Big Changes Coming to 23rd and Union

Central District BuildingBig changes to coming to 23rd and Union according to the Puget Sound Business Journal.  According to the brief article a six-story apartment complex with retail on the ground floor is planned for the corner where the vacant lot is located.  As many of us remember there was a brick building on the lot before it was torn down due to heavy settlement issues that caused the building to look as if it would fall over.  The lot was just sold for $3.8 million and the new owners hope to begin building this spring.

Central District Key Bank to Close

Key Bank

Courtesy of King County

One of the closest banks to our Madrona neighborhood, the Key Bank Central District Branch located on 23rd and Union is scheduled to close April 12th of this year.  Employees of the Central District Branch are being transferred to other Key Banks in the Seattle area.  If you opened your bank account at that branch, your account will be transferred to the Key Bank on Capitol Hill on 15th Avenue.  If you have a safety deposit box there, you can wait for instructions or contact the bank to make arrangements (contact information on first link above).

Search here to find other Key Bank close to Madrona.

The report is that the location will not be vacant for long.  Capitol Hill Housing will be redeveloping the lot and building affordable housing with offices on the main floor.

Central District Arrest Causing Controversy

Seattle PoliceI was driving in the car today and heard of a controversial arrest made by the Seattle Police on October 6th. Little did I know it happened on 23rd and Union near the liquor store parking lot in the Seattle Central District. Check out the video on Central District News and see for yourself what you think of the arrest. The video is long but if you start at the 4 minute mark you see the suspect refusing to answer the polices’ questions.  The police then tell him to put his hands behind his back and then the incident happens.

New Restaurant Opening in Madrona: Med Mix

The popular European favorite in Pioneer Square Mediterranean Mix announced that it was expanding into the Central District a while back and we’re pleased to announce the restaurant opened last week in Madrona with a slight change in name; Med Mix. The new eatery offers entrees such as gyros, burgers, falafel, as well as pizza, sub sandwiches and several other combos great for lunch hour if you’re working in the neighborhood.

The Beehive Bakery had previously leased the space, before closing it’s store front last November and before that a Philly cheese steak shop had served on the premise. But the real stipulation surrounding the restaurant’s location is the murders that took place on this corner, 23rd and Union. It’s also been a common corner used for drug exchanges and where a previous Seattle Mayor was beaten in broad daylight. Residents to the neighborhood are hopeful the new restaurant will bring a better future for the corner. For more information on Med Mix click here.

Central District’s Beehive Bakery Closes

Beehive BakerySeattle Central District’s Beehive Bakery on 23rd and Union closed recently.  There is a good article about the closing on Central District News but the long story short is while the corner gets a lot of car traffic it does not get a lot of foot traffic and the Beehive Bakery was not getting the number of customers it needed to stay open.  The original plan was to have a drive-through window to take advantage of the car traffic, but the current Seattle city rules did not allow it.

It does not sound like Beehive had a long term lease, since the building owner wants to redevelop the lot, so that may have lead to the decision to close only after being open since August.

The Central District real estate is available lease for $30 per year per square foot.  See the link for the listing details.

Road Construction on 23rd Avenue?

Seattle ConstructionAs I was leaving Madrona this morning, I noticed on 23rd Avenue between Union (the gas station) and Pine (the power plant) they had blocked off one lane heading south.  There were trucks in the area – it looked like they were going to dig up one of the lanes.


23rd and Union SeattleUPDATE:  I drove by today (Friday) and they have taken up part of the street.  They are now working on 23rd Avenue on both sides of Union.  I googled Seattle Department of Transportation and found this handy map of Seattle Planned Construction.  It does not give a ton of detail about this particular project on 23rd and Union other than it says “Street Maintenance Crew Work” on 23rd Avenue between East Olive and East Spring with project notes stating “Arterial Major Maintenance – mill and overlay on both curb lanes.”  The work is estimated to be done by today, Friday, March 25th.


Movie Being Made About Central District

MovieI recently wrote a blog about 23rd and Union questioning an article I read that said the corner was improving.  I mentioned how the gas station had recently closed and the restaurant space on the corner had been vacant for a couple years.  The article that I questioned did give me hope because it mentioned new businesses that were coming.  But 23rd and Union has long been an infamous corner and now a movie that was filmed, at least in part, on location this past summer will be coming out soon.  The new movie is called “23rd and Union” and is based around the shooting that took place at the above mentioned restaurant space where the owner, Degene Dashasa, was murdered.  The tragic murder is the center of a story that talks about the ongoing gentrification of the neighborhood and the issues that arise from it.

The movie is due to be released this summer.  Click link to watch the movie trailer.

Central District’s 23rd and Union

23rd and Union of Sir Mix-A-Lot fame:

Wheelin 23rd we saw nuttin but thugs

The girlies was too skinny from smoking all them drugs

Cause the rock man got em and their butts just dropped

The freaks looked depressed cause the Benz don’t stop

At 23rd and Union the driver broke left…..

– My Posse’s on Broadway

There was an article about the revival of 23rd and Union today in the Seattle Times.  At first, I thought: “Really?”  I drive through 23rd and Union almost every day and stop there about once every two weeks to get gas, go to the Post Office, etc. and if you asked me it was not getting any better.  Not that it is as bad as the Sir Mix-A-Lot song would have you think, but the gas station has been closed for the last couple weeks, no one is in the old sub shop for two plus years, the lot on the corner (where the cool old brick building used to be) is still surrounded by a chain link fence with no activity.  But after reading the article, I got excited that better times are ahead.  The gas station is going to re-open, there is a bakery going in the old sub shop, and the businesses are banning together to improve the area.  Honestly, I think 23rd and Union has a real chance.  Just down the street in Seattle’s Madrona neighborhood on 34th and Union the businesses seem to be thriving.  On MLK and Union the Grocery Outlet seems to be doing well and the area really seems booming when they do the farmers markets down there.  Around 20th and Union the business seem to be doing well and 12th and Union has new restaurants and apartment buildings.  Hopefully with these new businesses, 23rd and Union will be revived.