Central Area businesses hope for spot in Vulcan development | KUOW News and Information

Central Area businesses hope for spot in Vulcan development

Jul 23, 2016

For years, the Central District didn’t get much investment. But recently, the city poured money into infrastructure improvements on 23rd Avenue. Then Vulcan bought a city block of real estate along the route. 

The real estate giant is planning 40,000 square feet of retail space and 570 apartments. They’re also planning a second development across the street.

Moe Toure, owner of Toure Apparel: “I like to see the neighborhood improve, of course, but at the same time, I want to stay around.”

Toure expects to lose customers if he has to move.

Toure: “It depends how far I go. If I move very close, I probably still lose 50 percent of the customers. If I move even farther, I might lose 90 percent.”

The Central District is the historic heart of Seattle's African-American community. Project documents suggest Vulcan Real Estate will approach the project with sensitivity toward that legacy.

The plan is to set aside some retail space for smaller businesses, even micro businesses that operate out of kiosks. There may be an option for those businesses to purchase their space or purchase a share of the space. 

That's unusual, as most developers want big retail tenants, which are easier to manage.

A public meeting to discuss the project is at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday at the Central Area Youth Association. Interested citizens may also contribute written comments, if they cannot attend in person.

KUOW will follow with in-depth coverage of this development as part of our Region of Boom project.