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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
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 |   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
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 |   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).

WEST SEATTLE WEEKEND SCENE: ‘Long Live King Cee Day’

On what would have been Antoine D. Matthews Jr.‘s 33rd birthday, his family is celebrating his life with an event they’re calling “Long Live King Cee Day” in the gym at Southwest Teen Life Center until 5 pm. Mr. Matthews, killed almost a year ago, had strong local ties – he played basketball and football at Chief Sealth – and his family says he had an endlessly giving and inspirational spirit, embodied in some of what you’ll see at the event.

Among those on hand are his mom Regina and daughters Za’Niah and Zoey.

Youth of all ages are welcome for activities and music as well as giveaways, including back-to-school haircuts and backpacks, all afternoon. The SWTLC gym is on the building’s lower level, south side, at 2801 SW Thistle.

WEST SEATTLE SCENE: Postal pothole patched

When we saw yellow tape up by the Westwood Village drive-up/ride-up mailbox, we feared the worst, given its history. But instead … turns out there’s an asphalt patch in front of it. Will this resolve the infamous pothole problem that came up in comment discussion every time the mailbox made news for other reasons? Let us know next time you use it.

WEDNESDAY: Job fair at Daystar Retirement Village

August 16, 2022 9:00 am
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 |   West Seattle news | Westwood

If you’re looking for work, new local jobs can be found in our West Seattle Jobs Offered section (local businesses can post there for free). Prospective employers are having job fairs, too – and tomorrow, you’re invited to one at Daystar Retirement Village (2615 SW Barton; WSB sponsor). The job fair 10 am-2 pm Wednesday (August 17th) is your opportunity to find out about full-time jobs with what Daystar describes as “great benefits.” You can also call to inquire – 206-937-6122.

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Bus rider shot

10:47 PM: Seattle Fire and Police are arriving at 26th/Barton for a report of a person on board a Metro bus with a gunshot wound to the arm. Whether they were shot aboard the bus isn’t clear; police had been on their way to check out a report of shots heard at another location when this call came in.

11:07 PM: Thanks to Regina for the photo. The victim, whose wound is in the forearm, is being taken to Harborview. Meantime, a texter reports they live near Westwood and heard the shots” and adds, “A man who was on the bus told us that the shooter was intoxicated and had been arguing with the victim, then pulled a gun and shot 4 times into the bus. Unclear if the shooter was still on the bus or had exited.”

11:45 PM: They’ve been searching with a K-9 team, and now it appears the Guardian One helicopter is headed this way to help look, too.

3 AM NOTE: No further information tonight; we’re following up later this morning.

ADDED THURSDAY: The King County Sheriff’s Office (which includes Metro Transit Police) is handling the investigation and says there’s nothing additional to report, aside from confirming no one’s been arrested. SFD says the victim is a 26-year-old man, in stable condition when taken to the hospital.

BIZNOTE: New ownership for John L. Scott Real Estate’s Westwood office

Scott Henry and Chantille Henry have a classic West Seattle story: They have been together 42 years, meeting as teenagers at Husky Deli.

For 17 of those years – since 2005 – they’ve been partners in business as well as life and love. That’s when they founded the John L. Scott Real Estate Westwood office (a WSB sponsor) with other partners. It’s evolved over time, and they’ve been sole owners for the past three years.

That’s about to change. The John L. Scott Ballard-Madrona Group office has acquired John L. Scott Westwood. The 51 Westwood office brokers will join The Madrona Group’s roster of 16. But home sellers and buyers won’t see much of a change – the office in central Westwood Village will remain open, and Scott Henry will stay on as managing broker for the first year of the transition.

We talked with the Henrys about their decision to sell the office. It’s been more than a business for them over the years – also a springboard for community events, such as the annual free shredding/food-drive day supporting the White Center Food Bank. But “we thought it was time to roll back our responsibilities a little” while continuing that community involvement. Once the transition is over, Scott will have “just one full-time job” – selling real estate with son Daniel. Chantille is assisting with the transition too but then plans to “take a few months off to figure out what’s next.”

They’re proud of working to increase the brand’s visibility in the area (their office serves part of Burien too), with ~450 transactions a year. “We’ve built up a nice reputation, and have great agents we’re super-proud of.” They say new owners Jason Fox and Joe Kiser are “like-minded (and will) support agents like family.”

And the Henrys promise their support for West Seattle will continue: “We love our community and we’re still part of it.”

WEST SEATTLE CRIME WATCH: Bank robbery at Westwood Village

(WSB photo)

11:49 AM: Thanks for the tips. Seattle Police are investigating a robbery at the Westwood Village Chase Bank. Investigators were all inside the bank when we went over to try to find out more, so we weren’t able to talk with anyone, but it was dispatched about an hour ago as a “robbery at gunpoint,” involving two robbers; the gun was implied but not seen. No injuries reported. The bank is still closed while the investigation continues. We’re still listening to archived audio for description information.

12:07 PM: Officers told dispatch that the robbers were seen getting away in a silver sedan, likely a mid-2000s Mercedes “S or E class” linked to other robberies. They were described as 20ish Black men, one clothed partly in black and one clothed partly in orange; the car, with no rear plate, was last seen headed northbound on 29th SW from Barton.

3:02 PM: A bit more information from the preliminary police summary – “The (robbers) handed the bank employee a note that requested money and threatened to shoot up the bank if their demands weren’t met. The bank employee gave (them) cash, and (they) left the bank and entered a vehicle that was near Roxhill Park. … The suspects in this robbery are possibly the same suspects from a Robbery that occurred later at a Chase Bank in Des Moines.”

BIZNOTE: Power hit temporarily closes Westwood Staples

9:50 AM: Thanks for the tip that Westwood Village’s Staples store is closed temporarily – we went over to confirm and they told us they’re trying to get their systems back up after a “power hit” this morning. The Seattle City Light map shows a 9-customer outage on the north side of the center vicinity.

11:22 AM: We just tried calling to check if they had reopened yet and only reached a recording that said the store’s unavailable. If you happen to see it reopened, please let us know (texting 206-293-6302 or email westseattleblog@gmail.com) – thanks!

HELPING: Camp Second Chance residents go shoe-shopping with Fauntleroy Church assistance

(WSB photo)

We’ve reported before on Fauntleroy Church‘s support of Camp Second Chance, the city-sanctioned tiny-home encampment in southeast West Seattle. The support led to a shopping trip at Big 5 Sporting Goods in Westwood Village on Friday, which provided major discounts for church contributions to help buy shoes for camp residents. Fauntleroy Church volunteer Judy Pickens tells the story:

Picking out new shoes that fit just right is a rare luxury for people living on the edge of homelessness, but three tiny-home residents of Camp Second Chance got to do just that Friday at Big 5 Sporting Goods in Westwood Village.

The shoppers are among the 40+ people living in the sanctioned camp at 9701 Myers Way S. Managed by the Low Income Housing Institute, the camp provides a supportive bridge between the streets and long-term housing.

In 2018, Fauntleroy Church, United Church of Christ (9140 California Ave. SW), began enriching camp life with such amenities as towels, bedding, and electric blankets. During the height of the pandemic, the church also provided games to encourage socializing and art supplies for creative expression.

On Friday, donations from church members financed the first of several shopping trips to fit residents with comfortable, practical, and NEW shoes. Members of the congregation’s homelessness task force met the residents at Big 5, where staff were eager to serve them. The church gave each shopper a dollar limit, which the store extended with a discount.

More camp residents will get their turn at shoe shopping as the camp’s case manager identifies those most in need.

In our photo above are church volunteers Joan and Cathy (at left and right) with case manager Marjorie (second from left) and CSC residents.

Westwood neighbors and SPD discuss community safety and Block Watch

By Jason Grotelueschen
Reporting for West Seattle Blog

Concerns about safety in and around Westwood Village were the focus of a community forum organized and hosted by the Seattle Police Department.

The meeting was held online last week by Southwest Precinct Crime Prevention Coordinator Jennifer Danner, at the request of staff and residents at nearby Daystar Retirement Village (WSB sponsor), but was open to neighbors and the general public (as we previewed here). The agenda included safety trends, suggestions for how to best communicate with neighbors and report issues to SPD effectively, and how to best use the neighborhood Block Watch model.

Danner was joined in the meeting by Southwest Precinct officer Tammy Frame, along with Crime Prevention Coordinator colleagues Sarah Lawson and Katelyn Yep (from SPD’s North Precinct).

Read More

CRIME WATCH: Vandalism temporarily closes West Seattle COVID test site

10:03 AM: Thanks for the tips. That big red SITE CLOSED sign is what you’ll see if you show up at the city’s COVID-testing site at 2801 SW Thistle. We went over to find out why; staff at the site told us the generator was vandalized, and crews from UW Medicine, which does the testing at the site, were on their way to assess. They’re not sure yet whether they’ll be able to reopen today (normal hours are 9 am-5:30 pm), so for now they’re directing everyone to the SODO site (3820 6th Avenue South, same hours). As we note in our weekly COVID-stats updates (like this one published last night), there’s also a Curative-operated testing kiosk at Don Armeni Boat Ramp (1222 Harbor SW), open until 3 pm.

3:46 PM: UW Medicine says the site reopened later in the morning.

DEVELOPMENT: ‘Affordable’ apartments planned at site of Westwood driver-licensing office

(King County Assessor photo)

Just added today to the city’s Early Outreach for Design Review list, a plan for up to 140 “affordable” apartments at 8830 25th Avenue SW, currently the site of a driver-licensing office, across the street from the east side of Westwood Village. The description proposes “a mix of studios, 1-bedroom and 3-bedroom units for a total of 120-140 units [for renters] up to 60% AMI [Average Mean Income].” A site plan filed with the city says it’ll be a 5-story building with an unspecified amount of on-site parking, to be built by SRM Development. The “early outreach” phase mandates community feedback, so if you want to be involved with that, there’s contact info in the item on the city website. Online records show the almost-one-acre site was sold last year for $3.1 million. We’ll be asking the state about future plans for a new driver-licensing location.