Bubbling to the surface years before this week’s opening, the first clues CHS discovered that retail giant Amazon was planning a new grocery store on Capitol Hill were small: city paperwork with project manager names and shell companies.
In the days leading up to the debut of E Pike’s Amazon Go Grocery, CHS started looking into a similar new set of bubbles that has started in the area — 23rd and Jackson in the Central District.
BECOME A 'PAY WHAT YOU CAN' CHS SUBSCRIBER TODAY: Support local journalism dedicated to your neighborhood. SUBSCRIBE HERE. Join to become a subscriber at $1/$5/$10 a month to help CHS provide community news with NO PAYWALL. You can also sign up for a one-time annual payment.
There, where the neighborhood’s Red Apple was demolished in early 2018 to make way, construction continues to create the Jackson Apartments, two seven-story buildings from developer Vulcan Real Estate with a combined 532 apartments, a whopping 44,000 square feet of commercial space, a massive amount of underground parking with room for more than 500 vehicles, and, yes, a 25,000-square-foot grocery store.
And, yes, in that paperwork is the name of an Amazon senior project manager and a shell company we’ve seen involved in Amazon’s grocery efforts — Prime Now, LLC.
Vulcan has confirmed that a grocery tenant is lined up for the project but Amazon has not yet responded to our inquiry about the project. Local tech news site Geekwire — which beat us to the punch over the same permitting clues — got the same treatment.
The real estate firm best known for reshaping South Lake Union told CHS it was acquiring the six acres of Central District commercial property for $30.9 million in 2016. As it was lined up for demolition, the Red Apple’s place in the neighborhood was remembered as another sign of the changes underway around the Central District and the loss of Black residents and community. Some of the area’s grocery needs might be soon met by the arrival of PCC at 23rd and Union. But, if the permit filings are any indication, it will be up to Amazon to fill the gaps left behind along S Jackson.