Despite stormy economic seas, Whole Foods still set to anchor 17-story Broadway tower

The Danforth, still rising, its anchor Whole Foods, still coming to Broadway and Madison

The Danforth, still rising, its anchor Whole Foods, still coming to Broadway and Madison

As news broke this week that Whole Foods is pulling out of its plan for a new West Seattle store as part of nationwide cutbacks, CHS asked what about the company’s plans for The Danforth, the 16-story mixed-use building rising at Madison and Broadway.

A company spokesperson says plans have not changed for the Broadway store. “We are still on schedule to open our Capitol Hill store at the corner of Broadway and Madison in late 2018,” she tells CHS.

Danforth-Rendering-2-600x446That’s basically the same answer the company gave the Daily Journal of Commerce when they asked the question.

The West Seattle decision came after a series of delays on the project including a lengthy battle over an alley vacation.

At the corner where First Hill meets Capitol Hill where The Danforth will rise, construction began in late summer 2016. The project from Columbia Pacific Advisors passed design review in January 2016 and is planned to include a 40,000 square foot, two-story grocery store, 265 residential units, and 358 below grade parking spaces. Last June, CHS reported on the demolition of the three-story masonry medical building that stood at the tri-corner of Harvard, Broadway, and Madison since 1928. In November 2014, CHS broke the news that the national grocery chain was coming to the area. At the time, company representatives said the First Hill Streetcar line and proximity to First Hill’s hospitals and nearby Seattle University were important factors in choosing the Broadway and Madison location.

The development isn’t the only large grocery-focused development being planned for Broadway. In addition to hundreds of new apartments and a planned daycare facility, the Capitol Hill Station “transit oriented development” is also planned to include a major grocery when it opens around late 2019.

First Hill’s stretch of Madison, meanwhile, is getting ready for a new project to dig in with the demolition of the neighborhood McDonald’s to make way for a 17-story apartment tower.

With the presence of the popular grocery chain, the Danforth building is being marketed as a “stately” new part of the neighborhood with “luxury apartments.”  “As a name, The Danforth is stately and refined,” a developer representative told us last summer. “It speaks to the old world nature of First Hill and the permanence of the neighborhood, spotted with historic mansions and old growth street trees.”

The Danforth brand, meanwhile, is a nautical reference to a style of anchor. In addition to serving as a new landmark at an important connective corner, it sounds like the project will also be keeping its key anchor tenant — despite rough economic seas.

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8 thoughts on “Despite stormy economic seas, Whole Foods still set to anchor 17-story Broadway tower

  1. I wish them well, but Whole Foods is getting swamped by competition in the natural and organic sectors. My guess right now is Whole Foods ends up pulling out or reducing the square footage of the Danforth store.

  2. The Seattle area is probably a prime strategic move for the company given the recent population boom (I heard somewhere an increase of 1000 people per week are moving to the area!) and they have relatively few locations in the area.

  3. I hope they don’t pull out. The location in West Seattle has a Trader Joe’s, QFC, and Safeway within blocks of each other. Even though that area is going through a massive apartment building boom, I don’t think at the moment their would be enough foot traffic for a store there. There is also a PCC, Thriftway, and Metropolitan Market just a short distance from the proposed Whole Foods site.

  4. WF is a major investor in Instacart and their orders there are going through the roof. This location, much more than West Seattle, is likely looked at as a great hub for online ordering.

  5. I’m glad a whole foods is going in that spot on madison. the nearest grocery is that small QFC, and they keep cutting decent food choices from their inventory. I can only get about half of my shopping done there now.

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