Following the move of distribution resources to a centralized facility in SoDo and the transition of P.O. Boxes to the Broadway location, it turns out “a smaller, more cost-effective location” for the retail component of 23rd and Union US Post Office is… 23rd and Union.
Longtime landowner Tom Bangasser confirmed that USPS has inked a five-year lease for a new 1,000 square-foot retail shop in the north MidTown Center building. Bangasser said the postal service also agreed to a five-year option that could keep the facility operating for the next decade.
In 2013, we reported on the decision to shutter the 23rd and Union postal facility adding a dismal new element to stalled development at the key Central District intersection. Bangasser said the new lease starts in May but the post office won’t move until work on the new space is complete.
Bangasser had no updates about putting the post office’s former home into motion after the federal service leaves but said his effort to win a rezone of his 100,000 square-foot Central District property is still moving forward despite a Hearing Examiner’s decision that the application be rejected. We reported here in 2013 on Bangasser’s hopes for zoning that would allow development to 65 feet on the land. Bangasser said he has appealed the decision and the matter should be taken up by the Seattle City Council this summer.
Meanwhile, Lake Union Partners announced it will soon break ground on its apartment project The Central in the now-empty lot on the southwest corner of 23rd and Union. The developer paid $3.8 million for the land and the approved plans for a 92-unit, mixed-use building at the site. In comments on our post about Lake Union’s planned development around the corner at 2407 E Union, developer Patrick Foley said the building should break ground in “a couple weeks.” Across the street from the 2407 project, Capitol Hill Housing is also moving forward with its plans for an affordable mixed-use building for the site currently home to the old Key Bank/Liberty Bank building. The neighboring former Med Mix building remains without a new tenant but there is work on the lot to add a twin retail building to the corner.
Perhaps the greatest sign of healthy growth at 23rd and Union is the buzzed about return of soul food legend Helen Coleman. That kind of addition and planned project actually breaking ground, hopefully, will help make “the future of 23rd and Union” articles a thing of the past.