Kids on 45th, which stopped doing business in March of 2020, has now vanished from 45th Street entirely. During a recent drive-by, I noted that the interior of the store had been entirely demolished and all traces of the former signage on the exterior of the building had been removed.
The space is part of a single parcel which extends from Bottleworks to the west at 1710 N 45th to the east end of the block opposite the QFC. The businesses along this block, and the apartment dwellers above, rent from Frank J. Walters, the long-time owner. According to King County property records, the parcel is assessed for just over $5 million, though it is doubtless worth a great deal more. I found no construction permits that had recently been issued, or any indications of who the next tenant might be. (A permit was issued in January of this year for replacement of the awnings on the dry cleaners.) One of our editors asked one of the workmen there what they were up to, and they responded that “they were re-doing the storefront for the owner so he can better rent it out.”
Kids on 45th, located next to Wallingford Dry Cleaners, was started in 1989 when Susan Arefi acquired Chick-a-biddy, a consignment store that occupied that space. Arefi, who had previous experience in the consignment industry, renamed the business to Kids on 45th, and originally ran it as a consignment shop featuring children’s toys and apparel, later adding unused items to the mix. The business prospered, and Susan added employees as it grew. We wrote about their 27th anniversary here, but even then, change was in the air.
By May of 2017, Kids on 45th had been purchased by Elise Worthy who hoped to breathe new life into Kids. Worthy brought a strong background in software and start ups to the business. Among the new ideas she thought might revive Kids was to move the majority of the business’s sales online while remaining committed to the community of loyal customers that Susan had cultivated. Alas, that proved to be not enough; Kids on 45th closed just three years later.
We will have to wait to find out what the Kids next act will be.