CHS has learned that Office Max will occupy a marquee space on Broadway inside The Lyric development, a half-block project between Thomas and John. Earlier this month the electronics and office supply chain filed permits to begin outfitting a new store in part of 230 Broadway E’s 16,000 square feet of commercial space.
Spokane-based SRM Development is behind the new development. Representatives from SRM and Office Max have not yet responded to messages from CHS about the project.
The Lyric, a CHS advertiser, faced its share of backlash during the design review process in 2010, prompting complaints that the 7-story mixed use building was too big and too boxy. Julia’s owner Karsten Betd was an outspoken opponent of the project.
“This is not downtown Seattle,” Betd said during a 2010 design review meeting. “I suggest that the board walks around the QFC building. It’s shameful what went up in QFC. I hope that no one will move into the retail space.”
Supporters of local and independent shops likely won’t welcome the store with open arms, but Office Max will fill a gap in Capitol Hill’s retail mix — there is currently no dedicated office supply store in the neighborhood.
The previous building and lot were demolished in 2011. Former tenants Noah’s Bagel — in its Einstein Brothers format — and Bank of America have returned to the block once the project is finished. Cafe Septieme shuttered several months before its building was torn down, never to return. We’ll have more about some new food and drink activity in the project soon.
Office Max’s new home abuts the current Castle Megastore/Highline/Subway building. CHS recently reported on changes happening there, with Castle Megastore moving out at the end of the month and changes coming to Highline.
The building has also been bandied about as a possible home for a long-rumored Capitol Hill McDonald’s. We’ve heard no updates on that rumor at this time.