Where First Hill McDonald’s used to stand, newest Seattle Amazon Go now open

The corner of Madison and Minor is again home to a neighborhood outlet from a massive global corporation that has sparked environmental, socioeconomic, and, yes, even health concerns but is also just a place to grab a quick sandwich and be on your way.

Outfitted with cameras, scanners, and waves of radio-frequency identification, the newest Amazon Go in the world is now open on First Hill in the 1001 Minor Ave “luxury” apartment building, The Perry. Thanks to our man on First Hill @gordonwerner for the update. Continue reading

Amazon Capitol Hill grocery project back in motion on E Pike

A flurry of updated permitting and construction crews at work in the space indicate the Amazon-linked grocery project on E Pike is gearing up for a 2019 opening.

CHS has been reporting on the large, 10,000-square-foot retail space since 2015 when we first dug up permits indicating a large retail project was afoot much to the chagrin of local development watchers and neighborhood property owners who had hoped developer Avalon Communities would stick to its commitment to break the space up across multiple retailers. Continue reading

Victrola’s downtown cafe brings along Capitol Hill roots (and opportunity to make some big new giant retailer friends)

Born in 2000 on 15th Ave E, Victrola has survived neighboring competitive corporate mimicry — remember 15th Ave Coffee & Tea? — and downright overwhelming investment on a global scale. This week, the small chain of cafes has expanded into new Seattle territory directly in the maw of massive brands downtown at 3rd and Pine — and it has made some surprising alliances along the way.

Wednesday, Victrola opened its new cafe inside the Macy’s building, well off Capitol Hill.

Victrola’s Andrew Wheeler tells CHS one of the 15th Ave cafe’s earliest customers called that shop “the living room of the neighborhood.” It’s an ideal Victrola hopes to carry downtown. Continue reading

Seattle earmarks $1M for ’emergency’ homelessness services as Sawant holds ‘Tax Amazon’ town hall

With Seattle homelessness advocates continuing to debate short-term and immediate services vs. more permanent housing, the city’s Human Services Department has earmarked $1 million in bridge funding to providers of emergency shelter, hygiene services in the city.

Meanwhile, District 3 representative Kshama Sawant will hold a Tax Amazon Town Hall Tuesday night at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute to raise support for the proposed $75-million Seattle “employment tax” on businesses that is hoped will fund housing and homelessness services in Seattle.

The $1 million in “augmented” funding for Compass, LIHI – Urban Rest Stop, SHARE/WHEEL shelters, and the Seattle Indian Center comes from the city council’s decision to sell a $11 million South Lake Union property and use the proceeds, in part, to address the city’s homelessness and affordability crisis. Continue reading

You can soon ‘Go’ to Amazon’s new automagic grocery store on your way back to Capitol Hill

Only a mile from the crowd around the self check-out kiosks at the Harvard Market QFC, a new shopping experience — probably worked on by a few Capitol Hill residents who have stood in that crowd — will be unveiled early next year on 7th Ave.

Amazon Go will be a “self driving” grocery store in Seattle’s burgeoning new Amazonia neighborhood where shoppers can walk in and walk out with anything they like — without having to wait to ring up their purchases.

“What if we could weave the most advanced machine learning, computer vision and AI into the very fabric of a store, so you never have to wait in line,” the promo video released Monday morning asks. “No lines, no checkout, no registers — welcome to Amazon Go.”

The company’s secret grocery project comes as the retail giant has laid claim to around a third of the country’s online holiday spending this year and many industry watchers have been predicting advances with delivery technology like drones. The company is also planning drive-up grocery stores with a prototype nearly ready to open in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood.

While the planned Amazon Go debut in 2017 at 2131 7th Ave has garnered a lot of buzz, we’ll be more impressed when the retailer shows its new system can work on Broadway where many grocery shoppers have been employing a version of “just walk out technology” for years.

“Take whatever you like. Anything you pick up is automatically added to your virtual card. If you change your mind about that, Cupcake, just put it back…”