The trailhouse — a bike-friendly eatery along the Burke Gilman

Ron Sher opens a new third-place with two new restaurants from the Huxley Wallace Collective, giving reason to pause and connect at a busy intersection near Children’s Hospital.

Two-wheeled placemaking
Bicycling has exploded in the United States and the Pacific Northwest is leading the trend.  Bicycling in Washington alone contributes more than $3B in spending statewide.  Our biennial trail budget is up 50% at more than $15M.  This growth and enthusiasm is opening a new opportunity for developers who care about creating inclusive, successful retail environments.  The bicycle, ranging from a toddler’s tricycle to fancy road bikes, is both a business opportunity and symbol of friendly community.  In a 2013 study from New York City, protected bike lanes drove increases in retail sales of local-businesses more than 16% faster than areas without those improvements.

Bicycling is wonderful placemaking tool.  It is great for retailers, great for families, and a symbol of a welcoming community.

Few owners are as devoted to fostering community through a warm retail environment as Ron Sher of Sher Partners.  And as an avid cyclist, he also understands how to create great places around the bicycle.  Anchoring the busy 45th Street bend in the Burke Gilman Trail near Children’s Hospital, Sher Partners is creating a collection of bike-friendly retail spaces and offices to stitch together the neighborhoods and hospital community.   The first phase is a 6,000 square foot commercial redevelopment known as the Trailhouse, which connects directly to the Trail by extending a large on-grade deck, creating a unique experience and challenging permitting process.  The project design (Michael Whalen Architects) creates distinct identities for the two new restaurants by the Huxley Wallace Collective and allows them to share a single kitchen split across the two level building.

FIX’s Role
FIX was the Project Manager for the owner, Sher Partners.  Michael Whalen was the architect.  Metis Construction was the general contractor.  The project opened in March of 2016.