Do we need a ‘big box’ store on Capitol Hill?

Home Depot 1, originally uploaded by Payton Chung.

In 2009, they talked about the future of 12th Ave. Last year, the topic was the amazing potential for development near Broadway’s light rail station. Capitol Hill Housing’s annual meeting panels are like a bunch of local experts creating the best-ever CHS comment thread — live and in person. In 2011, the attention turns to retail. Assembled experts will discuss and debate our area’s need for “big box” retail. For a preview of what to expect, check out our post from last July documenting news of a Target planned for downtown Seattle. As usual, we’re expecting a great live CHH thread. Here are details on the panel, CHH’s annual meeting and how to RSVP:

Do we need a big box store on Capitol Hill? 
Experts talk about how retail makes walkable neighborhoods work  

Every Saturday morning urban residents wake up and drive to affordable shopping at a Target or Ikea. How can we build strong neighborhoods where residents can walk to the goods and services they need?  How does a neighborhood like Capitol Hill balance the desire for locally owned businesses with the affordability of chain retail? Join us for a lively panel of developers, retail experts, small business owners, and community members. C.R. Douglas, host of Seattle Inside/Out, will moderate.

Confirmed Panelists:

  • Dana Behar, HAL Real Estate 
  • Michael Wells, Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce
  • Kelly Kost, Downtown Works
  • Jon Milazzo, Retrofit Home

Capitol Hill Housing’s Annual Report to the Community

Monday, May 23rd, 2011
5:00pm Doors
5:30pm Panel Discussion
7:00pm Reception 
Seattle Academy Arts Center Theater 1100 12th Avenue, Seattle 

Free and open to the public!

Space is limited. Please RSVP to or 206-204-3842.  This event is produced by the Capitol Hill Housing Foundation.

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89 thoughts on “Do we need a ‘big box’ store on Capitol Hill?

  1. I think a Target on Broadway would be great. It follows the current urban trend in major cities like NYC. On Twitter: @jmsmoe

  2. “Every Saturday morning urban residents wake up and drive to affordable shopping at a Target or Ikea.”

    No, they get on the 41 to Northgate, and even that will come to an end before long.

    Ikea is the only store I still shop at that is either outside the city or requires a car, and I’m skeptical about whether you could ever fit that business type into a small footprint compatible with or affordable in Capitol Hill or any other urban neighborhood, but I’m genuinely interested to hear ideas to the contrary.

  3. but unlikely. Aside from maybe a Best Buy or something along those lines, there’s not much that could go on Broadway that isn’t already downtown or at Northgate. Target already has plans to go in downtown in the Newmark building. If we had a Petsmart of Petco that would harm the smaller pet stores on the hill already.

    Maybe a good kitchen store or something would be good.

  4. I remember the good ol’ days when we had a Fred Myer on Broadway. QFC helps to fill the void a bit, but not really. A Target would be great.

  5. Even though I shop at budget conscious stores like Target and Ikea from time to time (a few times a year, generally) I personally wouldn’t want to see them in the neighborhood just because I prefer to visit the local/small shops. While I see the convenience appeal, I think there’s a vibe/culture to be maintained in the neighborhood that might be compromised if a big-box shop opened up.

    Downtown is entirely walkable/bus-able from everywhere in Capitol Hill, and there’s also Zipcar on the hill as an option. I guess I would just hate to see the vibe jeopardized by conglomerate store fronts, cuz it’ll start feeling more like the ‘burbs and I personally chose to live in Capitol Hill for the quirkyness vs. convenience

  6. While I enjoy the occasional safari to suburban box stores and in some ways would welcome such in the neighborhood… I fear the likely increase in automobile traffic into the neighborhood from adjacent ‘hoods. Thus I vote nay.

  7. An Ikea in the city – like Ikea Red Hook in Brooklyn – would be amazing! Even if it was in SODO, which is probably a more realistic location than the Hill – it would at least be busable – currently it would be a 1 1/2 hour trip on three buses, would anyone seriously do that while loaded up with Ikea bags? But it’s unlikely that the greater Seattle area is large enough to support two locations.

    So what could go up here? We already have great local hardware and book stores, and two QFCs on Broadway. Maybe bring back Fred Meyer?

  8. Don’t forget . . there is a Target going in downtown Seattle very soon. Whoo-hoo! No need to go to Northgate, Southcenter or even have one n our neck of the woods. I am opposed to big box stores on Capitol Hill but would defnitely welcome a smaller, fit into the neighborhood once again Fred Meyer.

  9. Another reason for people not to shop at existing, small businesses? No, thanks. It is really not hard to get downtown from Capitol Hill, or to Northgate, if that’s your thing.

  10. Big box comes to Capitol Hill, and the neighborhood dies.

    I would embrace an h-mart downtown though, like in Vancouver. Cheap good groceries and competition for uwajimaya.

  11. First off I have zero problem with big box stores. Capitalism: deal with it.

    Between Amazon, University Village, Northgate, Southcenter, that giant Fred Meyer in Ballard, and downtown in general, we don’t need a big box store around here.

    I’d much rather see the large real estate footprint stores like that take up go to more interesting uses.

    Plus people shopping at big box stores are often driving there and we really don’t need the traffic or parking hassle.

    The giant QFC on Broadway (the north one) used to be ~50% Fred Meyer and it is gone now.

  12. If there’s room I would love a target. I rent a zip car once a month or so to drive out to Northgate. I wouldn’t mind if there was one closer to me.

  13. We need a good hardware store on the Hill. Doesn’t necessarily need to be a national chain, just something with decent hours and a good selection of hardware, paint, and building supplies.
    Yes, there is a small hardware store on 12th (that closes early) and the Lowe’s in CD isn’t too far on the 48 bus, but it would be great to have one within walking distance that is actually open after 9-5 working hours.

  14. A Fred Meyer comeback? Maybe. A Target?! F*CK THAT NOISE. There’s one headed to downtown Seattle soon, so I vote a big, fat NO as well as no to Ikea – the last thing we need is more traffic on the hill.

  15. I hit up Northgate a few times a year for the Target, etc., traveling on the 41. Having some big-box retailers in Sodo, where they would actually fit, have better parking for drivers, etc. would make so much more sense. I don’t see a huge need for a walkable big box store on the hill. Where would you put it?

  16. I’ll echo what others have said – it would be nice to get a smaller Fred Meyer back (not as big as the one on Elliott or wherever it is), but a big box store would only bring more car traffic and parking issues to Cap Hill, and discourage residents from shopping at smaller local stores.

    I used to rent a Zipcar with a friend to Target a couple of times a year…looking forward to having one downtown but honestly I’m not suffering any from having not set foot in Target the last 2 years.

    I do wish there was an Ikea in the city – but downtown or SoDo. not the Hill.

  17. Au contraire, I am serious. Lets say, a Walmart goes in (which would be the only one in Seattle). Many amazing small businesses would shutter. Also, big box usually equals lots of parking. Lots of parking provides incentive for folks to drive. This in itself would be detrimental to the street level atmosphere of this mostly pedestrian and bicycle friendly area.

    Why do developers think the future is massive out of scale everything? Its a very mid-century mindset. Why not provide space for say, 20 small businesses on that footprint, as opposed to one giant one?

  18. There are two. Pacific Supply (advertises on this site) is on 12th, and City Hardware, which is not technically on the hill is at 901 Harrison. Neither carries lumber, roofing, or other home building materials, but between the two of them there is a very good selection of things condo and apartment dwellers need.

  19. Just yesterday I made it from the Hill to IKEA in 19 minutes. Granted, I speed a bit. That is plenty close as is to the neighborhood. I feel like I can get anything I need on the Hill pretty easily and if not, a quick walk downtown or bus ride ride in the tunnel to the ID covers everything else my consumer heart desires. There are enough chains coming into the neighborhood as is. No thanks.

  20. I have lived on Capitol Hill since the early 1980’s and I continue to be amazed at the dearth of chain stores in this area considering the dense population. Fast food franchises have come and gone, and now that Fred Meyer went away there is no “general store” anywhere in walking distance. Target is coming to downtown as has been mentioned, but on the hill? Nothing. Ideally I want Fred Meyer back. Target could support another small store with this many people around. Sears/K-Mart might work. I doubt a hardware superstore would work in this area because those require lots of room and lots of easy in and out parking for larger vehicles.

    So yes, if the right store wants to come in, they will be successful and I will shop there. These days I mostly buy mail order for the items I can’t buy on the hill.

  21. How about a “medium” box?
    Been seeing more children on the hill, maybe a Babies R Us?
    Is there enough demand for a Mac store? There’s one in U District, would another on the hill work?
    An ACE hardware and/or nursery would be much welcomed.

    IMO the only big box retailer that could make a go of it on the hill would be Best Buy.

    While we would all love to have local/indie shops popping up everywhere, the trend (as seen here on CHS) has been for retail stores closing up while restraunts and bars open. With all the new retail space coming in the next few years, we’ll see more chains and fewer indie places. Right now there is still a few good size spaces available on Pike with the former City Home Store (I miss them) and Honda buildings standing empty. I’m happy to see any business move in. Shows there is a future here. Seen too many towns with empty store fronts and sooner or later we’ll look like the rust belt.

  22. There’s going to be a Target downtown.

    “It follows the current urban trend in major cities like NYC”

    The trend of Wal-Martization? Great. It’s not like we only have bodegas here, or anything comparable to a food desert.

  23. “First off I have zero problem with big box stores. Capitalism: deal with it.”

    Nice to see someone so intellectually incurious that they can’t possibly parse why big box stores are harmful to any vibrant community. Why is a suburbanite posting to CHS?

  24. “Neither carries lumber, roofing, or other home building materials”

    How the fuck are you going to fit that on the hill?

  25. “IMO the only big box retailer that could make a go of it on the hill would be Best Buy.”

    How about we get a scaled-down fry’s? It could work. Screw BB, but we are a very techie city (even the artists) and we need our cables and parts.

  26. The problem with all of these “big box” stores is that the internet is making them less and less relevant. I used to be a person that would go to target on the weekend, but now I get my dishwasher detergent and kitty litter from, where it is cheaper. And I think they know it, too, as these sites are being bought by companies like walgreens, etc. Irrespective of what I think it would do to the neighborhood – and I don’t really think it would do much to help the character of cap hill – I don’t think that these businesses are the future. Hardware might be a different matter, but we’ve got home depot 15 minutes of driving away, a junk store on 15th that has all the small Chinese tools I could want, and Pacific Hardware, who have the rest.

    And to the person up there — Best Buy, seriously? I would almost want a Walmart on cap hill before letting those jerks in.

  27. Yes, they’re the same corporate parent, but the QFC doesn’t carry anywhere near the variety of items that the Fred Meyer used to. It’s better than most QFC’s, but it’s sure not a Fred Meyer anymore.

  28. I’m not sure this is entirely the right question to ask. A big box retailer is charaterized by having a huge selection and low prices. These can only be achieved through a huge market area and low land prices (both for the “big” part of box and for the parking). If your service area is much of the Central Puget Sound region then it makes no sense to locate on Capitol Hill where land values are much, much higher than other parts of the region.

    So really its about getting the low prices of those stores on Capitol Hill. Assuming people already drive to get them, then it shouldn’t have any effect on small local businesses. They are entirely different markets.

    I’d be great if these stores want to try a more urban style, but I’m not sure that it quite fits their business plan. You would have to serve a much smaller market area and have a much smaller selection, both of which will eat into profits. The target downtown will only work because you have the huge commuter pool, which means it really is a regional draw.

  29. I can’t believe of all these posts, nobody has mentioned that both Target and Best Buy are on the progressive shit-list for supporting far-right candidates in their home state of Minnesota. Is a big-box store that supports right wing and homophobic politics really what we want on Capitol Hill, of all places? I think not. One such candidate even espoused totally eliminating the minimum wage. Target’s upper management is deep enough into right-wing politics that Lady Gaga canceled her exclusive record deal with them entirely. A lot of us homos have stopped shopping there entirely. I won’t start again just because they show up on Broadway or downtown either, for that matter.

  30. I don’t know about you, but I like not having outdated, over sized, bottom dollar shops in the neighborhood. Once you go a while without shopping in those places, you realize how aweful they are – I hate Fred Meyers, can’t get out of that place fast enough. Bad lighting. Crappy made-in-china plastic useless knicknacks everywhere. Piped in bland muzak, played at low volume that slowly starts to drive you insane, makes you want to kill. People keep mentioning Target, but weren’t they in the news recently for their treatment of gay employees, and/or their support of anti-gay groups?

    How about a PCC? It’s local, better quality produce than QFC, environmentally friendly, and anti-commercial enough that you’re not forced to wade through tabloids and doritos to get to the checkout line.

  31. I completely agree. We’ve just completed about two months of remodeling our small cap-hill condo, and before the remodel I would have agreed that City Hardware was sufficient for all of my city-dwelling home needs, but I can’t tell you how many times I had to drive down to Home Depot at 8 or 9:00 p.m. to pick up last minute needs at the contractor’s orders. Also, City Hardware is still a drive for us, so something “Medium-box” on Broadway would be pretty fantastic in my book.

  32. What does the QFC not have that the Fred Meyer did? Have you been in the basement there? It’s pretty much the same store, only bigger.

    I really hope that Capitol Hill can keep the love in it’s heart for the little mom and pop places and the local charm that they bring. Or do the residents have an even greater desire for cheap made-in-china and sold by low-wage-no-benefit workers so that you can save a buck. Don’t forget that these are the big mega-corporations that would love to outlaw abortion, ban homosexuality, evade taxes while we’re slashing social services. Big box stores are everything that is wrong with this country. They don’t deserve our support and we should be willing to walk a little further or do a little more to support a community of small shops that operate responsibly and support our values. These days, your vote doesn’t go far, but voting with your money is real power.

    Convenience? sure! Save a buck? Ya! But at what cost… at what cost?

  33. There is a Lowes across the street from the Mt. Baker light rail station. As soon as our rail station is completed it will be a quick train right to all the hardware you could ask for.

  34. I’ve always wished for a PCC to replace the QFC on 15th, but that honestly wouldn’t make much sense with the Madison Market just down the street. I do wish Fred Meyer would come back to Broadway & Republican. They may both be owned by Kroger but Fred Meyer is cheaper. Too many QFCs on the hill, not enough variety.

    I’ve learned to live without Target since moving to the hill, save for the occasional zipcar trip. I certainly won’t mind having one downtown, but definitely don’t need anything equivalent to it on the hill. Best Buy? Pffft. Everything’s cheaper online and can be delivered fast. That store will be obsolete before too long.

    I also agree with all the comments regarding these big-box stores driving traffic to the hill. That’s one of the last thing this place needs. A mid-size store is about all we need here. Even as density increases, it’s better to have many small or several mid-size stores than one or two giant ones that cause traffic jams (see all most suburban retail centers – including Northgate’s Target/BB).

  35. In almost every way. The main reason was the local managers could order independent of the national company — Fred Meyer let them do that, before QFC then Kroger bought them out. Comparing the ticky tacky basement QFC selection to the real hardware and housewares Fred’s used to have is like comparing a 7-11 to a PCC. Sure the 7-11 won’t let you starve, but… it was very clear when Fred’s quit having local control that their inventory un-diversified and quit being the awesome general store that they were.

    But that was 1996 or 1997. We also lost 90% of Broadway Market to out of town management. Would I want a big-box back? If it didn’t destroy local shops then maybe, sure. But I suspect it would damage Mud Bay if it carried low end pet food, or it would damage places like City Market if it carried corn dogs (joke, but you get what I mean).

    Bottom line; if you need big-box things, order them off Amazon and have them delivered. Get a car and head out to suburbia. Don’t bring the congestion and bloated store size into the Hill just so we can have a little more local selection. It’ll be like WalMart destroying old town downtowns all over again.

  36. The real question here is why does anyone ever need to visit a big box store. Why would anyone willingly seek out this largely foreign-made super cheap crap that will end up in a landfill (and not fill that void in your soul). Why would we gleefully support these massive corporations that spend a lot of resources propping up the GOP and working against causes we value? Why spend a single dollar in a store that can’t even find it in their hearts to pay a living wage to their employees (so that you can save a few cents on each purchase)?

    Americans are so preoccupied with shopping that we built a whole subculture(suburbs) just so that people who are addicted to buy-want-more can shop and hoard more conveniently, filling overly large vehicles, driving the stuff to overly large houses, filling storage units and landfills with the excess. Why would anyone need constant easy access to cheap crap? What is all this *stuff* that we think we need, and why must it be gotten cheaply and conveniently at the cost of our quality of living and the quality of community/neighborhoods?

  37. I think a viable option would be to move all the retail out of the Broadway Market and configure the space to a 60% scale Fred Meyer. Move the Urban Outfitters over to Joule, find good Broadway footage for the video store (Hollywood Video space?). Gold’s Gym would be a good use of the BMW space.

    Add back some escalators to the Market like Target (Northgate) has with cart capacity, and this might just be viable.

  38. Vacancy is an issue anywhere. it is better to fill spaces with good national retailers who are stellar performers than allow center to waste away with languishing vacancy.

    this is from a developer. Allow the consumer to chose what is good and bad.

  39. And furthermore– almost EVERYTHING in Fred Meyer is made in China. Seriously, almost everything. So everyone pining away for a Fred Meyer again, or a new Target, is advocating further selling our economy down the crapper to the Chinese, even worse. Or in the case of Target, also funding Republican slimeball politicians. Capitol Hill can do without more of either, as far as I’m concerned.

  40. Don’t forget about Stewart Lumber on Rainier just south of I-90. Not walking distance, but pretty close and they have lumber (duh).

  41. Way back when, Madison Lumber was a building supply / hardware store on .. wait for it.. Madison! At ~ 22nd.

    Bought out/demolished to become the Planned Parenthood parking lot. Not great but it was walkable.

    (Hardware store ranked surprisingly high on my Madison Street business survey a couple of years ago)
    BTW: great hardware option is:

    Sad note: René Soulard ( ) was busily investigating starting a hardware store around 23rd/Union at the time of his untimely death. Now that would have been a hardware store.

  42. This is a great thread, love seeing all the opinions.

    As a new mom, I can tell you that there is no where “affordable” to buy baby clothes on the Hill – even the consignment at Bootyland is outrageously priced. I have a whole new appreciation for Target and all the “cheap crap made in China” that they sell. (And yes, I am gay too, and I could care less who they donate too in Minnesota.) Not everyone can afford to buy organic everything hand made by some local merchant because you know what, IT COSTS MORE. And not everyone has that much disposable income. And unless one of you is going to alter the process of globalization, this dynamic is not going to change anytime soon (cheap crap from China that is).

    So everyone likes Target or IKEA once in a while, as long as these stores are far enough away to not bring all their parking and ugliness to the neighborhood. This is fine but it does nothing to reduce our carbon footprint – all those drives to Renton add up. What is we had a medium sized IKEA in Cap Hill? Then low-income people could actually afford to buy stuff in their neighborhood. I love Retrofit Home too, but don’t know when I will be able to afford a sofa for 2k. Just sayin’.

  43. I agree. There are already so many dirty, rotten temples to consumerism in this country. They are easy enough to get to from here. So instead of bringing that crap just that little bit closer, why don’t we preserve one of the few places in the country where I don’t have to look at that rubbish and think about how that’s what we’re getting in exchange for dirty water, dirty air, and enslavement to the oligarchy.

  44. “I’d be great if these stores want to try a more urban style, but I’m not sure that it quite fits their business plan. “

    Now that we’re already getting a Target, the people who want more apparently won’t stop at anything less than a fucking Wal-Mart in the middle of Cap Hill. It’s so pathetically suburban, pining for the death of the minimalls and chain retailers.

  45. Yes, yes, quality matters. But why pay $4 for say, a box of cereal at a small local store when I can use coupons and end up paying 50 cents for the same box at a national store? I thank all the people who don’t look at price tags when they shop for subsidizing me.

  46. Add my vote for a hardware store. Pacific Hardware is generally closed by the time I get home from work, and their selection is spotty. I actually have better luck at Shoprite on 15th. City Hardware is better, but not really on Capitol Hill. Why do our choices seem to be boutiques or chains? Whatever happened to real stores that sold useful stuff?

  47. “And yes, I am gay too, and I could care less who they donate too in Minnesota.”

    I sure hope that’s one gay “family value” that you don’t pass on to your kid. If you’d lived in the South during the early 60’s, you’d probably have shopped at KlanMart® too, wouldn’t you?

    P.S. Value Village doesn’t have any decent used baby clothes? Old Navy downtown?

  48. I look forward to having a Target downtown, because driving to/around Northgate is hateful.

    The biggest real negative externality to the immediate neighborhood of a big box is a gigantic parking lot and the traffic that comes with it. So I’m all for zoning in urban neighborhoods (like ours) that minimizes that…limited parking, putting it underground, and charging for it all come to mind. Buildings that fill the block and don’t interrupt pedestrian thoroughfares. If it’s part of a mixed use development with smaller businesses, office and/or residential space above, all the better. (The Whole Foods down at Westlake comes to mind as a reasonable example.)

    It the retailers think they can build here and make it work within those kinds of constraints, I say let ’em build. And if you hate the politics/aesthetics of the store…DON’T SHOP THERE.

  49. If you’re that worried about cheap, go check out Grocery Outlet on Union St. in Madrona, and support a smaller retailer that will save you lots more money.

  50. “And if you hate the politics/aesthetics of the store…DON’T SHOP THERE.”

    Duh? I won’t. That doesn’t mean that the store’s existence won’t muscle out local shops, which WILL directly affect you. If you think “capitalism!” and “the free market!” justifies everything, you’re a sad individual.

  51. Yes to PCC! We have 3 QFCs and 2 Safeways. Surely there’s room for second natural grocer.

    Or…Eat Local should open a second outpost in Capitol Hill.

  52. Did I really just get compared to siding with the Klan during Jim Crow South because I am not mad at Target for donating to an anti-gay candidate?

    WOW. And Wow again. Love blog comments! Here is the thing about your logic – if I were to refuse to shop places because of how they exercise THEIR FREE WILL to donate to whomever they choose than I would need to: stop typing on this Microsoft enabled PC because of how Bill Gates donated to GW – remember him, he was all for that Anti Gay-Marriage Amendment to the Constitution. Or more accurately, I have no idea how 99% of store owners on Capitol Hill exercise their right to support whatever candidate they want. So, I guess I should start asking every owner to tell me before I buy their goods – ridiculous!

    It is you who reminds me of fascist leaders wanting everyone to think the same way. I hate anti-gay bigots, but they still have the right to think differently than me politically, and yes, in this country that means they get to donate money to those causes.

    I love democracy and yes, cheap clothes at big box stores. That reminds me I need to go downtown to Old Navy now.

  53. @Youreabsolutelymad: I was in the West Village & SOHO in NYC in January and there was a small lumberyard in the same space where a small brownstone would be. If the zoning allows it you can find a way.

  54. Once you site the Huffington Post, you immediately lose.

    Once you don’t know the difference between “site” and “cite”, YOU lose.

  55. Yeah, you did. You did get compared to that. If the shoe fits…

    Of COURSE they have the right to support any candidates or other points of view they want. I didn’t say they didn’t. But I also have the right, and hopefully the SENSE, to not purposely, knowingly, FUND people who advocate taking away rights from me, or denying me equal rights. If you KNOW someone works against you, and you patronize them anyway– how would that be any different from shopping at some (fictional) KlanMart just because they’re cheaper? What’s the difference?

    Yeah, anti-gay bigots have the right to think differently from you, even if it’s to advocate for things against your best interests. But do you really want to HELP THEM, just to save a buck? Talk about “wow, just wow”. Penny-wise and pound foolish.

  56. The old Fred Meyer had a lot more hardware & such downstairs where the QFC has all that cooking & bedding stuff. Yes there is some way in the back, but nothing like Freddy had.

  57. Still no lumber, but Hardwick’s in the U District has pretty much any hardware that one might need. Hours are not that great, however (10-6, Mon-Sat).

  58. I’ve checked out Grocery Outlet and was not impressed by their prices. I can do better buying stuff on sale at QFC.

  59. …that 90% of the “keep the big boxes out shop locally” whiners are typing it on their $2,000 macbook they bought at the apple store rather than the laptop they bought from a local computer shop

  60. Agreed! Or a larger bowling alley that’s more kid friendly than the Garage. Someone mentioned a PCC, and I think it would be completely viable, even with Madison Market and the QFC’s. The retailers that go in near the light rail and elsewhere in this area need to be those types where you can get what you need and still carry the bags to wherever you’re going on the lightrail and bus. Not places where you have to drive to in order to haul a big ‘ol TV outta there. We already have enough issues with parking and traffic. We’re getting better public transportation, let’s encourage the use of that.

  61. Hey Jim98122 – you and the other Target haters conveniently ignore the very progressive GLBT employment policies Target has, as well as the hundreds of thousands of dollars they have donated to the GLBT community over the years. Perhaps, just perhaps, their motivation for the campaign donation was for Minnesota state tax reasons, since so often the Dems/DFL party have their heads so far up their @sses on business tax issues there.

    Food for thought…

  62. “NIMBY

    At least that is what people claim in every other story on this blog.”

    If they’re stupid. Places that are already extremely dense don’t need these sort of traffic magnets, they screw up the walkability of a city. Place it in the CD, SoDo, Queen Anne, somewhere on the outskirts where there’s ROOM for people to park.

    Besides, if you’re buying lumber and roofing supplies, you’re not going to walk home with them. You own a car or zipcar around. The assumption that you’d need it within five blocks of the house you’re building up is unadulterated bullshit.

  63. Ikea’s a 15-20 minute drive, while I wouldn’t complain about the average non-furniture stuff and buy a lot of the household items, there’s really no driving need to place one next door.

  64. I am conflicted. One part of me really wants to keep to local stores; however comparing living in Chicago to here I can say I miss the big box stores. It was nice having Home Depot, Best Buy, Bed, Bath and Beyond, etc. in the neighborhood. In that part of Chicago they did a great job of making sure they kept with the architecture of the neighborhood. It took me a while to actually realize those stores were there because they utilize the space of the neighborhood so well. I really think we can get the best of both worlds by inviting them in…plus the number of vacant stores on the hill in really saddening.

  65. You’re all whining because you have to drive 20 minutes to SoDo, Stone Way, or Northgate to buy lumber, DIY supplies and cheap clothes?

    20 WHOLE MINUTES! Oh, the humanity!

    And, WHERE the hell are you going to put a Big Box store on Capitol Hill? Big Box stores, even mid-size ones, need BIG plots of land and tons of parking and streets to handle the traffic.

    Not sure why you would want to turn a old, densely populated, diverse, urban neighborhood with character, history and charm into Northgate. If you love the freedom of being able to drive 10 minutes to your local Target, Best Buy, Ross or Lowe’s, why don’t you just LIVE in Northgate instead of turning a pleasant urban neighborhood into a boring suburban one?

  66. “It was nice having Home Depot, Best Buy, Bed, Bath and Beyond, etc. in the neighborhood”

    We already HAVE A BED BATH AND BEYOND, you tit.

    “Oh my god, I have to walk DOWNTOWN?!!!”

  67. NO NO NO NO. Leave the hill alone. It is about mixed businesses and housing of various types. But a Target or Lowes? hell no.

  68. Why would we need one on the hill…Target will open downtown March of next year…we have a great transit system…and if it’s real big…the item or the shopping trip…go with friends…rent a Zipcar…make it an adventure…I always do and it’s great…

  69. I think generally big box retail wouldn’t be a great fit for Capitol Hill, but national retailers who can pursue a business model based on smaller footprints / pedestrian-oriented versions of their larger stores (similar to the smaller footprint Target coming to downtown, or the current Bed, Bath & Beyond downtown) could do very well, especially once the Link station is completed. General merchandise can be a problem for dense areas because of space requirements, but I think clothing stores, home decor stores, and top notch electronics/appliances retailers would be very welcomed and could fit more easily with a smaller footprint. I know a lot of these items can be ordered online, but sometimes, esp. when shopping for a large appliance like a tv or washer/dryer,etc., it’s worthwhile to view products in person.

    For now, I think the most convenient store offering electronics is the Sears in SODO.

    My personal wish list would be for an Apple store somewhere other than U-village. I enjoy trying out new products and even used the Genius Bar once to fix a printer problem, but I hate U-Village. Difficult to get there by bus and a pain to walk around in, dodging inattentive/impatient drivers.

  70. Except moving Golds 10 blocks away ruins it for me, and everyone else who is a member in its current 12 year location. Prost stick to praising portland on your soccer blog, leave my neighborhoods gym alone.

  71. Jseattle,

    Why do you always let maus be an ass on your blog but delete other people’s comments? Reminds me of the special treatment you gave Mike with Curls.

  72. Anyone remember ‘It’s a Wonderful Life?’ Classic. By putting the community’s needs ahead of his own, protagonist George Baily makes it possible for small, local business to thrive.

    What happened to small, local businesses thriving in Capitol Hill?

    Please tell me some are still going. I left in 2009, maybe just in time.

  73. I don’t see one coming to the hill anytime soon. Target’s downtown store is going to be a new concept that is slightly smaller than their usual big box suburban locations. Anything on the hill would likely be much smaller than the Newmark space Target purchased downtown, this it would mean yet another new concept store and that’s not likely to happen with any of the major chains.

    The other problem would be NIMBY types like they have in Greenwood who would fight anything that is a chain store, tie it up in court, stuff like that because they only see the bad, rather than the tax revenue and jobs that any chain store would bring.

  74. Can you tell me where you heard March of next year for Target I was actually looking for info on when it will open and came up empty handed.

  75. Going in to the panel, I had an open mind while tilting slightly towards being against big national chains in Cap Hill.
    After an interesting discussion with some contradicting statements by all four panelists (Bailey-Coy’s former owner seemed to be the biggest proponent of some big-box on cap hill of all people), my opinion was even stronger against.
    I biked to QFC to pick up a cookie sheet. No need for a drive to Target or a trip downtown to BB&B.
    Granted, QFC isn’t the best option, but there really isn’t a need for any of these large “foreign” national chains who’s only motivation is profit maximization, neighborhood be damned.

    Some interesting quotes from the night from apparently “pro-big box” panelists:
    “Gap made the decision to move, we had no say in it”
    “It’s hard to nudge a big company in a direction we want”
    “I don’t like shopping at big box stores and the trends are against big box stores lasting for many more decades”
    “We don’t need more cheap stuff from China filling up our smaller apartments”
    “With the oil crisis, it’s a bad time to invest in big box stores in a neighborhood”

    Hmmm, so which is it???