A ‘complex’ map of the future Pike Motoworks project’s thousands of square-feet of retail
The Central Agency Building will soon be home to new projects from the folks behind Lark (Image: CHS)
Even the developers don’t know exactly what to call it.
“I don’t want to use the ‘M’ word,” said Wolff Co.’s Greg Van Patten as he described to CHS the massive retail component planned for the under-construction Pike Motorworks project.
“Basically, there is a passthrough/walkway straight up the middle. On the left side, some kind of eating and drinking establishment. On the right, a mix of other users. That’s kind of the goal for all retail. To have something that will generate that buzz and that activity,” the developer said.
It is not, at least in the late 20th Century traditional sense, a mall.
Like the plan at Pike Motorworks, this complex development goal is being played out across the Hill in a handful of significant projects where the interplay between retail tenants is tightly woven and planned as a cohesive identity.
“I think the appeal of grouping a bunch of smaller creative tenants under one roof is twofold,” Capitol Hill-based developer Liz Dunn says about the complex trend which is also playing out in her Chophouse Row project slated to be complete later this year on 11th Ave between Pike and Union. “It creates great synergies amongst the tenants — they can tune their offerings to complement each other. And it creates a very robust, diverse and complete experience for customers, which include in this case the office tenants in the building.”
“There seems to be a great ‘home away from home’ vibe that happens when there is a collection of tenants under one roof,” Dunn said.
She should know. Dunn is part of the team responsible for creating what many see as a major catalyst for this kind of retail development — Melrose Market. At the center of her new take on a Capitol Hill market at 11th Ave’s Chophouse Row will be a restaurant and juice bar from Ericka Burke of the Volunteer Park Cafe. But small complementary shops like this one planned by farm-to-table guru Kurt Timmermeister on the Row’s retail plaza and pedestrian alley — described as “an open market configuration along the street, alley and courtyard” – will be critical to the project’s success.