West Seattle development: Abatement/demolition begins for The Whittaker; six other teardown/rebuild notes

Seven West Seattle development notes:

ABATEMENT/DEMOLITION WORK BEGINS AT THE WHITTAKER: If you have driven past the site of The Whittaker (400 apartments plus retail including Whole Foods Market) at 4755 Fauntleroy Way SW, you might have noticed the heavy equipment beginning work. A project spokesperson confirms that they have “officially started abatement work,” adding that the “auto body shop on 40th is scheduled to be demolished sometime tomorrow.” Major demolition is about two weeks away, if all goes as planned, and construction is set to start next month.

Six smaller demolition/construction projects of note, with permits granted or applied for in the past week or so:

4101 SW OREGON: In The Junction, the demolition permit has just been granted for a project first mentioned here almost a year ago; an 87-year-old house will be demolished and replaced with a 4-unit rowhouse.

4316 SW THISTLE: The application is now in for a “lot boundary adjustment” at this corner parcel, on the books as two lots, as mentioned here in July, though holding one house for more than a century. That house is planned for teardown, and replacement with two single-family houses including “accessory dwelling units,” which means four residences in all. (For “accessory dwelling units” to be legal, the city rules say, the property owner has to live on site, either in the main house or ADU.)

6540 FAUNTLEROY WAY SW: In Morgan Junction, this 98-year-old house is proposed for demolition and replacement with a new single-family house.

9007 45TH SW: In Fauntleroy, this 71-year-old house is planned for demolition and replacement.

6047 47TH SW: In Seaview, this 71-year-old house is planned for demolition and replacement.

6470 MARSHALL SW: Also in Seaview, this 95-year-old house is planned for demolition and replacement.

19 Replies to "West Seattle development: Abatement/demolition begins for The Whittaker; six other teardown/rebuild notes"

  • Vincent Dakotah Langley October 8, 2014 (8:48 pm)

    HOORAY!!! I’ve lived right across SW Edmunds Street from where the Whittaker is to be built and I’ve lived here for 15 years now. My long-time
    room-mate and I have thought for many years now that NO-ONE will EVER build anything new on that old Huling Brothers Chevrolet Dealership property!!! Over many years now, there’s been nothing going on over there at all — except for, once-in-a-great-while, anyway — time-and-time again — there have only been surveyors over there — and, each time, just very briefly, at that!!! Local area homeless people such as heroin addicts, acute alcoholics and
    so-forth took that old Chevrolet dealership property over quite a few years ago!!! It’s been — at least, from time-to-time — really pretty bad over there — TO SAY THE VERY LEAST!!!

  • Missing the Charm October 9, 2014 (2:01 am)

    RIP 4101 SW OREGON. You are the only other house in Seattle with the exact same 87 year old design inside and out as mine. Turn of the century coved ceilings, detailed thick would work, thick fir floors, big radiators… Sad to see another soulless boxy design swallow up your history. I will notice you and your charm are gone :(

  • John October 9, 2014 (8:53 am)

    RIP 4101 SW Oregon.
    Gone is the continuing danger of leaded paint, leaded plumbing, asbestos, chlordane dust and whatever other hazards harbored in this charmer.

    Terrible efficiency, poor heating (those radiators were replaced by dirty oil fueled forced air decades ago) poor insulation, outdated wiring, a maze of small dark rooms, small widows, small bedrooms, no master suite, tiny bathroom, 150 square foot garage, probably no earthquake retrofit…no wonder the market overwhelmingly chooses the safer efficient modern alternative.

    And with a bit of irony, this generation of ‘soulless’ boxy designs will some day join their earlier version cheap Seattle housing, the original Seattle box and be lamented and defended when they are no longer trendy. Time gives houses ‘soul’.

    Designs with souls that sing can come in all shapes, even light filled open floor plan modern efficient boxes.

    Personally I enjoy the whole variety and embrace whatever thoughtfulness is displayed and 4031 displayed a thoughtful exterior.

    RIP 4031 SW Oregon for the history and service it provided.

  • Brian October 9, 2014 (9:16 am)

    Interesting to note that demolition happening at Fauntleroy/44th… that house is definitely a dump but I didn’t suppose it was going to be knocked down.

  • John October 9, 2014 (10:12 am)

    4316 SW THISTLE:

    This project confuses me especially in light of city council’s recent restrictions on lot sizes. This is zoned SF5000 so the two platted 3,750 are ‘sub-standard’. I thought mining of sub-plats was banned by city council?

    I am also confused how one owner can occupy each residence as a principal residence for six months per year as the code requires, perhaps one might technically comply by moving exactly every six months from one parcel to the one next door?

    The city’s codes are now encouraging this type of infill after shutting down the NIMBY opposed new construction on formerly acceptable parcels.

    I suspect the ‘owner occupied’ requirement was the ‘Trojan horse’ to get the ADU amendments passed as there is now talk of the advantages of open ADUs such as Vancouver’s.

    These projects will inevitably lead to additional cars parked on the neighborhood streets. Why not add the micros’ requirements of limiting future RPZ availability and requiring covered bicycle parking?

  • KM October 9, 2014 (11:51 am)

    I’m stoked to see development at those old lots on Fauntleroy. FINALLY! Love to see it!

  • The Real CW October 9, 2014 (1:35 pm)

    It’s too bad there isn’t more development happening in the Triangle. The Fauntleroy Way SW Boulevard Project will help a little but it is really just putting lipstick on a pig.

  • natinstl October 9, 2014 (2:42 pm)

    Wow John sounds a little bitter, must be a developer or something. My house is 98 years and has none of the items mentioned that you list. It is possible to bring old houses up to standards and it’s not dark and dingy by any means. I’m fine with people liking new design and choosing what they want, but stop blasting all of us that actually do enjoy fixing up something that has withstood the test of time and can be quite nice. We get compliments on our home all the time and it’s our “charming” bungalows that often even attract those that want the modern design to the neighborhood.

  • pat October 9, 2014 (3:11 pm)

    RE: Huling Bros site.
    Good to see the demo work start. Even if the work stops once the structures are down, at least the site will be cleaned up.
    Now, for a bit of rumor mongering. I was told today by an unnamed source that there is an unconfirmed rumor Whole Foods has pulled out and is being replaced with an urban Walmart. Maybe WSB can discretely ask around. If there is any truth to this rumor I can imagine the storm this could create. I don’t post this to stir anything up, just asking.

  • Peter October 9, 2014 (3:29 pm)

    Pat, I’m not buying it. An “unnamed source” with an “unconfirmed rumor.” Seriously? What/who is your source? The Walmart canard is an all too common theme in development discussions, and it’s a standard scare tactic of development opponents. I think there is zero credibility there.

  • John October 9, 2014 (9:16 pm)

    If you re-read my comment you might see that I appreciate all types of good design and never blasted those that have taken on the restoration of an old house. I have enough experience to know how costly and difficult restoration is and I compliment those who take on the challenge.
    We could change the topic from century old houses to century old wooden boats or cars and the same considerations of sleek efficient modern versus something from another era that must be updated out of love. It’s all good.

  • J October 9, 2014 (9:27 pm)

    Pat’s rumor isn’t true; I can say with certainty that Whole Foods Market will be the anchor tenant.

    • WSB October 9, 2014 (9:45 pm)

      Sorry, I didn’t even have time to ask about that. And it’s worth keeping in mind that the only reason they pulled out of “The Hole” across the street is because the project stalled. They had a deal for a store to be available for them to move into by a certain date – and it wasn’t going to be ready – by no fault of theirs, so the lease was canceled. (July 2010: https://westseattleblog.com/2010/07/bulletin-whole-foods-confirms-its-west-seattle-deal-is-dead ) .
      The Whittaker project (for which WF signed a deal two years ago) now appears to be moving full speed ahead; there was more demolition today, in fact, than our contact had expected – the former West Seattle Produce building (they have long since moved across the street) was taken down. We’ll likely be updating tomorrow; this afternoon’s breaking story took some time out of this day, and there are a couple other things we need to get to before the night’s over. – TR

  • Vincent Dakotah Langley October 9, 2014 (9:51 pm)

    Walmart simply WILL NOT put one of their retail stores on Fauntleroy Way SW here in West Seattle
    — or, for that matter, anywhere else in the whole West Seattle, WA area. The reason for this is, quite simply, that the West Seattle area is too close to the major metro area of the greater part of Seattle, WA. Walmart, as a company, just simply DOES NOT put Walmart stores anywhere that close to a major metro area — any big city, in other words. It has ALWAYS been the Walmart company’s policy to do this and it is probably because, the properties that they acquire to build and open their stores on, their property taxes on each retail site, then, are lower than what they would otherwise be. To my knowledge, too, I do say that Walmart is the kind of a company that acquires, for the purpose of ownership rather than just renting or leasing, it’s various retail locations properties. At the new development on West Seattle’s Fauntleroy Way SW, Walmart would have to rent or lease there
    — where it has been “planned” (HaHa!) for some time now that a Whole Foods Market grocery store will go in there. …As far as I have heard or otherwise know, the plan here still remains that the Whole Foods Market grocery store will go into that new development, where the old Huling Brothers Chevrolet Dealership was located for so many years, on the southwest corner of Fauntleroy Way SW and SW Alaska Street in West Seattle.
    One thing in all of this, though. And, that is, the old Shell service station immediately on the southwest corner of Fauntleroy Way SW and SW Alaska Street — and, the old Howden-Kennedy Funeral Home property immediately to the west (on SW Alaska Street) of this old Shell service station — BOTH OF THESE TWO, SEPARATE PROPERTIES have to sit, untouched, just as they are right now, for a period of time of 5 YEARS (from about 1 year ago now), by order of the Washington State Department of Ecology, because these two properties are all contaminated with, basically, oil and gasoline, from all of the years that different gas station and service station companies operated businesses of those types on that old Shell service station property. So, for now, anyway, they CANNOT tear down either one of those two properties or do anything else with them! As for the planned, new property to be built there, the Whittiker apartment complex and it’s accompanying retail spaces?
    Well, plans for that new project call for the main entrance into what would then be the Whittiker apartment complex and the retail shopping in that new structure to be located right there, immediately on the corner of Fauntleroy Way SW and SW Alaska Street — exactly where the old Shell service station building sits, right now. So, you tell me, WHAT ALL is really going on over there at that particular property? …We’ll see as time continues to pass now.

  • bolo October 9, 2014 (10:54 pm)

    “RIP 4101 SW Oregon.
    Gone is the continuing danger of leaded paint, leaded plumbing, asbestos, chlordane dust and whatever other hazards harbored in this charmer.”
    Yes but remember these were state of the art materials at that time, latest and greatest. Just like tyvek, OSB, fiberglass, ISO board, hardiboard, PEX plumbing, etc. are currently. What dangers will the future generations find in these products? Who is willing to guarantee today’s products will remain problem-free in the future?

  • John October 10, 2014 (12:45 am)

    The huge difference is many of these products are now regulated by the government. No safety tests were required a century ago. Now product data safety sheets are required.

    Who is willing to guarantee today’s products? – The manufacturers of the products are now held accountable through the threat of class action suits such as in the case of asbestos and drivet.

  • pat October 10, 2014 (12:58 pm)

    RE: Walmart?

    Okay, thanks for the comments. I’m glad there seems to be an abundance of positve vibe for Whole Foods vs Walmart. Keep in mind, what each of you have said falls into the “unconfirmed” category just like the rumor I mentioned. Why even mention it? Well, without the resources to debunk the rumor, what better place to bring it than here?

    By the way, I’m no fan of Walmart but neither am I a fan of Whole Foods. To me it is just another over-priced “foody” store. But don’t let my opinion (which is worth nothing anyway) sway anyone’s choices. As for Walmart owning their properties and not opening in any major city, they do not own their Renton site nor their Auburn site. Don’t know about any of their other sites but I can see how their marketing schemes would make one think this is how they would operate. Leases can be broken, property ownership can’t.

  • Vincent Dakotah Langley October 12, 2014 (12:08 am)

    Thank you for the updated information concerning the Whittaker project, at Fauntleroy Way SW and
    SW Alaska Street.

    Different people tell us so many different things about what is going on around our neighborhood here, we really don’t know what to think anymore.

    My long-time room-mate and I, we are both physically-challenged people. My room-mate is legally blind and I am nearly a 100% housebound person by this point in time, in my life. That is to say, in my own case, anyway, I never hardly get out of our apartment, to go anywhere, anymore. I’m getting pretty sick, unfortunately.
    It is “the cross that I have to bear in this life” now. Please know that I seek no “sympathy” from anyone, in this situation of mine.

    We’ve been here for just about 15 years now, however, we unfortunately don’t really know too many people at all around the West Seattle area here.

    My only half-ways reliable or reliable sources of information about this West Seattle community are this — The West Seattle Blog — and, say, The West Seattle Herald. We’ve pretty much learned by now that we just simply cannot rely on anyone else in this area where we live down here on Fauntleroy Way SW, for any information at all, regarding this neighborhood area where we live.

    I, Vincent Dakotah Langley, apologize to everyone reading the West Seattle Blog, if I have been in any way or ways interperted on here as typing inaccurate or incorrect information on this blog, at all. I certainly did not mean to do that.

    Some of you reading this just might know — by one thing, anyway — just who I am. For a time of almost 2 years, up to about 16 months ago, I was riding a big, red-and-black-and-chrome mobility scooter around this West Seattle, WA area — the front end of which looks like a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. I cannot ride that ol’ mobility scooter of mine anymore due to longstanding and worsening serious illness, so, that’s why you don’t see me out there on it, anymore. I drove that motorcycle-looking mobility scooter everywhere — even into the downtown Seattle, WA area and back out to West Seattle, down to West Seattle’s Alki Beach area and then back home again — and so-forth! …The scooter is way too big to go onto a
    King County METRO bus, so, no, I never did that with it. (I envisioned the scooter and other small vehicles like it running the public roads one day, on independent bicycle lanes, as little electric vehicles to basically just run errands on and the like. Nobody in this area, it seems, “caught on” with that.)

Sorry, comment time is over.