Much to my Subaru’s dismay, our neighborhood’s last surviving auto parts store, Big Wheel Auto Parts across the street from Tuta Bella’s, closed its doors in the Fall of 2015 as we reported here. Purchased by Revolve Development, the property has sat empty since that time with little sign of any thing in the works. But now, that may change.
Eric at Revolve Development writes:
We are working with a non-profit that supports the work of emerging artists, and they will be taking space in the building. I would defer to them for information worth publishing.
Eric was kind enough to forward my contact info to this non-profit. But no reply. And then he forwarded it again. Eventually, I got a response from someone identifying himself as CMR, but when I asked him what was going on at the Big Wheel space … no reply.
As you can see from the photo, a banner for Brain Freeze now appears in the door of the auto parts store, and there is this from C.M. Ruiz-Bautista Dominguez on Facebook in reference to an arts group called Brain Freeze:
It’s going to be a gallery and arts space with our primary focus being on POC, womxn, and first-time exhibitors. We’ve been running the gallery and arts space downtown for over a year and moving into the neighborhood into the space, we’re just fixing up the property to open but it’s been kinda slow-going since we have day jobs. When we get a more honed in open date we will let yall know about opening party and whatnot. You can visit our current location at 1315 1st ave (across from SAM) if you’re downtown to get the vibe. Profits go to Low Income Housing Institute! Stay tuned!
Whatever happens, it’s my guess that this emerging artist non-profit will be just a transitional tenant. Developers haven’t exactly been competing with each other to renovate and preserve the low-rise buildings along Stone Way, and the city is obviously very much in favor of building housing and lots of it.
Revolve, with offices in Pioneer Square, has been involved in quite a few projects around the city, a number of which are detailed on their website. While some of these involve housing, many do not. The Yardhouse and Craft are relatively small apartment complexes on Capitol Hill and First Hill respectively. Much larger are two office building projects, the Russell Investment Building downtown at 2nd and University and another in Pioneer Square at King and 1st. They were even involved in renovating the Seven Seas Building, turning it into a boutique hotel. Not sure where that is? How about if I told you it’s at the former site of the Lusty Lady?
So we’ll have to wait to see what the long term plans are for the Big Wheel space. (I did a permit check of some city websites, but nothing turned up at that address.) In any case, I feel pretty sure that my Subaru will have to make do with parts imported from other neighborhoods for the rest of its years.