(Preferred ‘massing’ rendering by Hewitt, from Early Design Guidance packet for 2749 California SW)
8:01 AM: For more than a year, we’ve been reporting on changes at the longtime West Seattle site of PCC Natural Markets (2749 California SW; WSB sponsor) – first an ownership change, then indications a redevelopment project was ahead. PCC promised all along that once it knew whether it would be part of the redevelopment, it would let us know as soon as its staff knew. Last night, PCC closed its West Seattle store early for a staff meeting, at which time employees were told what the co-op is sharing with us and you this morning: PCC **WILL** be part of the redevelopment project, which means a closure during construction, but then a brand-new store:
PCC Natural Markets is finally able to announce that we have secured our long-term future in West Seattle, a community we have served for over 25 years. While the co-op’s current location on California Avenue SW will be redeveloped, PCC reached an agreement with the new landlord and will return as the retail tenant in the building once the project is complete.
Demolition will begin next year and, as a result, we anticipate the West Seattle PCC will temporarily close in early 2017. While we are sad to close for a while, we are pleased to confirm that we will be able to serve our West Seattle members and shoppers for decades to come.
We will reopen on California Avenue S.W. in the second half of 2018 with a 25,000-square foot store that will feature all the best that PCC has to offer. During the closure, we will continue to offer delivery to West Seattle through both Instacart and Prime Now.
PCC’s dedicated, knowledgeable, and friendly staff is a true key to our success, so during the closure, we will place our current West Seattle employees in our other PCC locations. Our hope is that many will stay with the co-op and return to West Seattle when the new store opens.
We look forward to continuing to welcome you into our West Seattle store over the coming months, and we hope to see you at our other stores, including the not-too-far away Columbia City PCC.
PCC has been a tenant at this site for more than a quarter of a century; as we first reported last May, Madison Development Group – bought the site for $5,750,000, but its plan for a new mixed-use building did not emerge until last month. As we reported along with news of a July 21st Design Review meeting, Madison’s early-stage plan is for 112 apartments over 25,000 square feet of retail space, with below-ground parking as well as the existing surface lot on the southwest side of the site.
This will be the second grocery-store redevelopment in the area; barely a block away, Admiral Safeway was rebuilt in 2010-2011. Madison Development Group also was part of that project – not the store itself, but the apartment building on the site’s east side, which another developer had initiated but couldn’t finish; Madison also was the final developer of the Spruce West Seattle site on the east edge of The Junction.
2:52 PM: We talked this afternoon by phone with PCC CEO Cate Hardy, to ask a few of the questions that have come up in comments, plus a few that we had.
First – the new store is not yet designed, so what it will and won’t include is yet to be determined. But it will be almost twice the size of the current West Seattle store, 25,000 square feet (current one is 13,000). The current store has 86 offstreet parking spaces; the current plan (subject to change) is for about 40 underground spaces in the new building, plus the 31 existing ones in the surface lot at 44th/Stevens.
Hardy was careful not to promise that anything you’re seeing in the newest PCC stores – Bothell, which opened today, plus Columbia City and Green Lake – would be replicated in the new West Seattle store, but she mentioned some possibilities: Full-service meat/seafood counter, for example; an “extensive” selection of made-in-store meals; rotisserie meats. And, “More of what’s already great,” including more room for more produce, bulk foods, etc.
The store’s 125 staff members are being offered not only employment in other PCC stores, but also incentives to stay at West Seattle until it closes next year, something Hardy says might be “unprecedented” for a situation like this.
Again, the PCC-plus-112-apartments project, which is being developed by the site’s new owner Madison, goes before the Design Review Board on July 21st.