First Hill’s gain is East Union’s loss. Any hopes of the Polyclinic building an expanded facility on the land it owns at East Union and Broadway took a serious hit last week when the medical giant announced it had agreed to enter a lease with HAL Real Estate Investments for the entirety of the new — but empty for all of 2010 — office building at 7th and Madison.
As the Complete Automotive business moved out, we reported in August that the Polyclinic was still eying the East Union property for a much needed expansion after acquiring it In 2008. That year, in need of space to build a new clinic in the area, the Polyclinic purchased the 16,000 square feet of land and the 1920 brick building for $6.25 million. The Polyclinic then successfully lobbied Seattle’s City Council to have their area of Union excluded from the Pike/Pine Conservation Overlay and to have rules passed that would specifically allow development of a medical building at Union and Broadway.
The Madison decision shifts Polyclinic’s focus west from Broadway to a brand new, 9-story office tower where it can both expand and consolidate its services which are currently spread from Broadway across First Hill. Clinic spokesperson Tracy Corgiat reminded us that the Polyclinic’s lease is contingent on City Hall approving medical use of the building and the creation of some new parking lots in the area — they’ll need them, remember, as the First Hill streetcar will pass eight city blocks away on Broadway when it begins service in 2013 — but also said she expects the approvals to be made. The zoning changes are all of the administrative variety which means no City Council committee or full council votes will be necessary for the approvals to move forward. Polyclinic expects to begin utilizing the new space starting in 2012.
Seattle Times sums up the wheeling and dealing here that had HAL Investments announcing its acquisition of the $30.8 million building on a Monday and rolling out the new Polyclinic deal last Tuesday.dealings are worth a read for anybody interested in the state of commercial real estate in our area.
As for thePolyclinic’s odd-shaped and perpetually abandoned lot in the triangular nook between Broadway and Harvard., Corgiat said the Polyclinic will continue to hold the property and could consider it for development in the future — or sell it. But given the state of real estate prices, that sale won’t likely happen soon, Corgiat said. So, the building will sit mostly empty as the automotive business that moved out earlier this year still uses it for storage. It could be empty for a long time, a brick and mortar version of
Despite the likely pause, if not end in the Polyclinic’s East Union interest, new development activity on the street still looks likely. Up Union a few blocks toward 12th, the 1111 East Union project continues to rumble — slowly — forward. Earlier in November, the site passed an early inspection in the construction permitting process and some of the preliminary paperwork for demolition of the Undre Arms apartments has been filed. is not all great news. Another interesting piece of the Hill is probably soon to meet the
wrecking ball demolition tractor of death. But when paired with the new likelihood of another long-term empty space on the Hill a few blocks away, it might make the change easier to accept.