DORI MONSON

81-year-old Yakima Fruit Market in Bothell latest business in Sound Transit’s path

Aug 9, 2019, 5:47 AM | Updated: 5:59 am
yakima fruit...
The Yakima Fruit Market is in the path of Sound Transit's bus expansion. (Yakima Fruit Market)
(Yakima Fruit Market)

Yakima Fruit Market and Nursery in Bothell is a favorite summer spot for Puget Sounders in search of a flat of fresh raspberries or a hanging basket of colorful flowers.

But unfortunately, the 81-year-old produce staple is the latest business whose location could be in jeopardy due to Sound Transit’s expansion.

Due to the establishment of Bus Rapid Transit along the State Route 522 corridor on the north end of Lake Washington — part of the $54 billion Sound Transit 3 package that voters passed in 2016 — the Yakima Fruit Market could lose its parking lot and part of its building to new business and transit lanes.

Bus Rapid Transit will provide bus connections every 10 minutes from the suburbs on the northeast end of Lake Washington — Woodinville, Bothell, and Kenmore — with the future South Shoreline/145th Street light rail station, scheduled to open in 2024.

70-year-old PICK-QUICK Drive-In could be in Sound Transit’s demolition path

Stuart Poage, who owns Yakima Fruit Market with his wife Karin, said that he asked for clarity on the transit plans at a recent community meeting, but received very little feedback from Sound Transit representatives.

“I got a lot of no response — I would say, ‘It looks to me like you’re chopping off the front of our building, taking away our parking,'” Poage told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson. “When I get zero response from someone, I kind of know what that means.”

Potential litigation for Yakima Fruit Market

He decided to turn to legal action, but observed that Sound Transit has been “a gorilla” in the courtroom, repeatedly winning these types of suits.

“No one beats them down,” he said. “They just push their way down regardless.”

Furthermore, he found that nearly every law firm he called had already taken on his opponent as a client.

“You can’t represent them with a major law firm because they’ve hired them,” Poage said.

One attorney told him that Yakima Fruit Market can certainly maximize the money it receives from Sound Transit in an eminent domain takeover, but that there is no way the small business can win the case. The news came as a huge blow for the Poage family.

“You feel like you’ve been kicked in the gut … it’s just overwhelming,” he said. “We had plans for our grandchildren taking it over; our children are in place to take it over. It’s our legacy — and our legacy is getting ripped out from under us.”

It’s a legacy for which the family is determined to fight. The Poages have now hired an attorney; additionally, they are reaching out to the Bothell City Council, as well as to longtime customers, for support.

“Pound the message forward that we really don’t like what’s going on — we don’t like the way big government and big business have taken this kind of a ploy against small business,” Poage asked of Yakima Fruit Market fans.

I lost my home to Sound Transit’s light rail

In an emailed statement, Sound Transit Public Information Officer John Gallagher stated that the agency is working with local government and with the businesses in the path of the new transit lanes.

“One of the businesses that may be affected by construction is the Yakima Fruit Market and Nursery in Bothell. Sound Transit, in conjunction with the City of Bothell, has begun a dialogue with that business and others to understand the potential impacts that the project may have with the goal of minimizing those impacts,” he said. “We are still in the earliest stage of these conversations and hope that we will be able to reach an agreement with the Market that addresses any potential impacts.”

Poage said that the thought of uprooting the eight-decades-old business has brought him to tears.

“It’s been my entire life, my wife’s entire life, our children’s entire life, and it’s all just being ripped away in a way that feels not like the democracy I was raised in,” he said.

Listen to the Dori Monson Show weekday afternoons from 12-3 p.m. on KIRO Radio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Dori Monson on KIRO Radio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dori monsonTune in to KIRO Radio weekdays at 12 noon for The Dori Monson Show.

Dori Monson Show

Dori Monson

scam, vaccine...
Dori Monson Show

Meet the firefighter and deckhand who won’t get vaccinated

Washington state’s COVID vaccine mandate for most government, healthcare, and education employees is set to take effect Oct. 18. Meet the state workers who are leaving their jobs.
3 days ago
JAY INSLEE, covid...
Dori Monson

Dori: Inslee planning to push COVID vax through 2024

Gov. Jay Inslee has given himself extra-constitutional "emergency" powers for 19 months. Now it looks like he is planning to extend those powers.
3 days ago
seattle police, vaccine...
Dori Monson Show

Seattle police union president says some officers are ‘willing to walk away’ from job in solidarity

If Seattle police officers are not vaccinated against COVID-19 or haven't submitted proof by Oct. 18, they risk losing their job.
6 days ago
mandate...
Dori Monson Show

King County Sheriff’s Office bans non-essential travel, sheriff travels to Boston

Employees with the King County Sheriff's Office were told all non-essential work-related travel "should be cancelled," but the sheriff went to Boston.
10 days ago
Ann Wilson...
Dori Monson Show

Heart’s Ann Wilson to sing National Anthem at Kraken’s first home game

Ann Wilson of the band Heart, a Seattle-area local, will help to open Climate Pledge Arena at the Seattle Kraken's first home game. 
11 days ago
Seattle shooting, downtown...
Dori Monson Show

Despite promises from mayor, downtown Seattle restaurant owner says area is still unsafe

Despite the mayor's promise of help, a downtown Seattle restaurant owner says he's cut his hours to five days a week, four hours a day over safety concerns.
11 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
...
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
...
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
...
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.
...
Comcast

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at www.ComcastRISE.com for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
Courtesy of JWatch Photography....
Experience Anacortes

Summer Fun Activities in Anacortes

With minimal travel time required and every activity under the sun, Anacortes is the perfect vacation spot for all ages.
81-year-old Yakima Fruit Market in Bothell latest business in Sound Transit’s path