New proposal in 4700 block of Fauntleroy Way: Drugstore with drive-thru

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Right across Fauntleroy Way from the suddenly much-discussed “Whole Foods project” (4755 Fauntleroy Way), a new development proposal has just emerged: A freestanding one-story drugstore with a drive-thru window.

This is notable in the context of 4755 Fauntleroy across the street, because, for most of the year that project has been under review, it’s been described as intended for a drugstore as well as the Whole Foods Market and about 370 apartments.

The drugstore envisioned in renderings for 4755 originally was supposed to have a drive-thru window, but reviewers didn’t like the resulting traffic flow in the supposedly walk-through middle part of the project. So finally at a recent review meeting, architects announced the drive-thru was out. Then at a subsequent meeting, developers admitted that losing the drive-thru might have cost them the drugstore, too.

The potential pharmacy tenant was never signed, the 4755 Fauntleroy project team has repeatedly said, so we don’t know who they were negotiating with. This new proposal at 4722 Fauntleroy does not (yet) have a company name on the documents, but we’ve found clues to one possibility.

Here’s what we have found about the new proposal so far (which does NOT, we should make clear, involve any of the same property owners or development firms as the other side of the street):

A site plan was filed July 23rd for the proposal at 4722 Fauntleroy, the site that’s currently home to West Seattle Produce and Suite Arrangements. City records show the applicant to be Michigan-based The Velmeir Companies. It maps out a “single-tenant retail pharmacy building,” 14,500 square feet, roughly the same size as the nearby Trader Joe’s.

The prospective pharmacy’s name is not mentioned, but the client list on Velmeir’s website includes the drugstore chain CVS, which has locations in multiple states but currently not in ours, according to the corporate website. And we have found that this is one of at least four similar projects that Velmeir is pursuing in the Puget Sound metro area right now. There’s one in Burien’s Five Corners area; also one on lower Queen Anne, at the current site of Kidd Valley Burgers; this story mentions it’s now proposed for a one-story, 16,000-square-foot pharmacy. Then, yet another one is pending along North 45th St. in Wallingford (described as single-story retail). Neither of those three mentions the potential pharmacy by name, but yet another Velmeir proposal in Renton (with mentions CVS in a city document about the development.

The new West Seattle proposal at 4722 Fauntleroy site has two types of zoning, according to documents for this project – from four to eight stories – but again, the proposal on record so far lists a standalone single-story retail building, with 58 parking spaces, which the “site plan” sketch says would be twice what’s required. The drive-thru window is shown on what would be the south side of the new building, with separate entrance and exit driveways off Fauntleroy, and parking is shown north and east of the building.

We are following up with multiple sources including Velmeir; meantime, we have confirmed with the city that this project will require Design Review, as does anything in an NC zone over 4,000 square feet.

76 Replies to "New proposal in 4700 block of Fauntleroy Way: Drugstore with drive-thru"

  • My two cents ... July 29, 2013 (2:41 pm)

    Wonder if this get the approval given the following:

    1. It’s not a union store
    2. Cars are a big part of their business plan
    3. West Seattle already has several pharmacies

    Based on recent events, one has reason to wonder ….

  • Diane July 29, 2013 (2:45 pm)

    wow; on so many levels; wow

  • schwaggy July 29, 2013 (2:54 pm)

    I’m sure Diane means, Wow, this is great news. We need another pharmacy and just think about how nice that property will look, especially after Whole Foods moves in across the street. This fugly entrance to WS is looking good, keep it up!!

  • E July 29, 2013 (2:57 pm)

    Stop the madness please!!

  • anon July 29, 2013 (3:03 pm)

    I hope they include a nail salon alongside it too…. I guess my dream of getting a Container Store or World Market are bust.

  • chris July 29, 2013 (3:17 pm)

    Being from back east … I never seen a CVS share property it always seemed to favor a single store when possible. Does West Seattle need this ? No we have Bartells (basically is CVS) and Rite Aid near by .

  • lox July 29, 2013 (3:17 pm)

    This makes me sad for West Seattle Produce. Those guys are so nice and really try to get us the best local stuff they can. We stop for a dinner ingredient or two everyday. I’m sad for them after already having moved once. I hope this doesn’t push out a real local business trying to bring sustainable goods to our neighborhood.

  • cjboffoli July 29, 2013 (3:19 pm)

    Seattle doesn’t need any more drive-thru anything. Nor does America for that matter. We probably wouldn’t need so many prescriptions if we’d just get off our asses and walk somewhere once in a while.

  • Cowpie July 29, 2013 (3:20 pm)

    I hope they prevent south bound Fauntleroy traffic from stopping traffic and turning left into the new business. It’s already a double yellow (under 16-inch width) so they legally are allowed to only if they do not interfere with flow of traffic…..but it really needs to stop. Traffic flow through that intersection is going to be a mess.
    @Anon…your first sentance is funny.

  • DTK July 29, 2013 (3:23 pm)

    What WS really needs is a drive through liquor/marijuana emporium. Who has time to park?

  • Rick July 29, 2013 (3:24 pm)

    Dollar store

  • cw July 29, 2013 (3:38 pm)

    I thought there was a development plan for the triangle. A tire store next to a mega sized drug store. People complain that West Seattle is turning into Ballard when in reality it is turning into Kent. Way to go triangle planning committee. I can’t waut to hear what is next. Perhaps a McDonalds with a huge McPlay gym?

  • Diane July 29, 2013 (3:39 pm)

    how rare is it, to build one story in a block that is zoned 4 to 8 stories?

  • trickycoolj July 29, 2013 (3:46 pm)

    Are there even any other drive-thru pharmacies on the north side of WS? A colleague that lives near Alki once told me she uses the Walgreens on 35th and Morgan which does not sound particularly convenient and it made me wonder, is that really the closest drive-thru pharmacy for her? They are a great option if you live alone, are really contagious, or have a condition that makes it difficult to go inside and wait.

    • WSB July 29, 2013 (4:10 pm)

      Tricky – We can’t think of one. Walgreens is the only chain in WS doing drive-thru pharmacy service as far as we know, and they are located at 35th/Morgan and 15th/Roxbury. At one particular hearing, the development team for 4755 Fauntleroy (WF project) had argued passionately in favor of having one because of the sorts of factors you mention, including parents with sick kids. – TR

  • Cashmere July 29, 2013 (3:46 pm)

    Party supply store

  • Diane July 29, 2013 (3:47 pm)

    gee thanks for the wild assumption of what I meant schwaggy, but no
    wow; that the pharmacy jumped ship over at the WF project and hopped across the street
    wow; that any developer would choose to build 1 story on land that is zoned for 4 – 8 stories
    wow; that WS Produce who has been face of Getting it Right for WS, protesting the WF project, is now getting bumped out by the pharmacy
    major wow to TR for digging this up

    • WSB July 29, 2013 (4:07 pm)

      Diane – Just to clarify, while I made points A (pharmacy envisioned for WF project but first drive-thru was dropped and then developers said they might have lost the drugstore, which hadn’t been signed yet anyway) and B (this proposal) – I don’t know that it was the same pharmacy, AND for all we know, though it SEEMS improbable, there still could be a drugstore in the WF project … or, there’s always a chance one project or another won’t go through. Anybody remember the standalone Petco once proposed for the Charlestown Cafe site? It’s the most recent “big standalone retail, new construction” project I remember in WS. It went through Design Review dissection and eventually died; the cafe, most will remember, carried on for a few more years, while Petco eventually moved to Capco Plaza in The Junction, and of course its former home is now under construction as a mixed-use building (4730 California) … Separate from the local dynamics, it’s particularly interesting that Vermeir is pursuing multiple sites around the metro area as new-construction drugstores. – TR

  • Peter on Fauntleroy July 29, 2013 (3:48 pm)

    This proposal is spitting in the face of my neighborhood. We want development that will bring more _people_ to the neighborhood, not more _cars_. We want to create a diverse, livable neighborhood with design to benefit the actual people who live here, not one that only serves people in cars who don’t live here and are only passing through in their Earth destroying pollution machines. This type of car oriented, low density development is not welcome in my neighborhood. This obviously comes from people with their thinking solidly stuck in the 1950s, and it goes against a number if city and neighborhood planning and design standards.

  • onion July 29, 2013 (3:50 pm)

    I’m up for the marijuana drive-through suggested by DTK (grin). But I’m more concerned about the fate of West Seattle Produce. I really like that place and the folks who run it. For produce, I rank them just behind PCC on quality but better on price, so I hope they can stay near or north of the Junction. I’m also a big fan of Beloved Mexico, but I don’t think they would have a hard time finding an alternate nearby location.

  • Curtis July 29, 2013 (3:55 pm)

    I was hoping for a Dick’s……..

  • Chuck and Sally's Van Man July 29, 2013 (4:13 pm)

    Bummer. Was just at the fruit stand yesterday for the very first time and it is now my “go-to” veggie stop. Fun people, great veggies. But yeah, a sterile, faceless drive-through is nice, too…

  • Mac J July 29, 2013 (4:16 pm)

    The Admiral Bartell Drugs has a drive through.

  • BWD July 29, 2013 (4:18 pm)

    I think one of the Bartells has a drive through pharmacy. I believe it is the one in Admiral across from the library.

  • Nichole July 29, 2013 (4:19 pm)

    Bartels in Admiral has a drive thru, bad signage but its there!

  • deb July 29, 2013 (4:20 pm)

    doesn’t Rite Aid at Westwood have drive through too? Not that I really like that drug store but it is another option.

  • me on 28th Ave SW July 29, 2013 (4:20 pm)

    Rite Aid in Westwood has a drive through pharmacy as well.

  • marianne July 29, 2013 (4:21 pm)

    Bartell Pharmacy in the Admiral district has a drive thru window.

  • Denny July 29, 2013 (4:27 pm)

    CW – this single story, car oriented use would be out of character for the area that the Triangle Planning envisioned when discussing the transitional urban areas with walkable, livable neighborhoods and active street fronts. Disappointing.

  • DW July 29, 2013 (4:28 pm)

    Thank goodness! The produce company/furniture store set-up is a total eyesore!

    Will this get rid of the cabulance/food truck storage as well?

  • Alyxx B July 29, 2013 (4:32 pm)

    I am so sick of this….I have done a bunch of traveling around the US. Every city, suburb, town looks the same. “oh, a WF. A Barnes & Noble. An Applebees…” The list goes on, but you know what I mean. When I moved to West Seattle (1995) I loved that it wasn’t a cookie-cutter suburb. We had a lot of individual, single-owner stores. Community features. Houses. Now? The junction has turned into Condo Central and is just getting worse and worse. Local stores are being uprooted, or risking being driven out of business by big box and big chain stores. QFC and Safeway are fine, but Thriftway? Even Metro Market?

    I’m sorry for the rant. We have Bartells and Walgreens and RiteAids all over West Seattle. Do we need a CVS?
    A drive through, at an already nightmarish intersection?

    Whatever. Yeah, let’s go for drive through weed shop/booze shop. Oh wait, not enough square feet for booze….

    • WSB July 29, 2013 (5:13 pm)

      Alyxx – just to be sure you know, Metro Market and Thriftway are both West Seattle-owned. QFC and Safeway are not. PCC is also Seattle-owned. (Disclosure, the aforementioned locally owned supermarkets are all WSB sponsors. FWIW, no drugstores advertise with us.) – TR

  • datamuse July 29, 2013 (4:46 pm)

    The Rite Aid in Westwood has a drive through as well, though a lot of people think Westwood is in White Center for some reason.

  • mrsB July 29, 2013 (5:16 pm)

    About time for a CVS in Washington state – I’ve been waiting since we moved from Boston in 1999!

  • West Seattle Hipster July 29, 2013 (5:23 pm)

    Wasted Opportunity (again)

  • NH July 29, 2013 (5:24 pm)

    This would be a waste of this property, I really hope it doesn’t happen.

  • WS Taxpayer July 29, 2013 (5:38 pm)

    What’s Wrong with the lovely places that are happily occupying that space today?

  • boy July 29, 2013 (5:57 pm)

    I wish it went back to a tool rental place. It was nice to not have to drive down to 4th ave to rent tools.

  • wetone July 29, 2013 (6:00 pm)

    Boy that will make traffic super duper on that corner. How about a auto parts store instead tired of driving to white center.

  • dawsonct July 29, 2013 (6:14 pm)

    West Seattle Produce will keep us healthier than will the drugs of whatever national chain pharmacy it may be.
    Also, the fact that Bruce sells local produce and locally made products makes for a healthier community in other ways, as well.
    If/when this project goes through, I hope WSP finds another building in the neighborhood, they are too great an asset to lose.

  • dawsonct July 29, 2013 (6:19 pm)

    Hey Curtis, since we aren’t going to get a Dicks anytime in the near future, hows about we set our sights on another great Seattle hamburger institution, but THIS one has car-hops: Burgermaster.

  • smokeycretin9 July 29, 2013 (6:24 pm)

    Drive thru liquor, fireworks, and puppy dogs store.

  • dawsonct July 29, 2013 (6:26 pm)

    DW, please move to strip-mall, chain-store filled suburbia, as soon as possible.
    Thank you.

  • old timer July 29, 2013 (6:28 pm)

    Offering nothing other than what’s available at
    Bartell’s, Rite-Aid, or Walgreens; certainly at no better prices, CVS promises to bring a featureless box of a store, with cars and parking galore, all plopped down across from the hotly contested project.
    Maybe it’s going to be our disputatious community’s karma coming back to bite hard as this CVS because it’s so small, so useless, sails right thru all Seattle process, clogging it’s end of Fauntleroy, with its boulevard dreams with all the crap of modern suburbia/car/retail for the foreseeable future.
    All for a drive-thru?
    Boy, I sure hope not.

  • candrewb July 29, 2013 (6:36 pm)


  • Heather July 29, 2013 (6:46 pm)

    Wettone there’s an auto supply one block East of Trader Joes, near the car repair place. I agree with an earlier commenter…feels like Kent…doesn’t fit the pedestrian, comfortably hip and friendly WS.

  • West Seattle Hipster July 29, 2013 (6:51 pm)

    Couldn’t agree more on a Burgermaster or Dick’s.

    Anything but a national chain drugstore.

    How about another grocery store?

  • Chris W July 29, 2013 (6:52 pm)

    Oh no! I hope West Seattle Produce can somehow fare well. I saw Wallingford lose the Gasworks Kite Shop recently after they ensure a couple of construction related moves. Speaking of Wallingford, they aren’t too happy about the CVS which will replace a funky old building, add surface parking, and compete with Bartells, Pharmacia, and Walgreen’s within a few blocks.

  • Curtis July 29, 2013 (6:53 pm)

    Well, I guess if we can’t bring back Dags………

    On a serious note – if we want the people in the new triangle apartments and condos to walk, then a drug store is a requirement. Not everyone is thrilled about walking uphill or in the rain. Sure, I’d rather have a legit 24hr restaurant than another drug store that I’ll never use, but I really don’t think that this is the end of the world. And whoever was bashing our local grocery stores at the expense of the giant chains (Kroger and Safeway), you might want to reconsider that.

  • Under_Achiever July 29, 2013 (7:00 pm)

    Don’t like (a potential) CVS? Don’t shop there. Don’t like QFC? Don’t shop there. Don’t like West Seattle getting more people who’d like to join our community? Move to Gold Bar. Vote with your feet by supporting local merchants who may have a closer support of the community than chain stores but to shut the gate behind you so others can’t join in this celebration of life is very close minded…

  • West Seattle Hipster July 29, 2013 (7:06 pm)

    Unfortunately, the gate to the celebration of life is too narrow……..

  • smokeycretin9 July 29, 2013 (7:12 pm)

    Curtis…you my friend just brought on a craving I had not had since I was 15 years old skateboarding around the waterfront with $5 in my pocket. Time for a “Bag of Dag’s” to get me thru the day. cheers

  • Ray West July 29, 2013 (7:18 pm)


  • G July 29, 2013 (7:30 pm)

    Auto Parts Store, I miss Schucks! There is only CarQuest left.

  • chris July 29, 2013 (8:39 pm)

    one things missing from this thread … CVS is a 24/7 place unlike Bartells and Rite Aid which could be the reason they want to move in

  • Beach Dr Home July 29, 2013 (9:10 pm)

    LOL…West Seattle is a bunch of whiners. Unbelievable. We’re mad because this is one story and not part of the junction plan and too “car oriented”. And we’re mad at the big project across the street because it’s TOO big, and doesn’t have ENOUGH parking spots for the apartments (designed for transit since it’s across from Rapid Ride). You just can’t design ANYTHING in this city without a cascade of whining about it. I say build whatever you want, NO ONE will like it anyway. If you don’t like it, don’t shop/go there. If it’s too expensive (apartments) they’ll sit empty and go bankrupt. It will take care of itself. It’s always too big, too small, too expensive, too low rent, too upscale. What in heavens name would EVER satisfy the NIMBY crowd?

  • Cindi barker July 29, 2013 (9:39 pm)

    Need to check the zoning for an Urban Village, I thought Council had approved a zone overlay that prohibited new drive thrus in an Urban Village

  • Heather July 29, 2013 (11:22 pm)

    BeachDrHome, it sounds like burgers sway the NIMBY crowd ;) Personally, I think of this as public venting. But you have to admit some interesting trends come up…people are requesting walkable conviences to satisfy basic needs, small vendors selling locally produced (farmers produce), small eating establishments that provide a shorter dining experiencing that are “historic” Seattle, and “clustered” do-it yourself stuff (car parts, kinkos, sports/activities stuff/pets). If I was a commercial property owner in this area I’d use it to tailor my leasing and design. It’d be cool if we had something like a smaller version of Pike Place market or the market in SF.

  • WTF July 29, 2013 (11:23 pm)

    @ Beach Dr Home in answer to your question: How about some REAL urban planning? Planning where the realistic commerce can live side-by-side with maintaining an area that not only serves a business purpose but a living one, which includes single family homes, nice walking spaces, parking, and corner parks. WS was headed that way until greed took over.

    There are thousands of cities in the country that have done just that! Seattle just can’t seem to get its S*&% together!

  • Sara July 30, 2013 (1:39 am)

    I’d like to see something like Red Mill, not Dicks in WS.

    Or a really great pizza place like Flying Pie Pizzaria, Mod Pizza, Tutta Bella. We need something like that in the neighborhood.

  • WSSgal July 30, 2013 (9:42 am)

    It’s a shame that it’s 1 story. Put in office, or a hotel? Getting it Right for WS?? Will you work on this like you do Whole Foods, or only causes the Union supports?

  • pupsarebest July 30, 2013 (10:05 am)

    It would be nice if they at least have a “Turn off your engine while you wait” sign posted prominently.
    Cannot believe how many people sit in the drive-thru at Bank of America (and, I’m sure, all other drive-thru businesses) with their $!&@?!*# engines idling.

  • dawsonct July 30, 2013 (10:27 am)

    Sara, if it were a pizza place, this thread would have much the same tone.
    I refer you to every other thread on the WSB that has anything to do with any kind of restaurant.

    I am certainly NO NIMBY, but I guess you COULD call me a NNCIMBY (No National Chains In My Back Yard), just doesn’t roll off the tongue.
    Seriously, it has gotten to the point in this Nation that you could be blindfolded and dropped into just about any neighborhood across the country, and by looking at the businesses you would have no idea where you are.
    The mallification of America. No thanks.

  • WS Mom July 30, 2013 (10:34 am)

    It doesn’t make sense to me to have a 1 story owner (or tenant?) on this property. It also doesn’t make sense that it would be zoned P with a large & busy arterial in front of it.
    I’m disappointed, but support that the owners can pursue what they want; a stand-alone drugstore seems so ‘strip mall’ & definitely makes the WF development so much more attractive in comparison. I was glad the WF development alley didn’t have a drive-through & I hope that the community speaks up at design hearings on this development too. I understand that the elderly & some people want a drive-through, but a large drugstore chain on property that should be developed & part of a new, exciting core: yuck.

    WSB, or anyone, I heard that WS Produce was sold, is this true? If so, then the former owner can’t legitimately represent it. When WS Produce first opened up I, for one, thought it wasn’t a good choice; first, because it competed with a great & local produce market at the junction on weekends & secondly, because the owner knew that his tenancy was always temporary. I would think that a good place for the produce stand would be on Delridge Way, not too far south, which would serve that neighborhood & those of us who want to patronize it on the way home to WS with a very slight detour.

  • 49th Aver July 30, 2013 (10:52 am)

    Let’s apply the McGinn test:
    1) UFCW is currently in the process of unionizing CVS.
    2) This development is therefore in the public interest. Moving on!

  • Anonymous July 30, 2013 (11:10 am)

    @WS Mom,

    I believe there is already a Produce stand on Delridge. It’s next to the Delridge Library and it’s by the same people that are up on 35th and Barton. I can’t remember the name.

    I kind of think Alki would be a neat place for the produce stand. Lots of foot traffic there.

    • WSB July 30, 2013 (11:15 am)

      Just to clarify here, before erroneous information goes too far:
      1. Don’t know who owns WS Produce and whether there have been changes. We usually don’t cover business-ownership changes (not to say we never have, but they happen more often than you think).
      2. If by “Junction produce stand” WSM means the Farmers’ Market, it’s open Sundays for four hours, that’s it.
      3. Anonymous, no, there is not a produce stand on Delridge. Sounds like you mean the very short-lived Martin’s Way at Delridge/Findlay, which had a very short-lived partnership with Tony’s and has been closed for many months (Tony’s itself remains alive and well at 35th and Barton). There IS a co-op grocery, the former Delridge Produce Cooperative turned Delridge Grocery, in the works for a bricks-and-mortar location on the street level of the under-construction DESC building a few steps down from there. It’s expected to open sometime next year.

  • MAH July 30, 2013 (11:49 am)

    Love West Seattle Produce and the furniture consignment. although it can be a challenge getting in and out of their parking lot. Putting a drug store on that site is just crazy. Why do we need another pharmacy??
    Maybe the produce guys could rent some of the Rite Aid parking lot on California – they certainly have a large enough lot ot accommodate!

  • Starman July 30, 2013 (3:50 pm)

    Many have commented on the ultimate sameness of neighborhoods nationwide once developers have done their thing. This happens because they drive up sales values and command higher lease fees that only national chains can afford. The net affect is more Starbucks and and other national chains that destroy our communities’ (everywhere) unique character and individuality. One way we could mitigate that severe impact here in Seattle would be to grandfather in commercial lease rates for existing commercial tenants over some extended period of time, so that vendors who lend a unique charm to our neighborhoods could continue to survive in the same location after a development is complete. Patrons would also benefit by continuing to support businesses they’ve come to know and appreciate, at more reasonable costs based on the lower traditional lease rates, rather than the higher rates that result in $4 cups of coffee. Profits, meager as they may be for local small businesses, would also stay in the neighborhood, rather than get paid to rich shareholders in the Hamptons or Laguna Del Mar. Big developers could absorb a very slightly lower profit from their hugely profitable developments to mitigate this key negative impact of their development on neighborhood character. Result? We retain some semblance of who we are, and they make just a little less profit from their destructive impact.

  • Starman July 30, 2013 (3:52 pm)

    uhhhh . . . make that, a little LESS profit from their destructive impact.

  • Just a Thought July 30, 2013 (4:31 pm)

    Consider this. Get the NC Land Use Code changed to limit the ground related floor size of ALL commercial. They can ‘go up’ 3 stories, but not take up a huge swath of street frontage.

    This won’t keep out all the ‘bad actors’, but it will mean that street frontage is available to more businesses and the developers and tenants have to build according to the intention of NEIGHBORHOOD commercial. To stay local, put some Economic Development $$ into local businesses, have guarantee of temporary relo and return for those displaced by new building.

  • Elisa July 31, 2013 (6:07 am)

    I hope WS Produce has a chance to stay. I love that place. The owner Bruce is great! They are very friendly and they have reasonable price for produce.

  • sparkybo August 2, 2013 (3:43 am)

    To Heather: I don’t feel Kinkos is a “neighborhood cluster” vendor. Too commercial for me.

    I would be happy with Red Mill, Tutta Bella, Whole Foods establishment in the area.

    NO CVS or National Chain. Bartells is Good!!

  • Al August 8, 2013 (11:48 pm)

    WS Produce is over priced. I’m looking forward to seeing a CVS move into town.

Sorry, comment time is over.