Two days ago the Seattle P.I. reported that Fred Meyer may be abandoning its plans to redevelop the site of the current store on 85th Street to include a massive one-level store, parking garage and housing units, and may instead simply remodel the existing store.
Fred Meyer officials have not yet responded to several messages left by PhinneyWood.
But this morning, Ted Panton, the lead architect for the project for GGLO, said that he and his team know just about as much as what’s been reported in the media. Panton, who lives in Phinney/Greenwood, said Fred Meyer hasn’t informed GGLO about their plans, and that he hasn’t worked on the project for about four months as it’s worked its way through the city permitting process.
The latest redevelopment plan had been to demolish the existing Fred Meyer and Greenwood Market. Both lease the land from Greenwood Shopping Center. Greenwood Market’s lease expires later this year, and Greenwood Shopping Center declined to renew it. Fred Meyer has a 20-year lease, with eight additional five-year renewals. Fred Meyer’s plan had been to build a 170,000-square-foot single-level store partly underground. A nearly 700-stall parking garage would be at the northeast corner, and about 250 housing units would be on the west side, plus about 25,000 square feet of retail space for other tenants along the south and east sides.
The city approved Fred Meyer’s basic design last September. At that time, Fred Meyer told the design review committee that single-story stores work best; while two-level stores bring in about 40 percent less revenue, cost more to staff and lose more to theft.
The P.I.’s story quoted city Department of Planning and Development staff as saying Fred Meyer’s new plan was to remodel the existing store to house groceries, jewelry and electronics, and to eventually turn the Greenwood Market site into a garden center.