Developer says return of City Market in the plans for seven-story E Olive Way development

Developers working on the project to create a new seven-story, mixed-use building at the site of Capitol Hill’s City Market say the popular corner store is part of the plan.

“I am happy to report that City Market will be coming back into the new building,” Charlie Bauman of developer Barrientos Ryan tells CHS. “We are excited to be working with them to integrate their new store into the development.”

 

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CHS has not been able to reach City Market ownership about the project.

CHS reported Tuesday on the early plans from Barrientos Ryan and architecture firm Caron to redevelop the property home to the 100-year-old, auto row-era building home to the busy neighborhood grocery market and deli and its sibling laundromat next door.

Wednesday brings hopeful news following the expected outcry from neighbors and fans of the store.

Bauman said it is too early to say whether the old building’s facade might be preserved in the project. “We are still too early to have an idea of what the design might look like,” Bauman said. “This will be closely studied by the design team and we welcome community input when we begin holding out outreach meetings.”

While the announcement will be welcomed by customers concerned about losing the store, optimism should be tempered. Plans for longtime businesses to return to their locations after major redevelopment have been hit or miss in recent efforts across Capitol Hill. The challenge of either moving to a new, short-term location or closing down for years mixed with what can often be a more expensive leasing environment in new construction has knocked a few hoped reunions off track. One successful example is Bill’s Off Broadway which reopened at Pine and Harvard in 2015 after a two-year hiatus. On the other end of things, B&O Espresso was lined up to return to the mixed-use development that replaced its longtime home but ended up moving to Ballard instead.

The most disappointing failed reunion may have been Bauhaus. The painful news that its block was lined up to be gobbled up by a massive redevelopment was tempered in 2012 with the announcement the much loved coffee shop had a deal to return to the corner of Melrose and Pine once construction was complete. But after moving to a new Pine location and in the midst of financial troubles, Bauhaus also ended up leaving the Hill completely in late 2015. Bauhaus, by the way, has now returned in a smaller incarnation on Harvard Ave.

Right now, the news is good for City Market’s future along E Olive Way. Developers are hoping the project can move forward to begin construction in about two years.

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