Why 15th is getting a new dry cleaner — and, oh yeah, another coffee shop

Our post about the new business destined for the East John Court retail space inspired Denise Benitez to share what she learned when she looked into moving her neighborhood yoga business into the new building. Here’s the e-mail Denise sent us:

The reason that the “East John Court” retail spaces have sat empty for lo these many months is because they are asking way above the market rate for the spaces. I own Seattle Yoga Arts down the street (mention this blog and get a free class!), and was excited when I saw the new building going up, as we could definitely use a bigger space. When I got the prospectus for tenants from the realtor, it was all fancy schmancy and was titled “Success Now Has an Address.” Gag. When I saw the prices they were charging, I thought they must be out of their minds. When I inquired whether they had any other tenants lined up, they said, yeah, “A coffee place and a dry cleaner.” Like we need another coffee place. And a dry cleaner isn’t exactly the first business I think of when I think of communicating upscale success. So, we’ll just stay in our humble little building between Teriyaki Madness and the 7-11 for the foreseeable future. I like the smell of teriyaki during the morning classes…better than the smell of success.

There you have it. We’ll try to get the other side of the story but the prospect of yet another coffee joint (probably a big chain that can afford the rent) definitely begs the question: What can the community do to work with developers to create realistic opportunities for honest-to-goodness small businesses?

6 thoughts on “Why 15th is getting a new dry cleaner — and, oh yeah, another coffee shop

  1. There’s a coffee shop almost directly across the street from that space already! The only big-name space that could probably move in is Starbucks, but they already have a location up the way (not that it has stopped them before), or maybe Tully’s.

    /speculation

  2. What can the community do to work with developers to create realistic opportunities for honest-to-goodness small businesses?

    That is the stated business plan of Jim Mueller, who’s developing at 23rd & Union and 22nd & Madison.

    http://www.jcmueller.com/

  3. That’s crazy… like Wesa says, there is already Insomniax across the street. They are super nice, and don’t need any competition. I went in there looking to rent an apartment, but the places were arranged weirdly.

  4. if the developers cared about having realistic opportunities for small businesses, they’d already be researching neighboring rents and pricing accordingly. they care about money and money only.

  5. Smaller store spaces would be a great way to attract local and start-up businesses. The retail spaces in the new buildings look huge. Break them into smaller spaces and they would rent much faster and to more desirable (independant) businesses. The big spaces are too expensive to rent and require too much inventory to fill for many would-be entrepreneurs. Look at the sizes of stores that house indy-businesses along Pike/Pike, Broadway, or in Ballard and Fremont for good examples of store size.