Three years ago, local businessman Ian Eisenberg bought a defunct restaurant and a car wash at 23rd Avenue and East Union Street, a key junction in Seattle's Central District. "I kept complaining that somebody needs to do something to clean it up," he recalls. "The car wash had a chain-link fence, and the Philly [cheesesteak] shop was boarded up."
Now Eisenberg has plans for a pot shop on those properties—or other parcels he bought nearby. But why place a pot store there? The intersection has a notorious history of open-air drug sales, gang violence, and failing businesses.