Expansion of Capitol Hill’s Phoenix Comics also an illustration of Broadway lease challenges

(Image: @jennykeery via Instagram)

Good news for one Broadway small business is balanced with yet another tough change for another.

With nearly 30 years of business on Capitol Hill under its belt, Perfect Copy and Print is again on a search for a new Capitol Hill home. Its exit will mean expansion for neighbor Phoenix Comics.

“It’s a bit of a leap of faith,” Phoenix owner Nick Nazar says. “We’re seeing a lot of growth.”

Now five years old, Phoenix Comics is ready to expand into the old Perfect Copy space, knocking out a wall and creating more room for board games, and gaming, Nazar said.

Nazar said construction is set to begin this week with hopes for a mid-September debut for the expansion in the 100-block Broadway E building just south of Dick’s Drive-in.

For Perfect Copy owner Asif Alvi, the situation has played out a little differently than he might have expected but the basic premise of his concerns about Broadway that came with the opening of Capitol Hill Station are true. Broadway rents have risen and landlords want to lock up longterm leases.

“I am very happy and proud to say yes, we are still here, but it was not easy. I saw a lot of casualties with this construction,” Alvi told CHS in 2016 as the new light rail facility was about to open.

Alvi was one of the 31 business owners around Broadway and Denny forced to relocate in 2008 when demolition began to make way for the Capitol Hill Station.

The 1927-built Broadway E building remains in the holdings of longtime real estate investor David Eskenazi.

In recent months, Perfect Copy was continuing with a month to month agreement for the Broadway space it moved into from its longtime Denny home, Alvi said. With the loss of the space, Perfect Copy is now shuttered as Alvi says he is searching for a new location on the Hill.

Alvi says that when it comes to the sometimes exorbitant upfront payments required to secure a new lease, he is at a major disadvantage to other types of businesses that don’t have the starting infrastructure costs of upgrading electrical and other systems required for a copy and print business.

At Phoenix Comics, Nazar says he understands Perfect Copy’s plight on a Broadway still recovering from years of transit construction and still in the middle of a major wave of redevelopment..

“I sympathize with [Perfect Copy]. With rising rents, it’s a lot harder to stay in business,” Nazar said. But he also knew he had to put what he had created at Phoenix Comics first for the business and for the shop’s customers as well as local writers and artists. “This is very exciting as a store owner. I’m really grateful to our awesome community for backing us,” he said.

Phoenix Comics is located at 113 Broadway E. You can learn more at phoenixseattle.com.

You can check in on Perfect Copy and Print and continue to utilize the business’s online services at printstores.com.

 

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3 thoughts on “Expansion of Capitol Hill’s Phoenix Comics also an illustration of Broadway lease challenges

  1. Sorry to see Perfect Copy and Print leaving Broadway! Asif – all the best to you as you look for a new space and plot the course forward. You were a great community partner and I always appreciated your generosity, insight, and support during your time on the Broadway BIA board.

  2. I used Perfect Copy when pressed for time but the customer service I received there was typically poor. Apparently the employees were given express permission to ignore people waiting at the counter to pay for their self-serve copies if they were doing other tasks. No eye contact, no “we’ll be right with you,” just a total lack of acknowledgment that I was even there. Won’t miss it much.

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