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You’ve heard about H Mart, here’s how the rest of Capitol Hill Station’s mix of retail, food, drink, daycare, and new home for the farmers market is shaping up

While it might fall short of visions of a bustling European market above a busy transit facility, the grocery, shops, cafes, farmers market, and, yes, a daycare facility set to open in the new buildings above Capitol Hill Station later this year will be intentionally smaller in scale than the massive development they are part of.

“We felt like there was a real demand for just smaller shop spaces,” Jill Sherman of Portland-based developer Gerding Edlen tells CHS.

While hundreds of new market-rate apartments and much needed affordable housing part of the project will be welcomed to Broadway, Capitol Hill Station’s lead developer has also set about trying to meet the promises over community priorities it made to win the bid to lead the project’s development process.

But don’t expect La Boqueria, Barcelona’s sprawling public market. Instead, Sherman said the vision for the project has shifted to the realities of present-day Seattle small businesses with an emphasis on smaller spaces, lower rents, shared facilities like restrooms, and, especially, local ownership.

“We ended up going with a small shop space instead of open market or food hall,” Sherman said.

For shoppers and commuters, this is how Capitol Hill Station’s retail, food, and drink spaces will fit together.

Rendering of the mixed-use building the Capitol Hill H Mart will call home (Image: Hewitt)

Front and center on the Broadway street frontage near the north entry to the busy light rail station will be the relatively small but jam-packed anchor — Korean grocery chain H Mart with more than 11,000 square feet of store space on the ground level plus a 5,000+ square foot mezzanine.

H Mart’s coming neighbors are where the Capitol Hill Station retail recipe most shows through. The mix of smaller counters, cafes, and shops will include retail, coffee, food, and drink along Broadway south of the busy market and on both sides of a central “portal” through the development into the project’s large central, quasi-public plaza. Spaces range from about 500 to 700 square feet.

While none of the signed tenants is yet ready to announce their plans, one owner CHS spoke with said his shop will be an expansion of his business, creating a second Seattle-area location and he confirmed that Sherman’s promises about focusing on small and local are playing out. The rent will be below market and Gerding Edlen is “taking small businesses seriously,” he said.

And, oh, by the way, this planned tenant is now out of the project.

To the left, the future home of The Exploration Academy. To the right? Could be your new restaurant (Image: Hewitt)

Meanwhile, continuing south on Broadway, the Capitol Hill Station building now rising next to the facility’s south entrance next to Cal Anderson Park will also make home to a local business as it meets a promised community priority for brining a much needed daycare to the development.

The Exploration Academy is lined up to make the ground floor of “Building C” its home. The Wallingford Center-born daycare will have space for around 74 pupils across four classrooms and will be able to use Cal Anderson Park as a playspace. Parents who commute via light rail will only need to walk a block or so while others will be able to take advantage of the more than 200 spaces in the development’s underground parking.

“There’s a paucity of quality childcare and childcare in general with attention to aesthetics, and good ratio to customers to students, good customer care, play equipment, all those things, we didn’t find,” the Academy’s Jonathan Warren tells CHS. “And if we did, it’s extremely expensive.”

Warren says the fact The Exploration Academy is not a big chain also helped them become part of the development.

“It helped that we had a good reputation. We’re not a chain. We popped out,” he said.

Meanwhile, another commercial opportunity awaits in the development’s southeast corner where a 3,000-square-foot restaurant could sit alongside the plaza on the edge of Cal Anderson.

For those looking for a more organic market experience at Capitol Hill Station, we have one more piece of good news. At the center of the project will be the new community plaza featuring the AMP: AIDS Memorial Pathway remembering those who have succumbed to — and those who have survived HIV and AIDS.

The pathway’s art will be joined, every Sunday, by the Capitol Hill Farmers Market. You can also thank those community priorities agreed to by Gerding Edlen.

“It’s an amazing opportunity. We’re able to move to a home with a longterm agreement with support from the city and big support from the community,” Jennifer Antos, director for Seattle Neighborhood Farmers Markets.

The community process to shape the projects began years before 2011 as the Capitol Hill Light Rail Stations Site Urban Design Framework document was published, distilling information shaped over a period of years in the community. In 2013, the City Council approved a development agreement allowing developers to plan for 85-foot tall buildings along Broadway in exchange for going above minimum affordable housing requirements and for meeting community priorities.

Antos said her group is currently working out the lease that will move the weekly market from its Sunday home in front of Seattle Central to Capitol Hill Station’s plaza and into the street on the newly renamed E Barbara Bailey Way. The new street name replaces a stretch of E Denny Way that was updated as a “festival street” appropriate for closure for festivals and events near the light rail station. The market is ready to take advantage of the feature when it makes the move this fall, Antos said.

The new, more browsing and vendor friendly home for the market won’t be the only change. “Part of the motivation for moving the market is for allowing it to grow over time,” Antos said. After study of how the new location is working and how best to expand it — the market has won a USDA to fund the research — Antos says the plan will be to add a regular weekday or night market to the schedule. It will be a very gradual expansion, Antos said. Mostly out of concerns for how the changes will impact farmers and vendors, you probably won’t see the new market day until 2022.

The goal in the meantime is for the 40 or so vendors that currently make up the market to expand by four or five a year.

“One it’s got to be successful for providers and vendors,” Antos said. “Two, it’s got to be a great community space.”

Sherman says to expect Capitol Hill Station’s new buildings to open in a wave starting first in late March, then another in late April, and another in early May before the largest, most complicated building in the project — the core “Building A” at John and Broadway home to H Mart and the project’s small retail mix — debuts in late summer or early fall.


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24 thoughts on “You’ve heard about H Mart, here’s how the rest of Capitol Hill Station’s mix of retail, food, drink, daycare, and new home for the farmers market is shaping up

  1. Can I make a suggestion?

    What is with the full-human-name-on-a-public-street-or-park?

    I hate it.

    I’m glad that Cal Anderson is named after Cal Anderson.

    But it’s FAR AND AWAY PAST TIME that the park simply become “Anderson Park.”

    Same thing with this East Barbara Kornelius Karen Bailey Way.

    Why not just “Bailey Way”?

    Why?

    TOO MANY DAMN NAMES.

    • One of the reasons the whole name is needed is so that people will ask “who was this Cal Anderson? Why did they name a park after him?” No one asks that of something like Anderson park. It maintains history, and it’s not that hard to say.

    • Names are identity. Stripping names of their elements are stripping the people of their identity.

      It is curious that you have chosen to focus on two LGBTQI individuals who made great strides to ensure the identity of LGBTQI people in Seattle is not stripped, diluted, or worse. It’s not clear why honoring these folks is an issue for you. But it does personally rub me the wrong way.

      Please keep your trolling and your hatred out of this site and this city. Move to an area in which it may have a home, and please let us know where that home is, so we can avoid it at all costs.

      • Your comment/complaint is both distortionary and lacks any merit.

        First of all, I am not advocating the removal of the park-and-lane namesakes, I am simply irritated by the need to use the individual’s full name.

        That is not, in any way shape or form, erasing anything.

        We don’t call Harrison Street “William Henry Harrison Street.”

        There is no reason Cal Anderson Park cannot be “Anderson Park.”

        Doing so diminishes nothing. Likewise with Bailey Way.

        Also, you know what rubs me the wrong way? The intimation in your baseless complaint that I was, somehow, advocating–I don’t know–maybe renaming Cal Anderson Park to honor Rush Limbaugh.

        I was not.

        And FWIW, I happen to one of the dwindling number of LGBT people on the hill.

        So, calm down, read and comprehend what I was saying, and stop being hysterical.

        Smdh.

      • @PD

        Nobody’s forcing you to say the full name of the street, park, etc. You can personally call it what you want if it “irritates” you so much. But there are some people that want the full names of people to be used.

        Ultimately, this issue of yours sounds like a personal problem that you should probably just get over.

      • @Shawn

        I’m curious if you see anything wrong or hypocritical about using someone’s birth cohort as a type of insult, and as a way of dismissing all of their beliefs and opinions outright? And most especially in terms of an LGBT person who lived through the pre-Stonewall era and AIDS crisis?

        [Note: I’m Generation X, not Boomer. I have no dog in this fight other than to be tired of the lazy use of demographic categories to denigrate whole categories of people]

  2. This childcare center is either going to result in cal anderson finally getting cleaned up or they will very quickly ban the kids from using the park. I’m hoping it’s the former.

    We need to take back our parks from vagrants.

    • I might add, Seattle Park Department, until recently with some grading of the pathways, has performed only the most rudimentary maintenance of what many citizens poured hundreds of hours planning and planting as the park was being rebuilt.

      The reflecting pool is unimaginably polluted and weeds and garbage continue growing under benches and pathways have ruts these issues have existed for years.
      I have met with park department supervisors in the past and it seems the attitude is why bother for vagrants.
      Well, students, renters,visitors, home owning neighbors would enjoy a clean and maintained park which is an integral part of the new development.

      Duos of park employees sitting in idling trucks won’t get the job done.

    • It will be nice to have some pantry staples available nearby, and luckily the Capitol Hill Farmers Market will have many year-round farmers ready to bring high-quality produce to the neighborhood! We are excited about hte move!

      • Yes. Why not look at a real H Mart rather than just rely on hearsay?
        We have a variety of Asian groceries in the area: H Mart, G Mart, Uwajimaya, 99 Ranch Market – to name a few. Each sets prices and selection based on the customers they expect. Just like all the other groceries around.

    • Would be a better idea than putting more coffee across the street from more coffee. Once the anchor (I’m a bit disappointed in the choice too) was established, I expected more imagination for this project.

  3. It would be nice to have a sense of when some of these stores are planning to open. What is the estimated completion date of construction. When will the Farmers’ Market make the move?

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    submit used to be good. I do nott realize who you are but certainly
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