If you’re wondering ‘When will West Seattle Trader Joe’s open?’…

That’s the most-asked question of 2011. Corporate didn’t answer recent inquiries, so…

… two things: First, compare how the site looks today, to the rendering made public when it was announced a year and a half ago:

Second, we do have a very unofficial source’s recent guesstimate of an early-spring opening. It’s been almost four months since Trader Joe‘s corporate HQ confirmed the West Seattle store wouldn’t open till next year, seven months since the extensive remodeling began at 4545 Fauntleroy Way SW, and 18 months since the official announcement the lease had been signed. What’s taking so long? you might wonder. The site has apparently posed some challenges – checking the online city files, for example, a permit revision was granted earlier this month for a “2nd-floor parking level modifications.”

41 Replies to "If you're wondering 'When will West Seattle Trader Joe's open?'..."

  • Gregg Hersholt December 26, 2011 (10:21 pm)

    This will be your most-viewed piece of journalism in no time!

    • WSB December 26, 2011 (10:25 pm)

      Nah, the latest one only got 39 comments. But I’ve been waiting for a news-free time to mention this. Four more nights to haul other stuff out of the HFR file … :)

  • Diane December 26, 2011 (10:37 pm)

    I am so excited
    thanks for side by side pics; all makes sense now

  • k December 26, 2011 (10:48 pm)

    I hope it’s not a scary parking garage like the Madison St. store. I have seen so many near misses there. And so much of the driveway on the way up you feel like you are driving blind.

    • WSB December 26, 2011 (10:56 pm)

      No parking garage. They have long since striped the spaces that are at street level on the east side of the lot. The others are on the roof.

  • Ssf December 26, 2011 (11:02 pm)

    The long anticipated opening is killing me. I know it’s going to be crazy in the beginning but I’m really looking forward to it. Thanks for the update.

  • Diane December 26, 2011 (11:02 pm)

    just came home from the Madison TJ’s; parking was super easy tonight; it is a tricky garage, especially the first steep grade/sharp turn
    main difference is there is basically zero street parking in that part of Cap Hill; way more in WS; it’s going to be so awesome

  • G December 27, 2011 (12:41 am)

    I’ll never understand the breathless hype about Trader Joe’s.

  • sophista-tiki December 27, 2011 (7:20 am)

    My Trader Joes fantasy is to be able to spend 5 minutes shopping alone. I love Trader Joes, hate the shopping experience. The isles are always too close, so that when hipster house wife A stops to chat with hipster housewife B in the middle of the isle ,while both of them are simultaiously talking on their cells to have someone else help them decide what to buy, that no one else can get down the isle.
    Since Seattle doesn’t have enough Trader Joes locations for the amount of customers every store is always over crowded making it almost imposiible to get what you want. The second you finally get close enough to get your chosen item from the shelf, someone darts in front of you and snatches it. It doesn’t matter what location- they all have crappy parking scenarios, so don’t buy more than you can hike out with. So, I will be super happy not to have to travel 20 miles just to shop at a Trader Joes, but I wish I could just have 5 minutes.

  • sowhaat! December 27, 2011 (7:24 am)

    I am so sick of Trader Joes talk before it’s even built here because of the idiots that think its the next best thing to heaven. It sounds as if there isn’t one of them within driving distance were you can get to temporarily go to and get your kicks at. I buy in bulk so T.J.’s doesn’t do much for me. It is going to be so busy here when they open, I probably won’t want to go in after a few months

  • AlkiArea December 27, 2011 (7:50 am)

    G – I suppose it’s a bit much hype, but…
    1. Any news of a ‘big’ new business is fun to talk about.
    2. Trader Joes is, well, different. They have food/brands not found in Safeway or QFC. It’s not like if they just built an Albertson’s that would have the same stock as Safeway, with just another name. Somewhat true of Whole Foods, since PCC caries much of their same brands.
    3. I personally just love hearing about development and what’s moving into what and the details. Lets face it, this blog is the modern equivalent of a old fashion gossip circle (plus news). It’s just fun :)

  • StaceyD December 27, 2011 (8:13 am)


  • WSratsinacage December 27, 2011 (8:16 am)

    Me neither, G.

  • sun*e December 27, 2011 (9:07 am)

    Ditto, G.

  • JoB December 27, 2011 (9:20 am)

    no breathless hype..
    just a lot of products i can’t find elsewhere for that price.
    and the hidden treasures..
    sure i went there for dog food.
    but i left with jelly in small containers for trips to the beach..
    and a bunch of new salts
    and an Indian curry i haven’t tried yet

    the best gingersnaps ever :)

  • H December 27, 2011 (9:49 am)

    G, etc. There are many reasons that people love Trader Joes. For me, it’s mostly the fact that I can walk out with a cart full (6-8 bags) of healthy yummy food for less than $200. They have many quick and easy dinners for 2 for about 5 dollars which my family loves. My son loves their frozen mac and cheese.

    I can’t wait until I don’t have to drive to Madison or Burien to do my grocery shopping.

  • add December 27, 2011 (9:50 am)

    I’m wondering about the traffic implications on Fauntleroy with people trying to turn left into or out of that parking lot on that very busy stretch … it’s not gonna be pretty!

  • ET December 27, 2011 (10:34 am)

    Ditto what H said. I shop there first for the great prices on eggs, nuts, cheeses, milk, yogurt, pasta, grains & frozen goods. I need all the help I can get stretching my grocery dollars these days. and the fact that the products at TJs are universally wholesome and healthy is awesome. I drive to the burien store, where there is always parking, and even when it’s crowded, customers and staff stay in a cheerful mood.

  • westseattledood December 27, 2011 (10:46 am)

    I think choice is a good thing, though I am not a TJ’s person. Little there which appeals and if there is, it is often wrapped in non-recyclable plastic! Kind of a turn off these days. I tried to like TJ’s too, but there’s just way too much non-green “packaging” and nutritionally diminished “processed” stuff that I don’t need – at any
    grocery store. Except for some wines
    periodically, there’s never been what I would call
    high value product there for me. Maybe if it’s closer I’ll give it another chance, but doubt it. Bulk buying for staples is way cheaper and greener.
    Just very meh.
    But you all enjoy! :)

  • Junctionite December 27, 2011 (10:57 am)

    There is a lot of hype around Trader Joes, but I keep driving to Burien every other week because I find that I get more of what I want and spend less to get it than if I go to Safeway or QFC. Plus there are more gourmet items also at reasonable prices. Really, really looking forward to having TJs close by. Much better than a Whole Foods, which would be nice, but too pricy for regular grocery shopping.

  • kate December 27, 2011 (11:13 am)

    Trader Joe’s is cheap. I’m not sure why it’s “breathless hype” to be excited about that–unless, of course, you have so much disposable income as to not care about things like the cost of food.

  • J December 27, 2011 (12:14 pm)

    I was at the Burien store right after Thanksgiving and asked them when the West Seattle store should open. They said April, which goes along with the “early Spring” mentioned above. They also said that they’ve run into a few problems due to pre-existing damage to the current building (i.e. rotted floors).

  • Neo-Realist December 27, 2011 (12:15 pm)

    Knowing the process of how long construction projects get done in Seattle, 3 to 1 we’re talking around next November when this TJ is completed

  • mrsB December 27, 2011 (3:12 pm)

    Ballard is a good alternative to Cap Hill or Burien, a large store and good parking.

  • Diane December 27, 2011 (4:05 pm)

    still love Queen Anne the best; just happened to be closer to Madison last night after 50% off Goodwill shopping; rarely get down to Burien

  • thee December 27, 2011 (7:49 pm)

    white center’s amazing ethnic markets are a few short miles away. these joints are run by families, and as opposed to TJ’s corporate-TV-dinners-for-yuppies fare, there is real food available that is dang good and really cheap.

    just sayin’…

  • westseattledood December 27, 2011 (8:43 pm)

    Well, thee, since you brought up the awesome WC grocers…:)

    Personal Best recent purchases: Lion and Globe Roasted Peanut Oil $4; beautiful intact chanterelles for under $3/lb. – three types of quince for the price of bartlett pears. How about $1.50 pomegranites. Fresh live tilapia (why drive to Uwajimaya?) AND so much more.

    No nonrecyclable packaging used, btw.

    Yup! The White Center grocers (there are ten of them people!) are fantastic.

  • Tuesday December 27, 2011 (9:32 pm)

    I’m all for new grocery stores. New competition for other grocery stores means lower prices for all… win, win, win!

  • PPP December 27, 2011 (10:11 pm)

    Just by looking at the structure of the building, I thought they would use the main floor as parking lot and the store above. Doesn’t sound safer and steadier that way??? These columns seem awfully skinny to me~~~!!

  • sun*e December 27, 2011 (11:58 pm)

    Okay, apparently to quote H “There are many reasons that people love Trader Joes” so since it will soon be in my hood we’ll explore it further. Hopefully we will find good cheap prices…or maybe I should say “good inexpensive prices”.

  • Kayleigh December 28, 2011 (5:52 am)

    All you Too Cool For School Kids feel free to walk down the street and pay double the price for stuff at QFC, or else drive all the way to White Center for quince (really?) and deal with some pretty marginal stores.
    Meanwhile, we idiots and yuppies will buy excellent food at reasonable prices, appreciate the clever marketing and friendly staff at TJ’s…and we won’t miss the crowds of cool kids. Really.

  • CB December 28, 2011 (6:10 am)

    Trader Joe’s is different w/ unique items. Love the choices at the Junction from farmer’s market, WS Produce Co, QFC, etc. Variety and competition to keep all doing their best.

  • questionable December 28, 2011 (6:41 am)

    I like it when people are arrogant and condescending and follow it all up with the statement “just sayin”. It makes it easy to tell which opinions to disregard outright.

  • Marc December 28, 2011 (11:07 am)

    Somewhat off-topic, but where *do* people go to buy bulk in West Seattle? I’ve not been impressed with PCC, QFC, Thriftway or the new Safeway. Are there any other options?

  • westseattledood December 28, 2011 (5:33 pm)

    Not WS Marc, but In Top Hat/Burien area on 1st Ave SW (north of Burien TJ’s as a matter of fact) . Two places in that area are The Grainery and Fred Meyer for grains, flours, pulses, spices, plus.

    And depending on what product one needs and if they have it currently, Costco, Mexican and Asian grocers rotate in larger fixed sizes so
    not technically bulk, but prices are often one-third the larger corporate or non”ethnic” grocers markup. If people want to give cash for that fine. Not me and not in this economy. It would be extravagent, for me, at best. Besides, these panasian and hispanic grocers are selling the same produce distributors sell to other independant WS grocers. – Rosella’s, Charlie’s…truth.

    And buying seasonal veggies/fruits in bulk and freezing/canning for winter.

    And call people who shop in WC cool if you really must. The reality is I have zero such aspirations. Mostly, I am 1) hungry, 2) frugal 3) close by. Deal with it. Good grief.

  • M December 28, 2011 (5:45 pm)

    Marc they go to 4th ave Costco

    But IMHO I’ll speak to the elephant in the room as the reason I know I and alot of my frineds go there..inexpensive high quality wine!!!

  • duder December 29, 2011 (7:35 am)

    All we need now is a wal-mart and a nascar track. Is this WS’s first non-union grocery store?

  • artsea December 30, 2011 (8:07 am)

    It’s fun to visit one of these stores now and then but you’re still going to need to do most of your shopping at a supermarket.

  • JulesB December 30, 2011 (11:32 am)

    We appreciate the updates/news of TJ’s progress (Thank you!) as we are looking forward to having another grocery shopping option close by. TJ’s might not be for everybody, it does offer some alternatives that we can not get at the big box stores and having options/choices is goodness. Quote from my husband “I just want to see the damn store go in”.

  • Kristina January 8, 2012 (1:23 pm)

    Large fair trade chocolate bars (milk or dark) for $1.99. A gallon of organic milk for $5.49. And the cheese! Every kind of cheese is about half the cost, it seems: feta, blue, goat, gouda, emmenthaler, you name it. Four avocados for under $4. Really good frozen green beans, large bags, so cheap (and usually I hate frozen veggies, but these taste great in a stirfry). TLC crackers for about 2/3 the cost of anywhere else. Incredible deals on tuna, cod, and salmon. If I had unlimited money, I’d shop more at PCC, but I am happy to shop at a store with great customer service, good presentation, cleanliness, and cheap prices for high quality food. And when you place it within walking distance of my house, well, that saves me a ton of time (and greenhouse emissions). Call me an idiot, call it hype, I don’t care – this new store will get frequent usage from me. Money is tight, time is tight, and this helps with both.

  • Lisa January 9, 2012 (6:26 pm)

    Why are people arguing – ARGUING – about a store?

    If you like it, shop there. If you don’t like it, don’t shop there.

    Good grief!

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