Building housing Edmonds PCC market for sale; store will remain

The building housing the Edmonds PCC market has been up for sale since December 2023.

The Westgate neighborhood building occupied by PCC Community Markets is for sale, but a PCC spokesperson confirmed that the store has no plans to leave Edmonds.

Located at 9803 Edmonds Way, the store opened in September, 2008.

“PCC is a tenant in a retail center that is for sale,” said PCC Vice President of Marketing and Purpose Susan Livingston. “We are in a long-term lease and have no plans to close the store.”

Questions arose when a My Edmonds News reader noticed the building listed for sale through commercial real estate broker CBRE. The listing identified the property as “PCC Community Markets,” which led to speculation that the Edmonds store could be heading for the same fate as PCC’s downtown store, which closed in January.

According to the website of Law on Call, a licensed online law firm, “If a commercial building is sold, the new owner will usually need to honor the terms of tenant leases. However, some commercial leases allow for lease changes or termination upon the property’s sale.”

It is common practice in Washington State that existing lease agreements continue under the new owners when a building sells.

“We are very appreciative of our fantastic customers in Edmonds,” added Livingston, “and look forward to serving them for many years to come.”

— Story and photo by Larry Vogel

  1. The developer must have depreciated the property down to a value worthy of a sale. This property could be tricky with the Westgate Sub-area plan that allows for reconfiguring all four corners.

    Like what we saw with the Bowling Alley, a developer has the ability to change! That could be to multifamily so as to take advantage of those MFTE generous guidelines (only 10% of inventory for affordable housing allows for a tax free exception for 15 years on residential part). As we know developers like to develop and multi-family might net more $$$? Of course, we don’t know when the PCC lease expires and just speculating – but Mulbak’s snafu is fresh in my mind.

    AND Density seems to be the big push by the State Legislators who seem to forget about topography or regional views of density; and with more subjective growth targets, they are pushing for more mandates with no consideration for the environment or infrastructure. This issue coupled with the City’s Bad track record of minimal or no code update is a dangerous mixture. The 2019 Housing Commission recommended a 20-25% MFTE value for these developers that get a free pass on taxes for years and Council pushed for change – but nothing ever came about. Maybe a Blue Ribbon Task force for code update should happen.

  2. MFTEs do not provide affordable housing. RCW 43.185A.010 definition of “affordable housing” is that no more than 1/3 of income is paid towards rent.

    In researching the Henbart Westgate MFTE program in 2021, I learned there were two one bedrooms left to rent, and would cost the qualifying person(s) $1395/mth or $1495/mth. Qualifying individuals could have an income of up to 80% or 115% of Adjusted Median Income (AMI). MFTE housing isn’t affordable for those who are significantly below the Snohomish County AMI.

    Snohomish County’s 2021 Median Income was $115,700. State legislators have gamed the system by defining “low-income” as 80% of AMI “very low income” as 50% of AMI, and “extremely low income” as 30% AMI.

    See my reader view for more info:

    MFTEs do, however, provide a significant tax break for developers, and a commensurate added tax burden to the rest of the taxpayers.

    1. I talked to a senior citizen who was interested in one of those ‘MFTE’ Westlake apartments because of a planned rent increase in her current apartment that was located downtown. The unit faced the hill, was in the back of the building, and had little natural light. She was disappointed and never filled out the rental application.

  3. PCC Community Markets 9803 Edmonds Way
    35,459 SF Retail Building Edmonds, WA 98020$12,185,000 ($344/SF) 3.80AC

    How about the city purchase this property instead of the Landmark property? At 12 million its bargain. Cash flow and then a future opportunity to build 500 to 1000 low-income apartments with our Planning Department’s and State mandates vision. You don’t even need to have parking because everybody apparently is going to be taking transit and bicycles. What could possibly go wrong?

  4. This listing price is interesting: 3.8 acre parcel with an old (but remodeled) building for $12M . The Burlington Coat Factory deal (the we call the Landmark 99 project) has a purchase and sale agreement for $37M, for a little over 10 acres. And the Burlington Coat Factory building is a tear-down.
    Does the listing price for the building that PCC leases imply that it is a tear-down also?
    I am an ex-employee of that PCC store. It is the second highest revenue store in the Co-Op. If that building sells, and even if they decide to move and take the early lease termination fee because the Co-op is broke, I personally believe they’ll stay in Edmonds. Heck- Krogers might have to sell the Westgate QFC across the street if the merger with Safeway/Albertsons goes forward. And PCC could move their operation across the street. The Grocery industry is ‘dynamic’, has low profit margins, and is always interesting to follow. Watch the market. Watch the federal reserve board interest rates. 2024 and 2025 are going to be interesting years in this geographic market.

    1. You’re right the QFC could also be someday a target for housing development. Personally, I hope both stay there for infinity and beyond. Realistically the grocery business is a low margin business, at both properties would be bullseye targets for high density large developments. In other real estate markets that I’m familiar with I have seen grocery stores that you would have thought were profitable converted into large scale housing. In the current trendy zoning and planning where anything goes for affordable housing a mass development would be very detrimental to the Westgate neighborhood. Especially with planners who think that having no parking is just the most clever thing in the world.

  5. From an earlier My Edmonds News article, I was under the impression PCC wasn’t going anywhere. That intersection doesn’t need any additional housing. There’s already a new apartment building next to Bartells. However, if they have to build along there, then build on the vacant lot next to the car wash. That lot has been vacant for as long as I can remember.
    Does Edmonds Way between 100th and 232nd really need to become nothing but apartment buildings? One of the main reasons my boyfriend and I moved to the Westgate neighborhood was the fact that we’re on two bus lines and can walk to the grocery store or one of the 4 neighborhood restaurants. So, bottom line, is PCC needs to stay right where it is and not meet the same demise as Robin Hood Lanes or the Shell station.

    1. Melissa- please find the upcoming online forum for public comments on 2 alternatives for where taller buildings are allowed in Edmonds. this Comprehensive Plan forum is planned to start in early March- according to presentation to the planning board on Feb 14th – and run for 3 weeks. The taller buildings are coming. now the city wants the public’s input on exactly what neighborhoods get them. Taller buildings at the Westgate intersection is suggested in the first draft that was presented to the Planning Board

      1. Thank you for pointing out the first draft of the Planning Board’s suggestion for tall buildings in the Westgate intersections. The Westgate neighbors is going to be shocked when they find this out because it would alter and probably destroy any semblance of the current neighborhood. Massive buildings with little or no parking.

        1. Brian, don’t assume that the new projects would be massive buildings with little or no parking at Westgate. You also have to read the site and building design code to understand what’s allowed. Neighbors need to participate in the discussion of the Comprehensive Plan’s density changes in March – not wait 3 years ( for example) until a new project is permitted under the new zoning code and then complain. The City upzoned the highway 99 area in 2017 to allow 7 story buildings. Now they need to upzone more neighborhoods because they have to plan for a big population increase over the next 20 years. How tall should the buildings be in Westgate, Firdale, 5 Corners, Perrinville, the hwy 104 corridor approaching downtown?

      2. Theresa –
        I just saw your response. I have lived in the neighborhood since May 2006. I really don’t want the Westgate intersection to turn into another Ballard or Wedgwood neighborhood. If additional housing is needed then keep street level stores and have 2 floors of apartments above them. Also, if they really want to build taller buildings at that intersection, build them on the existing store footprints and don’t encroach on the existing sidewalks. Case in point, the Key Bank corner.

        1. Hi Melissa, the process of defining a new building height, footprint, parking requirements, landscape requirements, etc. is complicated. The Westgate District has a development plan. It took five years to create and get approved by the City Council. Early in that process, the neighbors opinion matters. But mid way and late in the process, the machine of local government processes takes over and neighbors’ opinions don’t have as much impact in my experience. Here’s the current Westgate development plan
          I encourage you to take the City’s new survey about two possible scenarios on where taller buildings are allowed (mostly apartments or mixed use buildings), and write up your thoughts in the free form text section at the end of the survey. The City wants to hear from people who live in Westgate.

  6. Council should repeal the MFTE in Edmonds. Council was provided false and misleading information when voting in 2016 to allow MFTEs at Westgate.

    Then Development Service Director Patrick Doherty said “There is no increase in taxes to taxpayers” (see link provided by Larry Vogel )

    MFTE shifts the tax burden to other taxpayers.

    The 2016 WA Department of Revenue report states: “While the exempt taxpayer now pays no property taxes, the taxes shift to other taxpayers who pay more taxes due to the increase in the rate.” Also: “When the Legislature repeals a property tax exemption, the total property value increases causing the property tax rate to decrease. This shifts taxes back to the exempt property owner causing other taxpayers to pay less.”

    See Tax Shifts, pg. 2:

    The 12 year exemption on ALL residential, in exchange for 20% reduced rent (NOT affordable housing per RCW definition) apartments, at the Westgate Henbart property would remain, but future MFTEs would not be possible.

  7. It would be a good idea for everyone interested or concerned about future changes to the Westgate area, as well as other areas in Edmonds, attend the Open House on March 23rd. The subject is the Planning Board’s proposals and plans for new housing, retail, business, etc, to increase population density in Edmonds. It’s from 10:30am to 12:30pm, at city hall, 3rd floor. It’s your opportunity to see these plans.

    1. Correction: the subject is THE CITY’s proposal to where the higher density will be. The meeting was called for by the Planning Board as an avenue to hear from the residents, and as a forum to get questions answered in real time. The City staff only built an opinion survey to get feedback on their proposal. That survey is not designed to collect structured info on other alternatives to where density will be planned.

      Note that these alternatives for where density will be allowed is for the purposes of doing the environmental impact analysis. It is not for the purpose of changing the zoning map. Those map changes don’t happen until mid-2025.

  8. Theresa,

    You say “It is not for the purpose of changing the zoning map. Those map changes don’t happen until mid-2025.” Technically, that is inaccurate as the zoning map will be made consistent with the Comprehensive Plan map, which will be finalized in 2024.

    You are so knowledgeable about this, I’d appreciate your review of the following:

    The Unassailable Right to Make Any Decision You Want: Avoiding Judicial Intervention in Local Land Use Decision Making

    This article by Phil Olbrechts highlights the importance of Council being extremely careful of land use zoning defined in our Comp Plan. Once in the Comp Plan, Council has no legislative authority to deny subsequent development applications.

    Excerpts from this article:
    “any amendment to the zoning map must be consistent with the comprehensive plan map.”

    “However, as previously discussed you can deny an application for a comprehensive plan amendment for practically any reason you want. So why bog yourself down with detailed standards for denial that take up a lot of staff resources and council time?”

    My comment on another thread about this MRSC guidance:

  9. I believe if the Planning Board were really interested in input about Higher Density and where and when, they would zoom these meeting. It may be that questions couldn’t be asked from zoomers during the meeting but all of our citizens would then have the opportunity to hear others questions and to see the diagrams. With something that is this big of deal and it is this big of deal(then a survey city wide) a really good survey without direction to check one or other wanted planned decisions would be great. This is a city of over 40,000 people and 10,20, 60 residents viewing is not an enough to see what WE want here. It’s always this way. Show up bring your friends who are like minded and that is then touted as the Litmus Test. a noun that means something (such as an opinion) that is used to judge whether someone or something is acceptable. Many reasons citizens cannot attend these meetings but it doesn’t mean they don’t care, are not interested We all know that. It’s Time for True Transparency. All keep talking about transparency and its importance all the while trying to be not transparent ha. Whatever I read most of the Comp plan yesterday. Grueling. It was Page 60-70 will tell you and show you some info, some promises.

    1. Deb- the Planning Board is not in charge of the logistics for the meeting on Mar 23rd. The Planning Director is. I don’t know why City staff chose a location where a hybrid zoom meeting was not possible. Personally, I would have preferred the Edmonds Waterfront Center.

  10. Thank You Theresa Hollis Yeah, I am not surprised. The EWC would have been much better for all. I did look at and read the Survey provided on the CC meeting article today. I am waiting as I investigate all of the areas mentioned before I fill it out and submit. Noticed there is a comment section. If any, only a couple might want option A most say option B. Or no Zoning at all. I am glad to see this survey. I thought it was a better survey than usual and the comment section is great to have. I do thank whoever is responsible for this survey?? One thing the survey should be available past the 1st of April. The link here in MEN in the article takes you right to it. It was just posted today on here and well it’s the 18th so many more could comment if it is extended. It’s hard to find those government pages even for me. I would imagine it is very difficult for many citizens. Extend the survey until say April 8th. That is just one week allowing for those who work 5 days a week away from home to have time to fill it out and discuss it with their neighbors etc. Thank you T and Thank you MEN and all who comment here.

  11. I live in Woodway but my hub is Westgate, so I am keenly interested in all the comments my Edmonds neighbors have been posting regarding the city’s intentions for massive growth in this area, and I thank those who put so much of their personal time and effort into at least trying to clarify this very complex issue. When I envision what will occur just in Westgate if these new proposals go forward, the traffic that will be added to what the ferry now causes, how the grocery store parking lots are already filled to overflowing, etc., I feel it is time to leave this part of Puget Sound. Last, but certainly not least, has anyone considered where all the new children housed in these proposed units will attend school? Or how to accommodate the additional sewage and storm water requirements? I guess Edmonds will undergo what Seattle has lived with for years, constant, never-ending building and infrastructure upgrades and the attendant noise, ugliness, disruptions of life. It is hard to be optimistic about any of this.
    Construction vehicles littering the landscape, etc.

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