Empire of Wallingford

We’ve got some new news on the 4111 Stone Way development under way. Patrick writes:

I think I mentioned to you a while back that my firm Lake Union Partners is re-developing a site at 4111 Stone Way into a 4-story apartment building with commercial space at street level.  Image is attached.

In case you are interested in posting this on your blog, I wanted to let you know that we signed an agreement with Empire Espresso of Columbia City to take the commercial space at street level.  Super community oriented shop that serves Kuma Coffee and really amazing waffles.  I think they are well aligned with Wallingford culture and will be a good fit.

I believe they are going to serve beer and wine as well at the Wallingford location, plus they are major soccer enthusiasts.  You might encourage people to go check out their shop in Columbia City to get a sense of what is coming to Wallingford next year in probably January or February of 2013.  Tino Ganacias and Ian Peters are the owner / operators and will do a great job in Wallingford.

Here is the Empire Espresso Blog

A quick peruse of their blog shows a very modern, comfortable style with some very unusual waffles.

  1. Luna said,

    Waffles and coffee or not, that building is a giant, sterile square. Ugly!

    How can anyone think that belongs on Stone Way where low profile buildings and homes abound? I know we’re a city, but who is watching out for beauty and livability–or sunlight at street level?

    If it’s going to be huge, at least give it some curves, variation in visual texture and personality.

    Mon, December 19 at 10:30 am
  2. the emperors robe is lovely said,

    ohhh Luna, you sorry person. I have said this over and over and been called essentially stupid. My additional concern isi that there iss a small friendly owner worked coffee expresso stand right across the street.. why push them out of business/

    Mon, December 19 at 11:16 am
  3. Frankie said,

    Stone Way is and has been zoned industrial/mixed use, and mixed in my opinion, and blocky four storey is better and more efficient use of space than the legions of single story, ugly, poorly constructed sixties and seventies monstrosities that languish there now.

    And frankly in this economy, Wallingfordians should be grateful for growth. I agree about the coffee stand in principle – don’t they serve Kuma coffee too? In fact I thought there was a specific little “Kuma Coffee” place there.

    Mon, December 19 at 11:37 am
  4. beanique said,

    OR… put in a REAL gym (no offense to Fuego or Fuente, or whatever her name is or the countless small yoga studios that abound in W.) No one will get pushed out of business AND we can keep our gym dollars in W and not Fremont, Greenlake or U District.

    Mon, December 19 at 11:50 am
  5. Burke and 45th said,

    There has been a lot of talk about how tall this building is. I just looked at Google Maps and frankly I don’t see what the fuss is about. Stoneway is at the bottom of the hill. There are other 4 story buildings in and around the area. The houses behind the property might be affected to some degree for morning light… but it doesn’t seem to be very bad. There are trees on the street so they obscure light on the sidewalk even today. Views looking south (to the lake) would only be obscured for the other industrial buildings that are north of the property. Why all the hubbub about a 4 story building, Wallingford?

    If you really want to make it nice, stick a restaurant on the roof with sweeping views of Lake union… so those of us in the ‘hood without the view can enjoy it on a sunny summer day.

    Mon, December 19 at 12:04 pm
  6. prop3 said,

    Looks like these guys have made an effort to find a commercial use that fits with the neighborhood. Like it or not, Stone Way is changing. Walgreens will be opening soon on 45th & Stone. Stoneway Village will have lots of commercial/retail space and the new Brooks HQ will follow. I’d rather have smaller projects like 4111 Stone Way in the hood rather than the massive condo projects that popped up in Ballard.

    Mon, December 19 at 12:14 pm
  7. Frankie said,

    Agreed, the entrance to Ballard now looks random as hell.

    Mon, December 19 at 12:59 pm
  8. Nancy M said,


    “Over the objections of many Roosevelt neighbors, a committee of the Seattle City Council Wednesday voted to allow six-story buildings across from historic Roosevelt High School as part of a larger rezone package that adds density around a future light-rail station…”

    One challenge of the quaint seeming neighborhood system here (are they really unique?) is that a divide-and-conquer paradigm has evolved when it comes to development. This building, to me, lacks architectural moments and its form comes from function and maximizing floorspace out to every last window ledge, BUT it isn’t pretending to be green nor is it going up up up. I hope those ghost trees in the rendering come to fruition and they will need wide sidewalks with large tree pits to thrive.

    Mon, December 19 at 1:54 pm
  9. the emperors robe is lovely said,


    Mon, December 19 at 2:19 pm
  10. impliedobserver said,

    I like Empire Espresso. Last time I was there, they used Seattle Coffee Works not Kuma. They showed the world cup games which was great. Not many family places show soccer games.

    Mon, December 19 at 4:02 pm
  11. John said,

    I’ve been to Empire Espresso. It is such a cool place. This will be a fantastic community gathering place for Wallingford. Can’t wait.

    Mon, December 19 at 7:19 pm
  12. Floor Pie said,

    Yay! Good coffee on my side of Stone Way/ Aurora. Vive la Frallingford. Not the most attractive building, but an improvement over what was there before.

    Mon, December 19 at 8:43 pm
  13. Michael H. said,

    I, too, am looking forward to this. I hope the new place has broader hours than Kuma.

    Mon, December 19 at 11:16 pm
  14. the emperors robe is lovely said,

    what does “super communiity oriented” mean?
    food bank?
    drug rehab? there are 3 adult day cares on stone already
    children day care?
    another hair salon?
    toy store? 2 just left
    oh, how about a library in wallingford with enough room for BOOKS!? Novel thought.
    a space for wallingford community council to house theuiir phones.. and answer them?

    Tue, December 20 at 1:58 am
  15. Fruitbat said,

    Seems to me there already are several four-story condo buildings on Stone Way, and yet the neighborhood survives.

    Tue, December 20 at 8:06 am
  16. Brian said,

    I’m feeling very pumped about a place in Wallingford that is soccer-oriented. Not that Fremont is too far away, but George and the Dragon is always fairly packed. Looking forward to dropping in and watching MLS and La Liga and the rest.

    Tue, December 20 at 9:01 am
  17. John said,

    This building is not that big compared to others along Stone Way. The Howard and University Heights are at least 5 stories tall.

    Tue, December 20 at 10:39 am
  18. csh said,

    Family-friendly soccer anything = win.

    Tue, December 20 at 11:18 am
  19. Wally Cat said,

    Sorry, but that building is sterile. There is nothing unique about it’s design. What ever happened to timeless architecture?

    Good call beanique! This area seriously needs a real gym.

    Soccer?! Ugh. Seattle liberals can’t seem to get enough of the “world’s game”. Funny that thes are the same people that turn their nose up at you when you mention the Seahawks.

    Yeah, we need Another place to get coffe in this town. (eyeroll)

    I am excited about the waffles though…

    Tue, December 20 at 11:52 am
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