I heard last night that PCC maybe (is?) moving to the doggie daycare site on Rainier where the Farmer's Market used to be. First I had heard of it. There were lots of rumors about PCC expanding with housing and other retail on its current site, and that never happened. Anyone know anything about whether this is fact or fiction?
Date: 15 Mar 2012 00:06
Number of posts: 16
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According to the developer of the Columbia Plaza property, PCC has signed a "letter of intent" as a major tenant of the new building. But development is unlikely to be complete before 1214. I was also told that the smaller Seward Park store would remain even after the new store opens. Whether this happens according to plan is anyone's guess.
Don't think it would be appropriate for the food to be so near the dogs for two reasons:
1) the dogs might eat the food,
2) dogs are too dirty to be around the food, even if they could be trained to leave it alone.
3) Cats are cleaner, but they're not to be trusted around the food either.
4) I think the space could be better used as a dealership for all-electric cars or a nail shop, with real nails like a real old fashioned hardware store instead of those plastic nails so popular with the young ladies. Just a thought…
Amen to the hardware prayer. Hard to tell through your joking, but I'll clarify anyway that we're talking about a future development. There's a new property owner, and the beginnings of a new plan for what they want to build on the site. It sounds like even more than a new plan — a welcome new approach to neighborhood input.
From the Columbia City Business Association's News Site
Columbia Plaza Development Plans Unveiled
March 8, 2012 : Posted in News
Seattle-based real estate development company Security Properties has briefed CCBA’s Business Development Committee and the local review committee of the Landmarks Preservation Board on Security’s proposed development for the Columbia Plaza site. The proposal is quite different from the previous plan put forward by HAL Real Estate. Security’s project would take up substantially less of the site, with substantial setbacks from both Columbia Park on the west and from the Hasegawa Dentistry property on the north. Security proposes pedestrian-friendly drive aisles on both the west and north sides. The biggest news is that, in addition to about 200 apartments on the upper floors, Security plans to provide space for a full-service grocery and three smaller retail spaces, providing new retail frontage on all four sides of the development. PCC is in discussions with Security to be the grocer.
The proposal was favorably reviewed by the Business Development Committee, which concluded:
1. the proposal effectively expands the business district by providing three new block faces of needed retail space;
2. it provides the key missing business… a grocery store. This will be our first retail “anchor” in the business district that should increase overall revenues across the business district by 10 to 20 percent;
3. it provides ample parking for both shoppers and residents;
4. it enhances public safety by activating Columbia Park and providing many additional “eyes on the street”;
5. it will make the South Edmunds pedestrian connector more pleasant, more interesting, and safer; and
6. the 200 apartments will provide an additional 300 or so new neighbors and customers for our Columbia City businesses.
That's huge news. Will the parking be underneath or will their be lots?
Good question! Let's try to shut this down if there is an issue about parking! Yeah, TOD.
Well I thought it was a valid question. I think we can assume the parking will all be underground. I'm understanding there's something like a perimeter driveway along the park and on the north side — I'd like to see drawings to understand that better.
According to the Master Use Permit signs, the proposal includes both underground and surface parking.
I am working with Security Properties on the Columbia Plaza site and would be happy to show all interested parties the site plan and get your comments. For right now I can answer the parking questions.
Just in brief, we do have underground parking planned for both the residential and the retail, but we also plan to re-institute the street grid here, in keeping with other alleys and back streets in Columbia City, and it will have some parking to serve the retail. It is focused on being very pedestrian and bike friendly, the woonerf concept.
Our current site plan shows us set back over 60 feet from the park, with some surface parking there facing what we hope will be a new PCC (about 20 spaces), and continuing around to the north with an extension of Angeline, and some more surface parking, again around 20 stalls. Lots of details remain to work out, including with the park itself, and with our neighbors to the north for shared access around the site, to Edmunds and to Rainier.
Essentially, though, we have turned all the open space on the site to the outside rather than toward an inner courtyard. We have second story set-backs on the property line behind the bank as well, facing Rainier, rather than 65' high blank walls like the preceding plan. We aren't sure of the precise size and shape yet. We presented three options at the last CCBA and are developing those further.
In addition to the grocery, with storefront facing South and West — along both Edmunds and the park side — we are planning on three smaller side-by-side retail locations facing East along Rainier Avenue, just south of Angeline, about 1,450 sq. feet each. The north side will also have some retail frontage, the leasing office, windows overlooking the grocery, the entrance to underground parking, etc.
We have received very favorable comments from the CCRC and the CCBA on the site planning ideas, but we of course have a long way to go to turn it all into a building and receive buy-in from the Landmarks Board, our adjoining neighbor, and the community.
Feel free to give me a call, maybe set up a coffee to look at the site plan. 206-547-1008 at work. Jeanne
Thanks Jeanne, that sounds really promising. You've mentioned some fundamental moves — responding to the street grid, considering the park, smaller storefronts along Rainier — they respond to many of the issues raised consistently during public discussions about the site.
For some visual background, here are some images of existing woonerfs.
I don't think we've linked to the recent Times article about this.
Seattle developer Security Properties has proposed a six-story apartment and retail building on Rainier Avenue South that may be anchored by a PCC Natural Markets grocery.
Seattle developer Security Properties has proposed a six-story apartment and retail building in Columbia City that may be anchored by a PCC Natural Markets grocery.
PCC has signed a letter of intent to lease the 25,000-square-foot ground-floor space at Rainier Avenue South and South Edmunds Street, according to several sources.
Tom Monahan, PCC's marketing manager, wouldn't confirm that. "We have interest in that neighborhood," he said, "but no lease in hand."
I know that this may not be a popular idea, but I sure hope that PCC is not moving to this space. This neighborhood needs an affordable grocery store choice. PCC is great in many ways, but it is terribly expensive and cannot serve the needs of most of our population. Would be much happier to see a Red Apple, QFC or Trader Joe's. There goes the neighborhood!
Although it would be great (and a bit cheaper), Trader Joes has never expressed any interest in the South End …ever.
There is a Red Apple and a QFC and a Safeway less than 5-10min away. The Seward Park PCC is packed and way too small. Apparently, PCC has been looking to expand the Seward Park location for years. Rumor has it, that they have finally given up on those efforts due to failures to purchase the needed properties to make a bigger space possible.
I think this project is beyond "hoping for something besides PCC." All signs are pointing to it happening.
While I am happy that PCC is moving to Rainier and we will have an anchor supermarket on the edge of CC, I agree that it is way too expensive an option for my family. I am sure that they will do just fine, with or without my money.
I will stick to Costco and McPhersons.
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