Vulcan just bought a major Central District shopping center for redevelopment

Promenade 23 in 2009, before the construction on 23rd Avenue. (Photo by Matthew Rutledge via Flickr.)
Promenade 23 in 2009, before the construction on 23rd Avenue. (Photo by Matthew Rutledge via Flickr.)

Get ready for some more major changes along 23rd Avenue.

Vulcan, the company that has spearheaded South Lake Union’s recent development, announced this week that it has purchased Promenade 23, the two shopping centers on either side of Jackson Street at 23rd Avenue for $30.9 million.

The company said in a press release yesterday that it plans to build a mixed-use project on the south side of Jackson, currently the location of a Red Apple Market, Taco del Mar, East African Imports and close to a dozen other small businesses.

Officials with Vulcan, founded by investor Paul Allen, say they don’t yet have a plan for the businesses currently located in that part of the property.

“We’ll be engaging in conversations with them in the coming months,” said Vulcan Real Estate Investment Strategy Director Lori Mason Curran.

The current development proposal includes 570 apartments in two five- to seven-story buildings with underground parking, a public plaza and retail on the ground floor.

The company also stated that 20 percent of the project’s housing will be reserved for households who make 65 percent of Area Median Income as part of the city’s Multi-Family Tax Exemption. According to the city’s 2015 numbers, a single person who makes $40,820 or less or a two-person family that makes $46,605 or less would qualify for one of the reserved units. There are no current plans for the part of the property on the north side of Jackson with the Starbucks and Walgreens.

According to the company, construction on the project is slated to start in mid- to late-2017 and will last for two years. The Capitol Hill Seattle blog points out that Vulcan’s proposed timing coincides with the start of the second phase of the 23rd Avenue Project, which have disrupted the small businesses along the corridor, many of which are minority-owned.

Businesses along 23rd brought their concerns to a hearing at Seattle City Hall on Wednesday, citing a substantial drops in customers for the small business-owners in the neighborhood, according to PubliCola. Seattle King County NAACP President Gerald Hankerson questioned whether the road project’s intention was to push out minority businesses from the neighborhood, which has been historically black.