During its annual owner meeting Sunday evening, Central Co-op announced that is pursuing the anchor tenant space in the Capitol Hill Station’s four-site, mixed-use project that will surround the recently opened transit station. Dan Arnett, the cooperative’s president and CEO believes that Central Co-op is “not only the best option for the site but [that] there’s a cultural link.”
Central Co-op’s upcoming formal proposal for the site pits the co-op against New Seasons, a Portland-based grocer that announced its interest in the location earlier this year. While both stores emphasize regional and organic food, Central Co-op’s workforce is unionized while New Season’s is not.
New Seasons’ interest in the Capitol Hill Site sparked dissent from labor advocacy groups earlier this year. Several groups sent a letter to the Sound Transit board, opposing New Seasons as the anchor tenant for the development. The groups argued that “access to jobs for low-income communities and opportunities for locally serving businesses” should be high priorities for the development project. Sound transit, however, does not involve itself in tenant selection which is being left to Gerding Edlen, the developer of the project. Gerding Edlen, the developer of the property, confirmed that, in addition to New Seasons, “we have received interest from other potential anchor tenants. We have not determined our anchor tenant yet.”
A potential grocery store is far from the only tenant going into retail spaces. Along with more traditional shops, Gerding Edlen envisions a large “bazar” called “The Market House”, which will include a mix of retailers housed in booths of varying sizes to accommodate start-ups as well as more established retailers.