Patrick Robinson

Texaco/Shell site cleanup will have to wait; Buildings will go and tanks will come out but development is stalled for a few months

The Whole Foods Development at 4755 Fauntleroy Way SW is held up until the Seattle City Council votes on the alley vacation that was opposed by Mayor Mike McGinn.

That vote is expected to come late this year or early next year.

But in the meantime the buildings on the site, notably the Alaska Street Texaco gas station (more recently a Shell station since moved across the street), and the former Howden Kennedy Funeral home are set to be torn down. That process begins at 3901 Alaska Street sometime late this year or early next year too even though the schedule published online states it was to begin in August.

Now that we are well into September that timetable is no longer accurate. We've asked the developers for more specifics on exactly what will happen and when but so far they have not gotten back to us with specifics.

Following the tear down the contractor will remove the gasoline storage tanks but beyond that, everything hinges on that City Council vote.

Once that happens they will need to take down the power lines to the site, begin the process of undgrounding them and then with the appropriate permits install 8 or 9 dewatering wells and remove some 50,000 gallons of petroleum-impacted groundwater. That process is expected to take approximately four months. The excavation of more than 13,000 tons petroleum-impacted soil will happen after the dewatering wells are installed.

The full scope of the plan is available at the link above but quoting from it, "Soil and groundwater beneath the Alaska Street Texaco property (also known as SKS Shell) contains concentrations of gasoline-range petroleum hydrocarbons; diesel-range petroleum hydrocarbons; benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, and xylenes at concentrations exceeding the applicable cleanup levels. Petroleum contamination extends partially into the Fauntleroy Way Southwest and Southwest Alaska Street right-of-way immediately adjacent to the property."

The property was originally developed as a Gilmore Red Lion gas station and auto repair shop in 1934. It's been a gas station ever since.