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Central Co-op pulls bid for a grocery store at Capitol Hill Link Station

#CooptheStation is no more

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After a year of running a robust advocacy campaign, Central Co-op has dropped their bid to become the anchor tenant for a mixed-use development at the Capitol Hill Link Light Rail station.

The decision was based on a lease rate from the developer that was “higher than [the Co-op] was used to,” Co-op spokesperson Susanna Schultz confirmed to Curbed Seattle.

The dropped bid was first announced at an owner meeting on Sunday.

Since announcing the bid in April 2016, the Co-op had been encouraging the public to participate in a letter-writing campaign to the developer supporting their bid, including stamped postcards their location and an online advocacy form.

The Co-op argued that a local business with a union staff would be a better fit for the station. Another frontrunner, Portland-based New Seasons, has been the target of protests from UFCW21, which represents grocery-store employees.

Three months after announcing their bid for the station development, Central Co-op lost their recently-merged Tacoma location during lease negotiations. Since then, the Co-op has been searching for a new Tacoma location while still advocating for the second Capitol Hill location.

Shultz told us that the two were not directly related: “Having to reopen a store in Tacoma was not something we anticipated when we announced the bid for the station.”

“Our resources are focused on opening the Tacoma location as quickly as we reasonably can,” she added.