West Seattle PCC has ‘secured our long-term future’ – part of new project at current site

(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.

48 Replies to "West Seattle PCC has 'secured our long-term future' - part of new project at current site"

  • Seattlite July 12, 2016 (8:04 am)

    This is great news.  PCC is my go to store. 

  • newnative July 12, 2016 (8:15 am)

    Good news!!

  • Sue July 12, 2016 (8:44 am)

    This is probably not the best business decision, as the Whole Foods is due to open in the second half of 2017, last I heard. So they’re giving all these people a chance to try out Whole Foods and possibly not return to PCC. I love PCC, but if it’s a choice between driving to Columbia City or walking a block to the Whole Foods, I’m going with WF. Will I end up returning to PCC? Time will tell. Risky business decision IMHO.

    • WSB July 12, 2016 (8:54 am)

      This isn’t a “business decision” – unless you think it would be wiser for them to just leave West Seattle forever? That’s their only other real choice. PCC leases the site. Madison – unrelated to PCC – bought it from PCC’s previous landlords a year ago and is redeveloping it. Until this announcement, it wasn’t even clear whether PCC would be part of the project or not – when we first reported on the Madison deal, PCC told us they hadn’t even been in discussions yet. Let’s say there was a site somewhere in West Seattle that they could build a new store. So either they close for at least a year and build a new store, or they close for at least a year to reopen at this site … or they leave WS forever when the landlord closes the building for the redevelopment project – TR

    • Marge E, July 12, 2016 (9:47 am)

      I don’t get the WF at all. If I were fabulously wealthy I’d be shopping at Metropolitan Markets. (which I do buy somethings from.) PCC is more than a store. It a membership and a community. 

      • rainycity1 July 13, 2016 (9:26 pm)

        Interesting that you feel that MM is more expensive.  While PCC is my initial ‘go to’ store for most items, it doesn’t stock some items that I want.  I haven’t done it lately, but in the early years after the remodel, I did some price comparison shopping.  At least for the things I typically buy, Metropolitan Market met or beat the prices at nearby stores.  Just my experience; your mileage may vary.

    • Seattlite July 12, 2016 (2:18 pm)

      Go to the two PCCs at Green Lake or the one in Freemont…easier traveling than to Columbia City.

  • newnative July 12, 2016 (8:47 am)

    Nothing will cause me to give Whole Foods any of my business.  Ever.  

  • Jissy July 12, 2016 (8:53 am)

    Good point, Sue but Columbia City here I come — I LOVE that new store!!!  Hope that is what the new WS store eventually looks like or even more like Issaquah.   WF feels so icky and corporate to me and feels like it lacks a soul – while I will probably shop there during the WS PCC closure now and then I will absolutely return to PCC.

  • Anne July 12, 2016 (9:00 am)

    Personally like having many options for grocery shopping  – Safeway, Thriftway,QFC, Met Mkt.PCC , local farmers markets, & soon Whole Foods. Too bad PCC will be gone from here for a year- it will be back- no doubt better than ever. While I probably won’t go to the CC location- I’m  not really worried that this great store will permanently lose customers.

  • Trickycoolj July 12, 2016 (9:06 am)

    Disappointing that they will close for a year and a half and couldn’t find either an interim site or an alternative to move in as soon as the existing store needs to be demolished. Any word on size comparison? Sq Ft is a little ambiguous to those of us not familiar with commercial real estate. I’ve been to the brand new East Green Lake store a ton and really love it, our store doesn’t carry nearly as much so I hope the new one will be similarly stocked.  

    • WSB July 12, 2016 (9:11 am)

      Right now PCC’s CEO Cate Hardy (who is a West Seattle resident) and other company leaders are opening their newest store in Bothell but I hope to talk with her later today. I’ll ask those and any other questions that come up here … TR

  • Jennifer July 12, 2016 (9:16 am)

    Whole Foods is not PCC. PCC is a coop and run by it’s members and does a lot in the community and helps farmers. They are choosy about what products they sell. PCC is expensive but not as expensive as many of the things Whole Foods sells. I do shop at Whole Foods but only for a few things I don’t find at PCC. Otherwise I support PCC with my shopping dollars because I appreciate what they stand for. We need PCC in West Seattle and I am very thankful that while gone for a year they will be back. I for one will check out the Colombia City location!!

  • LarryB July 12, 2016 (9:23 am)

    I wish there was a PCC closer than Columbia City. I often go to both PCC and Met Market on the same shopping trip for items that one has that the other doesn’t. As for Safeway and QFC, I really don’t care for either. I don’t buy processed foods, their organic selection is minimal, and it feels like all the “fresh” food is made of plastic.

    I guess I’ll be stopping at WFM on the way home from work. I think their meat program is solid and can move the industry, but I don’t like their produce.

  • KM July 12, 2016 (9:32 am)

    I don’t know what I did to deserve both PCC and Whole Foods in my neighborhood, but I’m incredibly grateful! Excited to see PCC’s new store.

  • NotOnHolden July 12, 2016 (9:36 am)

    Really bummed that they’re closing for a year.  What about White Center or that general area in the interim?  Oh well.  

    • Amanda July 12, 2016 (12:59 pm)

      Agreed! How about that old Safeway in Arbor Heights. Isn’t that charter school on hold anyway? 

  • Mrs.T July 12, 2016 (9:56 am)

    So glad to hear that this worked out! I will miss the employees at this store and hope they find their way back after a year or more. Not sure where I will go for produce when they are closed though, at least in the winter when the market is light on product. Any other produce snobs out there have a suggestion for me for organic produce?

    • Jennifer July 12, 2016 (10:10 am)

       I’m in the same boat Mrs. T. Met market has some organic but nothing compares to PCC. I think I’m going to have to drive to PCC in CC….sigh….

  • JayDee July 12, 2016 (10:28 am)

    Using Google Earth, the footprint of the entire building is roughly 15,000 ft2, so if they are talking complete footprint, 25,000 ft2 is a much larger footprint. If it is just “front of the house” much much larger.

  • seekingsunshine July 12, 2016 (10:46 am)

    I’m really bummed out about the closure, but thrilled that they will return to the same location. I agree with the others, you really can’t compare PCC to WF.  PCC supports local farmers and is such a huge part of the community. They are also very picky about what products they carry, far more than WF. 

    I’m concerned about the employees – they are all being transferred to other locations with no guarantee that they will be able to work at the new WS PCC. Many have worked at this locations for many years. In better news, you can shop PCC on Amazon Prime Now – which is what I’ll plan to do during the closure. 

  • Heidi H July 12, 2016 (10:53 am)

    Thrilled that PCC will be back. It’s a block from my house and I really value the ethos of the co-op, the employees and seeing my neighbors there. Not to mention the amazing deli and what will soon be a broader selection and more space. All good in the end. Now I just have to build a carport as there will be zero parking on 44th once this new site opens.

    • Jennifer July 12, 2016 (11:22 am)

      Hi Neighbor! I am worried about that too but hoping they build parking underground for the businesses and apartments. PCC gets so many shoppers that I can’t imagine them not building in some kind of parking. Fingers crossed!

  • Kadoo July 12, 2016 (11:00 am)

    What a relief that PCC will be back! All in all, good news. 

  • NW July 12, 2016 (11:07 am)

    Maybe some PCC shoppers are in the income bracket to practice philanthropy while shopping for food I however am not so will keep shopping Costco and sales at other grocers in the area. 


    • Jennifer July 12, 2016 (12:57 pm)

      Hi NW, I totally understand where you are coming from. I don’t have a ton of money either but what I do have I try to make count. If you are a member of PCC you get a 10% off coupon you can use once a month on any day. I do all my shopping for non perishables for the month on one day and use the coupon. That helps a lot. I also use coupons I get from various sources like the Chinook book as an example to get lower prices on things. I also shop the sales at PCC and stock up when something I use is on sale. All I’m saying is there are ways to shop there and still save money. I shop at other stores too for sales. Nothing wrong with shopping at Costco. They have good deals too. 

  • Deb July 12, 2016 (11:14 am)

    Ditto what Newnative said. 


  • Astro July 12, 2016 (12:47 pm)

    I’m happy PCC will be staying in W. Seattle but sad they will be closed for over a year. Personally, I will choose PCC over Whole Foods and I’m not looking forward to the additional traffic jam Whole Foods is going to bring to my neighborhood.  

  • Amanda July 12, 2016 (1:02 pm)

    I was secretly holding out for PCC to open at the old Safeway in Arbor Heights since the whole charter school thing is up in the air. *dreams shattered* Still will make the drive, though. Their produce is the best! 

  • prayforrain July 12, 2016 (1:04 pm)

    To those lamenting the year closure for construction:  it could have been a lot worse.  

    All in all this is pretty good news. 

  • WSB July 12, 2016 (1:18 pm)

    Just talked by phone with PCC’s CEO – will write it into a longer addition to the story above but a couple things people have brought up:

    *Store size – it will be the full 25,000 SF retail space in the development. That’s considerably bigger than the current store (the exact square footage of which is being looked up).

    *Staff – The entire 125-member staff is guaranteed work in the organization when the current WS store closes, and also is being offered “incentives” to stay at WS until then.  As for what will happen in 2 years when the new store opens, too soon to say, she said. 

  • Neighbor July 12, 2016 (1:24 pm)

    Attention PCC Shoppers!!!

    When  the store closes its doors it’s a great time to try a  CSA! The food is fresher than anything else in town (other than  your own home grown), and your still supporting our local farmers. There a few that have drop sites around West Seattle. My family has been shareholders with Helsing Farms for a couple years now and are constantly amazed at how good we’re eating for 20% less at least. 

  • Neighbor July 12, 2016 (1:25 pm)

    5 thumbs up!! This is my go to store and what Jennifer said. I think there are hidden costs in shopping elsewhere – for one example by not supporting local farmers or organic there might be a future bad cost. It may sound philanthropic to some but it’s a fear I have 

  • Joe Dirt July 12, 2016 (1:52 pm)

    I will be so glad when they are done “developing” California Ave north of Andover. So tired of the noise, dirt, trash, detours, parking restrictions, construction vehicles, etc. it’s ok when it’s one or 2 at a time but there were 4 in a row almost at the same time between Andover and Charlestown. Rally proj is still going. Throw in others still going a few blocks north and now PCC we’ll have non stop construction going on for about 4 years. If you think I’m wrong come try living in the middle of it see what you think. Complaints to DPD and elected officials go nowhere. I hope no one else in WS has to deal with what we have been dealing with in Genessee/Admiral. Enough!

    • MsD July 13, 2016 (12:57 am)

      Totally agree, but at the rate the apartment building across California from Rally is going,  they’ll be “redeveloping” it before it’s finished.  Seriously, I think they built Safeco and CenturyLink quicker than that place.

  • Junction Lady July 12, 2016 (2:10 pm)

    PCC has awesome prepared foods-wouldn’t it be great if the new and improved WS PCC had a larger area to serve the customers!  

  • Quilterwoman July 12, 2016 (2:54 pm)

    Oh yay!  I’m glad to hear that they’re working to keep the people as well.  I love PCC, and a huge part of why is the people.  They’re the best.

    I’ll go to CC until the new store opens, and then I’ll be back.  

    Great news!

  • ellipses July 12, 2016 (4:42 pm)

    I also love paying $7/lb for poblanos! I heart PCC!

  • Wsgal July 12, 2016 (6:28 pm)

    A year and a half for such a big project is highly unlikely. When I first daughter out whole foods for my business they said early 2016 and spring line on California near PCC had a delivery date of 1/16- they are still 2 months from opening. Whole foods is a year late. 

    Side note: no one has to drive to Columbia city! Amazon now app- is COMPLETELY free grocery delivery and they deliver PCCs entire inventory for a gratuity (if you see fit) within the hour. Instacart- free two hour delivery with $89 membership. You can view PCCs entire inventory in both apps- bulk and all. I have g done brick and mortar shopping there since the apps came out. 

    • Amanda July 13, 2016 (12:25 pm)

      Wish Instacart would delivery to Arbor Heights… we’re still cut-off from their service area. 

      • Mizliss July 13, 2016 (10:25 pm)

        Try again, Amanda. It may have changed. We’re in Arbor Heights and Instacart delivers here.

  • Madness July 12, 2016 (7:54 pm)

    Brilliant! Double the size of the store, reduce the number of parking spots, and add 112 apartments!

    I would ask “when is this madness going to end?”, but sadly, the answer is likely never…. 

    • WSB July 12, 2016 (7:59 pm)

      Please note that the parking spaces discussed here are for the store, not including the one-to-one required spaces (since this is not a “frequent transit” zone) for the units.

  • Rachel July 12, 2016 (11:22 pm)

    People! You can continue to shop PCC via Instacart or Prime Now during the closure. The services are awesome and driving/ parking are a non issue.   Try them out.   So thankful for PCC’s opportunity to roll with the changes and actually grow with our community.

  • Dana July 13, 2016 (2:53 pm)

    This is great news!  I’m glad to see that we won’t be losing PCC.  While Whole Foods may get some of their business, I think that their customers will return.  Especially with the bigger space

  • onion July 13, 2016 (7:02 pm)

    You can also save money by shopping at pcc, such as only buying 50 cents worth of a fresh spice from the bulk section rather than 4$ or more for a jar that goes stale before you use it all from another store. Smart shoppers use multiple stores to get the best foods at the best price.

  • Ken July 15, 2016 (8:21 am)

    This is wonderful news!!!  I am thrilled…PCC is a part of our community and offers some things that others stores do not (products as well as culture and mission).  I am very happy and very appreciative that PCC and the landlord were able to negotiate an agreement.  Thank you!!!

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