The family that started the Taco Time chain and operated one of the restaurants on Madison for 40 years won’t be the ones taking the property into its probable next phase of mixed use development. CHS has learned that the lot at 15th and Madison where Taco Time once stood is for sale. We wrote about Taco Time’s plan for the lot when they were preparing to tear down the Madison restaurant in winter 2009. The price tag for the 12,600 square-feet of prime south Capitol Hill real estate? $2.5 million.
The listing for the $198 per square foot lot reveals the likely future for the real estate:
Zoning allows a six-story residential structure, either apartments or condominiums and ground floor retail. The is the former Taco Time property with the building recently removed. The site is currently a surface parking lot and is the Northwest corner of Madison at 15th, near Seattle U. Visit the nearest Taco Time which is 1 mile to the South of Rainioer (sic) Avenue, South of Dearborn.
We appreciate that Taco Time manages to slip a little advertising into even its real estate listings. Good show.
What the listing doesn’t reveal probably wouldn’t surprise any developer familiar with the Capitol Hill area’s auto row history. Taco Time vice president Robby Tonkin confirmed the property is for sale to us and told us that the environmental testing we reported on earlier this summer is still underway. Indeed, a crew was drilling holes and grabbing samples when we visited for a picture recently. Tonkin tells CHS testing so far reveals “very low levels of environmental contamination.”
As for the decision to sell the property that four generations of Tonkin’s have been part of owning, the company vice president said Taco Time has decided to “sell the project to a developer rather develop it ourselves.” In comments on CHS last December, Tonkin foreshadowed the move:
Justin – thanks for sharing our story. The only thing I’d add is that we thought about developing the property ourselves several years ago, but it will likely be a developer (not us), that ultimately red-develops the property when the time comes. We’d like to focus on serving top quality food and providing great service to our guests rather than moonlighting as developers. We’d welcome the opportunity to have a Taco Time in the redeveloped property, or somewhere else in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. My great grandfather started our company in the early 60′s, and this particular Taco Time was built in 1965 – one of the first in the area. Needless to say, we’ve been a part of the Capitol Hill neighborhood for a long time. We’re sorry that we won’t be there for our guests, but I invite our guests to give our Taco Time on Rainier Avenue a try. It may be a little further than some would like, but hopefully it’s worth the trek!
Hey, another ad for the Rainier TT! Nice work!
The Taco Time lot going up for sale might be seen as yet another indication of better conditions in the construction and development industries. Thursday, we reported that the semi-dormant 1111 East Union project was suddenly showing signs of life and we also now know a ballpark timetable for the 230 Broadway project.