Capitol Hill: Land of Seattle’s new ‘marketplaces’

Chophouse Row was full at its June 2015 grand opening (Image: CHS)

Chophouse Row was full at its June 2015 grand opening (Image: CHS)

There’s a nice portrait of two of Pike/Pine’s freshest preservation-friendly developments in the latest New York Times trends piece on Seattle’s new “marketplaces”:

Building on Seattle’s history of farmers’ markets and a strong food culture, new marketplaces are showcasing the local and unique, offering many choices for shopping, eating and connecting. For residents and tourists alike, these vibrant markets have become destinations all their own.

Liz Dunn’s Chophouse Row opened last June on 11th Ave between Pike and Union complete with high-tech office tenants above while here’s our coverage on the early efforts from Jerry Everard to redevelop the Central Agency building at 10th and Seneca which opened in late 2014. Both are now chock full of food and drink options and a few small niches of retail.

Both will also likely face the realities of small business.

The NYT doesn’t touch on the recent coverage of problems at the city and Capitol Hill’s original new-era marketplace, Melrose Market:

CHS spoke with Russ Flint of Rain Shadow and he says he is looking into working with SDOT’s Capitol Hill Construction Hub to address the current problems around street parking but said that he’s surprised the city expects business owners to take the lead on these kinds of problems. “Why are we policing construction workers?” Flint asked.

Dunn’s Melrose Market, of course, is the development that proved what Chophouse Row and Central Agency would work. The issues around small merchants struggling to stay in business inside the development are likely also proof that some tenants will struggle and close even “There’s a synergy by having places play off each other,” as Everard is quoted saying in the Times travel piece.

There’s hope. At Melrose, Flint told CHS last week he was just beginning to wend his way through City Hall’s offices to connect with new services put in place to help existing merchants better navigate the city’s ongoing waves of development. And cheesemonger Sheri LaVigne might be closing her Melrose Market cheese counter but she’s not shutting Calf and Kid down. Watch for her retail counter to reopen inside her 12th Ave cheese bar, Culture Club — located in the street-level retail space below, of all things, a Capitol Hill microhousing development. Watch for a NYT trend piece on that, soon.

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