Bye-bye, Queen Anne Kidd Valley?

The Kidd Valley in Queen Anne could become a commercial pharmacy by 2015 if plans from developers in Michigan are approved. 

The Queen Anne location (531 Queen Anne Ave. N.) was the fifth Kidd Valley to open in Seattle during ‘80s. The local hamburger joint now has eight stores and seven stadium restaurants throughout Seattle. 

A year ago, the development company Velmeir Companies approached Kidd Valley about its Queen Anne location and asked if it was interested in selling, said Bob Donegan, president of Ivars Inc., which owns Kidd Valley.

After turning the developers down, they “finally made it so attractive to us, so we had to accept” the offer, Donegan said. 

The developers have submitted an Early Design Guidance application to the Seattle Department of Planning and Development (DPD). The permit is for a one-story, 16,000-square-foot, retail pharmacy, with parking for 33 vehicles. Velmeir project manager Wayne Shores said he couldn’t say what chain of pharmacy would go in the location. 

They began submitting for the Early Design Guidance in May, Shores said. 

Donegan wasn’t surprised that Velmeir was interested in the land because it is such an attractive area. 

“There’s so much density. It’s easy to get to. There’s lots of retail,” he said. “It’s one of the few retail spaces on lower Queen Anne that has parking with it.” 

The deal Kidd Valley finally agreed to is conditional; it’ll only sell to Velmier Companies if the developers get all of the permits and approval they need. 

The employees and manager of the Queen Anne Kidd Valley store have been notified of the developer’s plan, Donegan said. 

The process

On July 17, the DPD will hold an early design-guidance meeting. A week before the meeting, a packet of the design plans will be made available on the DPD’s website under the Design Review Board, said DPD spokesperson Bryan Stevens. 

At this meeting, the developers will present multiple design proposals for the site, with different layouts. The Design Review Board and the public will have a chance to review the designs and give the developers feedback about aesthetics. 

After comments are made at the meeting, the board will pick which design option is best. It will decide if it will need to have another early design-guidance meeting. If not, the designers will begin gathering the items needed to apply for a formal permit.

An internal review will follow. When that is approved, the more-detailed designs go back to the Design Review Board and the public. If there is approval at that meeting, it could be the final public meeting for the site before the DPD issues a written decision. 

Once the DPD publishes the decision for public review, there is a 14-day appeal period, during which the public can express concerns about any potential errors to the Seattle hearing examiner. 

If there are no appeals, the DPD will issue a Master Use Permit, which would allow developers to apply for a construction permit. The whole process takes about eight months to a year, Stevens said. 

Shores said if Velmeir’s plans are approved, construction would begin in 2015 and take about six months. 

Kidd Valley would then relocate but stay in the neighborhood, Donegan said. 

“We’ve been in that neighborhood so long, and we have regulars there,” he said. “We don’t want to lose those customers and lose those employees.”


Donegan is waiting to see how the meeting pans out before he worries about finding a new location for the store. 

“I haven’t looked beyond that because we can’t impact that side of the process — only the city and the developer can,” he said. 

The July 17 meeting is not the time to dispute the project, Stevens said: “The public doesn’t necessarily have the authority to reject the project. They can certainly express concerns about the design [at the meeting.]” 

Even though the plans are in the process, Donegan doesn’t think many people in the community know about it.

“I expect if we don’t have a new store open by the time the old store closes,” Donegan said, “we could see some very unhappy customers.” 

The early design-guidance meeting is scheduled for July 17 at 6:30 p.m. in the Queen Anne Community Center (1901 First Ave. W.), in Room 1. 

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