Gilly, a rescued Conure (a small parrot) greets you upon entering Gilman Gallery Antiques. Customers nosh on cookies and coffee, which are always out for them. It’s a friendly place.
The gallery, which has been in business for 28 years, will close June 30 to make way for a large multi-family development.
Called Atlas, the project, to be built by Lennar Multifamily Communities, will consist of 346 stacked apartments in three buildings on the old Lombardi’s site that also includes the old Hi-Lo Shopping Center.
While the gallery’s current owner, Darlene Cohen, plans to relocate, it will be in Bellevue.
“Issaquah is beginning to lose business, it’s all going to the Highlands,” she said. “Sammamish (shoppers) aren’t coming here anymore; they go down to Redmond.”
Cohen has told city officials that Issaquah isn’t building enough retail space.
“And they’re building all of these apartments? Where are they going to work?,” she asked.
The Highlands has become more of a live, work, shop hub where people can walk, she added, unlike the valley floor.
She also is concerned that traffic on Gilman Boulevard and Seventh Street will become unbearable when all of Lennar’s units are filled. And she also doesn’t think the city has done enough to create jobs.
About 100 independent antique dealers have space in Cohen’s building, which she equates with 100 small businesses closing. She also has 10 employees. Her customers are loyal, and have been crying over the situation.
“They say wherever you move, we’ll come there,” Cohen said.
The gallery has been the “Best of 425s” pick for antique store for the past two years in a row.
“We’re like a family,” she said.
The gallery’s last day is June 30 and everything is on sale now. A sign says to “dicker with the dealers.” The last outdoor dealer’s market will be Sunday, June 22.
Lennar’s apartment complex is the first big project approved for the Central Issaquah Plan, which encourages greater density on the valley floor.
Gilman Gallery, a large antique mall, is the last holdout in the old Hi-Lo shopping center where a 346-unit apartment complex will be built.
Ethan Sherrard with “Gilly” the antique mall’s family pet. The bird, a Conure, is a small parrot. The bird was rescued from a place where it was kept outside.