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Amazon Fresh hopes at 23rd and Jackson: Neighborhood hires, human cashiers, cheaper groceries, and local business neighbors

Yes, the Vulcan development home to Jackson Apartments is shaped like a 12. Founder Paul Allen, who passed away in 2018, also owned the Seattle Seahawks (Image: Vulcan Real Estate)

(Image: Amazon Fresh)

Plans for the new Vulcan development at 23rd and Jackson are shaping up with new business tenants coming in and Amazon Fresh working on plans for its first of its kind grocery stores in Washington. The companies discussed details of the new development and soon to open store in a community meeting Thursday night.

QueenCare, a body-care company, became the first of three 500-square-foot retail tenants to open facing S Jackson and comfort food cafe Simply Soulful is set to expand with a 1,900-square-foot space this summer. Currently based in Madison Valley, Simply Soulful plans to reserve some of its space for local artists to display and sell their work.

The signature anchor tenant of the apartment development, however, is Amazon Fresh, which the company’s senior external affairs manager Taylor Hoang likened to conventional grocers like Safeway and QFC. Unlike the nearly employee-less and checkout-less Amazon Go, which opened on E Pike in early 2020, the store will still have human cashiers and unlike Whole Foods, also owned by the tech giant, it is expected to be more affordable.

“Anything that you can expect from a grocery store, this is what this is,” Hoang said at a Thursday evening meeting of the Central Area Neighborhoods District Council. She said they could possibly try a socially distanced walkthrough of the store before it opens.


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Hoang said there isn’t currently a definitive timeline on opening, but “it should be coming soon.” The company plans to start hiring for positions, with pay starting at $17 per hour with benefits, at the end of this month. CHS previously reported in January on the first job listings for the 23rd and Jackson grocer, which will take the place of the Red Apple that was demolished in early 2018.

Rebecca Adrian of the Jackson Place Community Council urged Amazon Fresh to make the job opportunities accessible to people within the Central District community with postings in stores and tabling to get the word out.

“We definitely want to hire from the community,” Hoang said.

The store will accept benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, Hoang noted.

Community leaders had several questions on parking and Lori Mason Curran of Vulcan said during the meeting the grocery store would validate one-hour free parking in the apartment building for shoppers. Some community members called for free parking without a time limit or validation so patrons don’t feel they have to buy something just so they can park their car.

The 23rd Ave corridor has been a hotbed for lots of development plans over the past couple years. About a dozen blocks north, the Midtown Square project at 23rd and Union will bring hundreds of apartments and several businesses. And at 23rd and Union, PCC opened its newest grocery store last summer.

The Jackson Apartments project has leased about 50% of its 532 apartments so far, according to Curran, and there is about 700-square-feet available for community organizations to use for meetings and other activities. The final piece of artwork of the development, all of which can be seen on the building’s virtual art walk, was recently finished.

“Our leasing team is talking to some additional small local businesses,” Curran said, “and I hope we have things to announce soon because we’re really excited to get local businesses in there to serve the community.”

Vulcan also owns the property directly to the north, which includes Starbucks and Walgreens, which Curran said could eventually also become a development site. The company has previously said it doesn’t have plans to redevelop this holding.


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PMCD
PMCD
1 month ago

I don’t use Amazon but it’s good to see they are paying decent wages and plan to sell groceries at an affordable price. If they want to hire from the community, they should do a tabling/hiring event at Monica’s village on the next block over. Lots of great folks live there and the one block commute would be pretty desirable, I would guess.

Russ
Russ
30 days ago
Reply to  PMCD

Why does “hiring from the community” require a different process than whatever the normal hiring process is? I’ve always found this confusing, since it’s a job listing isn’t restricted, it’s a public listing.

Bob
Bob
1 month ago

“Some community members called for free parking without a time limit or validation so patrons don’t feel they have to buy something just so they can park their car.”

Lol, they do realize this would lead to a parking shortage right?

The Amazon Go store in capitol hill has validation just in a machine, you don’t actually have to buy anything to get it.

James T.
James T.
28 days ago

Get Amazon out of the CD! I can’t think of a bigger slap to the face than a corporation that has decimated this city’s culture without paying its fair share of taxes. Please, please any store but Amazon! Disappointed Red Apple didn’t return…

Ronald
Ronald
28 days ago
Reply to  James T.

lol