It is not the first new Capitol Hill grocery store rumor we’ve dealt with. And, given the direction of things — Development update: 29+ big projects in the works across Capitol Hill — it’s unlikely to be the last.
Word has spread quickly of a reported new Metropolitan Market at 11th and Pine:
I have a landline, so we get a lot of survey and robo calls. I just received a survey call asking my opinions about grocery stores in the area. The survey lady said we’re getting a metro market at 11th and Pine, so i guess that’s the sun electric building? Have you heard about this? Thought I’d lay down the tip as it’s fresh to me.
central co-op forever,
We’ve received a handful of similar tips. Each was the result of a phone survey and each names Metropolitan Market.
The local grocery store chain declined to comment specifically on whether it has plans at the street corner across from Cal Anderson Park.
“Capitol Hill is the a place where we’ve heard a lot of positive comments,” a representative for the six-store chain tells CHS. So what about the survey?
“I know from time to time our name shows up in neighborhood surveys,” the rep said, adding that this kind of positioning can often be a technique used by researchers and competitors to elicit interest and response.
For now, the representative said, Metropolitan Market is focused on its next moves after its long-time store at the top of Queen Anne hill was bumped by a Trader Joe’s.
11th and Pine is a new center of Capitol Hill change and activity. The Sunset Electric building has been fenced off in preparation for a year-plus development project that will overhaul the auto row-era structure into a six-story mixed-use building with 33 underground parking stalls. Another possible home for new things is the Velo Bike Shop across the street. CHS reported late this summer that the largest bike shop in the Capitol Hill area would be moving from 11th and Pine in spring 2013 to a “vertical neighborhood” development in Belltown.
A representative for the developer behind the Sunset Electric building said it is unlikely a major grocery tenant would work in their project. The Wolff Co. is setting out to develop retail that is “part of the neighborhood” and more at the scale of similar bars, restaurants and shops in the area, representatives have said.
If there is anything more to the rumor than a market research survey writer’s creativity, that might leave the Velo location as a likelier target. At 8,000+ square feet, the market would still be smaller than most chain locations but the space could reportedly have a more grocery-friendly layout and features, according to people familiar with real estate in the area. The upper floors of the building are home to Pulitzer-winning alt weekly The Stranger. But we wouldn’t want to start any rumors.