(WSB photo, July 2015)
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Another new real-estate listing of note has a unique backstory.
The auto-shop site at 9200 16th SW is up for sale as the result of a court settlement that traces back to the SWAT-involved drug raid we covered there in 2015.
It’s not mentioned in the listing, which heralds this as “Westwood Development Site” and says:
ZONED LR3 RC: 12,918 sq. foot lot, suitable for up to 14 townhomes at 1,350 sq. feet each or 19,000 sq. foot apartment Building (Buyer to verify). Excellent value at less than $65,000 per door. Development is rampant in this area. Excellent investment opportunity. Vacant at closing.
We recognized the address, as we’ve been checking in from time to time on the long-running court case’s files. Those files now contain a settlement agreement, filed in October. The settlement ends what had been a forfeiture case brought by the city in 2015.
The original filing’s documents tell the story of an unlicensed marijuana-sales operation at the site, known as “The Wolfpack,” including a detective’s report from 11 days of surveillance in 2015. On those days – scattered through the period of March to July – the detective wrote of counting 2,873 vehicles arriving to make purchases from the operation, plus 1,621 arrivals on foot, while the auto business handled a total of 7 cars for repairs. The documents also detail subsequent undercover buys which allegedly were made without requests for documentation such as proof of age.
The settlement agreement stipulates that the property will be listed for $900,000 and any offer below that would have to be approved by the city. The city will get 70 percent of the sale proceeds; owner Paul Noble, 51, will get 30 percent minus any and all fees and commissions. The city also gets to keep about half the $59,000 in cash that was seized.
In the extensive case files spanning three-plus years, a judge ordered the city to show this past February why the case should not be dismissed “for failure to prosecute” after both sides reportedly failed to fulfill a requirement to update the court on trial readiness. Lawyers for Noble subsequently responded that they expected felony drug charges to be filed against him shortly, and indeed they were; files show he then pleaded guilty to a reduced charge in July. Another city case seeking the forfeiture of his residence was dismissed.