“He has his money to do his project,” manager John Auseth tells CHS about word received last week that the mixed-use development in the works for the last four years that will replace the 1924-built building is finally in motion.
Developer John Stoner purchased the property for $2.3 million in 2008 and began the process to create a six-story, 78-unit building with 3,600 square feet of retail and two live-work units at ground floor and underground parking for 52 vehicles on the parcel. Initial community reaction was not supportive and the design by architects Nicholson Kovalchick was widely panned even as the project moved through review and was ultimately approved. An effort to landmark the building was rejected. An appeal against the development’s land use approval was tossed out. Meanwhile, the developer set about securing financing for the Capitol Hill apartment project. Stoner also made overtures — private and public including adding renderings of a possible future shop in the retail portion of the development to the design proposals — to keep B&O at 1650 E Olive Way once the new building was constructed.
In December 2011, CHS reported that B&O was preparing to shutter after the Department of Planning and Development approval of the project was upheld by the Hearing Examiner. Four days later, owner Majed Lukatah announced a change of heart and that the cafe was prepared to stick around until the project was ready for its construction phase.
Turns out, the reprieve lasted almost exactly one year. Auseth tells CHS the last day of business at B&O on E Olive Way is planned for December 9th. There is some possibility, he says, of a new location in the city — possibly Ballard. That move would put B&O in good company. Earlier this year, CHS reported that Bauhaus — another cafe preparing to be displaced by an enormous mixed-use project — is opening a Ballard location.
Auseth says the plan for the final days isn’t all worked out yet but there will likely be something momentous in the mix given a history dating all the way back to 1976.
“There’s always the possibility that the owners will come back to this space,” he adds.