Community Post

Top 3 Central District opportunities of 2010: Were they realized?

Last December we did a feature on the Top 3 business opportunities in the CD – vacant commercial spaces in prime locations with a lot of potential.  We decided to follow up and check on whether or not our community dreams had been realized.

#3 – 26th Ave & East Union St

Taco Stand? Burger Joint?  Lots of possibilities...

This former burger stand has been sitting vacant for several years, and though we had hopes it would be transformed into a taco shop or a breakfast diner, nothing came to fruition in 2010.  Unfortunately, this new photo doesn’t look too different from the photo a year ago – just slightly different graffiti.  We’re hoping 2011 offers another chance for this little storefront to become another vibrant thread in the fabric of the Central District.  

#2 – Legacy at Pratt Park


Last year we hoped that the newly completed Legacy at Pratt Park building and the storefront space along Jackson would attract businesses along this major arterial in the heart of the Central District.  Today Corner Store & Deli at 1720 S Jackson Street is thriving.  Owner Negash Yassin opened the bright little store in August 2010 and stays busy with local foot traffic and neighbors stopping in for snacks and freshly made deli sandwiches, with meat and cheeses in a case at the front.  They also have a pretty impressive wine selection, so the next time you’re nearby and need a bottle of vino, stop in and give them some business.


Across the street, Dustin Daigle, Leasing Manager for the Legacy at Pratt Park complex, said that the building is at 93% residential occupancy and leased in record time.  In September 2010 the development celebrated its one year anniversary, and though the retail spaces are still mostly vacant, there are exciting things on the horizon.  Legacy has donated space in one of the empty suites to Pratt Fine Arts, which uses it as a gallery.  As Daigle put it, “We wanted to work with the community.  No one wants to look at empty space, so let’s fill it with art.”  By appointment the director takes interested parties through the space, which Daigle says has resulted in the sale of some original art.  

Additionally, Daigle said there has been some interest in the other retail spaces, but not from the sort of anchoring tenants that Legacy would like to see in the building.  “We don’t want someone who will move in here and then three months later be out of business,” he said.  “We want long term tenants,” who are going to strengthen the community. One such tenant may be a neighboring business owner who is in talks with Legacy to open a second business, a coffee bar in the southeast corner of the Legacy at Pratt Park development.  The business would be an internet coffee house by day, and at night would transition into more of a sports bar.  The intention would be to supply the residential neighbors with a place to grab a bite to eat or enjoy a drink with friends, and likely tenants at the Legacy building would be frequent patrons. 

Still, even with the new cafe hopefully opening up in Summer 2011, there are several thousand square feet of retail space for lease along Jackson, and that means there is still a lot of opportunity at Pratt Park. 

#1 – 23rd & Cherry, former home of Dilletante Chocolates

Future home of Coyote Central

One of the gems of the Central District revival right now is this building, the future home of Seattle’s youth arts programming organization Coyote Central. Once the home of Dilletante Chocolates, this building is undergoing extensive renovations, including seismic upgrades and a new roof.  No easy task, Coyote Central is scheduled to open its new doors in April 2011.  Considering the tile art on the historic brick building, metal tree sculpture across the street at Garfield Community Center, and the ceramic mosaics lining the exterior of Medgar Evers Pool down the block are all Coyote Central projects, it seems more than fitting that the organization’s first permanent home will be at 23rd & Cherry. 

So where are the Central District’s biggest opportunities of 2011?  As for 2010, two out of three ain’t bad. 

0 thoughts on “Top 3 Central District opportunities of 2010: Were they realized?

  1. Let’s be honest, even at the best of times and in the best of locations opening a new business is a risky proposition, particularly a food business. I would love to see all the vacant retail space in the neighborhood being filled, as there is a certain critical mass needed to make a retail district really thrive. While we are waiting, though, we could all do a bit more to support the businesses we already have (I am writing this from SOHO Coffee). Go see a movie at Central Cinema or have a drink at the Twilight Exit or some Barbeque from Barbeque Pit or a po boy from Louisiana Grill or chicken from Ezell’s. Buy your groceries at the Red Apple instead of heading to Capitol Hill to shop. Only then we can expect new businesses to find these locations more appealing…..

  2. And don’t forget Cheeky Cafe! Their food’s great, and they are just down Jackson from the Corner Store & Deli place mentioned above.

  3. #1 on my list would be for someone to do something with the old Cash For Gold storefront on 23rd, across the street from the post office. Last I heard it was going to be turned into a burger joint but so far nothing has happened.

  4. I tried the BBQ Pit the other day. The pork sandwich was great though they were out of coleslaw. Dont forget Thompsons Point of View. You will likely be surprised at your experience there. The Haleluiah(sp)chicken wings will haunt your dreams.

  5. Those corners where you can get your drugs, guns, and be mugged. Just sayin…

  6. i think that location is ripe, particularly since the coffee shop on 25th is doing well. however, as I understand it, the landlord doesn’t return calls from prospective business owners. think it would make a great coffee shop, small wine tasting room, bakery, sandwich shop, etc

  7. Yeah like those corners in Downtown or Pioneer Square or Lower Queen Anne or Cap Hill or Belltown where you can get your drugs, guns, and be mugged.

    Just sayin…

  8. …or Grocery Outlet, or Madison Market, or Trader Joe’s, or Safeway…there are an amazing number of grocery stores within a short walk from most parts of the CD. Really no need to go to the Hill unless you can’t live without QFC.

  9. Looking forward to this space getting filled with a solid tenant. Seems like if it were re-configured a bit it could be a nice space for a coffee shop. Or, within it’s current configuration a great place for some sort of take out (Thai, pizza, etc). Last I heard a bakery was considering the space….anybody know what happened to this?

  10. The quality of resturants here are improving along places to go for a drink. We need a quality food store to take the place of the Red Apple ghetto mart and if we allow DESC to occupy key empty buldings in our area along with other social services we can kiss whatever progress we have made good bye. Somehow I think they know that and want to keep the CD as a dumping ground.

  11. “take the place of the Red Apple ghetto mart”….. with what? PCC? Whole Foods? QFC? another Safeway? The Red Apple has great people, good produce, an interesting variety of ethnic foods for many of the different folks that live in our neighborhood. It’s not a large store, so they don’t have a huge inventory, but they have a pretty decent selection of organic produce and aisle foods. Their prices aren’t the best, but I shop there because I want to support a grocery store that (for example) includes stuff in the meat dept that I’ve never heard of, and probably wouldn’t ever buy, but that someone thinks is delicious and which can’t be found at QFC. Seriously? If you are too good for the Red Apple at Promenade 23, then get yourself down to QFC on Rainier or up on Broadway….or head north to Whole Foods…..

  12. I haven’t heard an update on the DESC decisions – nothing for months. Anyone have an update on this?

  13. There is also the hidden gem of businesses in the Jackson Place Community southwest of the CD if you are looking to support more local neighborhood spots. Working Dog Bicycles, My World Dance & Fitness, Cafe Weekend (espresso) & C Art Gallery. The business association in this neighborhood has a facebook for more details & links to those new businesses.

    The Pontedera Condos finished in 2010 are also prime property for new commercial/ work live ventures, and the JPBA is looking for 7 complimentary businesses to fill these vacant spaces.

  14. I’m with Cindy here. Red Apple is improving the stock regularly. Prices are competitive & often better than QFC on same items. Give them a chance, you may be surprised (pleasantly).

  15. Please please tear down that suburban development known as Promanade 23 and please place a Whole Foods, a Metropolitian Market, a Trader Joes, something that sells a variety of good food. Red
    Apple was a Tradewell some 20 years ago and was a decent store. To accept this inferior store with some kind of false honor is delusional. I am tired of driving to a decent store when I could walk to a good one. Yes, bring Whole Foods, a Metropolitian Market, a Trader Joes here, now!

  16. Y’all are silly snobs. Red Apple is a great market, which for me means fresh collard and mustard greens at all times, decent background music, and old school cashiers. We don’t need any more yucky, yuppy overpriced friggin’ markets here. Can we please try to preserve a modicum of the old CD, the one that we loved so much that we moved to?

  17. Red Apple is a love hate for me…

    They have a great beer selection and like that they offer more selection in regards to ethnic foods. Unfortunately, their prices are higher than other neighborhood grocery stores, it’s a bit unclean and I have actually found opened and partially consumed items on their shelves. I might note that I have been to the Red Apple in Magnolia as well and know that their prices are also slightly higher.

    It is quite obvious that Red Apple managers pay attention to who shops in their stores because the offerings at the Red Apple in Magnolia and Central District are DRASTICALLY different. Unlike QFC and Safeway that carry pretty much the same items with a splash of ethic foods that seem more appropriate for the neighborhood.

  18. On Nov. 9th, 2010 the DESC held a public meeting at the Giddens School to inform the Jackson Place community they would be siting a new program called the Crisis Solutions Center on South Lane Street.

    Public records obtained by the Jackson Place Alliance for Equity (JPAE) show the DPD has been working with the DESC since July 2010 to help the DESC classify the Crisis Solutions Center as a hospital instead of a jail or work release facility to avoid a lengthy permit and public comments process. According to land use codes, a hospital would be considered a permissible use at 1600 and 1618 South Lane Street. However documents reveal the Crisis Solutions Center is not a hospital, but rather it is similar to incarceration uses, which are not permissible under the Land Use Code for siting at the 1600 and 1618 South Lane address. If proper processes were followed, the Crisis Solutions Center will not be permitted for siting without notice to the public and a full, transparent, public review process.

    The Crisis Solutions Center has been endorsed by City elected officials, including the Executive, Council members, and the City Attorney. Public records reveal emails sent by City elected officials and the DESC enlisting the DPD in facilitating quick approval and construction without public review.

    Even worthwhile programs carried out by worthy agencies, endorsements by elected officials, and intentions to serve particular populations are not bases for cutting corners on the Land Use Code. The DPD is not only violating its own Land Use Code, but also the civil rights of the Jackson Place community on which the use would be imposed.

    As a result, the JPAE has filed a Land Use Request for Interpretation Request with the DPD concerning DESC’s proposed development of the Crisis Solutions Center at 1600 and 1618 South Lane Street. The JPAE is committed to seeking a fair and transparent review of the Land Use Code and permissible use at 1600 and 1618 South Lane Street.

    The Jackson Place Alliance for Equity (JPAE) is an organized neighborhood group focused on addressing concerns about siting the DESC’s Crisis Solutions Center at 1600 and 1618 South Lane Street, located in the Jackson Place Community of Central Seattle.