If you thought the grocery store wars in our neighborhood were already intense, PCC confirmed to My Ballard today that its opening a new store at Ballard Blocks 2 in spring of next year.
The city gave conditional approval today to plans to build the 25,000 square-foot store with 147 parking spaces — the first development in the big empty space at the base of the Ballard Bridge, right next to the Burke Gilman trail.
Among other things, PCC says it will feature “cut-to-order fruits and vegetables,” a taqueria, made-from-scratch pizza, local craft spirits, a charcuterie counter… and a rooftop deck.
For those counting, that makes a LOT of grocery stores in Ballard. There’s Traders Joe’s right next door in Ballard Blocks 1. New Seasons is building a new store three blocks away. And don’t forget about Fred Meyer, too. Then there’s also QFC, Ballard Market and Safeway. Oh, and the Amazon Fresh pickup facility is just a few blocks north of PCC on 15th.
PCC underlines it’s independent roots and Ballard’s “thriving food culture” in its decision to expand to Ballard (the Fremont store will remain and get “refreshed” late this year.)
“There is an independent spirit and love of food that is deeply rooted in Ballard,” said Cate Hardy, PCC Community Markets CEO. “You can see it firsthand in the bustling Sunday farmers market, flourishing locally owned restaurants and, of course, Seafood Fest. When the opportunity to join this community came to us, we didn’t hesitate.”
PCC also points out that it’s bringing “approximately 100 new union jobs” to Ballard. That’s a reference to the non-union New Seasons store, which has attracted some backlash from pro-labor groups as it expands in Seattle. (Full disclosure: Good Jobs Coalition, which is lobbying against Good Seasons, has been a My Ballard advertiser).
New Seasons (pictured above under construction at 907 NW Ballard Way) said it will hire locally to fill its 150 new positions, and the company donates 10% of its after-tax profits to local nonprofits.
Similarly, PCC — which is a community-owned organization — said it historically donates 15% of its after-tax net earnings to local schools and nonprofits. The store said it will “expand its food bank initiative, grocery rescue programs, local donations and school fundraising to the Ballard area.”
As you can see, this is a grocery store war with Ballard foodies in the middle of it.
By the way, PCC is just the first stage of the Ballard Blocks 2 developments. Here’s the rendering:
PCC will occupy the western side, and there are plans for an office complex with a “marine sales” company (the renderings show West Marine) and a childhood development center (it shows Bright Horizons). Renderings also show room for additional retail and office space.
Ballard Blocks 2 has been in the works for years, but the area has been plagued with a drainage problem — some have dubbed it Lake Ballard — which appears to have contributed to the delay.