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A 15th Ave E move as Rudy’s will jump across street to soon to open Capitol Hilltop development

(Image: Rudy’s)

Now they just need to make a space for ShopRite.

City construction permits show the first commercial tenant has been lined up for the opening-soon Capitol Hilltop mixed-use building on 15th Ave E. Rudy’s Barbershop, about to be displaced by another development from Hunters Capital on the other side of the street, is making plans to join the five-story, nearly 70-unit mixed-use apartment building with underground parking for 21 vehicles that has reshaped the corner of Capitol Hill’s 15th and Mercer where the old Hilltop Service Station used to stand.

The short move up the street into a new 1,100-square-foot barbershop ten barber stations, two hairwash sinks, and a new waiting and retail area will help add some stability to the street’s coming changes.

Rudy’s current 15th Ave E location is set to be demolished to make way for a coming mixed-use project that will also replace the street’s shuttered QFC grocery.

A design rendering of the project

That Hunters Capital project is making its way through the city’s public design and permitting process including a meeting last week to collect feedback on a request from the developer to build a story higher than allowed zoning due to the required preservation of a prized European hornbeam tree and a desire to more elegantly transition the building’s look and feel to connect with the single-family zoned areas to the north and east. There is no schedule, yet, for the demolition and construction to begin.

Capitol Hilltop under construction last month (Image: CHS)

For the Hilltop mixed-use project, Hunters Capital broke ground on the development in late 2022 with a design inspired by the neighborhood’s auto row-era preservation projects that was reshaped by the city’s design review process and a push for a more modern approach to the structure. The construction followed months of federally required soil remediation to clean up the decades of contamination left behind by the old service station.

Rudy’s, meanwhile, is a neighborhood success story times two. While not always welcomed by smaller salons and shops like Red Chair Salon and Tim’s Barber Shop, the company is Capitol Hill-born and was successfully wrestled back under control of its founders from a New York-based venture capital and buyout specialist.

Rudy’s opened its “Capitol Hill East” location on the relatively sleepy 15th Ave E in the summer of 2015.

The newly planned Rudy’s Hilltop space the East location will move to is one of four retail suites planned for the project including the centerpiece 15th and Mercer corner that stretches to 1,9000 square feet and is being prepared to host a full restaurant set up. That space lists at $5,550 a month. More reasonable are the smaller berths like the 915-square-foot space listing at $2,775.

While fans of the store would rejoice, it is unknown if neighborhood super convenience store ShopRite and its shelves stuffed with necessities and nice to haves of all types will consider a possible move to the new building. CHS talked with owner Mohammad Abid last summer about a possible move as development plans formed. At the time, Abid sounded more interested in retirement than making a new home in the coming Hilltop building.

The Capitol Hilltop building will also add new market-rate housing to the street. The Studio Meng Strazzara-designed project neighbors longtime favorites Flowers on 15th, Jamjuree, and Liberty.

Hunters Capital says it expects construction to wrap up and the new building to open in April.

 

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E15 resitdent
E15 resitdent
4 months ago

Oh neat.

And with incredibly customer unfriendly policies (like not accepting returns, and charging 100% premium on everything) – Shoprite can move into the sunset.

Here’s to hoping we get a Trader Joes or Met Market in the neighborhood.

Upscale the neighborhood!

Jason
Jason
4 months ago
Reply to  E15 resitdent

No, we don’t need those places. Trader Joe’s is down the street anyway.

Brett
Brett
4 months ago
Reply to  E15 resitdent

This is Capitol Hill in 2024. You will get a dentist office, bank, boba tea shop, and fried chicken spot and you will like it.

Boris
Boris
4 months ago

Is Rudy’s evil yet? Or are they still a beloved local business? I’m unclear on the size cutoff for when a business becomes evil.

IJohnson
IJohnson
4 months ago

This is a stunningly inadequate amount of parking for the new building— matched by the under-parked second building on the QFC site. This was the only part of Capitol Hill remaining where I could trust that I could park within a few blocks of a restaurant at night and meet friends. Most businesses cannot survive without some traffic from outside the neighborhood. The model of the “vibrant” village where shops line the street below apartments will not work without adequate space for cars.

The planning that allows this kind of neglect is not looking at the real world of how people behave, and what businesses need. All over the city these new storefronts are empty, often for years, because they are too big, too expensive, and there will not be enough business to support them, often due to lack of street parking. The model here is justified by the idea of “frequent bus service” which in this case means the #10 which has been cut back in frequency of service due to incompetent management and cost overruns for boondoggles like Madison Rapid Ride.

Now that the street is metered there is another disincentive to visit. Basically we are building a community exclusively for single people to live in micro apartments for 2500 to $3500 a month, work on a laptop in a café and have the expendable income to eat at restaurants where the cheapest thing is $15 plus a mandatory service charge. Plus tax.

Boris
Boris
4 months ago
Reply to  IJohnson

it’s too crowded no one goes there anymore