West Seattle development followup: CVS drugstore project still in progress, but ‘not currently scheduled for 2015’

It’s going on a year and a half since our first report that the CVS drugstore chain‘s first push into this state included a proposed West Seattle store at 4722 Fauntleroy Way SW (map) – a site zoned for up to four stories, though the drugstore is proposed for one. So much time has gone by that CVS’s other projects in the area are far down the line, including two stores that recently opened – one in Renton, and this one in the Five Corners area of Burien:

There are new signs the West Seattle project is moving ahead. First, we made contact with CVS spokesperson Mike DeAngelis, who told us, “We are still in the very early planning stages for a new store on Fauntleroy and it is very premature to announce any timetables. I can tell you that this project is not currently scheduled for 2015.”

Since our exchange with him a few days ago, new documents have shown up in the project’s online files, for the first time since the ones that tipped us to the proposal in July 2013. The documents show a few more details about the “early planning stages.” The site plan that’s now in the files shows its parking lot (with 76 spaces) on the north side of the lot, abutting the Les Schwab Tires parking lot and building, with the store itself on the southwest side of the lot. A drive-through window is still planned. The project will go through Design Review, but there are no renderings yet, nor a meeting date. The newest documents list the architect as Schemata Workshop, whose website shows renderings for the Wallingford CVS, one of at least two other stores the company plans to open in Seattle, along with lower Queen Anne. Schemata and CVS’s development firm have met privately with members of the Junction Neighborhood Organization, according to its director René Commons, who told the group’s mailing list that “they are having dialogue around ways to make the project something more creative than an ordinary box pharmacy with a drive through for our neighborhood. We have asked for space for food trucks and a community center meeting room on their development site.” You can watch the city’s status page for the project here.

32 Replies to "West Seattle development followup: CVS drugstore project still in progress, but 'not currently scheduled for 2015'"

  • RayK December 17, 2014 (1:05 pm)

    Apparently this project will displace West Seattle Produce (again!). Does anyone have speculation where that great business will land next?

  • JeffK December 17, 2014 (1:20 pm)

    A one-story building on this site will probably be torn down within 20 years of it being built.

  • schwaggy December 17, 2014 (1:20 pm)

    Redonkulous waste of space. I’m all for curbing development in West Seattle when it doesn’t “fit”, but c’mon – if you’re going to build here, in this spot – please make it 4 floors!

  • Oakley34 December 17, 2014 (1:26 pm)

    I don’t get it- there is the Rite-Aid not far at all on California and a Walgreens not too far up on 35th, not to mention QFC and Safeway which handle many of the same OTC products. Is there that much business for a new drugstore there? That being said I grew up with CVS on the east coast, and support their recent decision to stop selling tobacco products…so meh…we’ll see where this goes….

  • Dan December 17, 2014 (1:37 pm)

    I hope all the folks pushing “good design” who kept the devilish drive-thru pharmacy out of the Whole Foods project next door are happy: you get the drive-thru *and* a big parking lot right across the street! Congratulations!

  • Diane December 17, 2014 (1:37 pm)

    would be wonderful to have 3 floors of office space on top, so people can work in WS and not be stuck/adding to traffic on the bridge

  • Peter December 17, 2014 (2:18 pm)

    Single story building with a sea of parking and a drive through, straight out of mid 20th century suburbia, all signs of how utterly clueless CVS is. This is a horrible idea.

  • Trickycoolj December 17, 2014 (3:57 pm)

    Oakley– have you shopped at that Walgreens or Rite Aid? I have. I have had to drive around between several to find one that 1. Had my makeup in stock, 2. Have my shade in stock, 3. Have an intact safety deal without product leaking down the sides. Frankly I got so fed up with the quality issues of products at both Walgreens and Rite Aid and the sky high prices of Bartell’s Pharmacia I finally decided to start buying department store brands. The cost of driving from store to store I may as well pay the premium. Not to mention the inch of dust on the products they do have. Or how about recent muggings and constant drug deals in the parking lot at Walgreens on 35th. No thanks. Here’s hoping some competition can kick the run down stores in the butt.

  • tree lover December 17, 2014 (4:05 pm)

    CVS cut down a beloved tree when they built the Burien site. It was a huge site and the tree could have easily been kept. It was also in good health.

    don’t know if I can link another blog here but here goes:


    I’m showing CVS my disappointment in their choice by NEVER spending a single penny in their stores.

  • Morgan December 17, 2014 (4:12 pm)

    I’m worried about all the traffic on Fauntleroy.

  • Korm66 December 17, 2014 (4:37 pm)

    Oakley- CVS stopped selling tobacco because it was such a small percentage of their sales and dropping more each year. It’s nothing more than marketing.
    If they cared about people’s health they would also stop selling all the junk foods, colas, and energy drinks.
    I’m fine with CVS coming into WS. A drive thru pharmacy when you have a sick baby is a huge help.

  • the truth December 17, 2014 (4:43 pm)

    I really wonder who we are to dictate to a company to build us a community meeting room and reserve space for food trucks. It would be nice if they did it and a good business move for them but to try to dictate that seems very full of ones self. I too am concerned about the traffic on Fauntleroy, that is going to be an epic chokepoint for the commute.

  • brandon December 17, 2014 (4:49 pm)

    Here’s to hoping CVS puts Rite Aid out of its misery.

  • JW December 17, 2014 (6:08 pm)

    Looks like we’re getting something with no character whatsoever, a building that would look quite at home in the suburbs of Dallas, a focal point for the new Fauntleroy Boulevard. Thanks CVS! Another reason to take business elsewhere.

  • Diane December 17, 2014 (6:27 pm)

    @truth; no one said “dictate”, except you

  • datamuse December 17, 2014 (7:12 pm)

    Single story building with a sea of parking and a drive through, straight out of mid 20th century suburbia
    You mean, like…all of the other drugstores in West Seattle? (Except Pharmaca, I guess.)

    • WSB December 17, 2014 (7:17 pm)

      Both Bartell Drugs stores in West Seattle are in mixed-use buildings FWIW – Admiral and Jefferson Square. Neither has a drive-through. (edited – later comment points out one at Admiral)

  • T&D December 17, 2014 (7:22 pm)

    Awesome, they brought Tukwila to the intersection of Alaska & Fauntleroy. I guess that’s what they call “keeping it real”. At least we don’t have to worry about West Seattle turning into Laurelhurst.

    Tires and Drugs

  • rudy December 17, 2014 (8:43 pm)

    Admiral Bartells has a drive through window – not super visible, but it’s accessible from 42nd.

  • West Side Storyboard December 17, 2014 (9:12 pm)

    I’m glad to see commercial development along Fauntleroy. This stretch of road has been underdeveloped for too long.

  • Diane December 17, 2014 (10:51 pm)

    I learned during the last story on this topic that Admiral Bartell has a drive-through; very hidden; never knew it was there

  • datamuse December 17, 2014 (11:23 pm)

    That’s what I get for going to a Bartell’s that’s not in West Seattle, I guess! (I go to the one in White Center, which has an ENORMOUS parking lot.)

  • Ray West December 18, 2014 (4:22 am)

    I won’t be shopping there. We don’t need another drug store in West Seattle, and my disposable income will not be supporting any big-chain corporation that ruthlessly squashes two fine local businesses in the WS shopping landscape (the produce stand and the consignment furniture store).

  • Neighbor December 18, 2014 (6:51 am)

    I really hope Getting it Right For West Seattle (GIR4WS) is as interested in making this project a cohesive part of West Seattle as they were in the Whole Foods project. Given their community canvassing on the Whole Foods project, I would expect them to be out picketing this project to demand it be visually appealing, a good use of the space, and include community benefits. Isn’t there going to be a drug store as part of the Whole Foods development? Why do we need another on the same intersection?

    • WSB December 18, 2014 (7:36 am)

      A drugstore, never identified, was said to be the second tenant for The Whittaker, on the Fauntleroy side. While it was still going through reviews, the project team said that taking out the drive-through window might cost them the prospective tenant. As recently as the groundbreaking this fall, they told us there were no confirmed tenants besides Whole Foods.

  • John December 18, 2014 (8:41 am)

    “We have asked for space for food trucks and a community center meeting room on their development site.” – Junction Neighborhood Organization

    At Diane, that is indeed ‘trying to dictate”.

    The point being, why has the Junction Neighborhood Association not already done that in their core district?

    Who are we to tell property owners to add three more stories (as well as all of the additional parking) to accommodate our impractical wish list?

    Imagine the way a five story office building would ‘loom over’ and rob Fauntleroy of its daylight and the additional traffic congestion.

  • J.S. December 18, 2014 (10:20 am)

    I don’t understand why you aren’t including in your story the fact that 2 businesses are located on this property…West Seattle Produce and Suite Arrangements!

    • WSB December 18, 2014 (10:28 am)

      Sorry, we’ve mentioned that before, but in our experience, way too early to talk to businesses on the site about where they plan to go. This is not the first time we’ve reported on this site; the main reason for the story is to answer the question we’ve been asked about whether this project is even still happening. Since this has been in the works for a year and a half already, and since CVS says it doesn’t expect to be building this next year, so closure is not likely imminent, I would hope they have plenty of time to figure out where they are going next. (And of course there is a “permanent” food-truck installation on the site already too, Beloved Mexico.)

  • T&D fan December 18, 2014 (6:42 pm)

    So true, t&d.

  • Thomas M. December 18, 2014 (8:55 pm)

    So when do we get a WalMart? (ducks, dodging the incoming slings, arrows and assorted rocks).

  • AlkiGrl December 19, 2014 (11:27 pm)

    @Neighbor, thanks for suggesting GIR4WS address another development project at the intersection of Fauntleroy and Alaska. Decision makers, including SDOT and Councilmember Rasmussen, haven’t shown any appetite to challenge developers even with the HUGE 500+ parking spot Whittaker development which we all know will significantly impact traffic congestion. They did have the sense to deny the drive through pharmacy because of safety hazards. But there was still some hope to change the development because it required the acquisition of public property. The CVS development has no such hook, and that intersection is already a lost cause because of the Whittaker. When some prominent local business owners are praising the entry of a national chain development at one corner, it’s hard to turn about to object to another. Sad to see, for sure. But that doesn’t mean local residents should stop engaging the process to advocate for better. Thanks JuNO for staying active and offering creative alternatives!

  • Neighbor December 20, 2014 (7:09 pm)

    AlkiGrl thanks for the clarification regarding what GIR4WS stood for, as your narrative is different from the GIR4WS representatives told me when they came to my door. So you’re saying GIR4WS only had an interest in the Whittaker due to the alley vacation? At the time GIR4WS canvassed my street, they said they stood for reasonable development and dialogue regarding all developments in West Seattle, and suggested that their interests went beyond the Whole Foods, otherwise I never would have listened to their long winded diatribe at my front door. Now, since you think that intersection is a lost cause, GIR4WS no longer has an interest in advocating among residents in the process to make it safe and efficient. So why does the Whittaker development make that intersection a “lost cause?” Perhaps rather than objecting to one “chain” over another, the GIR4WS representatives could instead look at the development as a construction project to which they could contribute, particularly as it displaces other businesses. Unless, of course, GIR4WS and all members listed on its website were really only against one “chain” in particular and members are less concerned about the competition from CVS? I would really like to know why such vocal advocacy for civic dialogue and good development has completely disappeared from public discussions? The hook to which you refer was one aspect of the dialogue, yet you also refer to safety hazards related to the drive through pharmacy, which conflicts with justification for GIR4WS just disappearing once Whole Food was supported by enough members of the community. When GIR4WS pounded on my door they specifically mentioned their broad interest in the best possible development at intersection of Fauntleroy and Alaska as the gateway to West Seattle, so where are the GIR4WS advocates when it comes to this abomination at our “gateway?” More than 500 people signed GIR4WS petitions, and more than 1,965 people like the GIR4WS facebook page, so why not engage them in dialogue and advocacy against CVS as you did against Whole Foods? If GIR4WS members no longer care about WS, then I no longer want to support any of their businesses, so I’d like to know what it is they do support around here.

Sorry, comment time is over.