Amazon Go, the company’s cashless, employee-less, checkout-less, quick mart concept is now out of the alpha-beta grocery phase and has been unleashed on the real world of 7th Ave to solve your snacking needs. Check-in with your phone, let the shelf’s weight sensors log your selections like the world’s largest minibar, and be on your way.
It’s possible we might see one next on E Pike. Expect a wait.
A year ago, CHS reported on the clues that the Seattle-based retail giant is behind plans for a 10,000 square-foot retail space in the Mercedes Benz dealership-turned AVA Capitol Hill development in the 600 block of E Pike. In spring of 2015, CHS reported on the 10,437-square-foot space being lined up for a secret retailer in the Avalon-developed building. By summer of 2016, CHS learned that the project was a grocery store thanks to a complaint filed against the project’s scale, since resolved. One of the firms involved in the project’s design, Pepin Associates, has worked on groceries including Big Y and Price Chopper Supermarkets. Meanwhile, the Amazon senior program manager included in City of Seattle filings on the project worked on the University Village Amazon bookstore and the launch team for Amazon Go, according to his Linked In profile.
The company, unsurprisingly, has never responded to our inquiries about the project and the space remains almost exactly as it did when CHS first reported the news last January. A peek inside shows the start of a retail build-out, apparently stopped midstream.
Property owners in the area who have talked with people working on the plans but who did not want to go on the record about the store tell CHS we’re on the right path, the company just works on a timeline much different than you might normally see for a neighborhood project. Amazon has a major investment in the area to digest — in the time since we reported on Amazon’s retail aspirations in Pike/Pine, the company acquired Whole Foods. The grocery chain remains on track to open its store at Broadway and Madison in late 2018.
Amazon is definitely geared up for more Amazon Go and related activity — the company is hiring.
Meanwhile, groceries remain a growth industry in the increasingly dense areas around Capitol Hill, the Central District, and First Hill with large chains vying to anchor some of the largest coming developments.
So, how long before we see some sort of Amazon grocery store on E Pike? It could be awhile. Expect another CHS update *next* January. According to the most recent activity for the property filed in September, the construction permit for “initial tenant improvements for new (retail store) in an existing mixed use building” expires in February 2019.
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