Yesterday, King 5 ran the following story on the PCC opening. Click here for the video:
SEATTLE — A new grocery store opened in Seattle Friday and while that alone might not seem like an important headline, in Columbia City it’s getting a lot of attention.
The diverse neighborhood south of downtown has been changing for years, but lately there are some prominent signs of development and its impact on the community.
“We just thought it was an incredible opportunity to join this vibrant, thriving community, growing in every way,” said PCC CEO Cate Hardy during a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday morning.
The natural market caters to discerning shoppers who are willing to pay a little extra for quality, and the chain’s latest up-and-coming customer base is in Columbia City.
A few floors above, new studio apartments rent for $1,700 a month.
Though this historic south-end neighborhood has added a lot of new storefronts in recent years, this new development is quite a change.
“Today, quite honestly, it felt very different. It’s just bustling,” said Genessa Krasnow, who lives nearby.
Just down the street, a developer wants to build a six-story apartment building with retail space. It’s among seven planned projects within a few blocks near Rainier Avenue South.
One of them is going in right across the street from Faye Lowe’s long-time home.
“42 years, raised my children here,” she said from her porch.
Her property value “has reached the sky, it’s amazing,” but she’s apprehensive about all this change.
“It’s kind of overwhelming because it’s just too much construction, you know I’ve lost my quiet neighborhood,” Lowe said.
Affordable housing groups say they’re watching Columbia City closely, knowing that although development brings jobs, it often drives low-income families out of their neighborhood.
Some of the first shoppers at PCC share that concern.
“I’m hoping that we will still see all of the diversity that I have come to know and love in Columbia City,” said Debra Bouchegnies, who was checking out the new store’s displays.