Local

What's that building rising from the ground in west Olympia?

The future location of the Parkside Cafe begins to take shape along Harrison Avenue Northwest.
The future location of the Parkside Cafe begins to take shape along Harrison Avenue Northwest. sbloom@theolympian.com

The corner of Harrison Avenue and Division Street in west Olympia, the home to a relatively new community park, is again the hub of new activity.

Alicia Elliott, the woman who funded the creation of the park and later deeded it to a nonprofit called the West Central Park Project, is now developing a new building at Harrison Avenue and Cushing Street.

The site used to be occupied by Degarmo's Pharmacy, but the 2-story building that took its place will be home to the new Parkside Cafe, a retailer selling kitchen items, and on the top floor, a dining area for those who use the cafe, Elliott said Tuesday.

Elliott expects the building project to be complete this fall, she said.

The new building also will house a commissary that will be used by the cafe and three food trucks that plan to set up on site.

As for selling kitchen items, Elliott believed there was a need for an alternative to Big Box shopping, a place where you can get a "good garlic press, a colander, or fermenting and beekeeping equipment."

In 2012, Elliott, tired of seeing a vacant lot in west Olympia as she drove her children to school, bought the lot at Harrison Avenue and Division Street and turned it into West Central Park.

The purchase of the park and related property was made possible by an inheritance she received from her mother, Elliott told The Olympian in 2014.

After Elliott created the park, she bought the whole block, from Harrison Avenue to Fourth Avenue West. Elliott welcomed Phoebe Martinson to a converted home on the site that became a second location for Phoebe's Pastry Cafe.

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