November 12

Maple Leaf's "empty block" for sale a decade after devastating fire



A decade ago this month, very early on Thanksgiving morning, a three-alarm fire destroyed nearly an entire block in the heart of Maple Leaf’s business district along Roosevelt Way Northeast.

The Snappy Dragon was saved, Reckless Video moved across the street, and the Maple Leaf Grill moved up the street. But the block has sat vacant ever since.

Until now.

For a time there was a plan to develop the site, at the intersection of Northeast 89th Street, into a mixed-use retail and residential project. It fell through.

A number of folks have asked about it since we started Maple Leaf Life. We’ll find out more on Monday, but in the meantime, who knows why the site is now for sale?

About the author 

Sara W

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  1. @Dan Actually, it’s the Elliott Bay Brewing Company that’s opening up a location in Lake City, address is 12537 Lake City Way N.E.

  2. @JD- Elysian is already opening a brewpub in downtown Lake City (I think next to Toyoda Sushi, that building is under renovation). But I like where you’re going with the idea, our area certainly needs more bars and restaurants within walking distance!

  3. The site is zoned NC-40, which means 3-4 stories depending on the design. It will likely be apartments over some ground floor commercial or live-work spaces.

  4. I’ll take a Elysian brew pub or similar. Like the one in Tangletown. Or some decent sushi…seems hard to find in the area these days.

  5. I was thinking more like some heavy hitters…Paseo’s, Zippy’s Burgers,Molly Moon’s, Mora Ice Cream….get all the local favorites in one spot. I prefer Mora over Molly’s though. That would get some foot traffic in the Leaf.

  6. Wow, ten years. I was on Snappy Dragon’s roof with a hoseline, watching my neighborhood coffee shop burn down- we went there quite often with our kids.

    Empty parcel, not a ‘block’ though.

  7. A juice bar is a good option as long as they include frozen yogurt!! 🙂 A small market store like a mini PCC or something would be nice as well if the prices were reasonable.

    Maybe someone could talk to the owners of Divine to come back and re-open the restaurant.

  8. Stating that fire “destroyed nearly an entire block” is a major stretch. Perhaps correcting that to read something like, “part of one side of a block” would be more accurate.

  9. it’s about 9.5 years past due, but better late than never… I like Brianna’s recommendations and would also love to see a fresh juice bar featuring local fruits and veggies…

  10. This is good news! It will be great to have the space filled. We could benefit from a small grocery (more like Market Time in Fremont), more restaurants, yoga, pilates or dance studio, garden store to buy plants…. mixed use is fine with me…. cant wait to see what happens….

  11. The Maple Leaf Grill moved prior to the fire, I was told at the time that the building owner felt that he could run the spot as well or better himself, so the Grill owners found the new place and went to work.
    Let’s hope the next developers have something better than a MiniMall or drive through in mind when they close. Too small a footprint for a grocery, what do neighbors want for our commercial district?

  12. My guess is the owner of that property lost a ton of money holding onto it, too, both in equity and in lost rent, instead of selling it or redeveloping it immediately after the fire. I’ve never truly understood why that site stayed unused for so long.

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