The redevelopment of E Union continues and the change means a neighborhood auto repair shop is going out of business.
Lopez Auto Repair closed last week. Owner Daniel Lopez has owned the auto shop for almost six years, he said, and spent the week cleaning out his business. He declined to discuss specifics citing legal issues but noted the body shop was not relocating.
“I’m going out of business,” he told CHS.
Lopez said he had agreed to hand the keys over June 4. On the morning of June 3, he was scrambling to move equipment out of the building on the site and find a tow truck to move vehicles.
The property at the corner of 21st Ave E and E Union adjacent to Chuck’s Hop Shop was sold for $1.05 million in November to Mount Baker, LLC. State business records list the company “lessors of residential buildings and dwellings.” The company is owned by Ian Eisenberg as the owner of Uncle Ike’s Pot Shop continues to invest in real estate in the area around 23rd and Union. Uncle Ike’s is a CHS advertiser.
Eisenberg said he bought the property with an eye toward redevelopment.
While it could be commercial only, mixed-use, with some sort of commercial on the ground floor and residential over it, is likely for the location. Any actual construction, Eisenberg said, is years away, so he hasn’t worked out the particulars.
The real estate investor and entrepreneur has remained a steady force in land deals near the CD-Capitol Hill borders. Last year, Eisenberg sold property on the southwest corner of 23rd and Union to developers for $3.8 million. At 15th and Republican on Capitol Hill, Eisenberg snatched up an I-502 pot shop-friendly property earlier this year booting out a longtime veterinary clinic in the process. Angel’s Shoe Repair is also losing its lease at 15th and Republican as a potential Eisenberg competitor prepares to open a pot shop this summer.
There will need to be some clean-up of the property. Eisenberg said he had environmental testing done on the property, and said the underground tanks of the former gas station are in good shape. However, he said there seems to be some surface contamination, owing to the work done at the auto shop.
This week, the pavement around the former auto shop was painted with lines. It will serve as a paid parking lot in the interim.
The blocks around 23rd and Union are busy with construction and more is on the way. A six-story mixed-use project from Lake Union Partners is nearing completion on the southwest corner of 23rd and Union. Across the street on the northwest corner, the same developers plan another six-story project on the site now home to a gas station. Construction is underway on this 24th and Union four-story. Capitol Hill Housing is planning its four-story affordable apartment project across the street. The longtime landowner of the Midtown Center block on the southeast corner of 23rd and Union continues to search for a buyer for the land hoped to be developed in the future as community-friendly retail and housing. Meanwhile, once it makes it through design review, this four-story project will rise at MLK and Union.