PCC Community Markets will open a flagship store in downtown Seattle’s new Rainier Square project. PCC, branded as the largest community-owned food market in the U.S., will be the first major grocer to lay stakes in downtown Seattle in more than a decade.
PCC will join Amazon and Equinox fitness clubs in their precommitments to the 58-story, 1.17 million-s.f. mixed-use project, which will open in mid-2020 and is being developed by Wright Runstad & Co. and institutional investors advised by J.P. Morgan Asset Management.
“Downtown Seattle is a vibrant and growing neighborhood with so many different appetites—from the lunch crowd hungry for a quick, made-from-scratch bite to tourists craving an authentic taste of our city, to the growing population of residents who want to stock their kitchens with fresh, local, organic, sustainably sourced and seasonal fare,” said Cate Hardy, PCC CEO. “The opportunity to be part of this community in the central Rainier Square location is of incredible significance for our co-op. We are excited about the impact we can make on behalf of local producers, farmers and ranchers, and the deeper connection we can foster with the town we’ve called home for 65 years.”
PCC’s new downtown store will occupy 20,000 s.f. in the Rainier Square project. Located on the block between Union and University and Fourth and Fifth in the heart of downtown, it will have great proximity to transit, the arts, shopping, hotels, major office buildings and the convention center, says the company. It will serve the downtown, Belltown, West Edge, Pioneer Square and First Hill neighborhoods, and bring about 100 new union jobs to the surrounding community.
Rainier Square will be Seattle’s second tallest building and consist of 722,000 s.f. of office space, 188 luxury apartments and almost 80,000 s.f. of retail space, all above a seven-level underground parking garage when the project is complete in 2020. A future phase of the project that will include a luxury-lifestyle hotel is expected to commence construction in late 2018.
“When we started this project, we knew it would be important to include a top-quality grocery store not just to serve the residents of the building, but also the many people who visit or work in the downtown area,” said Greg Johnson, president of Wright Runstad & Co. “Rainier Square is an iconic project in the city’s best location, and PCC is Seattle’s iconic food market. It’s the perfect match.”
As with PCC’s other locations, the downtown store will feature products that are fresh, local, organic, sustainably sourced and seasonal. More than 95 percent of PCC’s produce selection is organic; its meats are 100 percent organic, non-GMO or grass fed; its seafood is sustainably sourced adhering to Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch standards; and, whenever possible, the co-op sources its products from local producers, farmers, ranchers and fishers. Using those same ingredients, PCC chefs make salads, soups, entrées and side dishes fresh from scratch daily onsite in each store. The co-op stocks its shelves with products made without artificial preservatives, colors, flavors, sweeteners, nanotechnology or synthetic biology.
As a community-owned organization, PCC says it is dedicated to returning a healthy share of its profits back to the neighborhoods in which it operates. In 2016, the co-op gave back 38 percent of its after-tax net earnings to its 58,000 Seattle-area members and an additional 15 percent of its after-tax net earnings to schools and nonprofits around the Puget Sound. With the opening of the downtown store, PCC also will expand its food bank initiative, grocery rescue programs, local donations and school fundraising to the downtown area.
PCC operates 10 stores in the Puget Sound area, including the cities of Bothell, Edmonds, Issaquah, Kirkland, Redmond and Seattle. Its Seattle stores are in the neighborhoods of Columbia City, Fremont, Green Lake, View Ridge and West Seattle, which will reopen in 2019. The co-op will open its Burien store in Spring 2018. It also has plans to open new stores in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood in 2019 and Madison Valley neighborhood in 2020.