Development, preservation on one site: 2141 California SW

One night after we reported on a 1920s-era California SW brick building that is facing demolition again, we have an update on one that apparently is not.

Some interior work that has just begun at 2141 California SW (map) is drawing lots of attention – a half-dozen people pinged us about it today alone. You’ll recall this was the longtime home of Admiralty House Antiques, closed last summer when owner Fred Dau finally retired. He brought in an estate-sale expert to sell off its quirky contents, and told us in an interview that he then hoped to sell it quickly. Within a month, we reported that a sale was pending and a development proposal had emerged – leaving the former store intact while building three residential units behind it, facing SW Walker. We have kept watch on public records since then; there was briefly another proposal, to tear down the store and put up a mixed-use building, but that then was superseded by yet another plan, back to keeping the commercial building and adding three units behind it, two townhouses and one live-work. A sale finally closed in December, with the site bought for $775,000 by an LLC registered to West Seattle-based financier/developer Dan Duffus, who has built other projects nearby, including the live-work units that are home to Mind Unwind and Caffé Fiore one block south. The workers who were on site today said that the building’s being split into two commercial spaces; we don’t know whether tenants are already signed up.

9 Replies to "Development, preservation on one site: 2141 California SW"

  • pupsarebest January 11, 2014 (12:28 am)

    Fred, and his late wife, Marge, are two of the nicest, most wonderful, generous, warm and genuine people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing.
    This building, and their intertwined legacy, are irreplaceable.
    This is very good news.

  • dsa January 11, 2014 (8:33 am)

    I’m glad to see that the building is staying.

  • miws January 11, 2014 (8:48 am)

    This is such good news!



  • Jason January 11, 2014 (10:41 am)

    Agreed Mike, great to see this building is staying.

  • Alphonse January 11, 2014 (10:49 pm)

    Great news, and very surprising considering the developer who’s involved.

  • Chris January 16, 2014 (8:44 pm)

    I’m very happy to see that the original building is staying. My grandparents operated their pharmacy/soda fountain in the corner space in the 1920’s and 30’s. Later, they operated a grocery store, Roberts’ Grocery, in the 50’s and 60’s. I worked in the store in the mid-60’s.

    • WSB January 16, 2014 (8:59 pm)

      Chris – how cool! If you have any scanned or scannable photos, would love to publish them for people to see … ( Tracy

  • Lisa January 22, 2014 (11:34 am)

    We are so HAPPY that the patina of our hood will remain in tact. Part of the “charm” of WS is quickly disappearing as we become “Ballardized” and go vertical. So much sunlight being lost by new buildings. Side note: So many trees paying the price too…have you seen the destruction of trees on BonAir – if you investigate you will find drill holes in ALL the trees lining the upper street west side, cedars and big leaf maples – it is a slow dying grove turning into graveyard. Yep, WS is desired for its charm and its views and sometimes desire turns to severe greed without thoughts of impact to other citizens…

  • Nancy January 23, 2014 (7:50 pm)

    We walk past this building all the time. One of the workers said it was going to be a restaurant. If I were a child, he probably would have said candy store. We’ll see!

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