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Vulcan in evaluation agreement, eyeing Central District’s Promenade 23

Seattle real estate giant Vulcan has entered into an agreement to evaluate for purchase the property around 23rd and Jackson, home of the Promenade 23 and anchor businesses like Walgreens, Starbucks, AutoZone and Red Apple.

A spokesperson for the Paul Allen-backed company confirmed the agreement with CHS Tuesday afternoon after area businesses were informed of the process.

“We think it’s a really great area with a really rich cultural background,” the spokesperson said.

According the Vulcan representative, the evaluation process for the 6 acres on both sides of S Jackson shouldn’t take more than a couple months.Screen Shot 2015-12-15 at 2.30.32 PM

Long expected as a target for redevelopment, the wheels began turning a little faster for the area this summer when landowner Weingarten Realty applied to subdivide its Red Apple Market property into three parcels to allow for greater flexibility in securing retailers, a Weingarten spokesperson told CHS. Subdividing the plot was welcome news to groups like the Central Area Land Use Committee, which have been advocating for smaller-scale development around 23rd and Jackson. “Smaller building footprints create a more diverse urban environment, which is more pedestrian friendly and creates better streetscapes,” said Central Area LURC’s Jonathan Konkol. “I’d prefer to see more buildings, phased over time. That would create some variety and allow the buildings to age separately, rather than as a monolith.”

For Vulcan, the potential investment would add to the development company’s activity in the area after its massive investments in South Lake Union. At 123 Broadway, Vulcan’s first mixed-use foray into the transformation of Yesler Terrace is underway.

Meanwhile, there is strong community interest in developing 23rd and Jackson at a smaller, more pedestrian friendly scale. Earlier this year, neighborhood activists fought for a pedestrian designation for the section of Jackson.

Thanks to our favorite CD tipster for the tip on the agreement.

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36 thoughts on “Vulcan in evaluation agreement, eyeing Central District’s Promenade 23” -- All CHS Comments are held for moderation before publishing

  1. Dear Vulcan,

    Please recognize our community’s needs to

    1) Keep a grocery store here to anchor the neighborhood.
    2) Encourage minority owned small business entrepreneurship.
    3) Create pedestrian oriented businesses and streets.


    • Uh, HELLO. Besides the Red Apple, chain stores operate those retail spaces. Also, it’s racist to ask for Vulcan to encourage minority-owned businesses. That’s like saying, “hey, Vulcan, can you please have only white business owners and white renters living in your units? Please and thank you!”

      • FALSE. Encouraging minority-owned businesses is not racism. Racism is belief that the majority race is superior to the minority race. To create a strong community that honors the legacy and history of the Central District, we must encourage minority-owned business and entrepreneurship opportunities.

      • A land developer giving weight to one race of business owners over others is racism. Google “Affirmative Action” genius. You literally just said that landowners should “honor” the community by promoting certain races to own shops in the neighborhood. That is giving a racial preference for certain business owners. Sorry, but this is a capitalist society. This isn’t college. Landowners are not required (and in fact are forbidden) to give preference to certain potential renters of retail space because of their race. The fact that you don’t realize the problem I’m suggesting is telling of how ignorant the general population is.

      • There are as many ignorant people out side of the general population. There is Greed and hatred every where and it starts with many, many, many white people who think they deserve, are privaliged and no one else matters. The land owners may not be required to hire outside of their race and even if they were they wouldn’t. Most are haters. Haters do not win, (for long). it’s a greed mentality. It’s a we against them society, not an inclusion of all,people. Yet on man or race is pure anything. So trying to keep it Lilly white, better do some blood checks.?

      • First, there is only precieved majority and Minority. (We are all one weather you want to acknowledge that or not,) It’s the concept of being white and better. Whites have money and it appears that they want the inner city and the places many people have lived and thrived before money folk decided they want this neighbor hood. It sounds like you want us to think you want to help “Minority” business people, well we have heard that before. How do you plan to do that with encouragement and no help financially? Soon those who live in this neighborhood will be driven out by the high cost of living, property taxes and hatred.
        Most people living in the neighborhood have always welcomed and gotten along with people moving in this neighborhood, however, now those coming in act like we are invisible and do not belong here, want our homes, our desires do not matter and we are not being hired for jobs In the businesses opening up.
        Black young men have been put in jail for barely making it for selling $20. Bags of weed, now look who runs the weed shops.
        There is much injustice in this area. BUT its known by all and yet the people with the money wanting to drive out everyone else, will not stop until they have it like they want it, no one here but so called white people. Your day is coming, you can be sure of it. And you may not like it either. You may get to know what it feels like to be disregarded and disrespected.

      • Your point about the financial support is valid. I think that a great suggestion that could be brought to planning meetings are small business grants/loans, artist in residence, and other such programs that take a small amount out of the massive leases but can have a large impact. The urban form (small retail spaces like the one the bike shop there occupies) makes a difference too.

      • Really? When was the last time SPD actually arrested someone for pot? They’ve been vocal about decriminalization for some time.

        Also, maybe wait until something is legal before whining about getting arrested for it.

      • @Bailey, that’s correct, encouraging minority-owned businesses is not racism. However, racism is the belief that one’s own race is superior, REGARDLESS if their race is the majority or the minority of the population.

        If a community shifts from one demographic to another, as is what’s happening in the CD, it’s important that the new community recognizes important events and figures from previous generations. The CD was originally a predominately Jewish neighborhood, shifting to a predominately African American after WWII. Remembering and honoring these Jewish and African American heritages should be done through museums, road and memorial dedications, parks, land trusts, etc. NOT through the commercial development of strip malls.

    • As long as the red apple stays, I don’t care what happens to the rest of that area. Just please don’t take away the red apple.

  2. This is huge news. I really hope that Red Apple or another grocery store remains at this spot. Not only is it the only grocery store in the area, but the staff there are awesome and they play great music! A lot of folks get their meds at Walgreens too, so I hope that stays. I also know many people who pay bills and use the services at the city of seattle utilities office there. I hope Paul Allen maintains these important stores and listens to what the community needs and wants.

    Please let us know if you hear anything and thanks for keeping the neighborhood in the loop!

    • I agree we definitely need to keep a grocery store on that block, but can it be replaced with a better chain? Red Apple’s prices are ridiculously high for random items. A Safeway would be a more economical choice (and not a PCC/Whole Foods).

  3. If you want to get an idea of what will happen at this intersection now, take a look at the new PCC building in Columbia City, where studio apartments are $1800 a month. Vulcan wouldn’t even be interested in this site unless they thought they could upscale it, because it wouldn’t pencil out otherwise. Besides, how many people working at Vulcan have actually even been to the Central District for any reason other than to scout development opportunities? NONE. That’s how many. They should change their name to VAMPIRE or VULTURE.

    • It would be stupid business sense to obliterate a successful assortment of commercial businesses there, so all this worry about the Red Apple or the Walgreens disappearing is a bit silly. As for $1800 apartments– who cares if they DO add them? How many people live there now? None. As long as the businesses stay, the addition of new apartments could only help bring even more goods and services to a part of the CD that needs it. You people bitching about developers making a profit are living in some utopian fantasyland.

      • @Jim98122x… the article states, a realty firm has applied to split the Red Apple property up into three parcels, so how is a supermarket going to work in such a small space? Maybe it can go in elsewhere in the same development once plans are finalized.

      • There are plenty of examples in Seattle proper of housing projects built on top of grocery stores (23rd & Madison Safeway, QFC Broadway & Republican, etc).

      • So a developer should pay for housing out of their own pocket book?. This is an economy. Some people pay market prices still. We don’t quite live in a welfare state, despite the efforts of people in this city. Housing gets paid for either way: either people pay their own way in this world or they take from others to support their selfish lifestyle.

      • Poor you, one of the noble few paying their own way in the world. Such a privilege you have to be able to maintain such a selfless lifestyle and never questioning. It must be blissful in your bubble of pure acceptance of the market economy.

      • I would be ashamed of myself if I lived off of handouts and the fruits of other people’s labor. To each his own though. Maybe the hardworking among us will decide to work less hard and there won’t be anything for social justice warriors to steal from us.

  4. Accept it, developers of any type aren’t in the business of maintaining community and happiness. It’s not great, but this is the Seattle we live in now.

  5. I like the people at Red Apple but the owner has been raping and pillaging with those prices for years, but you guys act like it’s Vulcan that is that problem. The area is going to get redeveloped. That’s what happens to old decrepit developments when the city is growing and has aa strong economy. And yes, the poor will be forced out over time. Just like I can’t afford to live on the beach or drive a Ferarri. but those that bought a house will leave with a fat check to start somewhere new.

    • Red Apple is a small chain and doesn’t have the buying power that a larger chain would have, so the prices are slightly higher as a result. They have also, for years, served neighborhoods that had no other grocery. They are pretty much the only independently owned local chain aside from the coops etc. I’m sure it hasn’t been easy to stay solvent serving neighborhoods where the median income is between 25-30k annually. I’d rather give them money than Vulcan, but I’m sure Vulcan is getting plenty of our money in tax cuts and subsidies, and we don’t have any say in that. At least with Red Apple you can choose not to shop there.

    • Blah, even in jest using the word “raping” to describe a grocery store that is slightly more expensive than other grocery stores is ridiculous.

  6. Completely unfortunate that gentrification happens but the fact of the matter is that it does. Not just in Seattle but all over the country. Cities and communities are constantly changing and the CD wasn’t always an African American hub. I think we should subsidize the ethnic groups that lived there prior. Kidding.

    I grew up on Capitol Hill and would love to still live there but I can’t afford it anymore. I still want to live close to my family/friends so I moved to the CD. Didn’t realize that I was ruining someones way of life.

    What is the deal with everyone in Seattle feeling like they are getting screwed or that they’re not getting enough of a handout? Get a job and what you make will help dictate where you live. Get over yourself.

    • I have a job, a decently paying one even, and I can’t realistically afford to live on Capitol Hill. Since it sounds like maybe you’ve never lived outside of Seattle, let me spell it out for you: this shit is not going to end until all middle class people are priced out of the city (since it sounds like you don’t care about poor or Black people, let me make it applicable to you). See NYC and San Francisco. Part of what makes cities fun, interesting, exciting places to live is DIVERSITY and if you bulldoze over that you are left with a lot of…well, gross people like you. But whatever, soon enough you are going to be priced out too. Enjoy Kent. xoxo

      • LOL I’m a homeowner and good with money. But I’m sure you will enjoy Kent. Sorry you think I’m “gross” but you don’t even know me. Have a great holiday season asshole!

      • @R, being diverse AND earning an income that affords you to live in NYC, SF, or the “new” Cap Hill are not mutually exclusive. Stop acting like you are what makes the area so fun, interesting and exciting.

    • It’s always bizarre to hear when people complain when they don’t like others to bring up the negative impacts of gentrification and development, or the discriminatory and racist practices that existed, exist, and differentially impact the accumulation of wealth and property in this country, and that development consistently benefits certain groups to the displacement of others. But yeah…difficult to discuss these issues with folks whose responses always seem to be “stop complaining” or “get a job”.

      • Agreed. Intelligent conversations about anything just aren’t in vogue right now. (Have you seen the presidential race?) And, comment sections online really show the truth about humans. Foul creatures.

  7. Just put stuff there that the neighborhood will support. Don’t worry about people’s political agenda.

    An affordable, quality, grocery. A pharmacy. A cleaners. A place to get a coffee or a breakfast or a sandwich. The rest of it will figure itself out.