Amazon Fresh grocery store making plans for 2020 opening in the Central District

(Image: Vulcan Real Estate)

With its city and its Central District neighborhood grappling with issues of equity and gentrification in a summer of Black Lives Matter protest, the new Amazon Fresh grocery coming to 23rd and Jackson will mark an interesting milestone when it opens later this year.

Typically secretive, the Seattle retail and tech giant has yet to confirm the Central District plans CHS unearthed in February describing a new 25,000-square-foot grocery store under construction in the massive Vulcan development underway at the corner where the neighborhood Red Apple and a collection of shopping center businesses used to stand.

But its latest permitting efforts confirm what the company’s PR department won’t — Amazon is opening a new grocery store at 23rd and Jackson. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Safeway redevelopment moves forward with plans for seven-story apartment project above new grocery

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. Continue reading

The Capitol Hill Trader Joe’s has reopened after being closed ‘indefinitely’ for remodel after Black Lives Matter controversy — Here’s what’s changed

Thanks to CHS reader Andrew for the pictures

The E Madison Trader Joe’s has reopened after one of the stranger remodeling closures in Capitol Hill grocery store history with a new layout that seems optimized for the new world of COVID-19 era retail.

We asked readers in the Capitol Hill Seattle Facebook Group to report back on what they found.

The front has been cleared out with the staff desk area known as The Bridge moved back by the liquor section, and new entrance and exit sections with “with low wooden walls and gates” added to channel shoppers into and out of the store. There are new areas for customers to pack their groceries into reusable bags and aisles across the store have reportedly been widened. And, we’re sorry to report, the sample station has been completely removed from the back of the store. Thoughts and prayers. Continue reading

Capitol Hill Trader Joe’s reopening July 1, but its workers call for change

(Images: Lena Friedman)

The E Madson Trader Joe’s will reopen this week after a surprise 18-day closure but many of its employees continue to call for customers to support their push for changes over Black Lives Matter and worker rights at the nationwide grocery chain’s outlet serving Capitol Hill and the Central District.

The store is planned to reopen Wednesday, July 1st.

Last week, a group of Trader Joe’s workers ticked off a series of demands outside their E Madison store Thursday morning in response to its contentious closure — later announced by the company as temporary — when a group of employees participated in Black Lives Matter protesting Friday, June 12.

Suited in all-black clothing and employee name tags, workers shared experiences of racial bias as staff and read off demands they are calling on corporate and store management to respond to ahead of the store’s July 1 planned reopening.  Workers are calling on the company to train staff in implicit bias and de-escalation and come up with a concrete plan to support Black employees and customers going forward. They demand the company upholds the jobs of workers involved in protesting without penalty, that store private security be replaced by a social service agency trained in mental health and de-escalation, and that staff protocols and disciplinary processes are transparent and well-documented. Continue reading

Signs of Capitol Hill (almost) normalcy: Farmers market returns to Broadway

The state’s rate of infection remains high enough to warrant a Washington-wide mask mandate and there is an active occupation protest only blocks away but neighbors can celebrate the return of a weekly staple Sunday as the Capitol Hill Farmers Market returns to Broadway.

But things won’t be totally back to normal.

“While we are psyched to return, the market will be quite different,” the Neighborhood Farmers Market Association writes. “There is a capacity cap and other shopper expectations and modifications.” Continue reading

With vow to prevent ‘Retail Racism,’ PCC opens in the Central District

(Image: PCC)

(Image: PCC)

(Image: PCC)

Six years ago, the corner was a gas station and a quick market full of chips, soda, and beer. Wednesday, a new grocery store finally opened at 23rd and Union.

In a city consumed by weeks of Black Lives Matter protests and months of COVID-19 restrictions, PCC Community Markets marked a quiet opening of its first store in the Central District, Seattle’s core of Black history and culture where waves of redevelopment and rising costs have reshaped the communities that call it home.

“We heard from many people in the neighborhood that they had experienced retail racism. We want our store to be a place where everyone is respected while shopping,” the Seattle-based cooperative grocery chain’s opening announcement reads. “As a result, we trained all of our staff at Central District PCC on implicit bias and how to prevent retail racism. We are rolling this training out to all of our stores.” Continue reading

Employees call it retaliation for protest, Trader Joe’s says closed for Capitol Hill remodel

Trader Joe’s isn’t big on public relations and social media but its Monrovia, California corporate office has responded to CHS’s inquiry about the strange and sudden shuttering of the Capitol Hill store that employees say is retaliation for employee actions in support of Black Lives Matter protests and labor issues at the E Madison grocery.

A company spokesperson confirmed the employee group’s assertion that the location was closed Friday because “we did not have enough Crew Members available to run the store.” But Trader Joe’s says its “temporary” closure is about construction work, not protests.

“During this temporary closure, we are taking the time to execute a remodel plan to address safety and security concerns that have developed over the last year,” the spokesperson said via email. “We will reopen the store as soon as these construction projects are completed, and it is our hope that we can welcome back our customers in the next week or two.” Continue reading

Sorry, we don’t know why the Capitol Hill Trader Joe’s is closed ‘indefinitely’ — UPDATE: Employees say decision tied to BLM protest and strike

(Image: Andrew Taylor via Flickr)

Thanks to a CHS reader for the picture

It quite literally pales in comparison to the fight for equality and against police brutality underway a few blocks away. But Friday night, Capitol Hill’s Trader Joe’s closed early and a paper sign on the door says the grocery store is closed “indefinitely” — without explanation.

CHS has calls out to the corporate office in Monrovia, California of the privately traded, somewhat secretive grocery chain of more than 500 stores coast to coast to find out more.

Calls to area Trader Joe’s stores only yielded confirmation of the closure. The store’s page on the Trader Joe’s website shows a message that it is “temporarily closed.”

UPDATE 6/14/20 12:50 PM: A group of workers has launched a campaign to push back on the closure and are asking for community support to keep the store open as they say the management is retaliating over employee participation in Friday’s Black Lives Matter protest and general strike. Here’s the statement from savetjs130.com:

On June 11, dozens of workers at Trader Joe’s Capitol Hill (Store #130) informed store management that they would be participating in the June 12 protest organized by the local chapter of Black Lives Matter. Store managers determined that broad participation in the protest would lead to staffing issues, and decided to close the store early on June 12. Store management assured workers participating in the protest that this would be considered an excused absence and would not result in any disciplinary measures. But on the morning of June 12, a representative from TJs corporate called the store to ask about the early closure. Unsatisfied with the rationale for the early closure, corporate informed store management that the store would be closed indefinitely, effective immediately.

Continue reading

With ‘one-way foot traffic,’ Central District’s farmers market reopens for 2020 season

(Image: Madrona Farmers Market)

The Central District will have a new grocery store by mid-June. Its weekly farmers market reopened last week.

The Madrona Farmers Market in the parking lot of the Grocery Outlet at MLK and Union opened in the midst of COVID-19 restrictions last Friday with safety measures in place including one-way foot traffic and a request to, please, don’t touch the produce.

The weekly market will return this Friday 3 to 7 PM after a successful debut: Continue reading

PCC grocery store, delayed by COVID-19 crisis, sets June opening date in Central District

(Image: PCC)

23rd and Union will have its new grocery store. After delays due to the coronavirus outbreak, PCC Community Markets says it will open June 17th in the Central District.

The Seattle-region cooperative chain also announced a new community partner for the soon to open store. “Like all PCC locations, the Central District store will serve more than just its members and shoppers. PCC is partnering with Byrd Barr Place, a beloved neighborhood institution, to address food and nutrition access needs in the community,” the announcement reads. “As the newest partner in PCC’s Food Bank Program, the Central District store will provide a range of quality groceries to support those who trust Byrd Barr Place to bring food to their tables.” Continue reading