Developers behind a project at northwest corner of 23rd and Union tell CHS that New Seasons Market has expressed an interest in taking over the future building’s 18,000-square-foot ground-level retail space. No leases have been signed and New Seasons declined to comment about any specific locations the company was scouting except to say that it was excited about the prospect of landing near Capitol Hill. The grocer is opening its first Seattle location in Ballard next year.
The Lake Union Partners project at 2220 E Union will replace the intersection’s gas station, community garden area, and former boxing gym with a six-story, 144-unit “market -rate apartment building” planned to stand 65-feet tall includes underground parking.
The main retail space will be geared for a small format grocer, said Lake Union Partners principal Pat Foley. “When we started meeting with the neighborhood we heard that people wanted an independent market,” he said.
New Seasons received some public push back when it came out that the company was an early frontrunner to occupy the future development above the recently opened subway station at Broadway and Denny Way. News of the 19-store grocery chain coming to Seattle prompted a group of unions and advocacy organizations to send a letter to the Sound Transit Board saying they were concerned with “an anti-union climate” at the company. CHS recently reported on Central Co-op’s aspirations to takeover the anchor tenant space.
In a statement to CHS, New Seasons touted its B Corporation certification, focus on local and sustainable products, and above industry wages as evidence of its progressive values. “Capitol Hill is a vibrant community and we are excited by the potential of being part of the neighborhood,” the company said in a statement.
East Union is the second development for Lake Union Parters on 23rd and Union. After starting construction in May of 2014, six-story apartment development The Central is now open for new tenants on the southwest corner of the intersection. The corner retail space at The Central remains open after e-bike dealer Electric Lady opened in April and Squirrel Chops cafe+salon cafe+salon opens next door later this year. Foley said he envisions a family focused cafe or possibly a hardware store moving into the space.
Between the two projects, Lake Union will have spent $7.9 million on property alone to create around 240 apartment units, nearly 16,000 square feet of commercial space, and parking for some 160 cars.