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Despite pullback on expansion, New Seasons plans to open Central District store in 2019

With a backdrop of corporate drama and shifting expansion strategies, Portland-based New Seasons tells CHS it remains committed to expanding to Seattle and opening a new grocery store in the Central District:

New Seasons remains excited to open the 23rd and Union location. Our plan is to open the store in 2019. We’ve already been working with a Central District Advisory Council (business leaders, local nonprofit representatives and neighborhood council members who serve the Central District) to understand the needs of the neighborhood.

As part of announcements this week that CEO Wendy Collie was stepping down, the company announced it will pull out of its plans for new stores in California.

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When it opens in 2019, the new CD New Seasons will occupy around 18,000 square feet of retail space below 144 market-rate apartments in the The Central, the mixed-use building currently under construction on the northwest corner of 23rd and Union.

The company continues to face pressure from labor groups opposed to the non-union chain’s expansion to Seattle. Lake Union Partners, the firm developing the project, has voiced support for its choice of anchor tenant for the project. “We have a signed lease with New Seasons and we are excited about the positive attributes they will bring to the neighborhood, including more than 100 local, competitive-wage jobs,” partner Patrick Foley told CHS in December. “We interviewed a number of union stores for this location including Metropolitan Market, and PCC as well as a non-union store in Ken’s Market of Phinney Ridge neighborhood, all of which declined for their own business reasons.”

New Seasons said it is also staying on track to open its first Seattle store later this year in Ballard. “We delayed the opening to provide time to ensure our solid understanding of the neighborhood and surrounding community,” New Seasons said in a statement sent to CHS. “It’s important to us to give every store the support needed to meet the needs of each community and thrive successfully.” The Ballard store is expected to open this spring.

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