The block southeast corner of 23rd and Union could someday be the site of one or more 65-foot buildings. Comment period is officially open on plans to rezone the property from 40 feet to 65 feet, a change that property owners hope will make it easier to find a developer who will replace the aging strip mall. 65 feet — likely six floors — is the same height as the already-approved-but-stalled project across the street.
Efforts to rezone and redevelop the property kicked into high gear in recent months with the announcement that the Post Office will be leaving. The Post Office is by far the property’s biggest tenant, and property owner Tom Bangasser is not hopeful that another business or organization will want to invest in the space, especially the sprawling 24th and Union parking lot that used to house mail delivery vehicles.
The Post Office has already moved its distribution efforts to 4th and Lander, and the PO Boxes are moving to Broadway. The whole Post Office will be gone by January.
To comment on the rezone, call (206) 684-8467 or email [email protected] (refer to Master Project #3005931).
Because the Post Office is such an anchor to the block, other businesses in the area are concerned about declining foot traffic. As the longtime property owner for the entire block, Bangasser believes it is time for large-scale changes. He has already spearheaded community outreach efforts to start the conversation about the future of the storied corner, and he said there are plans for many more such efforts in the near future (stay tuned for details).
Often, rezones like the one currently proposed are part of a specific project. In this case, there are no building designs and no developers involved. This zone change would make it easier for a prospective developer to get a 65-foot project moving. It will require approval by the City Council, and will likely not be decided until late this year or early 2014.