkos and an secondary emergency room (stop gap that can provide care without linking to a hospital), the Barnes and Nobel that is leaving UVillage and a boutique hotel. I would like to forgo the lower end retail (fabric, JCPenny, Fred Meyer) in exchange for something targeted towards kids and family fun which I believe to be more appropriate for the neighborhood.

  • heather October 8, 2011 (8:04 pm)

    I also second SD’s idea of a WS transit hub and DR’s idea of work lofts (like ‘the hub bay area’ -see online). I think the theater should be small like Elttaes in Ballard.

  • Wazzzup October 8, 2011 (9:14 pm)

    Please ….a indoor play area for kids. Like a chucky cheese without the cheese.

  • NFiorentini October 8, 2011 (10:13 pm)

    Back in TX, there is a chain of movie theaters that pairs a great menu and great beer selection with first-run movies called The Alamo Drafthouse. The employees are encouraged to have fun; years ago, I went to see “Borat” there and the staff was dressed in skin-color leotards and the infamous yellow “banana sling” swimsuits. They also dress as characters from “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” when they run the movie and change the menu to reflect a movie’s theme.

    They are also militant about enforcing no cellphones (and texting) during movies and, best of all, no kiddies under 18 allowed! Just an all-around great place and, if I had a bazillion bucks, I’d buy out the Admiral Theater and turn it into something like this. Since I don’t have a bazillion bucks, I wouldn’t mind seeing “The Hole” becoming a first-run dinner theater. Heck, call it “The Hole!”

    • WSB October 8, 2011 (10:36 pm)

      NF, only one small part of what you mention, but for anyone who’s not aware, Admiral Theater has “Rocky Horror Picture Show” – with the costumed “shadow cast,” the toast tossed at the screen, etc. – first Saturday of each month. Bonus screening this month for Halloween, too, I believe. – TR

  • jiggers October 8, 2011 (10:19 pm)

    I can’t wait when construction starts and clogs that intersection for a year. Combined with the viaduct teardown. It is going to get a lot worse trying to get into the Junction. Don’t need any corporate companies put there. You cna go to Southcenter for that. I’m guessing there will be a Sprint or Verizon outlet going in a space. No such thing as clean sports bar anonomys..lol

  • jiggers October 8, 2011 (10:21 pm)

    No corporate chain stuff. Traffics going to be groovy when construction starts.

  • S.O. Sincere October 8, 2011 (10:57 pm)

    A fern gully with lots of switchback trails and exotic animals. Cover it with a dome. Jurassic Park type of thing.

  • Lamont October 8, 2011 (11:05 pm)

    “No more apartments, we need transit” is the problem with seattle.

    What seattle needs is dense residential apartments with lots of retail space below it so that people can walk to get what they want.

    Instead everyone sprawls out and has to drive to the commercial centers and malls and complains about how there’s no parking and lots of traffic jams and not enough transit.

  • JN October 9, 2011 (12:47 am)

    I agree with Lamont. I think that if we want better transit, we need a higher density neighborhood. If you have an increased demand for better transit, then there will be a better supply.

  • austin October 9, 2011 (7:37 am)

    The problem with the idea of retail space that people can walk to to get what they want is that the people would still try to drive there. Years of horrible traffic is exactly what Seattle needs to get those who can out of their automobile centered mindset.
    There is an auto parts store a block from the hole.
    There is a hotel two-tenths of a mile from the hole.

  • moosecow October 9, 2011 (8:47 am)

    office tower! high tech!

    * reverse the rush hour traffic and keep people working in the community!

    workers will support local bars and restaurants

  • oldwestseattle October 9, 2011 (8:51 am)

    Fred Meyer ain’t going to happen. QFC and Fred Meyer are owned by the same parent, Kroger.


  • jiggers October 9, 2011 (9:23 am)

    When it comes down to it, none of us has a say what goes in there unless you invest a ton of mula.

  • A October 9, 2011 (3:11 pm)

    Top Pot Donuts!

  • liveherenow October 9, 2011 (7:48 pm)

    NFiorentini – I also miss the Alamo Drafthouse. They did a Jaws screening on Lake Travis where you got to watch for free if you floated in an innertube on the lake for the duration of the movie. No way the West Seattle Mommy Mafia would allow an adults-only establishment, though.

  • Jiggers October 11, 2011 (2:59 pm)

    Monorail should have been built already…

  • JohnR October 12, 2011 (9:15 am)

    With the adjacent Les Schwab, Jiffy Lube, Midas, Elliot Tire, Carquest, Thoroughbred Collision, mobile food carts, fruit stand, funeral home, bicycle room, liquor store and a gas station, a multistory gigantic parking garage with a view seems the obvious choice. On second thought,

  • Marja October 12, 2011 (11:12 am)

    Transit Hub! (with a movie theater… :)

  • Christina October 16, 2011 (10:47 am)

    I mentioned the movie theater a LOOOOOOOOOOOONG time ago!!!!! It is THE perfect place for it! Can you imagine a 3 or 4 screen modern theater with a casual resturant with fireplace /cinema museum upstairs with a view of …….something?! Of course it would have to designed right…No parking visible from the main road(parking lots are such eyesores) nice landscaping all around and voila! the hole is filled! :)

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