Some 21 marijuana retail stores are set to open beginning next year, but zoning restrictions are strict: pot shops must be 1,000 feet from schools, public parks, libraries, and transit centers.
As we’ve reported in the past, it turns out that 23rd and Union has the potential to become a “Little Amsterdam” as the area is one of the few spots that meets these zoning challenges.
This revelation has drawn mixed reactions from the neighborhood, as KUOW recently reported. They report that some community members are “worried that a cluster of pot stores could bring crime to the area. They’re also concerned about kids having easier access to marijuana and how legalization will change the perception of pot.”
Others, though, like real estate investor Ian Eisenberg, who owns property at the corner, are looking forward to the economic opportunities this presents.
“It would bring new people to the neighborhood who are scared of the area from the past perceptions of crime,” Eisenberg told KUOW. “You go to one shop, then you try out another shop next door. That’s the whole idea of a shopping mall, or a strip mall. If we can find a way to pull new customers into 23rd and Union to try out businesses in the new developments — restaurants and bars — it’ll be great.”
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