West Seattle businesses to be demolished under light rail plan are fundraising to move ahead of wrecking ball

Two local business owners who will have to move due to a light rail construction plan are turning to the community for help. 

The West Seattle Link Extension will run through businesses at 23rd Avenue Southwest and Delridge Way Southwest, leaving many of the buildings demolished under the current proposals.   

The owner of Mode Music Studios doesn't feel that Sound Transit or the city of Seattle has done enough to help her move her business, or those that sit next door. 

With proposed plans to demolish the studio to make way for the West Seattle Link Extension, Mode Music Studios owner Erin Rubin says finding a new home where students can play their hearts out will be difficult. 

 "If we are not secure enough to move when the perfect space becomes available, that’s my biggest concern," said Rubin. 

"We need a quiet space in two directions," said Gianni Aiello, an instructor at Mode Music Studios. 

Rubin says because Mode Music Studios and other businesses like Ounces Taproom and Skylark Café next door were left out of the early acquisition process, there's currently no definitive plan from Sound Transit to help them move. 

"They are just silent, and I think we just have to take different routes," said Rubin.  

So, she's taken matters into her own hands and launched an online fundraiser.   

"We are just reaching out to the community because I know the community doesn’t want to lose us," said Rubin. 

King County Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda also fought for the businesses this week at the Sound Transit System Expansion Committee Meeting.    

"The current proposal eliminates the West Seattle health care pool, it targets and eliminates the largest childcare on the peninsula-including small businesses that are many of them women-owned, a grocery mart, music lessons, cafés, gathering places," said Mosqueda.  

She's calling for the proposed station to shift 100 feet and to better use surface streets and parking lots. 

"We ask for refinement that shifts the pillars holding the rail line, to just shift south by about 20 feet to use underutilized streets," said Mosqueda.  

Skylark Café, where Mode Music Studios students perform next door, also started a fundraiser.  Rubin feels for now, businesses are on their own.  

"I’m just not confident that Sound Transit and the city of Seattle are going to take care of us like they should," said Rubin.

Sound Transit has said that property acquisition typically takes place after the environmental process concludes.  A spokesperson says, "The early acquisitions still need approval from the Federal Transit Administration.  With FTA approval, Sound Transit can begin working with property owners and tenants prior to the publication of the final EIS and board selection of the project to be built, expected later this year."   

More on West Seattle Light Rail issues

Some West Seattle business owners in 'limbo' due to light rail plan that would demolish their stores

West Seattle businesses face uncertain future due to light rail project