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More pot coming to E Union?

From the real estate listing for the site: "NC2P-40 zoned 40x120 foot 4800 SF site in the heart of new development & Chic & Trendy mixed use buildings all around w/luxury apts & cute retail establishments. The adjoining property to the west to begin construction on a luxury apartment/retail building in December of 2014 (in just 6 months!) Development set to begin for the site across the street on the NW corner of 24th Ave/Union Street on the Keybank site. Construction already began on site 23rd/Union. Great development potential here!"

From the real estate listing for the site: “NC2P-40 zoned 40×120 foot 4800 SF site in the heart of new development & Chic & Trendy mixed use buildings all around w/luxury apts & cute retail establishments. The adjoining property to the west to begin construction on a luxury apartment/retail building in December of 2014 (in just 6 months!) Development set to begin for the site across the street on the NW corner of 24th Ave/Union Street on the Keybank site. Construction already began on site 23rd/Union. Great development potential here!”

Uncle Ike’s might soon have company. In the same week the 23rd and Union store became home to only the second retail marijuana shop operating in Seattle, CHS has learned that the I-502 lottery winner for a license to operate in the Central District has purchased a nearby property.

Mello Times owner John Branch has secured an E Union-facing storefront just down the Hill from Uncle Ike’s. According to King County records, Branch bought the 4,800 square-foot property in the 2400 block of E Union this week for $590,000.

The E Union building has served a variety of capacities over the years. Around five years ago, it transitioned from a restaurant to a mosque, according to city records. The Masjid Taqwa continues to hold services in the building, according to a phone message.

Branch, a Seattle attorney, has been mostly mum about his plans for the business and has not responded to CHS inquires about whether he plans to transfer his I-502 permit to the new location. The state liquor board does allow lottery winners to work with the state on changing locations.

In May, Branch told CHS that the process to setting up the shop was going smoothly and he was simply taking his time. If and when it opens, Mello Times would join Uncle Ike’s as the only other retail pot shop in central Seattle.

On Tuesday, Uncle Ike’s officially opened for business after a soft opening on Saturday. Unlike Uncle Ike’s owner Ian Eisenberg, Branch was one of the 21 people in Seattle to win a I-502 retail permit during the May lottery.

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38 thoughts on “More pot coming to E Union?

  1. Pingback: ICYMI: Thursday, October 12 | Meanwhile, In Seattle...

  2. Please tell me he’s going to tear this shithole down? At least Uncle Ike’s store looks presentable. The last thing this intersection needs is a half-dozen pot shops in ramshackle old buildings that could be done in by a strong wind. To say nothing of going up in a puff of smoke.

  3. We live in the neighborhood and will put up a huge fight if this POS building is not torn down and replaced with something decent. It’s good for everyone to remember that we as citizens can make these guys lives miserable if they don’t focus on good quality design and a well branded business like Uncle Ikes has done.

    • You planning to “protest” on the corner of 23rd & Union like the rest of the clowns out there already?

    • Oh please, so you live in the neighborhood and apparently think the building was perfectly fine to function as a mosque, but isn’t aesthetically suitable enough for the role of yuppie pot shop – to the point they you’re threatening intimidation and harassment….

      • Nobody said it was attractive now either. No two ways about it– that bldg is fugly. We’re just willing to cut more slack to a not-rich, mostly immigrant congregation that to a businessman who can probably afford better.

    • Look, the pot was already in your neighborhood. At least now the home owners will be benefiting from all the taxes generated from this billion dollar industry. if the retailor did not buy the property what would it look like…the same! Your neighborhood needs a lot of help just look around you. Having a lot of money being generated by these retailors will only improve your neighborhoods over time. Pot heads don’t commit the crimes anyway.

  4. Personally keeping my fingers crossed some more food options will come in following these pot stores, looking to capitalize on munchie seeking stoners…

  5. We also live in the neighborhood and agree the expectation that the building needs upgrading to fit in with the others in or planned for the area. Also, another pot shop is definitely NOT what is needed in the neighborhood.

    • Weird, I live a block away and I say bring it on, despite the fact I won’t be a customer. Ike’s has no shortage of consumers, from what I’ve seen these past couple days.

      Why do some of y’all neighbors prefer vacant lots and empty shells of buildings instead of actively-operating legal open businesses?

  6. I would note that the building is not at all empty. It is very actively used as a place of worship throughout the week. Personally I’d rather it remain as is rather than covert to a second pot shop but I assumed when it went for sale that was likely to change. Anyways, seems like overkill to have two shops but it is the only place zoned for these shops in Central Seattle, which is completely absurd.

  7. But there are multiple bars, coffee cafes, and beer bodega shops already in the area of 23rd + Union in close proximity.

    If those businesses can make it work, why not the pot stores too?

    • The skepticism you’re seeing is about the prospective customers, not the viability of the business. Nobody but a fool doubts the pot shop will have shitloads of customers.

      • What’s wrong with all the customers that have been going in and out of Ike’s all week? Any problems that are actual instead of prospective?

        Why are you afraid?

      • So, you’re assuming any crime that might occur around these stores would’ve instantly materialized within the first 3 days of opening? And if it hasn’t yet, it never will? Yes, of course. That makes sense.
        For the record, I was commenting on the skepticism people have expressed. I didn’t necessarily say I agreed with it. I’m not even going to waste time speculating on it. Everyone believes what they believe anyway.

      • Duh. It would not be the pot customers, but people preying on pot customers many of whom be carrying cash. Or marketable pot after they’ve bought it.

      • Customers getting robbed is a legit concern for sure, especially around here. But all of us in the CD and Cap Hill and Downtown etc. face the real threat of getting jumped for our phones anyway.

        If you’re carrying anything valuable you’d better watch out in the city no matter what. This isn’t anything new that’s happened because of pot shops.

  8. Ike doesn’t need to wait until Mello Times opens for some company. Walking home from work on Tuesday night, I saw two guys dealing in the parking lot of the gas station at 23rd and Union. They were actively soliciting a guy who was already pretty stoned.

      • Sorry Spiffy, if you are trying to make a point, your welcome is over 25 years too late. I’ve lived in this neighborhood a long time and have seen the corner at 23rd and Union go from being completely overrun by gang activity, to being almost empty, to being full of people loitering and openly smoking pot (to be fair this is mostly in the Post Office parking lot) to what could now be the re-start of active dealing. You also missed the point of my comment. If people are dealing across the street from his establishment, Ike has company. There is not much to dispute there.

    • So much for the false argument that pot legalization will undercut the black market. Not gonna happen….the price differential is too much.

      • Yep. Just like cigarettes and booze. There’s no market for something people can make at home offered for sale with 50% or so markup going to the state. Who wants wide selection in well-lit stores, protection of police and courts, health regulations, labeling of content, lack of social stigma, etc.? People will stick with the bootleggers for sure.

      • Point taken, Phil. But I still think that for a lot of people a much lower price will trump all the things you mention. Time will tell. I’d like nothing better than the black market going out of business.

      • Probably so, at least initially, for the people who were already accustomed to paying more like $12/gram. That’s fine with me.

        I care far less about regulated sales undercutting the black market than I do about ending the process of imprisoning people for a victimless crime. If every single pot shop flopped and went out of business, I would still consider Alison Holcomb a hero.

        Prohibition has been a miserable failure. It can’t end fast enough.

      • So, your saying that cigarettes and alcohol manufacturers are going out of business? Gheesh, just wait, the state will have to decrease their 33% tax rate. The feds take 25%, think about it, that’s a 58% price burden on the industry right now. Things will level out.

  9. Pingback: ‘Shut it down’ — Rally, prayer against I-502 marijuana shop Uncle Ike’s at 23rd and Union | CHS Capitol Hill Seattle

  10. This is a very colorful spectrum here, about the whole: pro Weed Shop vs. Anti Weed Shop and the advent of ‘race’, gentrification, potential crime and the “much-to-do-about-nothing”. You have the Black-side and their case, the White-side and their say, the Gray-side being the real-time (and I welcome it) Gentrification sweeping over the CD and, last but not least..Green, as in, it’s all about MONEY.

    In my 10yrs owning our home here in the CD (behind U.I.’s), I too have seen this very hotly contested area, steadily evolve on a positive uptick and with times being what they are, social economic shifts will continue to change the landscapes from what they once were to the ones that they’ll surely become. With the coming additions of mixed-use Retail/Residential projects in the the very near future, you best believe that the people who’ll occupy these dwellings will undoubtedly be prime patrons of this particular area in the CD as the life-style will dictate it. They want to be in the midst of it all. Who are we talking about here? A growing younger demographic with the money, means and motivation to live life on their own terms.
    In another 10yrs, I believe the Central District will have come be yet another chapter in the ever-changing lexicon that this area has undergone already over the last 60+ yrs. Change and Fear are the 2 most effective triggers that prompt our primordial ‘fight or flight response’. Funny how they both play off each other. I for one can’t wait until this area is just rife with vibrant restaurants, shops and entertainment venues. I’m passed the whining and vitriol against “change”…it is a-coming, it can not be stopped..progress, time and money won’t let it. So get with the times, keep pace or get left behind in the past—a place where some around here are still stuck.

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