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WEEKEND SCENE: Helping West Seattle Food Bank keep pets fed

Did you know the West Seattle Food Bank helps pets as well as people? That’s why WSFB development director Breanna Bushaw is hoping people will fill that barrel (and more!) today, as Pet Supplies Plus in Westwood Village has a pet-food drive happening right now, until 2 pm. Bring food to donate, or buy some at the store. They’ll accept bags of kitty litter, too, for the WSFB’s Pet Pantry. P.S. You can help WSFB any time with monetary donations, too.

BIZNOTE FOLLOWUP: Happy Lemon soft-opens in Westwood Village

Thanks to Chau for the photo and tip – the international tea chain Happy Lemon has soft-opened its new shop at Westwood Village. Only 2 1/2 months – shorter than the usual new-business timeline – have passed since we first reported that Happy Lemon was on the way to the space vacated by Vatsana’s Thai. Posted hours are 11 am to 9 pm, seven days a week.


(Reader photo, sent by Molly)

1:41 PM: The Game Stop store at Westwood Village was held up at gunpoint around 12:30 pm today. The robber reportedly was armed with a handgun and stole cash before running out of the store and toward Roxhill Park across SW Barton. That’s where police detained two people minutes later but determined those weren’t the people they’re looking for, so their search resumed. We’re going back through archived audio and will add any description information we find. No injuries reported at the store.

2:07 PM: The descriptions broadcast on police report were of two Black men, possibly in their early 20s, one 6’1″ and light-skinned, the other 5’9″ and darker-skinned, with black clothing, white shoes, and light-colored masks, one with a silver handgun. Police also talked with a person who saw two possible suspects hopping into a vehicle (no description of that) on 31st SW and heading south “at a high rate of speed.” If you have any information, the SPD incident # is 23-68210.

2:47 PM: SPD has just posted about this, with one added detail – the robbers also got away with a customer’s wallet.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: 1 arrested after early-morning gunfire at Westwood Village (updated Monday)

6:13 PM: Thanks for the tip about gunfire early this morning at Westwood Village. SPD usually publishes report summaries for confirmed gunfire incidents but hasn’t so far today, so we didn’t hear about this 5 am incident until a tip a short time ago. According to the archived police-radio audio, employees in the Westwood Starbucks store reported seeing a woman with a gun who appeared to be firing it into a car outside. Police arrived and found the car, detained two people, and reported finding shell casings. No injuries reported so far as we’re hearing – and the absence of any SFD “scenes of violence” dispatch would seem to verify that – but we’re following up with SPD and SFD about that as well as whether either or both of the detained people were subsequently arrested.

8:52 PM: SPD tells us this was apparently domestic-violence-related and one person was arrested.

ADDED MONDAY MORNING: SPD has just released this report summary of the incident:

At 0515 hours, the victim was at her job at Westwood Village located at 2600 SW Barton St. While she was in her car, her boyfriend (suspect) showed up and accused her of cheating. During the argument, the suspect got angry and pulled out a handgun and pointed it at the victim. The victim stated that she was in fear, and the suspect said that he will pop her while pressing the firearm into her chest. The victim was armed with her own firearm. The victim stated that the suspect grabbed her by the throat and began choking her. The victim stated that the suspect went to retrieve her gun from his pocket, and she shot two rounds in the air to stop him. The victim stated that a few minutes later the police showed up and the suspect gave her back the gun. Officers arrived and detained both while investigating the incident. After investigating the incident, the suspect was placed in custody for DV/Assault 2 and DV Felony Harassment. Two firearms and two fired cartridge casings were photographed and recovered from the incident.

BIZNOTE FOLLOWUP: Update on Five Guys at Westwood Village

The recent reopening of the remodeled Westwood Village McDonald’s has brought another round of questions about the status of the planned Five Guys burger joint next door. We first reported last May that they were on the way to the former Payless Shoe Source space on the shopping center’s south side. The first visible sign of the plan was door/window wrap in November. The company still isn’t commenting, and four more months have passed with no sign of activity. That might change soon – checking city files, we discovered the building permit was just approved this week, seven months after the application went in. Speaking of applications, the franchisee has a listing posted looking for managers to work in Tukwila and then “after four months” in West Seattle, so there’s another hint at their timetable. The chain already has 15 locations around the four-county metro area.

BIZNOTE: Wondering when Westwood Village McDonald’s is reopening?

11:48 AM: It’s been the most popular business-related question in the WSB inbox for weeks: When is the Westwood Village McDonald’s reopening? It closed six months ago for what a corporate spokesperson told us would be a “major transformation.” At least from the outside, the work has appeared complete – drive-up menu boards illuminated, among other things – so we’ve tried repeatedly to get official word on the reopening, but no reply from corporate spokespeople. So we’ve been going by daily to check. This morning we found a work crew member who told us his company had been told their work has to be finished in time for a “March 1st opening.” That’s this Wednesday. Not an official answer, but in lieu of corporate comment, it’s the best we have.(Let us know if you find it open sooner!)

4:59 PM: Commenter says it appears to be open now.

7:05 PM: We just went by. The entrances are coned off again, but it looks like more of a private party inside – balloons, etc.

RainWise returns! See if this is your chance to wade in

(RainWise photo: Fauntleroy Schoolhouse rain garden)

Got room for a rain garden? A site for a cistern? You might be eligible for RainWise rebates to help you get them, depending on where you live, because they’re returning to some West Seattle neighborhoods. Here are the details sent to us to share with you:

RainWise, a partnership between King County Wastewater Treatment Division and Seattle Public Utilities, has a BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!

The West Seattle neighborhoods around Sunrise Heights, Westwood, Fauntleroy, and Arbor Heights are eligible for RainWise rebates – again!

In 2013, King County joined the RainWise program, and parts of West Seattle became eligible for rebates that pay for rain gardens and cisterns on private properties. By capturing the rain that falls on roofs, these installations help keep stormwater out of the sewer system and prevent overflows at the Barton Pump Station near the Fauntleroy ferry dock. After five years in the program, almost 150 properties put in rain gardens and cisterns that manage the equivalent of rain falling on five acres of roofs. In addition, 15 blocks of highly engineered roadside rain gardens were put in to let rain washing down streets and sidewalks to soak into the ground. All of this has really helped but as we look to a future of heavy rains and atmospheric rivers, we would love more help to manage the rain in this area.

How does RainWise help? During heavy rains, the sheer volume of polluted stormwater can cause our combined sewers to overflow. This negatively impacts human health and the health of marine life, such as salmon and orcas. We can reduce this water pollution by installing green stormwater infrastructure solutions, such as rain gardens and cisterns. This is where RainWise comes in.

What is RainWise? RainWise is a rebate program jointly run by King County Wastewater Treatment Division and Seattle Public Utilities. RainWise rebates help property owners manage the rain by installing cisterns and/or rain gardens on their private property. This not only helps reduce stormwater pollution, but mitigates flooding, adds attractive landscaping, and can provide water for summer irrigation.

You can check your eligibility for rebates at 700milliongallons.org/rainwise/eligibility. And, for addresses not eligible for RainWise, Green Stormwater Mini-Grants are available as well at 12000raingardens.org/gsi-mini-grants.

To find out more, please attend one of our upcoming events to talk with program staff and RainWise contractors. We are excited about being back in this area and look forward to helping you get started on your RainWise project!

How to Get RainWise Workshop
Attend this in-person workshop to learn about the program with a short presentation followed by a Q&A with staff and RainWise contractors.
Wednesday, March 1st, 6 – 7:15 pm
Fauntleroy Schoolhouse, 9131 California Ave SW
Register at RWworkshop1.eventbrite.com

Join RainWise at West Seattle Nursery
Come visit our table while you shop for your garden!
Saturday, March 4th, 10 am – 12 pm
Saturday, April 8th, 10 am – 12 pm
West Seattle Nursery, 5275 California Ave SW

How to Get RainWise Webinar
Attend this online webinar and watch a short presentation followed by a Q&A with staff and a local homeowner.
Thursday, March 16th, 5 – 6 pm
Register at bit.ly/mar16RW

Edible Landscapes with RainWise Webinar
Attend this online webinar to learn how edible rain gardens offer a green solution to pollution. There will be a short presentation followed by a Q&A with staff and gardening experts.
Tuesday, April 11th, 5:30 – 6:30 pm
Register at bit.ly/ediblewebinar

(RainWise photo, cisterns at Peace Lutheran Church)

RainWise Garden Celebration at Peace Lutheran Church
Come to our RainWise Garden Celebration where you can talk to an array of RainWise, sustainability, and garden experts to learn about the program. There will be tours of Peace Lutheran’s RainWise installation, refreshments, and activities. This is a family-friendly event!
Saturday, April 22nd, 10 am – 1 pm
Peace Lutheran Church, 8316 39th Ave SW
Register at raingardencelebration.eventbrite.com

Not eligible? Feel free to reach out to us! We are happy to help provide you with resources. Check out 12000raingardens.org/about-rain-gardens/incentives to see what other programs are available to you.
Contact us for questions, comments, and concerns at rainwise@seattle.gov.

For more info about RainWise, visit 700milliongallons.org/rainwise

BIZNOTE: New gym planned for Westwood Village

Two years after 24 Hour Fitness left Westwood Village, the center’s owners appear to have found another gym to move into the space. Though the “for lease” sign is still up, documents in city permit files indicate that Fitness 19 has plans to take over the spot. Fitness 19 describes itself as “a simple fitness club concept – an extremely affordable, family-friendly facility that offers state-of-the-art cardio, strength, and free-weight equipment,” operating in 12 states; the only location listed in Washington right now is in Ballard. In addition to documents seeking a city permit to add signage for the WWV space, we’ve also found state records for a newly formed LLC on behalf of “Fitness 19 WA 318,” with Westwood Village’s address. We have an inquiry out about when they hope to open.

BIZNOTE: Happy Lemon replacing Vatsana’s Thai at Westwood Village

A city permit filing says the international tea-shop chain Happy Lemon is moving into the Westwood Village space long occupied by Vatsana’s Thai Restaurant. Before we could follow up on that discovery, we learned the restaurant has apparently already closed. A reader says a Vatsana’s staff member reported that employees were told on Christmas Eve. We went over yesterday and found only this note on the door:

We went back today to check again and the restaurant remains locked, with workers inside who appear to be dismantling fixtures. We sent inquiries both to the posted email address and to Happy Lemon corporate HQ; our note to the former just got a reply promising a “reply in the near future.” Meantime, Happy Lemon’s website says it has more than 2,000 locations in 20+ countries, with 14 in the Puget Sound metro area, nearest ones in Columbia City, South Lake Union, U-District, and Tukwila. Happy Lemon’s menu shows tea drinks featuring a variety of ingredients from boba to salted cheese, plus smoothies. This will be the second international tea chain to open in West Seattle, after Sharetea‘s Jefferson Square arrival a year and a half ago.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Police arrest Westwood Village burglary suspect

(WSB photo added 1:35 pm. Damage at left is from earlier burglary)

11:02 AM: Three weeks after the crash-and-grab burglary at Big 5 Sporting Goods in Westwood Village, the store was burglarized again early today – but this time police arrested a suspect. They say the man broke in by using a shopping cart to break a window around 4:15 am. The burglar was still inside when officers arrived; he pointed what appeared to be a rifle – but turned out to be a pellet gun – at them and fled. They caught the suspect nearby, in the 2500 block of SW Barton, and recovered the pellet rifle plus bullets, boots, two coats, and a baseball bat. The 37-year-old suspect was booked into the King County Jail, where the roster says this is his fourth booking this year.

1:02 PM: One added detail from listening to the radio exchanges recorded during the police response – the original call to 911 came from shopping-center security.

CONGRATULATIONS! West Seattle’s newest centenarian celebrates milestone birthday

Daystar Retirement Village (WSB sponsor) is celebrating West Seattle’s newest centenarian:

Daystar’s Corrine Camerota tells WSB, “Our longtime resident Yvonne Bateman turned 100 today! She is a longtime WS resident, and her children still reside in her home in West Seattle! We wanted to get her on the blog so people could see her celebrating face!!”

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Crash-and-grab burglary at Westwood Village Big 5

11:33 AM: Thanks for the tip. The Big 5 store at Westwood Village is opening late today because they’re cleaning up from what happened overnight. The staff isn’t commenting beyond saying they hope to reopen sometime this afternoon, but the police log shows an alarm dispatch just before 3:30 am. We have no other information yet on what happened, but we have a request out to police.

ADDED 12:03 PM: Just received from SPD:

Officers responded to the Big 5 Store located at the 2500 BLK of SW Barton St (Westwood Village). The suspects drove up in a Black Chevy Suburban, and a Beige or Silver sedan. The Chevy rammed the front of the store four times and caused significant damage. Two suspects stole an unknown amount of CO2 BB Guns and drove away Northbound. Evidence was recovered from the scene. The suspects wore face covering and gloves. The suspects weren’t located.

12:43 PM: The store has reopened.

BIZNOTE: Pet Supplies Plus now open at Westwood Village

A year and a half after we first reported it was on the way, Pet Supplies Plus is now open in the center of Westwood Village. The store is operated by a regional franchisee of a nationwide chain with more than 400 locations. It offers grooming and a dog wash as well as merchandise; hours are 9 am-9 pm Mondays through Saturdays, 10 am-6 pm Sundays.

BIZNOTE FOLLOWUP: If you were wondering about Five Guys …

The question’s come up in comment discussions about other on-the-way restaurants — is Five Guys still coming to Westwood Village? It’s been five and a half months since we first reported the burger chain had appeared on the shopping center’s site plan. Since then, as we’ve replied in those comment discussions and email, the plan to convert the former Payless Shoe Source space has been proceeding through the building-permit system. And now for the first time, there’s a visible sign that Five Guys is indeed on the way – what you see above is what we noticed while driving through Westwood Village this afternoon. The company has yet to respond to inquiries about the timeline, so we don’t know how soon. The chain already has more than a dozen locations around the central Puget Sound area; closest one is in Ballard.

FOLLOWUP: 2 updates on ‘affordable apartments’ project for Westwood driver-licensing office site

(King County Assessor photo)

Five months ago, we reported on an early-stage “affordable apartments” project planned for 8830 25th SW, currently the site of the West Seattle driver-licensing office, across the street from the east side of Westwood Village. Today, we have two updates: First, the plan is now open for comments as part of the Administrative Design Review process – no public meetings, but public feedback is requested. The project is now described as “a 6-story, 144-unit apartment building (with p)arking for 20 vehicles proposed.” You have two weeks to get comments in for project 3040124-EG. (We’re still trying to find the actual design document and will add it here when we do.) Second, the Department of Licensing says it’s found a new West Seattle location that’s “very close” to this one. However, a DOL spokesperson told us today, they haven’t finalized the plan so they’re not yet disclosing where it is. But if all goes well, they expect to move “in spring or summer” of next year.

HOLIDAY HELP: Toy drive starts today at John L. Scott Westwood

November 7, 2022 10:03 am
|    Comments Off on HOLIDAY HELP: Toy drive starts today at John L. Scott Westwood
 |   Holidays | How to help | West Seattle news | Westwood

Holiday donation-drive season is beginning, and some have asked us about toy drives. We’ll have a list in our forthcoming West Seattle Holiday Guide, and we’re also publishing announcements as we receive them. This drive at John L. Scott Westwood (WSB sponsor) starts today:

John L. Scott Westwood and John L. Scott Ballard/The Madrona Group are taking toy donations/money donations from November 7th-December 15th. We are working with THE FORGOTTEN CHILDREN’S FUND, which works to give underprivileged children and their families a truly Merry Christmas. With the support of our Seattle community, we are able to purchase, wrap, and have Santa and his Elves deliver gifts every year.

The Forgotten Children’s Fund began when a boy named Craig wrote a letter to Santa Claus in December of 1976. That letter never got delivered to Santa’s North Pole, but it did reach a restaurant in Seattle called Francisco’s. The letter immediately captured the heart of Mr. Dick Francisco, and the Forgotten Children’s Fund was created to help others in similar situations. The FCF currently operates in King County, Lewis County, North Counties (including Skagit, Island, Snohomish and Whatcom Counties) and Chelan Counties of Washington State. Visit forgottenchildrensfund.org to donate, volunteer or just learn more about this organization

The kids are under 12 years old. The most-requested items are Legos, LOL dolls, Barbies, action figures, Sonic, Paw Patrol, Lincoln logs, Hot Wheels, unicorns, sport balls, arts & crafts, science projects, etc. We can always use gift cards for the older kids.

Please bring your unwrapped gifts to: John L. Scott Westwood at 2600 SW Barton Street, Suite A-6 (Westwood Village), Monday-Friday 9 AM to 4 PM. You can also use the QR code below to donate.

Checks can be made to THE FORGOTTEN CHILDREN’S FUND P.O. BOX 365 MOUNT VERNON, WA 98273 Questions? Contact Natalie Trius at 206-938-5572 or natalietrius@johnlscott.com

BIZNOTE: Massage Envy closes at Westwood Village

Thanks for the tip. A letter posted on the door confirms that Massage Envy has closed at Westwood Village, after 9 1/2 years; Saturday was its last day in operation. The letter from the local franchisee says in part, “Unfortunately, the pandemic and economic conditions have overcome us, and we have to close our doors permanently,” with their 10-year franchising agreement concluding. The letter advises clients who have memberships to expect a message from the parent company, and that their membership can be used for services at other Massage Envy locations.

UPDATE: Westwood-area power outage

3:07 PM: Thanks for the tip! Just before 3 pm, nearly 200 customers north of Westwood Village lost power, according to the Seattle City Light map. No word on the cause yet.

4:22 PM UPDATE: The number of customers still out is down to 144. The map now attributes the outage to “equipment failure.”

7:59 PM: The map is back to showing 191 out again.

BIZNOTE: Pet Pros moving this week

Thanks to Richard for the tip. He noticed the big WE’RE MOVING sign on the door of Pet Pros at Westwood Village, which says the pet-supply shop is moving to West Seattle’s other major shopping center, Jefferson Square. We followed up this morning and the staff tells us that tomorrow (Tuesday, September 27th) is their last day at WWV. Their new location is the lone remaining vacant spot at J-Square, next to what’s now Z Optic, and they expect to open there on Thursday (September 29th). Pet Pros has been in WWV since 2007; the center has another pet store opening this fall, a local franchise of the national chain Pet Supplies Plus, opening next to Ulta Beauty, as first reported here last year.

WEST SEATTLE ART: Your annual chance to show your creation(s) at Southwest Library

(SPL-provided collage of photos featuring artists who participated in 2018)

This year’s Southwest Artist Showcase is almost here – the art show open to everyone! One week until you can take your creation(s) to Southwest Library, September 28-30, for the October 2-30 show. Anyone who lives in the West/Southwest Seattle area can bring in up to two pieces of art. Library staffers set up the show, and then it’s open all month for everyone to see. After the show ends on October 30th, you have until November 4th to go retrieve your work. This is a non-juried show, no entry fees, in its 30th year at the library. If you want to participate, just bring your art to the library during its regular open hours on those three days. One caveat from the library: “Please note that some works may not be included if their size or construction prevents their effective display in the library.” Questions? Call the library at 206-684-7455.

READER REPORT: Abandoned motorcycle

September 20, 2022 3:16 pm
|    Comments Off on READER REPORT: Abandoned motorcycle
 |   West Seattle news | Westwood

Derek at Nino Cantu Southwest Athletic Complex wonders if anyone is missing this motorcycle, He says it’s been there, apparently abandoned, for more than four days.

If it’s yours – or you know the owner – let us know and we’ll connect you.

BIZNOTES: 2 businesses planned for Westwood Village

Two of Westwood Village’s vacant spaces have tenants on the way, one seasonal:

SPIRIT HALLOWEEN: Thanks to David for the first tip on this. The new banner heralds the seasonal Halloween store on the way to the former Bed Bath and Beyond space, vacant now for seven months. We’re inquiring with the company as to when they plan to open – the space still appears empty right now. We found a note on the door indicating they’re hiring. (Added: The website says “September.”)

GNC: The vitamin/supplement chain used to have a store in Jefferson Square. Now it’s coming to Westwood Village, according to city permit filings.

The site plan shows GNC to be planned for space B14, which is between the Xfinity store and the upcoming Pet Supplies Plus. The center used to have a vitamins/supplements store, Fresh Vitamins, which closed in 2018.

BIZNOTE: ‘Major transformation’ for Westwood Village McDonald’s

After a few reader questions about why the Westwood Village McDonald’s is fully fenced off, with major work at the site, we checked city files and noted permits for remodeling and upgrades, and found this summary: “Revise front service counter and internal menu boards. Remove self-serve beverage kiosks and install self-serve order boards. Reconfigure drive-thru approach and relocate trash enclosure.” Another permit file noted “new interior, exterior lighting.” Along with checking those files, we contacted the corporation to ask for more details. McDonald’s USA spokesperson Mike Vizza replied that the restaurant “is undergoing a major transformation that will improve the customer experience inside and out. We are placing a higher emphasis on hospitality by weaving technology into the dining experience, with new self-ordering kiosks and table service that offers guests greater customization and the opportunity to relax while their food is being made.” He didn’t have an estimate for when it’ll reopen, just that “We will be working diligently on the remodel over the next several months.” Other area McDonald’s have been overhauled already, including Admiral four years ago. Meantime, WWV has more burgers on the way, with Five Guys going in just west of the McDonald’s (we first reported that plan in May, and it’s continuing to advance through the permit files).