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Bothell store owners forced to move to make way for new city block

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BOTHELL, Wash. -- The city of Bothell bought a building and forced out several businesses so it can tear the structure down and build a new city block.

On Thursday, the owner of the Mad Cow Yarn moved out to her new location in Lake Forest Park.

“Today is our moving day,” said Molly Brusewitz, owner of Mad Cow Yarn.

It was a bitter sweet day for Brusewitz, who is being forced to move out after she spent three years building a customer base in Bothell.

“It’s going to be hard for us to move and we’re going to miss the customers that stop in on a daily basis and those that can walk in,” added Brusewitz.

Brusewitz’s shop is one of four in the building that has to move.

Bothell used eminent domain to take it over. Eminent domain allows governments to take possession of properties as long as they give the owners a fair price.

The city said the property will be used to create a new city block -- allowing Main Street to be pushed through the area and connect with 98th Avenue Northeast and eventually connect the library to the downtown core.

The project will also widen the new block so there will be more space on sidewalks for people to walk, easier access to businesses and provide even more parking.

The city told the four store owners last year it was interested in the building, but many didn’t know when the takeover would happen.

“We had to wait for the court process to go through and figure out when we could move and we had a lease we couldn’t get out of until that happened,” added Brusewitz.

The owner of Dawn’s Candy and Cake Supply Store is working until the last day and plans to move out over the weekend.

“We’re going to really miss the community, they’ve been unbelievably supportive and everybody here is fabulous and fun,” said Dawn Motes, owner of Dawn’s Candy and Cake Supply Store.

Motes said she wanted to stay in Bothell but just couldn’t afford to do it.

“We were looking to stay, but with all the improvements many of the buildings have, the price is a little steep for us and we’re kind of small business,” said Motes.

Motes said the city of Lynnwood worked very hard and made it easy for her to move up there. She believes all of her customers will follow her up the road.

Happy Teriyaki has been at this location for eight years, and on Thursday it was closing for good.

The owners said they don’t know where they’ll move to next.

The Papa John’s will relocate, too.

Bothell says it needed to use eminent domain to acquire the building for this project, which, officials say, will benefit the city in the long term.

Everyone has to be out of the building by next week because the city plans to start the demolition process sometime in July.