Business, News

PCC Moving to Columbia City

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From Lakewood-Seward Park Community News

COLUMBIA CITY – The recently announced construction of a PCC in Columbia City has Seward Park residents wondering what they might expect as a result. The new store opens in 2015 on the site of the current Columbia Plaza. There are many unknowns to be worked out, but Scott McCormick, store director for the Seward Park PCC, has shared some information in response to questions from his shoppers and neighbors.

The Columbia City PCC, just one mile from the present store, will be the ground floor tenant of a five-story multi-use project called The Angeline (shown below), which will have 193 apartments. The new PCC will be more than twice the size of the Seward Park PCC and offer almost five times the parking. The larger space, like the other new PCC stores in recent years, allows PCC to offer more products from local producers and to hire additional staff. The current location will be closed, likely at the same time the new store opens. PCC has no plans for the Seward Park site at this time but is very mindful of the concern of nearby residents that it be used in a way that complements and supports the neighborhood.

PCC is also aware of the opportunity the new location in Columbia City presents to serve a wider range of customers and interests, and welcomes input from local organizations and individuals as to how the co-op can continue to be a valued community resource and member. Anyone with suggestions is invited to share them with Scott at the store, or through Diana Chapman at PCC’s business office at 206-547-1222.

Photo/Rainier Valley Post

22 comments on “PCC Moving to Columbia City

  1. GLAD, SAD and WORRIED…
    GLAD: bigger store = more selection, more off-street parking, AND they might have the space to give cooking classes like they do in their other stores.
    SAD: no longer in walking distance or a quick drive for 7 AM half & half emergencies.
    WORRIED: the current location might become a ghost town—loss of PCC could hurt other businesses there, or they’ll put in a dollar store.

  2. We have several times emailed the PCC board and leadership about this and not one bothered to reply.

  3. I am very concerned about the future of the local business district in Lakewood/Seward Park. PCC has been the anchor store in the district for decades. It’s loss could be devastating if proper actions are not taken. As PCC owns the property they have complete control over its future. I have written 3 email to PCC (Board and CEO) about my concerns and have never received a response. The silence is troubling. PCC puts a lot of effort into farmland preservation. I believe they have an even greater obligation to put similar effort into community preservation and make sure their property does not become a blight on the neighborhood.

  4. Well said Russ! I’ve been thinking about that a lot and what would work there that would benefit the neighborhood and be a big anchor for the other stores—and be financially successful. So far, I haven’t come up with much.

    It’s a big space, but not big enough for something like Staples—but even if it were, how often does one need to buy office supplies? Maybe—if it could draw from all over the neighborhood, but with free shipping available from both Staples and Office Depot, location is becoming moot.

    Here’s the best I can come up with (based on my own experience in marketing and personal shopping, and my own unscientific PCC shopper profile:
    • a City-Peoples type garden/landscaping/gift store
    • a Crafting Complex (could be split into smaller spaces with specialty vendors). Crafting is a huge hobby that crosses many generations.
    • a Child-based complex: (again—could be split into smaller spaces with specialty vendors) kids’ book/music, clothing, toys, classes (music, art, drama). Sadly it would compete with some great places in Columbia City.

    We truly do not need another bar or restaurant in the area, and they don’t draw people in on a regular basis like retail can.There are few businesses that have the constant traffic of a grocery store. And we know PCC would not allow another grocery store there.

    Sadly, the most profitable use of the space is most likely multi-family housing—not much of an anchor for the existing businesses. It would be great if PCC would fund some market research and feasibility studies to see how best to use the space to the benefit of all. Let’s hope they are.

    I suggest we all start hounding PCC with questions about this.

  5. Does PCC actually own the building and land there? I was just wondering.

    Solvay – I love the idea of a City-People’s type store there.

  6. Vita will be fine; the majority of customers are very loyal and neighborhood folks. The pet shop will be fine; those are also mainly neighborhood folks. The hair salon seems to be appt. only. Pizutto’s has a regular clientele.

    I do not think PCC brings in the majority of these businesses’ customers…although I do think it would be great if something neighborhood-friendly goes in.

  7. I doubt an office supply place would go in. OfficeMax and Office Depot sorta announced a merger today because of the difficulties each is facing. The kids place sounds like an option – definitely a demand and the PCC locale is safer and has more available free parking than CC. Dare I say a large pot shop? It’s not close to a school but I don’t know all the regs. A City Peoples would definitely rock there.

  8. Damn!, now I will have to go to Columbia City to get my $8.00 bottle of tonic water. J/K (kind of).

    Some kind of specialty foods store would be nice for some of those hard to find items, and the neighborhood could probably support a business like that.

    You can’t find a pair of Levis arround here, but it is probably too small for a clothing store.

  9. Fabulous! A wonderful grocery store within driving distance from Mercer Island. Only I’m so jealous — the Rainier Valley has the PCC and not the island. Wow! How’d you do it?

  10. @Fern
    There used to be a Kosher Deli half a block away where Flame Catering is now.
    They made me leave the building to put cheese on my sandwich.

    Good sandwich though.

  11. @Solvay Girl: I’ve been told by PCC there will be a PCC cooks! classroom/kitchen in the new store. Hooray!

  12. Why are we giving up on a grocery store? PCC – for all it’s talk about community and local – needs to be pressured into doing what’s right for a neighborhood that supported them for over 20 years by allowing a grocery store in that location.

  13. I’m sure PCC will do the same thing as Safeway in the sale agreement and not allow another grocery store there.

    It sucks, but I bet that’s what happens.

  14. Would love to see a pastry/deli shop there, similar to a small “store” called Icebox Grocery in the Queen Anne area. Although they don’t really carry many groceries, it seems to fill a niche in the immediate neighborhood, offering breakfast, lunch, early dinner/takeout, French press coffee, etc. I saw a lot of people walking in and getting dinner to go. I think a shop like that could fit in without cannibalizing the other nearby businesses.

  15. That’s a great idea Niko—especially since there is already a kitchen there.
    The space is pretty large, so perhaps there could be some seating. Sounds like an interesting business model for an enterprising chef to follow. I assume it could work as a catering/take-out/eat-in business as well.

    Ahhh… we can all dream!

  16. The Trader Joes is missing out. I drive to Madison at least once a week.
    PCC is too random and too expensive. Organic and Eco friendly needs to be ecomonical not a status symbol.

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