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Major QFC Harvard Market overhaul planned with big Amazon grocery coming to E Pike (and, hey, there’s going to be an Amazon Go First Hill)

Signage permit information for the First Hill Amazon Go

Amazon has announced it is indeed opening a new store on the Hill… First Hill!

Meanwhile, CHS has learned about a major project planned by QFC to prepare its Pike at Broadway Harvard Market store for competition from Amazon’s so far unannounced but under construction supermarket down the street.

First, on CHS, you’ll want to read the comments., CHS commenter FirstHillFirst broke the news last week that a new Amazon Go shop is coming to 1001 Minor Ave in “luxury” apartment building The Perry. A check of the city’s permit records showed FHF knows their stuff. Monday, Amazon included the store in its announcement of new openings “coming soon.”

Second, with the larger than usual, onetime planned to be store #1 Amazon grocery store under construction on E Pike, QFC isn’t waiting around for the competition. City permit filings show the grocery giant is readying a plan for a major overhaul of its 46,000-square-foot Harvard Market store. With a base construction budget of around $1.65 million, expect some major changes but a company spokesperson says the plan is for the grocery to remain open during construction and that there will be more details on the planned changes to come.

Meanwhile, don’t get too excited about another, smaller construction project at QFC’s other Broadway store. Yes, there are new doors installed on the grocery’s notoriously shuttered backside — but they’re not for every day use. “The new doors on the back corner of the store are closed permanently and are only available for emergency use,” a company spokesperson says.

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14 thoughts on “Major QFC Harvard Market overhaul planned with big Amazon grocery coming to E Pike (and, hey, there’s going to be an Amazon Go First Hill)

  1. That QFC may need an overhaul, but it really needs 24/7 security outside. That corner has gotten downright frightening.

    • It is a cesspool and getting worse. The amount of harassment and solicitations one receives simply walking down broadway between Pike and Pine is enough to avoid the area entirely even when it means going out of your way.

      And this is in daylight. After dark the actual dangerous and not just incredibly disheartening and off putting stuff starts.

      It’s a cliche but as another person that moved here from NYC (and not a particularly great part) it’s stunning what Seattle and our police let go on on their major commercial thoroughfares.

      IMO simply enforcing a “no loitering” policy (with actual beat cops walking it) in that part of the Hill would do wonders.

      • Amazing how different two people’s experiences in the same place can be. I’ve walked that section of Broadway hundreds of times, both day and night, and have never had a bad experience.

  2. I feel bad for QFC, they are god store with quality product. Unfortunately they have to deal with all local detritus and unlawful activity in their premises. How is a business to be successful in this type of environment. We should all support them

  3. oh my dear lord. Have Amazon execs spent any time around the hospital zone on Madison? Stressed out of towners trying to hold it to together while family is in the hospital. what great targets for a cashierless humanless app driven store. But who am I to know, I just live here.

  4. Honestly, if they’d just open their Harvard St entrance, that’d be enough for me to keep shopping there and stay away from Whole Foods or the new Amazon store. Their main and now only entrance is always a bottleneck (hope there’s never a fire or people inside are screwed) and often blocked by all the hustlers and beggars.

  5. I was told by a QFC manager that we can expect remodels of the store every 2-3 years in the range of $1.5-2 Million. For all the problems the stores deal with they still are high revenue stores for them.

  6. Why I won’t be shopping at AmazonGo—in addition to the horrendous work conditions for fullfilment center employees, and other well documented human rights violations:
    – Amazon is the largest advertiser left on white supremacist site, Breitbart
    – Amazon still has a storefront for Infowars (helping monetize it and profit themselves)
    -Amazon regularly sells Nazi memorabilia (source: Sleeping Giants, 7/22/19)

    You have a choice and those choices determine the kind of community we create. We can do better.

    • Same. Other reasons for me include:

      – They spent millions to defeat a tax in Seattle that would have helped homeless people.
      – The fact that they could use their money and brain power to reduce their environmental impact but they don’t give a damn and keep producing all of those cardboard boxes. They could use boxes made of a sustainable material that can be picked up again by delivery drivers and used over and over but again, they don’t give a damn.

      • Sorry, Mimi, but the “head tax” was not defeated unilaterally by Amazon… went down because there was a groundswell of public opinion against it. And it’s doubtful that the tax would have “helped” homeless people….it would have been just throwing more money at the problem, with nothing to show for it.

  7. To what extent the anti-head tax movement was an actual “groundswell” or a ginned-up publicity stunt akin to the Brooks Bros. riot is debatable. There was something distinctly weird about that supposed grassroots uprising, because generally speaking, people do not, on their own initiative, come out and protest a tax they themselves will not have to pay. But whatever it was, there’s absolutely no denying the fact that Amazon dollars helped fuel it.

  8. Back on topic, one of the earlier QFC stories linked above took me to this one from 2010, the date of their last big redesign: It’s remarkable how many promises the company made back then were never fulfilled. There was no “burrito bar,” no pizzeria, no bistro, no new customer restrooms, etc. They upgraded their cheese counter and that was about it as far as new customer offerings. Maybe now they’re feeling enough competitive pressure to do some of those upgrades, but something tells me it will just be a facelift of the same old, same old (albeit with higher prices). Back before it was bought by Kroger in the late ’90s, QFC was truly a notch above Safeway, Albertson’s et al. but those days are long gone. Don’t expect miracles.