(Image: Lowrider Baking Company)
The logo of Lowrider Baking Company, a new Central District cookie counter shop, may feature a large wiener dog but its cookies are for humans only.
“It was just a way to combine my obsession with my dogs and my obsession with cookies,” says Lowrider founder and owner Emily Allport, who owns two dachshunds, Smokey and Riley. Now, she also owns a cookie-only bakery space and walk-up counter in The Stencil building on 24th and Union, located in the former Street Treats retail space. Lowrider Baking Company will officially open May 11th.
For two years, Lowrider has been a popular pop-up presence at farmer’s markets and some coffee shops in the South End. In October of last year, Allport made her cookie operation more permanent with a trailer in the Georgetown Trailer Park Mall. There, the bakery has a sign that says “COOKIES,” and in parentheses, “for humans”, though Allport says that “99.9% of the time there is no confusion.” Continue reading
At a meeting Thursday at the Garfield Community Center, a United States Postal Service representative, flanked by Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant, laid out two likely Central District options for permanently replacing the former location on 23rd Ave vacated as a major housing and retail development moves in.
“We know that post offices are a vital part of any healthy community,” Sawant said before quickly pivoting to the issue of high rents and displacement. Her staffers were handing out packets on her rent control proposal prior to the meeting. Continue reading
The exodus of a Black church from its Central District home is moving forward. The Mount Calvary Christian Center has put its third of an acre property home to its house of worship at 23rd and Union on the market for $4.5 million.
“Rare opportunity for land in the Central District commercial corridor. Zoned NC2P-75, this site allows for mixed use opportunities not easily found in this high demand neighborhood with vast amounts of pedestrian access,” the description from the Bascomb Real Estate Group listing reads. “Subject consists of two parcels and provides an opportunity for a full range of expansive projects with the value in the land; bring your investors, architects & builders, and take advantage of having a presence in the heart of the city. Buyer to verify land use requirements.” Continue reading
The Liberty Bank Building, what many hope will be a model for equitable, affordable development in Seattle, will celebrate its opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony Saturday in the Central District.
Liberty Bank Building Ribbon Cutting Celebration
Saturday’s party will include live music and performances, and food.
Named to honor the region’s first Black-owned bank that once stood at the corner, the six-story, 115-unit affordable housing development is a collaboration between Capitol Hill Housing, Africatown, The Black Community Impact Alliance, and Byrd Barr Place. Continue reading
The redevelopment of Midtown Center and the most significant thrust in the wave of change transforming 23rd and Union can finally move forward toward a start of construction later this year.
The design review board has given its final blessings to the plans for Midtown: Public Square, a three-piece, seven-story apartment development with more than 400 apartment units, a quasi-public central plaza, and underground parking for around 250 vehicles set to rise above the land home to the old shopping center.
In December, the project was kicked back in the design process over concerns about the large installations of art panels hoped to help the project better reflect the culture and the history of the Central District. Continue reading
Moises and Bernardo
Moises Santos is a 24-year-old programmer, food truck designer, and immigrant from Oaxaca, Mexico. His food truck holds down what seems like prime territory — the pot purchasing and stoner friendly parking lot at the Central District’s Uncle Ike’s. The truck is not run like a pipe dream but, instead, puts to use a fat pipe of bandwidth and crunches datasets of Seattle to make business decisions like how much carne asada he might serve up on a Tuesday.
“We’re a pretty innovative culture, we’re hardworking people,” Santos tells CHS as he stands by a corn roaster of his own design.
While the corn roaster is a first run concept, the food truck is a state-of-the-art restaurant on wheels that took two years to design and manufacture.
“It’s an artificial intelligence food truck,” Santos said. Continue reading
Mount Calvary is selling land across the street on 23rd Ave for $2.8 million that will be the start of its plans to find a new home away from 23rd and Union
A $2.8 million real estate listing is a harbinger of things to come at 23rd and Union. The Mount Calvary Christian Center, which unsuccessfully battled the neighboring Uncle Ike’s pot shop in court, is beginning the process of finding a new home closer to the areas where most of its congregation now lives.
“We’re still very much a part of the community,” Nicole Bascomb of Bascomb Real Estate Group and a member of Mount Calvary tells CHS, “and we’re going to be there for a while.”
But change has begun. Bascomb, daughter of longtime Central District real estate agent Paul Bascomb, has listed her church’s Joshua Generation Teen Center property on the west side of 23rd Ave across from Mount Calvary for $2,824,250. Continue reading
Alex Kostelnik is getting out of the e-bike biz
One of the more future-looking retail ventures in the area is calling it quits. Here is why Electric Lady, the Central District e-bike shop in a building part of the wave of new development at 23rd and Union, is going out of business.
“(T)he business is doing well financially, but he is not enjoying the work needed to navigate what he sees as an unreliable industry where companies start up, go under, fire staff and get bought constantly,” the Seattle Bike Blog writes aboutowner Alex Kostelnik’s decision.
But Kostelnik tells SBB he was also having trouble connecting with his customers:
“They’re first time riders, but they’re not first time riders that are stepping up to the plate to hear about the community or join the community. They’re sort of strange outsider, know-it-all lonely people who aren’t really part of our community, and I don’t know where to begin with them.”
It’s not all sour grapes. Kostelnik will continue to run 20/20 Cycles just up the E Union hill and plans to include some electric bike models in his inventory. Continue reading
It’s almost moving day for Earl Lancaster
After nearly 30 years of business, Earl’s Cuts and Styles won’t be cutting hair in the Midtown Center at 23rd and Union after this weekend. But its new home across the way in the Liberty Bank Building isn’t ready for the legendary barbershop just yet.
After Saturday’s final day of business in its original home, Earl’s is moving across the street to a temporary shop in The Central building. Earl Lancaster said he hopes the stay will be short and that he should be in his new shop in the Liberty Bank Building by the end of March. Continue reading
As much as some neighbors may be looking forward to the demolition of the old Midtown Center shopping strip at 23rd and Union, the end isn’t much to celebrate. You can feel the missing systematic safety net for Seattle’s small businesses as one small shop owner struggles to sort out what comes next. Other changes will be inconvenient and, for some, further evidence that Seattle — and the Central District — is tossing aside community elements as it reaches for continued growth and development.
“Please help me. Please don’t forget about me,” Saad Ali pleads. The owner of the 99 Cents Plus store in the now mostly vacant shopping center is happy to finally hear from a journalist. Attention from Seattle City Council member Kshama Sawant has helped, he says, but it hasn’t helped him find a new place to move his store or any opportunities for grants or financial assistance to weather the change. More useful, he says, has been recent conversations with a few officials from City Hall who are looking into ways to help Ali move.