Delridge 1999 results

New leader announced for Delridge-based Southwest Youth and Family Services

More than a year after Steve Daschle left Southwest Youth and Family Services (as reported here) after more than 30 years as executive director, the Delridge-based nonprofit has announced a new leader who is no stranger to the organization:

Southwest Youth and Family Services (SWYFS) is delighted to announce the appointment of Essence Russ as the new Executive Director. Essence succeeds Steve Daschle, who retired in 2023 after more than three decades of dedicated leadership.

Essence Russ brings over a decade of experience in management positions within the nonprofit sector. She currently serves as a Director for TAF@Saghalie, a school district where 80.1% of the student body is non-white, and 30.4% are multilingual learners. At TAF@Saghalie, Essence has been instrumental in maintaining programs and recruiting and training a dedicated staff team. She firmly believes in the core value that every student is capable of learning and succeeding, and she works to ensure that families are seen, heard, and valued as partners in their student’s education.

Before her tenure at TAF@Saghalie, Essence served as Program Manager of Statewide Initiatives for the College Success Foundation. In this role, she supported the WCAN (Washington College Access Network Team) as well as the Passport to Careers contract through WSAC (Washington Student Achievement Council). She supported alumni of foster care in finding success in their post-secondary endeavors. Her mission was to create a just and equitable society through education.

Essence’s career in the nonprofit sector has included several leadership positions in Seattle. Most notably, she served as Director of the Family Resource Center for SWYFS from 2017 to 2020. During her time at SWYFS, Essence learned about different cultures, supported families, and established lasting community partnerships.

“Essence’s deep commitment to equity, education, and community makes her the perfect fit for leading SWYFS into the future,” said August Rowe, Acting Executive Director. “We are excited to welcome her back to the SWYFS family and look forward to the innovative leadership she will bring to our organization.”

The new executive director starts in two weeks, on July 15. If you’re not familiar with SWYFS, its website explains the services it offers – including behavioral health, education, and family support.

BIZNOTE FOLLOWUP: Cascadia Fresh Market expands hours, reminds you ‘Free Fridge is for everyone’

(Photo courtesy Cascadia Fresh Market)

Three weeks after opening at 5444 Delridge Way SW, neighborhood food store Cascadia Fresh Market is expanding its hours! Here’s the announcement we just received from co-proprietor Jill Moore, including a reminder/clarification about the store’s “Free Fridge“:

We have decided to simplify/expand our hours to be open EVERY DAY from 10 am – 7 pm at Cascadia Fresh Market.

It’s a big ask to get people to change their current shopping habits and instead decide to utilize our neighborhood market. To make it as easy as possible to figure us into any routine, we are expanding our hours to 10 am – 7 pm every single day.

I also want to remind Delridgians about our “Free Fridge,” sponsored by the West Seattle Food Bank. Note that aim of the Free Fridge is to make sure no good food is wasted – therefore, the free items are for everyone who eats food. We believe it’s our community responsibility to use food well, and taking a free banana (with some brown spots) and a green pepper (with perhaps some shoulder withering) is an act of climate heroism as well as a perfectly legitimate way to feed yourself. Many people do not think to use the free refrigerator because they kindly want to save the food for those with higher food-support needs. While that is a lovely thought, we want you to know there is enough food to discard that worry instead of the food. The Fresh Market always generates new refrigerator inputs (nature is on its own schedule). If the free refrigerator were being consistently emptied by folks, we would bring additional food for donation from our Auburn warehouse – similar to the way we filled Carrot Man’s Carrot Stand during the pandemic. There is enough affordable food to buy enthusiastically at the market, AND to take for free from the Free Fridge anytime you see something useful for your meal. The Free Fridge is for everyone, and utilizing it keeps the food fresher for all.

In addition to fresh, affordable food – and many other items too, as shown in our story from its first week – the Cascadia Fresh Market plan includes support for local schools. Its proprietors – who own Cascadia Produce – are committed to at least a four-month trial period so they’re hoping you’ll come shop and prove the need for a permanent place in Delridge to buy good food.

VIDEO: Opening day for Delridge Farmers’ Market, after mayoral visit

15 vendors offering fruit, vegetables, flowers, fresh-cooked food, and condiments and spices are awaiting you right now at opening day for the (corrected) fourth year of the Delridge Farmers’ Market. The day began with a ribboncutting ceremony featuring Mayor Bruce Harrell, visiting as part of his tour for One Seattle Day of Service, which also includes dozens of volunteering events around the city:

As you can see in our photo, District 1 Councilmember Rob Saka was there too. He and Harrell spoke briefly before the ribboncutting, as did Bilan Aden of ACHD, the nonprofit that operates the market, with a focus on economic development for BIPOC-led businesses:

Vendors will be there until 2 pm, including both growers like Aash Farms

.. and Afella Jollof Catering:

We also saw Ma and Pops‘ frozen-treat stand, Wendi Farms, Guerra’s, BDE dumplings, Queen Sugar Baking Company, Bajan Station, and more. They’re in the courtyard at Hope Academy (9421 18th SW), and you’ll find the market there every Saturday, 10 am-2 pm, through October, with resources for community members as well as food for all (including free bags for those who need them).

Delridge Farmers’ Market returns this Saturday

(WSB photo, Delridge Farmers’ Market, May 2023)

If you haven’t already seen this in the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar – the Delridge Farmers’ Market is returning this year, for five months of Saturday sessions, starting this weekend (May 18). We just received the full announcement:

The Delridge Farmers Market, a cornerstone of this Seattle neighborhood, is proud to announce its highly anticipated fourth season, from May 18th to October 26th, 2024. This vibrant community market is organized by African Community Housing & Development (ACHD) and prioritizes BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) entrepreneurship and access to fresh, healthy, and culturally relevant foods in Southwest Seattle.

Nestled at 9241 18th Ave SW, between SW Cambridge St and SW Roxbury St, the market welcomes locals and visitors every Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm. It offers a diverse array of locally sourced produce, flowers, prepared food from global chefs, artisan goods, and more. The market is spearheaded by ACHD, a Black-women-led nonprofit serving King County’s African Diaspora. Bilan Aden, Vice President of ACHD, emphasized the market’s role as a social and economic nexus, stating, “We are proud to cultivate a welcoming market that supports our small businesses. We look forward to seeing everyone come together and support our local vendors.”

The Delridge Farmers Market is a vital resource, bridging the gap in this neighborhood’s access to healthy produce and resources. In 2023, over 25,000 pounds of free produce and over $33,000 worth of basic needs (i.e. diapers, hygiene and personal care products, etc.) were distributed to families in need. Additionally, health and wellness pop-ups, vaccine clinics, blood pressure checks, and health education workshops are available.

In alignment with its mission of inclusivity, the market provides free produce bags and accepts various forms of food assistance, including SNAP/EBT, Fresh Bucks, and WIC/Senior FMNP. Additionally, the Kid Bucks Program ensures every child attending the market receives a $5 voucher to spend on nutritious food. The Delridge Farmers Market invites everyone to celebrate local businesses, foster community connections, and support a healthier, more equitable Southwest Seattle.

For more information about the Delridge Farmers Market or African Community Housing & Development, visit their website at

On its opening day this Saturday, the market is also part of the One Seattle Day of Service, and Mayor Harrell is expected to visit in the early going.

VIDEO: Closer look at what’s waiting for you inside Cascadia Fresh Market, as its first week continues

Opening weekend is in the (shopping) bag at Cascadia Fresh Market (5444 Delridge Way SW), West Seattle’s new “fresh-food bodega.” Now, it’s full steam (or another cooking method of your choice) ahead to see if this four-month experiment works.

Co-proprietors Jill Moore and Jeremy Vrablik opened the doors after closing time tonight for a by-invitation open house to explain the market to community leaders. We dropped in to look around at what they’re selling – which will change, depending on the fresh “wholesale recovery” food they access through their main business, Cascadia Produce. And it’s not just produce!

On the shelves tonight, we saw spices, sauces, grains, beans, pastas, grits, muffin and pancake mixes, syrups, masa flour, peanut butter, canned salmon, beef jerky, canned corn, canned chipotle peppers; refrigerated and freezer cases held a variety of items from butter to yogurt to single-serving ice cream … and then of course the produce displays. Mangoes were a hit last weekend, Jill noted, and some are still in stock:

Citrus, tomatoes, tomatillos, lettuce, other salad greens, avocadoes, onions, garlic, potatoes, yams, berries (another popular item last weekend) … Did we mention the bottled Jarritos soda and Mexican Coke? Everything has a single-item price (Trader Joe’s style, no weighing). The idea is to get you to shop for smaller quantities, more often, so you’re always eating fresh.

As heard in her short speech in our video above, Jill had a message directed at some of those in attendance – “Watch how it works – then I’m going to ask you to help make it happen” in many places, since she believes it’s a model that she thinks could work in “food swamps” (lots of food, but not healthy food) and “food deserts” all over the city, and beyond. Those there to listen included State Sen. Joe Nguyễn and City Councilmember Rob Saka:

Also there, managers from the West Seattle Food Bank, which already partners with Cascadia Produce and is involved with the new market, including sponsoring a “free fridge” that’ll be the last stop for some unsold food:

Cascadia Fresh Market is for everyone, and they hope shopping there will be enough of a delight that everyone who visits will want to come back. Maybe to see what’s new – maybe to take a break in the bright, light-filled seating area. Maybe to answer a trivia quiz by the checkstand. Or if you have kid(s) with you, for the games they can play. And/or because it’s ADA-accessible – people using wheelchairs and strollers have already rolled in. Plus – no alcohol sales, a potentially appealing aspect to those in recovery. Meantime, the partnership with local schools that Jill described in our preview story is about to launch – and Jill says she’ll be talking about the store to anyone who will listen (and shop). Hours are 10 am-7 pm Tuesdays through Saturdays, noon-6 pm Sundays and Mondays.

BIZNOTE FOLLOWUP: Sneak peek inside as Cascadia Fresh Market soft-opens Friday

(Photos courtesy Cascadia Fresh Market)

We’ve been telling you about Cascadia Fresh Market, aiming to attract everyone to the storefront at 5444 Delridge Way SW for affordable fresh food, seven days a week. The store soft-opens Friday and officially opens this weekend. Co-proprietor Jill Moore sent these photos today as she reported, “First fresh food is rolling in to the market! Berries and mangoes and grapes and kiwis (all $1-3) will greet customers as they drop in for our opening thus weekend.”

Jill and husband/co-proprietor Jeremy Vrablik, a Highland Park couple who own wholesaler Cascadia Produce, say the market is “produce-focused, but will have other cooking staple items and some simple, sweet treats.” (Read more about the plan here.) They’re planning this as a four-month test – if it goes well, they’ll talk with building owner DESC about a long-term lease. So if you like the idea, go shopping as soon as you can. Hours will be 10 am-7 pm Tuesdays through Saturdays, noon-6 pm Sundays and Mondays.

BIZNOTE FOLLOWUP: Cascadia Fresh Market opens this weekend, aimed at affordable healthy food for all: ‘Why not, when it’s only $2?’

As reported here last month, Delridge Grocery Coop has ended retail operations – and its former space is becoming home to a new store aimed at making affordable fresh food available to everyone. That new store, Cascadia Fresh Market, opens this weekend, Saturday and Sunday, May 11-12, in the space at 5444 Delridge Way SW. As noted in our previous story, the people behind it are the West Seattle entrepreneurs and community advocates behind Cascadia Produce, Jill Moore and Jeremy Vrablik. They’ve lived in North Delridge for a decade and have had the free-food stand Carrot Man’s Carrot Stand outside their house since mid-2020.

They established Cascadia Produce in 2017, and pivoted to food security in 2020 “with a food box contract from the USDA serving all of Washington State in a time of critical need.” Jill continues: “Since then, Cascadia has gone on to make custom food boxes featuring produce for many customers, most of them non-profits, food banks, or government institutions. Cascadia specializes in culturally relevant food boxes and medically tailored food boxes for people with specific health conditions – health organizations are increasingly investing in food as medicine. Our boxes always feature fresh produce, but include other items that allow meals and snacks to be made from the contents.”

Here’s how they make this go: “During the course of our food box work, as well as the fresh food sourcing we do for over 50 Washington food banks, Cascadia developed unique access to wholesale recovered food, as well as farm fresh food without a sales channel. Cascadia is able to receive these two categories of food and create a secondary market for food security partners in which the originating farms are paid, fresh food is affordable, and no food goes to waste for lack of a market. Fresh Food should be available to everyone at a reasonable cost, within a reasonable distance of where they live.”

That’s the philosophy that led them to propose the Cascadia Fresh Market pop-up as a successor to DGC – as a four-month pop-up for starters. “If successful in the community, Cascadia Fresh Market will negotiate with the landlord (DESC) to stay long-term,” Jill explains. Here’s how the store will work: “Cascadia Fresh Market is produce-focused, but will have other cooking staple items and some simple, sweet treats. Produce will be priced like a dollar store, for $1, $2 or $3 per item. All produce prices will be well below retail. Produce we can’t sell rapidly will go to an onsite ‘Foodbank Outpost’ sponsored by the West Seattle Food Bank. Anyone may take food from the free fridge during business hours. The market aims to be zero waste, making sure all edible food has a chance to be consumed by a human while still in good condition.” As for the space, even if you shopped there in the DGC years, Jill says, “We have been working hard in the space to reconfigure and add additional cold storage to showcase the fruits and vegetables. It looks very different!”

They’re soft-opening for a “neighbor preview night” this Friday. Then it’s opening weekend Saturday-Sunday; Jill says, “The market will be fully stocked and will carry some flower bouquets for Mother’s Day.” The store will be open daily – 10 am-7 pm Tuesdays through Saturdays, noon-6 pm Sundays and Mondays. That may change, Jill adds, “as we understand the preferred shopping hours of our community.”

There’s a benefit aspect too: “Cascadia Fresh Market is partnering with a different elementary school each day of the week in a symbiotic effort to make families aware of a market where they can save money by buying more fresh produce and also benefit school programs. Every day, once the Fresh Market hits a low daily overhead number, Cascadia will profit-share 20% of sales back to the PTA of the school assigned to the day of the week. Shop, save money, eat more fresh foods, and benefit local schools all in one fell swoop.” So far they’re partnered with Fairmount Park (Sundays). Highland Park (Mondays), Louisa Boren STEM (Wednesdays), Sanislo (Fridays).

For families, “This market will be very kid friendly, with a couple of games for them to play while parents browse, as well as snacks on site so parents can have a quiet moment to squeeze melons etc while they shop. The market will also be friendly for the DESC building residents, providing hot coffee and eventually grab and go foods we hope will please residents and give them a nice place to visit.”

For everyone: “Shopping at the fresh market will be a bit of an adventure. While we will have all the produce staples like apples, potatoes, carrots, onions, peppers, etc, we will also have exotic foods – less commonly-seen produce items like broccoflower, escarole, purple cauliflower, dragonfruit and more (rotating stock, always fresh). We hope people will enjoy the produce they love but also try new and exciting foods, because why NOT when it’s only $2?”

Decision delayed for Delridge/Highland Park ‘Healthy Streets’ future, HPAC hears at April meeting

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Alki Point Healthy Street: Permanent.

High Point Healthy Street: Permanent.

Delridge/Highland Park Healthy Streets: Undecided.

And it might remain that way until late this year, the community coalition HPAC heard last night at its monthly meeting, facilitated by co-chair Kay Kirkpatrick.

SDOT’s Michael Taylor-Judd was there for the discussion during HPAC’s meeting at Southwest Library. He stressed that while he’s an outreach person for the Healthy Streets program, he’s not a decisionmaker, but promised he would convey what he heard. Here’s the stretch under discussion:

Taylor-Judd said it will get upgraded signage by summer, he said. He was asked to describe what a “Healthy Street” is; he went back to their pandemic roots, acknowledging the city said it was originally temporary, but “what we heard from the public was that people really liked the increased space” to walk, roll, and ride. “That led to an evaluation of all of them … to see if this is something that neighborhoods want to keep or not.” In most cases (Alki Point being an exception) these were rolled out on streets already designated as greenways, Taylor-Judd said. They are intended to be “safer routes” for people to use. They were evaluated on factors such as whether more people are walking, rolling and biking, is there neighborhood support, are fewer people driving? The stats he showed dated back to 2020 and 2021, but he said new data is to be collected soon. Two attendees said they haven’t seen pedestrian or bicyclist traffic on these stretches of streets. He said the decision is not likely to be made until year’s end, later than originally thought. The three questions would be:

Read More

FOLLOWUP: Here’s the plan for yearlong Delridge Pedestrian Bridge project

(WSB photo, Tuesday)

As we’ve been noting in our weekday-morning traffic notes, the project to reinforce the Delridge Pedestrian Bridge is officially under way. SDOT says it’s expected to last about a year, during which time the Delridge/Oregon intersection will be narrowed. Here’s the official fact sheet for the project, and today we also have more information about the phases of work:

To complete the work as safely and efficiently as possible, the bridge will be closed to people walking, biking, and rolling during construction. In addition, we will be closing sidewalks and car lanes under the bridge on Delridge Way SW in three phases to divert people walking, rolling, biking, and driving away from where work is occurring. At least one lane of travel in each direction and a sidewalk on one side of the street will be maintained throughout each phase.

We understand these closures will impact everyone who uses the bridge and Delridge Way SW regularly and we will do what we can to minimize impacts. The three phases will include the following closures:

Phase One
Our first phase of sidewalk and lane closures is currently in progress. Delridge Way SW will be reduced to one lane in each direction, with car traffic shifted to the east. Between SW Genesee St and SW Oregon St, the sidewalk on the west side of Delridge Way SW will also be closed while crews work on the west side of the bridge. We will share a map showing the sidewalk and lane closure soon.

Phase Two
During the second phase of sidewalks and lane closures, Delridge Way SW will be reduced to one lane in each direction, with car traffic shifted to the west. Between SW Genesee St and SW Oregon St, the sidewalk on the east side of Delridge Way SW will also be closed while crews work on the east side of the bridge. We will share a map showing the sidewalk and lane closure in phase two as we approach the end of phase one.

Phase Three
Our final phase of sidewalk and lane closures will reduce Delridge Way SW to one lane in both directions. The innermost lanes will be closed and traffic will be shifted to the outermost lanes while crews work underneath the middle of the bridge. The sidewalks on both sides of Delridge Way SW will remain open to people walking and rolling during this phase. We will share a map showing the lane closures in phase three as we approach the end of phase two.

Though the project page doesn’t cite a number, the city previously has listed the project budget as $5 million; the successful “base bid” by Ferndale-headquartered contractor IMCO Construction is shown online as $2.3 million. At one point the city contemplated demolishing the bridge rather than upgrading it, but community feedback led to the city scrapping that idea.

SIDE NOTE: An earthquake-safety project is ahead for the Admiral Way bridges over Fairmount Ravine, too. The city is in the process of finalizing the contract for the north bridge, so we should have a timeline soon.

From the ‘other’ Healthy Street to hope for ‘The Hum,’ updates from HPAC’s April meeting invitation

We’ve published recent updates on the Alki Point and High Point “Healthy Streets” – so what’s up with the other one SDOT set up in West Seattle, the Delridge/Highland Park “Healthy Street”? That’ll be a central topic at this Wednesday’s HPAC meeting. HPAC’s announcement also includes an update from the resident who was sleuthing the return of “The Hum” as discussed at a previous meeting:

As folks are starting to get out and about, gearing up for spring and summer walking and rolling, SDOT will be our guest this month to talk about the future for the Delridge/Highland Park Healthy Street network. All users of the routes in question are welcome, regardless of where you live.

These routes were put in place during the pandemic to broaden access to safe outdoor spaces. Most often they were installed along existing or planned Neighborhood Greenways. Streets being considered for changes include portions of 21st Ave SW, 15th Ave SW, 17th Ave SW, 11th Ave SW, SW Webster and SW Trenton, noted in dashed purple lines on this map.

We understand that Planners want to hear:

-What part of the network should be kept and improved?
-What kind of barriers, amenities and signage are preferred?
-What part(s) should return to general usage?

We will also expect to have Seattle Police Department representatives on hand to answer community questions and hear any concerns.

Look forward to seeing folks in person!

General announcements:

Just in!! We have an Update on “The HUMM.” From concerned resident Matthew H, who has been leading outreach on this quality of life issue:

“I’ve been in touch with CalPortland and they conceded their industrial vacuums are creating noise. The mufflers they installed wore out faster than they thought they would. They assured me that the new mufflers would be installed by the end of the month.”

For those not aware, or new to the area. These huge vacuums are used by the concrete supply companies along the Duwamish Waterway to unload powdered materials shipped here to use in their products. Hopefully they are able to get these repaired shortly as promised!

That turned out to be the source of the sound back when we covered community advocates’ quest to figure out the same problem more than a decade ago, and as we’ve told people more recently, the sporadic reports of its return have usually coincided with a dry-cargo ship being in port on the river. Meantime, HPAC’s meeting starts at 6:30 pm Wednesday (April 24) at Southwest Library (9010 35th SW).

FOLLOWUP: Final three days you can shop at Delridge Grocery Co-op, starting this afternoon

April 19, 2024 1:12 pm
|    Comments Off on FOLLOWUP: Final three days you can shop at Delridge Grocery Co-op, starting this afternoon
 |   Delridge | West Seattle businesses | West Seattle news

As announced two weeks ago, the volunteer-run Delridge Grocery Co-op is ending its storefront retail operations – but first, three more days during which you can shop at the 5444 Delridge Way SW store and get discounts – here’s the DGC reminder:

This is the last weekend the Delridge Grocery Co-op will be offering store hours as we wind down our operations. We’ll be open during our regular weekend hours — Friday 3-7, Saturday 9-3, and Sunday 11-3 — and will be offering great deals on our remaining inventory. April 21 will be our last day of store hours.

Everything in the store is discounted by 15% for EVERYONE, along with additional savings on select items — including 50% off all home, kitchen, and personal care items plus gifts and greeting cards.

Our volunteers will be working hard this weekend to start getting the store in shape for the upcoming Cascadia Produce pop-up (scheduled to start May 8), so we will have more to share with you in the next week.

Some information about the “pop-up” – which will actually be a 7-day-a-week shop – is in our April 5 report.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Gunfire investigation, later arrest

ORIGINAL 1:23 AM REPORT: Police found evidence of gunfire – multiple shell casings – outside an apartment building in the 2400 block of SW Webster, just west of the Southwest Precinct and Home Depot, around quarter till 1 this morning. Several 911 callers reported hearing shots just after 12:30 am, and one pinpointed a specific building, according to dispatch, saying they believed the shots came from the second floor of that building. No injuries or property damage reported so far.

UPDATE, NOON: We heard another response to the same building a few hours later and just obtained information from SPD:

At about 2:27 a.m., police returned to the shots fired scene in the 2400 block of Southwest Webster Street where shell casings were found. A new 911 call had been made at the apartment building. Officers contacted people in a unit. They found a man and woman with injuries. Police developed probable cause and arrested the man for domestic violence felony harassment. Officers obtained a search warrant and recovered a handgun. The 23-year-old man was booked into the King County Jail.

With light rail ‘becoming a reality,’ Mode Music Studios has to build a new band – of backers to cover their move

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Imagine a band, orchestra, choir, mega-group of more than 500 musicians, stretching from the century-old brick building at the north end of Delridge onto the neighboring West Seattle Bridge, playing a song together. Maybe “Don’t Stop Believing.” Or “Let the Music Play.”

That would suit the determined mood of Erin Rubin, whose Mode Music Studios has that many students, something you might be surprised to hear, given how unassuming Mode’s building looks to passersby as they head to or from the bridge or the industrial zone below it.

Mode Music Studios (a WSB sponsor) is not the entirety of her tuneful 10-year-old enterprise, either. Erin also leads nonprofit Mode Music and Performing Arts – headquartered in the same building in the 3800 block of Delridge Way SW – which brings music and theater into schools, and into the lives of students whose families might not be able to afford it otherwise.

Not all small-business owners run nonprofits too. But most know the challenge of keeping a business not just surviving, but thriving. In the past four years or so, that’s been especially grueling. “When you’re trying to tread water, since the COVID shutdown and the bridge shutdown, it’s been one thing after another … you aren’t able to make the moves you want to, now it’s just kind of survival mode.”

“Moves” has a double meaning for Erin, Mode Music Studios, and Mode Music and Performing Arts. She is almost certainly going to have to move, with the likely location of Sound Transit‘s Delridge light-rail station spanning the location of her business and others, including music venue/restaurant/bar The Skylark next door, Ounces Taproom and Beer Garden just down the block, and other North Delridge businesses to their west, including Alki Beach Academy and others in the Frye Commerce Center.

Erin and her neighbors stress that they are not trying to stop the light-rail project. “I welcome public transportation but I’m concerned we’re gonna lose a lot of what we love.” Despite the near-certainty that her business will have to move, the building is not included in the recent “early acquisition” decision, meaning she’s in a unique kind of limbo. The circumstances are so difficult, Erin sent an open letter to the Mode community last week, as we noted here; we spoke with her the next day, just before Mode’s monthly all-ages open mic at The Skylark next door.

Read More

DEVELOPMENT: Demolition under way at 1704 SW Roxbury, future mixed-use project site

11:56 AM: Thanks to Bob for the tip. Demolition is under way at 1704 SW Roxbury, the official address for the planned project on parcels including the former Meineke shop – which moved to 35th/Barton – and buildings to its north. Last time we mentioned the project was more than two years ago, when it went into the city’s Early Outreach for Design Review program. It remains in the relatively early stages of the permitting process, according to the city’s online files. This – like almost-complete 3405 Harbor Avenue SW, just-underway 9201 Delridge Way SW, and planned 4448 California SW – is a collaboration between Housing Diversity Corporation and STS Construction Services (WSB sponsor). HDC’s website outlines the plan as:

-9,428 SF retail
-34,008 SF lot
-Six stories
-214 unit development, 161 attainably priced market-rate units, and 54 rent-restricted units through Seattle’s Multifamily Tax Exemption (MFTE) Program

We have an inquiry out for more information on the site’s status beyond the now-underway demolition.

12:27 PM: Demolition is expected to last two to three weeks, we’re told. Construction will not follow immediately as the project is still “in feasibility.”

About the emergency response at South Delridge bus stop

(Framegrab from traffic camera, with NB Delridge/Henderson stop at right)

We had a question about a Burien Police car with what looked like a body at Delridge/Henderson, so in case you passed by and wondered too, here’s what happened: SFD originally responded just after 7 pm to a report of an unconscious man at the northbound bus stop there, with drug paraphernalia nearby. Recorded radio exchanges detail how they tried to revive him, but could not. Burien PD responded because they’re part of the King County Sheriff’s Office, which has jurisdiction for Metro transit facilities (and buses). The man who died was estimated to be in his mid-30s; the King County Medical Examiner’s Office will make the official determination of why he died. (Public Health – Seattle & King County tracks drug-overdose and alcohol-poisoning deaths here; so far this year, 306 deaths are confirmed in the county, another 37 suspected pending toxicology results. If that rate continued all year, the 2024 total would be close to the 2023 total, 1,338.)

Delridge Grocery Co-op’s next chapter: ‘Winding down’ storefront but ‘new neighborhood business will take over’ the space

A shortage of help for the volunteer-run Delridge Grocery Co-op store has led to a change in plan for the longtime nonprofit, which has its roots – several generations of volunteer help ago – in an idea that sprouted in 2009. The DGC has announced that it will “end storefront operations by April 30” in the space at Cottage Grove Commons (5444 Delridge Way SW). But that space won’t be vacant – and will still be dedicated to affordable, healthy food. And the DGC isn’t entirely hanging up its collective apron. If you’re not on the DGC mailing list, you can read the full announcement here. In short, three years after DGC was finally able to start opening its storefront to the public, then steadily growing its inventory and opening hours to five days a week, the road grew bumpy, as explained in the announcement:

Unfortunately, over the course of the last year, the numbers of our board of directors and core volunteers has dwindled to a much smaller group, causing larger loads of work to be added to fewer shoulders. Additionally, we faced rising prices due to national inflation growth, changes in post-Covid shopping habits, and challenges in sourcing products from distributors — all of which contributed to declining sales.

During a board meeting in March, the Co-op’s core remaining group was faced with a dangerously diminishing cash reserve twinned with a declining level of time availability from the cohort. To ensure that all of our financial obligations are met (including paying back several member loans), it was decided that the Delridge Grocery Co-op would need to wind down its operations.

Starting this weekend, the DGC will work toward selling down our inventory at reduced prices with the goal of shutting down storefront operations by April 30.

But, we will also be making way for a new neighborhood business…

Scheduled to start on May 2, run by North Delridge neighbors – Cascadia Produce, run by the neighbors who brought you Carrot Man’s Carrot Stand (also owner-members of the Co-op) will be taking over the DGC space for a four-month experiment that will bring low-cost, fresh food to North Delridge.

Cascadia Produce has unique access to farm seconds and wholesale recovered produce (all vibrant and recently harvested) that will be offered to area residents at super low cost. Best of all, the space will be open daily for extended hours and stuffed with a wide variety of produce options (some of it even organic!). This pop-up will continue the goal of access to fresh, healthy food that the DGC has championed since inception and test a radical new model for fresh food access in urban food deserts.

The DGC is working out the final details with Cascadia Produce and will send them out soon, but we’re all estimating that this pilot produce pop-up will begin operating in May in the DGC storefront. May 2-3 will be a soft open for neighbors and area residents where all are invited to come see the changes and give feedback on what types of fruit, vegetables, healthy cooking staples, and treats (hey, life is short!) belong in in this market. If successful during the pop-up stage, the new model will be adopted long term.

We just talked to Jill from Cascadia by phone and there’s so much more to this than just a “pop-up” – she has big plans for ensuring that everybody in West Seattle knows how to get affordable produce – and plans to partner with a variety of organizations and groups. Shopping at the store will be convenient, at least eight hours a day seven days a week, with a longtime West Seattleite on board to be market manager. Stand by for lots more info about the plan.

In the short run, today through Sunday, the DGC is starting its inventory clearout with a 10 percent discount to all shoppers, co-op members or not, and some additional in-store discounts “including greeting cards, cleaning supplies, fancy cheeses, and more.” Meantime, DGC will continue its weekly Essentials Box program – including “gifted boxes to households in need” – during the Cascadia Produce pop-up time, so if you’re a subscriber, DGC hopes you’ll “stick with us during this time.” DGC has some other FAQ answers in its full announcement.

HPAC REPORT #2: Encampment updates, re-sleuthing ‘The Hum,’ Delridge Triangle

By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor

Our first report on this past week’s HPAC meeting – held online Wednesday night – focused on the group’s discussion with a Metro rep about proposed bus-stop changes. But the coalition tackled other topics of note, and that’s what we’re writing about now.

ENCAMPMENTS: Questions about several encampments in southeast West Seattle had surfaced at previous meetings, so HPAC invited local-government reps to attend with updates. Tom Van Bronkhorst was there from the city’s Unified Care Team, and James Poling was there on behalf of WSDOT. The one of greatest concern was the growing encampment at 1st/Cloverdale, just west of Highway 509. Poling said that WSDOT “has started preliminary assessment at the site.” Van Bronkhorst said WSDOT doesn’t own the entirety of the property involved – there’s adjacent city land that’s “also encamped.” As a result of that, he said, the city will be “working in the weeks ahead to plan some kind of removal.” Before that, he expected crews would be removing litter at the site. (We followed up post-meeting with Lori Baxter, who handles homelessness-response inquiries for the mayor’s office, and she confirmed the site is getting “weekly trash mitigation … while WSDOT resolution planning continues.” She added, “The Unified Care Team last inspected this site on February 14, noting six RVs/vehicles and three tents/structures.”) At the HPAC meeting, Van Bronkhorst also addressed the encampment across Delridge Way from the Southwest Precinct, saying it’s likely to be resolved by summer, because a city reforestation project is planned to “activate” that area (the Delridge Native Forest Garden, which got a federal grant last year, and about which Baxter tells us, “UCT will consider the construction schedule while building out upcoming calendar dates”). Finally, regarding Barton between 15th and 17th, Van Bronkhorst said five RVs were there at last count, 600 pounds of trash was removed three weeks ago, and the outreach agency REACH has been “visiting every few weeks.”

‘THE HUM’: More than a decade ago, we reported on then-HPAC leadership leading community sleuthing of the droning noise that so many were hearing at night. It was traced to vacuum equipment offloading dry cargo from ships serving an industrial facility on the Duwamish River; better muffling was installed, and that seemed to handle the problem. In recent months, we hear every so often from someone thinking they’re hearing it again; invariably, when we get one of those reports, we check, and it shows the same type of ship in port around the same spot. At Wednesday’s meeting, local resident Matthew said he’s resolved to get to the bottom of it, including finding out what the noise rules are. HPAC leadership agreed to collaborate with him. You can help too – if you hear it, log the time. Record it if you can.

DELRIDGE TRIANGLE: This triangle of land by the Route 60 northbound bus stop across from 2 Fingers Social was the subject of a community-led planning process in 2017-2019 aimed at turning it into more of a park. Eventually the effort stalled (the last mention in our archives was July 2019). Now, HPAC says, there’s word that Seattle Parks is acquiring the parcel from SDOT. We’re following up on that with both.

WHAT’S NEXT? HPAC meets on fourth Wednesdays most months, 7 pm. Watch the HPAC website for updates.

FOLLOWUP: West Seattle’s new driver-licensing office now open

(WSB photo, February)

We just double-checked, and yes, West Seattle’s new driver-licensing office is now open as scheduled at Delridge/Dakota, on the back side of the building. The state announced the new location February 1 and opened it today after a week-long closure for moving out of the old location east of Westwood Village (whose owner plans a redevelopment project). Here’s where to make an appointment.

WEDNESDAY: HPAC talks bus changes, public safety, ‘Hum’ redux

Lively agenda announced for Wednesday night’s online meeting of HPAC, the community coalition for Highland Park, Riverview, and South Delridge. They’re bringing in Metro to talk about the changes recently reported here and here – bus-stop closures (and a relocation) plus city-funded plans to add more service hours to Route 125 (which we have since learned was buried in this SDOT announcement). Public-safety concerns are on the agenda too. So is the recurring noise that some speculate might be a return of “The Hum” (traced more than a decade ago by HPAC’s then-leadership and WSB to dry-cargo unloading on the Duwamish River). Don’t miss this meeting, 7 pm Wednesday – connection/call-in info is in the preview here.

DEVELOPMENT: Construction finally close for mixed-use project at 9201 Delridge Way SW

(Rendering by Atelier Drome Architects)

4:30 PM: Redevelopment has been in the works for the former auto-shop site at 9201 Delridge Way SW for six years. The project plan, and ownership, have changed along the way. Now the current developers, Housing Diversity Corporation, say that groundbreaking is expected within about two months for the five-story, 74-apartment development they’re calling Keystone. That’s part of an update we received this afternoon announcin “the closing of debt and equity” for the project, which explains in part:

Financial partners for the project include First Fed as the senior lender with a $5 million loan, Nuveen Green Capital as the Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy & Resiliency lender with a $9.74 million loan, and Citizen Mint, a private markets platform for wealth advisors, who raised $5.18 million of equity from impact-minded wealth managers and high-net-worth individuals. …

The C-PACER program in Washington provides lower-than-market-rate debt for projects that are able to achieve high energy and resilience standards above code in an effort to encourage environmentally focused building practices. The seismic, plumbing, and thermal standards met by the development allowed the partnership to use C-PACER financing to cover 40% of the project’s overall cost at a favorable construction loan interest rate in the mid-7% range.

HDC’s partner in building Keystone is West Seattle-headquartered STS Construction Services (WSB sponsor), as is the case for the 115-apartment building under construction at 3405 Harbor SW and other projects on the drawing board, with Atelier Drome as the architect. The announcement says that “100% of the units in the development are priced at or below 80% of area median income, including 15 more deeply rent-restricted units made possible through Seattle’s Multifamily Tax Exemption Program.” The project will include 4,207 square feet of commercial/retail space and will not include offstreet parking; none is required as it’s close to frequent transit (RapidRide H Line). The project finished going through Design Review in 2021, under the alternate address 9208 20th SW.

5:39 PM: We went over to look at the site right after publishing this story, and discovered work already has begun:

The old building was demolished sometime since we last went through that area several days ago.

FOLLOWUP: Delridge Playfield lights back on, Parks says

Three weeks ago, thanks to tips, we reported that the Delridge Playfield lights were out again because of wire thieves. Last week, one of our original tipsters, John – who had photographed the exact spot hit by the thieves – told us that crews were on scene to fix the system. We subsequently inquired with Parks, who responded today that the lights are working again. Security was improved, too, according to John’s observation: “Installation of steel conduit instead of PVC previously used, therefore making hard to steal the cables.”

City approval for major work at Delridge/Orchard gas station

February 24, 2024 10:53 am
|    Comments Off on City approval for major work at Delridge/Orchard gas station
 |   Delridge | Environment | West Seattle news

From the “in case you wondered too” file – the land-use-action sign out front of the Arco station at Delridge/Orchard is for major work that just got city approval this week. The owners plan to “remove 2 underground storage tanks and install two new tanks (one 22,000-gallon and one 25,000-gallon tank).” Also: “Existing piping system, dispensers, and trash enclosure to be replaced … (project) includes 1,800 cu. yds. of grading (900 cu. yds. of backfill).” Publication of the decision opens an appeal period, with a March 7 deadline; this notice explains how.

REMINDER: Last week for West Seattle’s current driver-licensing office

(WSB photo)

Those newly striped spaces on the west side of the office building on the northwest corner of Delridge/Dakota are a reminder that the building will soon be home to West Seattle’s driver-licensing office. As announced February 1, this is the new location starting March 1 – officially 2420 SW Dakota – but the office will be closed for a week of moving, so this is the final week at the old location east of Westwood Village, 8830 25th SW. We first reported more than a year ago that the Department of Licensing was seeking a new location because the current one is slated for demolition, with 140+ apartments to be built in its place.