The plan to redevelop the Capitol Hill Safeway at 15th and John and its giant surface parking lot as new mixed-housing above a new grocery store is moving forward.
Plans filed with the city last week show the grocery chain’s $11 million-plus, 100,000-square-foot property at the top of Capitol Hill is being planned for a new mixed-use development that will rise seven stories above a new, larger grocery store.
The Daily Journal of Commerce reported the filing Monday. CHS reported on the early planning on the effort in September as developers began the process of setting up community outreach for the design process.
According to the information filed with the city, the architectural firm on the project is Weber Thompson on a team lead by national developer Greystar. The DJC reports the developers are also working on a similar plan for the U District Safeway.
Capitol Hill’s “Store 1551” was left out of last summer’s announcements about the company’s plans to develop new mixed-use projects on a handful of Seattle store properties and overhaul many of its area stores.
Acquired for less than $1 million in 1993 according to King County records, the 15th and John Safeway land is nearly 100,000 square feet of property dominated by the large grocery store and the larger surface parking lot. Competing with three QFCs within walking distance, Safeway #1551 has mostly stuck to the basics with few changes over the years.
There used to be two Safeways on the Hill. In the summer of 2006, its Broadway store was torn down to make way for the Brix condos.
The preliminary site plan for the Capitol Hill Safeway redevelopment shows a layout that would shift the store’s footprint into the corner of the parcel at 14th and John that is now the store’s large surface parking lot. The new parking lot will triple the surface lot’s capacity. It’s planned as a two-level underground garage with room for about 300.
14th and John would become the store’s main entrance at street-level.
UPDATE: One issue for the coming public design process will be the important bus stop location outside the current store on John at 15th. The busy Metro stop is typically crowded with riders and people hanging out. How the project’s design will incorporate the stop will bear watching.
The development would cover most of the block with a layout that appears to have three components — a large grocery and two mixed-use, seven-story towers — connected by an “internal pedestrian plaza. The filing does not yet indicate how many units are planned. It describes the project as a “new mixed-use, multifamily project with grocery and retail at base.”
The major changes envisioned for the E John Safeway won’t be the only major grocery related development along 15th Ave in coming years. In 2017, Capitol Hill developer Hunters Capital purchased the property home to the 15th Ave E QFC with long-term plans for mixed-use redevelopment.
How quickly the new project will come together remains to be seen. No design review date has been announced and Safeway has not responded to our inquiries about the project.
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