Houston-based Weingarten Realty, which partnered with Miami-based developer Lennar Multifamily Communities, just purchased the retail portion of the project they were developing together, The Whittaker in West Seattle. The two developers previously announced Whole Foods as the anchor tenant and in fact, Weingarten’s website still lists the grocery store as the primary tenant, but according to a Whole Foods spokesperson, plans for the store are now changing.
Weingarten paid a total of $24,004,675 for the retail portion of the 65,073 square foot mixed-use development from Lennar, which was set to include Whole Foods but a spokesperson for the company, Beth Krauss, said they are no longer opening in that location.
“As part of a careful evaluation of our growth strategy, Whole Foods Market has decided to delay indefinitely the opening of our West Seattle store. We look forward to continuing to serve Seattle with our three other area locations: Interbay, Roosevelt Square, and South Lake Union,” wrote Beth Krauss in an email.
Without Whole Foods taking up 41,000 square feet, the next largest retail space makes up 4,341 square feet and is leased by CityMD Urgent Care. The additional retail spots range from 1,139 square feet to 3,448 square feet. Of the 10 available retail spaces, four are already leased. Currently, Weingarten Realty lists CityMD Urgent Care, MOD Pizza, T-Mobile, BECU as tenants of the property.
Krauss added that Whole Foods is working with Weingarten to find a new tenant for the space.
Weingarten is leasing the available retail and is also listed as the property manager. Chinn Construction is the builder of the project with Fuller Sears serving as the architect and Weber Thompson as the interior designer.
According to The Whittaker’s website, the luxury apartment building was inspired by and named after Jim Whittaker, a West Seattleite who was the first American to summit Mt. Everest. The Whittaker is a mixed-use development currently under construction at 4755 Fauntleroy Way S.W. The mid-rise development offers 389 apartments, 70,000 square feet of retail space and 276 below-grade parking stalls.
In a joint venture, Weingarten along with Amsterdam-based Bouwinvest, previously purchased the retail space of Vulcan’s 2200 Westlake last year. Weingarten holds a 65.7 percent interest in the property and paid $43.5 million for it, according to a press release. That property also includes Whole Foods as the anchor tenant, taking up 47,400 square feet of property.