UPDATE 5/2/14 9:30 AM: With a line one hundred or so deep waiting to start shopping, Goodwill Seattle officials and Seattle dignitaries including Mayor Ed Murray and City Council member Mike O’Brien cut the ribbon outside the new Belmont Ave E store Friday morning. Beforehand, staff speeches inside the fully stocked thrift store and a rousing rendition of happy birthday greeted the now 59-year-old mayor one day after his announcement of a plan to hike Seattle’s minimum wage to $15. One Capitol Hill official familiar with vintage was not on hand as 10th Ave E resident Macklemore apparently had other business to attend to. His Thrift Shop counterpart Wanz, however, was there but did not pop a single tag. Inside, Murray bought himself a birthday present in one of the first transactions at the new Capitol Hill location. What did you buy, Mayor? A Seattle coffee mug, of course. Happy shopping.
Frugal friends, take note. The highly anticipated Goodwill Capitol Hill, the 24th Goodwill Seattle location in the Puget Sound region, will officially open its doors Friday at 9 AM, celebrating in style with a ribbon cutting ceremony that Seattle Mayor Ed Murray is scheduled to attend.
“People were saying you’ve got to come to the Hill, you’ve got to come the Hill,” said Katherine Boury, Goodwill Seattle communications manager. “We’re finally here! We’ve had a lot of really great feedback from the community, and the neighborhood has made us feel very welcome.”
However small the new 15,000 square-foot store is compared to larger locations like Goodwill’s Dearborn shop — which, by the way, is the largest Goodwill in the country –Goodwill Capitol Hill makes up for in selection, allowing Capitol Hill denizens to sate their appetites with well-stocked shelves of mason jars, recycled in their own hood too.
“When a store opens,” Boury advises, “it’s common for the donations to be reflective of the neighborhood. When we were opening up the store here, we were looking for things that would fit the neighborhood.”
Aside from the expected mix of men’s clothing, women’s clothing, kid’s clothing, and shoes, the store’s downstairs manages to fit a generous selection of housewares, furniture and a solid book section.
Another draw might be the shop’s standout jewelry selection, with bejeweled necklaces, bracelets, and pendant display that dare we say rivals the quality bling that can be found at Goodwill’s Annual Glitter Sale, albeit a much smaller, more selective collection of bling. There is also a collectibles section full of kitschy finds like vintage cameras, watches and binoculars. And, similar to Goodwill’s U-district location, there is a women’s vintage clothing section stocked with colorful summer tops and dresses.
Goodwill Capitol Hill will join a solid thrift and vintage culture on Capitol Hill including a Red Light Vintage store, Crossroads Trading, Take 2, Le Frock, Pretty Parlor, No Parking, the Lifelong thrift store and more. It will also join the neighborhood in a timely fashion as another grandaddy thrift shop faces an uncertain future here and issues of affordability and places for “regular people” to shop seem under threat. Plans for a seven-story office project on 11th Ave will not include a space for the longtime favorite Value Village. Meanwhile, pop culture is also doing its part to cement thrifting as an integral component of Capitol Hill living.
The overhauled space maintains the warehouse feel of former tenant Half Priced Books by keeping its original brick walls and wooden beams exposed. The new dressing rooms, on the other hand, will be appreciated. You’ll also find parking in an adjoining lot, making unloading donations easier.
CHS broke the news that Goodwill Seattle was preparing to open a Capitol Hill location back in February. In 2012, Goodwill broke ground on its new offices and training center at Rainier and Dearborn after a larger plan for a mixed-use redevelopment at the site was mothballed. The property Goodwill is signing on for on Capitol Hill and its 50-some surface parking spots was available at $30 per square foot. The marketing materials for the building documented a 55,000+ population living within one mile of the location and the nearly 200,000 living within three miles as a strong selling point.
The new tenant adds to the former Half Price Books building’s colorful history of interesting businesses. Half Price joined the 1926-built building in 2003. For a time, a laser tag arena called the address home. Before that, we’re told, “the downstairs had a variety of rooms from fake dungeon to shower stalls, and was wired with T1, and well, you do the math.”
Outside of getting your hands on some thrifty goods, those who plan to attend Friday’s opening day festivities are also likely to take home some giveaways. The first two hundred customers will receive a Goodwill recyclable tote bag. The party really starts at 4pm, with DJs from C89.5 FM spinning live and fun prizes in free drawings every half hour after that until close. Purchases at Goodwill stores support Goodwill’s free job training. They’ll have retail students on site opening day in addition to the 40 individuals the new location already employs.
And lastly, Goodwill Capitol Hill is accepting donations from the community. If you plan on stopping by to do some shopping, grab that bag of used goods you’ve been meaning to get rid of before you head out the door.
The new Goodwill Capitol Hill is a CHS advertiser and is located at 115 Belmont Ave E. Hours are Mon – Sat, 9:00 am – 9:00 pm Sun, 10:00 am – 8:00 pm. You can learn more at seattlegoodwill.org.