Capitol Hill’s most perplexingly empty retail space empty no more

Whatever was wrong with the retail space at Capitol Hill’s John Court building is apparently on its way to being remedied. In 2011, CHS documented the building’s long-empty commercial space in what seemed like a prime area for businesses near the Group Health campus at 15th Ave E and E John. Two years later, the commercial spaces are finally being put to use.


Last week, CHS reported on the all-systems-go launch of construction for Bakery Nouveau Capitol Hill.

Neighbors may have noticed even more activity in the building as the offices for an American Family Insurance outlet were set up. The office run by agent Sarabjit Singh neighbors the office of Edward Jones financial advisor Paula Fedirchuk who has been holding down the fort in the building’s ground floor for more than a year perched between large, empty retail bays. On the north side of the building, the dry cleaners have been open for business from the outset. The building, by the way, replaced a Kid Valley burger joint perfect for creating a few dry cleaner-worthy stains.

Singh said he’s been with American Family since leaving Bank of America a few years back. He used to work at the Broadway B of A branch and has been looking for an opportunity to return to the Hill while selling insurance in Bellevue.

“My dream and the community I always wanted to be in was Capitol Hill,” Singh said.

As for John Court’s long run of emptiness, Sing said he had actually been trying to lease the space for the past year. Apparently the real estate brokers behind John Court are the slow, deliberate type.

Soon, however, Singh and his staff of three will be part of a bustling corner as Bakery Nouveau is slated to open this spring.

“We’re looking forward to it,” Singh said.

10 thoughts on “Capitol Hill’s most perplexingly empty retail space empty no more

  1. I was very sad when the Kid Valley was torn down. It was especially frustrating to see such a desirable spot replaced by empty space for year after year. My wife and I often wondered if the building was some part of a tax scam or something. It’s just crazy to be empty for SOOOO long. I’m glad someone is finally moving in.

  2. Really??? Just a week ago, I was walking by there with my friend and I siad “It’s so weird, NOTHING has ever been in that space and it seems so central. Something has to open there soon.” I didn’t see your piece or anything. I just SENSED IT. Hehe. I am also excited for a bakery. For so long, it seemed like the hill didn’t have any, and now they are kind of popping up.

  3. Just a week ago work was being done in that space. Perhaps you saw new walls and ventilation going up and you thought something must be going in.

    Not sure what that is but psychic doesn’t seem to fit.

  4. Oooh I miss the old Kidd Valley:) But you’re absolutely right, so weird to see prime retail space empty for so long. I am absolutely thrilled that Bakery Nouveau is moving in. With them and Babar in the neighborhood the options for gourmet pastries will be endless!!

  5. “For so long, it seemed like the hill didn’t have any, and now they are kind of popping up.”

    Your psychic abilities are suspicious if you haven’t noticed all of the existing bakeries on Capitol Hill including the one already on 15th.

  6. genevieve you mean Carolyn’s Cakes which was the name long before North Hill Bakery. Oh and before there was a Kid Valley it was Treats, before that it had plenty of places that came and quickly went. Across the street was The Capitol Hill Cafe which had wonderful homemade pies, and the dive 206 Tavern. Bakery Nouveau will be a welcome addition to the area.

  7. North Hill bakery is very very good and an easy going place. It has been there as Carolyn’s Cakes and now North Hhll for over 50 years, every thing is baked on site and tuned in to the season. At thanksgiving they even make pumpkin pies from organic pumpkins they get from local farmers.

  8. I have been a regular customer at North Hill Bakery for some years….it has been a bakery for decades, dating back to when my Mom lived in the neighborhood back in the 1920s!

    With the new competition in the area, I hope people will continue to patronize North Hill. It’s a very sweet, old-fashioned kind of place and they have really, really tasty pastries.