Another domino has finally clicked into place in the massive grocery cart shuffle game playing out in major developments across Capitol Hill and the Central District. As expected, Portland-based New Seasons has announced it will, indeed, be anchoring the Lake Union Partners-backed project on the northwest corner of 23rd and Union.
“The Central District is such a wonderful neighborhood, rich in history and culture. We are honored to join and serve this community,” New Seasons CEO Wendy Collie said in an announcement on the project Friday morning. “As a neighborhood grocer, we pride ourselves on creating gathering places that honor and reflect the culture of their communities, where everyone feels welcome to share delicious food, enjoy conversation and connect with one another.”
New Seasons is also interested in holding down the anchor grocer slot in the development projects set to arise around Capitol Hill Station. The grocer planned to open its first Seattle location in Ballard this year. Labor groups have opposed the company’s expansion to Seattle citing “an anti-union climate” at the company.
The under-construction East Union building the New Seasons will call home is the second of three developments for Lake Union Parters at the corners of 23rd and Union. In May, the developer announced a pact with Africatown and Forterra on a $23.25 million inclusive development deal for the Midtown Center land on the southeast corner.
While it seems unlikely the Midtown project will move forward with any sort of grocery project, Central Seattle continues to be a popular target for the industry. At 23rd and Jackson where Vulcan will be redeveloping the Promenade 23 properties including demolition of the neighborhood’s Red Apple there is yet another opportunity. A community-focused “Clean Greens” program is reportedly geared up to help keep the area supplied with healthy produce in the meantime. Meanwhile, at Broadway/Madison, Whole Foods is still on track for a 2018 opening despite rocky economic times for the nationwide chain and an acquisition by retailing giant Amazon.
The full New Season 23rd and Union announcement is below.
NEW SEASONS SET TO SERVE SEATTLE’S CENTRAL DISTRICT
WITH 100 NEW NEIGHBORHOOD JOBS
The Friendliest Store in Town Ready to Welcome All Neighbors
SEATTLE, Wash. – Sept. 15, 2017 – New Seasons Market today announced plans to open a nearly 18,000-square-foot store at the corner of 23rd and E. Union St. in late 2018, bringing 100 new jobs to the neighborhood. The Central District will be the third Seattle-area location for the community-oriented grocer known as “the friendliest store in town.” In addition to its Mercer Island store, New Seasons will also open in Ballard next year.
“The Central District is such a wonderful neighborhood, rich in history and culture. We are honored to join and serve this community,” said New Seasons Market CEO Wendy Collie. “As a neighborhood grocer, we pride ourselves on creating gathering places that honor and reflect the culture of their communities, where everyone feels welcome to share delicious food, enjoy conversation and connect with one another.”
The Central District New Seasons will open in a mixed-use project developed by Seattle-based Lake Union Partners. New Seasons and Lake Union Partners are committed to serving the needs of all community members in this rapidly changing area. Lake Union Partners recently announced a historic partnership with Africatown and Forterra for redevelopment of the Midtown Center, located directly across the street from the New Seasons location.
“We feel very fortunate to work with Lake Union Partners on this location,” added Collie. “They are a true champion of inclusive development and are dedicated, as we are, to building a shared prosperity for all.”
New Seasons, ranked #3 on Forbes’ 2017 list of America’s Best Midsize Employers, plans to partner with the Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle to hire 100 people from the neighborhood to work at the new Central District location. The company offers progressive compensation and benefits programs including flexible lifestyle scheduling, training and advancement opportunities, and a 20 percent staff discount. A unique “speak up” culture encourages staff to take part in decisions that affect them and fosters a safe and thriving workplace.
“We’re looking forward to supporting the opening of this store in one of Seattle’s most diverse neighborhoods, which we’ve served for more than 90 years. The Urban League’s focus on education and economic opportunity align well with New Season’s values,” said Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle Vice President Michelle Merriweather. “We’re pleased to have New Seasons join the Central District, as they’ve proven themselves to be truly committed community partners.”
The world’s first Certified B Corp grocer, New Seasons is known for its long-term, inclusive relationships with staff, vendors and community partners. The company gives back 10 percent of after-tax profits to the communities they serve, supporting organizations that help feed the hungry, educate youth and protect the environment. And through its Lend-a-Hand volunteer program, it encourages staff to share their time and talent with local non-profit organizations, building a culture and commitment to community service.
“Our staff are the heart and soul of our company. We’re committed to taking care of our people so they can take care of our customers, bring their best every day, and lead happy, healthy lives,” Collie added.
True to its passion for nurturing the regional food economy, New Seasons will offer local, organic foods alongside everyday grocery classics like Pepsi and Cheerios. Fresh, seasonal produce and sustainable meat and seafood offerings are emphasized in a selection that also includes plentiful choices for specialty diets, home goods from local artisans, wellness and body care products, a full-service floral department, and a curated selection of beer and wine. New Seasons expansive selection of chef-prepared deli options will be available to enjoy in one of the stores’ gathering spaces or to grab on the go.
“New Seasons is a grocer with heart, committed to listening and meeting the needs of this neighborhood,” said Patrick Foley of Lake Union Partners. “We share the goal of creating a neighborhood grocery that builds long-term community relationships and is welcoming to all at 23rdand E. Union St. We can’t wait for the doors to open.”
About New Seasons Market
New Seasons Market is a West Coast neighborhood grocer with a people-first culture that builds and sustains relationships for the greater good.The world’s first B Corp grocery store, the company places as much value on taking care of its staff, its community and the environment as it does on growing and operating its business, resulting in genuine relationships between staff, vendors and customers. A respected champion of the regional food economy, it partners with farmers, ranchers and producers to deliver the best of the region, and pairs local, organic favorites with grocery classics to offer customers choice, value and flexibility. New Seasons started with a single store in Portland, Ore., in 2000 when three families and 50 friends united over shared values. Together with its 4,000 plus welcoming staff, New Seasons offers a unique retail experience in which communities come together to realize the potential of a healthy, sustainable food system. New Seasons has 21 neighborhood stores in Washington, Oregon and California, as well as four New Leaf Community Market locations in Northern California, and commits 10 percent of its after-tax profits back to the communities it serves. For more information visit www.newseasonsmarket.com.