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Is Amazon opening a grocery store on Capitol Hill?

Amazon’s IRL experiments could expand to E Pike

[Avalon Communities]

Is Amazon opening a brick-and-mortar grocery store at Pike and Belmont? Capitol Hill Seattle has obtained some data that would seem to imply that they are: An Amazon city program manager, previously involved in Amazon’s digital-and-physical space hybrid projects, listed on city paperwork related to a retail project.That, combined with a previous report that the location will house a grocery store, seems connected to the upcoming brick-and-mortar grocery projects Amazon announced last month.

If this isn’t just a compelling coincidence, a real Amazon grocery store would be opening in the retail space below the AVA building—the one with the preserved BMW dealership facade—at 600 E Pike.

An Amazon grocery store would be competing with a whole lot of square footage already devoted to grocery in Capitol Hill—not just big businesses, like the neighborhood’s three QFCs, but smaller outfits like Central Co-Op. This would pit Amazon, who is actively working on eliminating staff and checkout lines in the retail space with projects like Amazon Go, against several stores repped by unions that have traditionally opposed anything that reduces or eliminates staffing by real, non-robotic people.

Not that competition has kept Amazon from moving into a neighborhood before. Their drive-up grocery store in Ballard at 15th Ave NW and NW 52nd St—just a stone’s throw from a Trader Joe’s, a Safeway, and a Fred Meyer—looks just about ready for a ribbon-cutting. A second project rumored to also be a grocery store has a little less competition: The old Sears building in SODO.

Amazon’s secretive drive-up grocery store in Seattle looks ready to open soon [GeekWire]