Seattle’s sole remaining Value Village, in the Crown Hill neighborhood, is going to the big thrift store in the sky.
Come Nov. 16, the automatic doors will close — presumably with a whoosh of faintly mildewed air — for the last time on the Value Village at 15th Avenue Northwest and Northwest 85th St.
The property owners, Fred and Jeanne Wolfstone, chose not to renew the thrift store’s lease agreement, said Sara Gaugl, a spokesperson from Value Village’s Bellevue-based parent company, Savers.
The Wolfstones did not immediately return a request for comment. The building is currently being marketed for lease at $32 per square foot.
Value Village has a special place in many Seattleites’ hearts.
Generations of partygoers found Halloween costumes in Value Village’s overstuffed aisles. Homegrown rapper Macklemore famously thrifted at the now-shuttered Capitol Hill location. And buying sturdy clothes secondhand, at places like Value Village, is for some the essence of Seattle’s notoriously dressed-down sartorial sense.
Nationally, the retail market for thrift and resale is trending up. In recent years, high-end online consignment stores like ThredUp and Poshmark have attracted hundreds of millions in investment; competitor The RealReal is now valued at over $1 billion. In Seattle and elsewhere, nonprofit thrift store Goodwill has expanded, and even rebranded some of its outlets as boutiques.
Value Village continues to operate 14 stores around Puget Sound, including places like Tukwila, Burien and Issaquah. A new store opened in Woodinville in 2013.
But closures in recent years have knocked out Value Village’s other Seattle locations. The Lake City store closed earlier this year, and the Capitol Hill store closed in 2015.
That Capitol Hill location functioned briefly as a community dance studio before owner Legacy Commercial — a real estate development company headed by former Savers CEO Tom Ellison — leased the space to WeWork.
The parent company Savers operates more than 300 thrift stores in the U.S., Canada and Australia, according to its website. It was founded by Bill Ellison in 1954 as a thrift store in San Francisco’s Mission District, and in recent years has been owned by a succession of private equity firms.
“We are deeply grateful for the Seattle community that has embraced our stores, and we sincerely hope that our long-time shoppers will visit our other Value Village locations in the Puget Sound area,” Gaugl said in an email. “We remain committed to serving our customers and nonprofit partners through our continued operations at our other 20 locations across the state.”
This article has been updated to correct the locations of other Value Village stores in the Puget Sound area.