PCC Natural Markets will be part of the development of a mixed-use building that will replace the City People’s Garden Store in Madison Valley. The store’s announcement of a possible impending sale and development of the property came last month, with much vocalized dismay from both the garden store and community members.
Now we learn that the development is moving forward, with a plan to break ground early next year. The Velmeir Companies is the development group spearheading the project, which is planned to include 26,600 square feet of retail space, of which PCC will occupy 25,000. Additionally, there will be 75 apartments and two levels of underground parking for 156 spaces, for a total projected size of 160,000 square feet.
Not surprisingly, the neighborhood is opposed to the development on top of being sad to lose the longtime garden retailer, City People’s. The top concerns? The size of the development and the additional traffic. “We want the neighborhood to be safe and livable and walkable. All those things would be undermined with something at that scale,” Kevin Murphy, a Madison Valley resident, told the Seattle Times.
Murphy and the recently formed group Save Madison Valley are also concerned about flooding issues that could be exacerbated by the loss of some large trees on the site. Flooding is already an issue in the area, and these trees are slated to be removed for the development.
In response, Velmeir has expressed sympathy to the community’s concerns. A Vice President, Geza de Gall, has noted key aspects of the development plan, which are designed to mitigate these issues. In addition to the two levels of underground parking, the company plans to put its loading zone in the garage, and work with civil engineers to ensure the land on and near the site is stabilized.
Despite the community’s concerns, the announcement that PCC would be the primary retailer in the space has been positively received. The natural food grocer and City People’s “share a similar philosophy in terms of being environmentally responsible, community oriented, local as opposed to a national chain, and organic and health focused,” said Dianne Casper, a stakeholder of both City People’s and the property.
Featured photo source: SeattleTimes.com