(Historic photo courtesy of Lynn Sweeney)
Finally an answer to the question of where Alki wood will move when its West Seattle Triangle site is redeveloped: South Park. The Sweeney family, who owned the lumberyard for a century, sold the business to South Park Lumber. We spoke late today with Lynn sweeney, after learning via a tip that Alki Lumber was informing customers of the change. The Sweeney’s had been looking for a new site for the lumberyard for two years, after deciding to redevelop its current site and some of their other properties; the two-building megaproject just completed the design review (as covered here and here). She says they were focusing on South Park as a likely new home when, regardless of their search, Marine Lumber reached out to them. After discussions, Sweeney said, “we just decided to combine” – something, she said, is happening a lot in their industry. The deal was closed this week.
Here’s what that means for the near future: Alki Lumber will continue to operate at its current West Seattle location, with the same staff, under the same name, until it’s time to clear (which is not imminent, given the time required for permits and other preparations). We will be following Marine Lumber on their future plans – this news arrived too late today to do so immediately. Sweeney says this is all “exciting” but also, for his family, “bittersweet”. Alki Lumber was founded by her great-grandfather James A. Sweeney in 1921. The family retains ownership of the land, so for now, they will remain the “owner of the lumberyard,” as Sweeney puts it. It has been almost three years since the Sweeney’s announced they were looking into “alternatives” for the future of their property.)