This post originally appeared on Orphan Road.

Back in September I wrote about the demise of First Hill’s M Street Grocery, speculating that it had been done in (indirectly) by parking requirements.  I can’t help but wonder if Belltown’s Local 360 Mercantile suffered the same fate. The Mercantile, attached to the restaurant by the same name, was a neat little shop and I liked everything we bought there.  The store was a great little European-style grocer.  All the basics, all top-quality.

Now, getting into the grocery business is hard and the margins are minimal.  But is it such a stretch to think that the massive Whole Foods just 7 blocks away, with its huge, government-mandated parking garage, made it impossible for the Mercantile to survive?

Update: Joshua in the comments points out that the garage is not, in fact, government mandated. I think the point still stands.

3 Replies to “Choices, Part 2”

  1. Actually the Whole Foods is in an urban center and so does not have any parking requirement. That was done by “the market” or I’ve heard possibly required by financiers.

  2. Thanks Joshua! Good point. I think it’s still emblematic of a car-centric development culture either way.

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