Late last month, we learned that development is finally moving forward at the former Vitamilk Dairy site, a three-acre empty lot of land frequently referred to by locals as “The Big Hole.”
The property, located between Woodlawn Ave NE, NE 71st St, 5th Ave NE and NE 72nd St, has been a vacant pit for three years. (You can read more about the history of the project and last month’s announcement here.)
Ground breaking for a large mixed-use project, called “Green Lake Village,” is targeted for this winter, and opening is scheduled for late 2013.
Green Lake Village will include approximately 300 studio, one-bedroom and two-bedroom apartments in five stories, 50,000sf of retail space and an underground parking garage, according to Lorig.
Public spaces and a pedestrian-focused design are being developed, including a mid-block pedestrian connection between Woodlawn Ave NE and 5th Ave NE.
Diane Crane, Director of Sustainability at PCC, says that the staff and management of the natural food retail co-operative is “really, really excited” about the new location, which will be their 10th store in the region.
“We’ve been working on getting the Vitamilk spot for a very long time,” Crane says. “We had almost given up on it, but we finally got the lease. It’s a firm contract, and we are opening sometime in 2013.”
Crane says that PCC has received many emails and phone calls from people asking about the future of west Green Lake’s PCC (7504 Aurora Ave N). ”At this point,” she said, “we will keep that store open. We attract a lot of traffic from the west side of Aurora. Years down the road, if everybody drives over [to the east Green Lake location], [closing the Aurora location] might be a consideration. But, if there is not a financial reason to close that store, we won’t do that.”
The new east Green Lake PCC will be about twice the size of the Aurora location. The character of the store, Crane says, will be similar to the Fremont location, which is also located on the ground level of a mixed-use building.
“It will be a community gathering place,” she says, “a visit, stay-as-long-as-you-want kind of place.” There will be a classroom for PCC Cooks classes, a pizza bar, a gelato bar and a deli. The design will have an eco-friendly focus.
The store is expected to employ about 130 full- and part-time employees.
“We hope to serve folks from within the Green Lake area,” Crane says, “and also folks from outside the area.”
PCC would like to hear your thoughts and suggestions about the new store. You can reach PCC at communityrelations [at] pccsea.com or (206) 547-1222.
And, to participate in a discussion about Green Lake Village and the new PCC with your neighbors, please leave a comment below.