Much to the dismay of greasy vegan food lovers and punk fans, owners of The Highline announced last week that today would be the last call for food at the venue. The announcement, along with this real estate listing, sparked a flurry of questions about the future of the punk rock space and their downstairs neighbor, adult product purveyors Castle Megastore.
While Highline owner Dylan Desmond says he’s staying put, CHS has confirmed that Broadway’s decade-old sex shop is moving. Castle Megastore president Mark Franks told CHS he has been increasingly frustrated by public safety on Broadway and the maintenance of Castle’s building. He said graffiti and public urination are keeping customers away.
“That end of Capitol Hill has dwindled for years,” he said in a phone interview from Castle’s Phoenix, AZ headquarters. “The lease is ending and we decided not to renew.”
Franks declined to say where the new store would be located, but assured CHS Castle would stay in the neighborhood. He said the move would take place this fall. Castle has operated out of the Broadway and E John building for 10 years. The adult boutique has 15 other locations in the northwest and southwest that specialize in selling sex toys and lingerie.
Franks also said the building was in frequent need of repair and the building owners were slow to address leaks and plumbing issues. According to King County records, the building is owned by Tacoma-based Sunway B.C., LLC. CHS could not reach Sunway partner Matthew Chan for comment.
Despite the light rail station opening down the block (and Castle occupying Seattle’s most Seattle address at 206 Broadway), Marks said he was happy to be leaving the immediate area.
“Longterm (Broadway) will probably be pretty nice,” he said. “Short term, it’s turning a lot of people away.”
Over the years CHS has reported on the struggles that retailers face to stay afloat in the neighborhood. When asked how Castle was able to maintain, Franks said “It’s all about selling a product that people want and support.”