Maybe it’s true. Maybe Capitol Hill really is no longer viable for record stores. CHS has learned that a little more than one year after its move to neighbor 10th Ave’s revamped Elliott Bay Book Co., Capitol Hill’s Everyday Music is being replaced by a Seattle women’s fashion boutique.
Seattle Met originally reported on the impending move of Totokaelo to the “Oddfellows Building” (sic) back in June.
Now we know that the move comes as Everyday is moving out of the overhauled 10th Ave space after moving from Broadway in spring 2010.
Everyday owner Scott Kuzma confirmed for CHS that he is opting out of his lease with Hunters Capital for the space and has until March to vacate the location. “I was hoping to gain some synergy from the bookstore,” Kuzma said of the 10th Ave location, “but it never happened.”
Kuzma said given current business conditions, it didn’t make sense for his store to try to weather more years with the expensive lease the location entails.
“We’re not getting killed,” Kuzma said. “We’re hanging in there. If i can a different location with the right rent, Seattle is still a good record market.”
For Everyday, the coming move will be its third since it was displaced from its original Broadway location by light rail demolition and construction. It lived for a time at Broadway and Pine in the location that is now Blick Art Supplies. Despite his concerns about a lack of visibility at the location, Kuzma decided to take a leap and try the 10th Ave location neighboring Elliott Bay because of the buzz around the new store’s move to Capitol Hill. While Elliott Bay has repeatedly touted strong sales numbers at the new location, Kuzma said Everyday’s Capitol Hill location wasn’t keeping pace with the rest of his business with stores in Bellingham and Portland.
While he has until next spring to make the move, Kuzma says the clock is ticking on his preferred course — finding a new spot on or near the Hill before Christmas. “We’d like to stay close,” Kuzma said, “but we can’t afford to be on Broadway at $35-50/foot.”
In Portland, Kuzma said, he’s also getting better help from his landlords.
We’ve asked Hunters Capital for comment on the change and will update if we hear back. People familiar with the situation say they had heard Hunters was considering everything from “big box” retailers to local boutiques like Totokaelo for the space.
UPDATE: We had an opportunity to speak with Jill Cronauer of Hunters Capital who tells us that, while they’re sorry things didn’t work out with Everyday, Hunters is really excited about Totokaelo.
In addition to the business’s local roots, Cronauer said Hunters was looking for a tenant that would be open through the day and into the evening and bring more variety into the neighborhood. With Poquitos just opening in the Hunters-owned building across the street, Cronauer said she did not want to add yet another Pike/Pine restaurant to the mix. She also denied having talked to Crate & Barrel about the space, one of the big retailer names we’d heard was interested. (End of Update)
The change marks the second record store this summer to say it is pulling up stakes from Capitol Hill. In June, Sonic Boom announced it would leave Melrose Market by fall saying the Hill was no longer a “viable” environment for music stores.
The new Totokaelo due in May, Seattle Met reports, will be an expansive affair:
It won’t be just that whole location, location, location thing that alters Seattleites. The Texas native told me yesterday that as she moves from an 1,100 sq ft space to a 6,600 sq ft one, she’ll launch Totokaelo Object and Art, first adding home goods—luxe, minimal bedding; imaginatively yet minimally forged ceramics and place settings; sculptural, abstract art for abstracted condos and careful collectors; locally designed lighting—and then, in 2013, a menswear collection. (In fact, the Totokaelo offerings have already started to grow; a carefully picked and impeccably presented selection of vintage goods will launch in the West Edge store for fall, beginning in August.)
You can learn more at http://www.facebook.com/Totokaelo