Despite fervent customer bases drawn from the surrounding neighborhoods and across Seattle, two E Madison businesses have been waiting out the clock as the captains of Capitol Hill’s real estate industry make their moves. By the end of July, Thai Curry Simple’s walk-up window and hookah-joint Cobra Lounge will shutter in the peculiar triangle of retail space at the intersection of E Union and Madison. The parcel has been reportedly sold and the development slated to create a six-story apartment building at the site is once again underway.
CHS has yet to confirm the buyer of the parcels with the attached approved mix-use development project but has learned that one developer already active in the area has been working with the Department of Planning and Development to learn more about the development potential of the property. According to DPD filings, Alliance Realty scheduled a land use meeting with the city department about the 1111 E Union property in May. Alliance is already actively developing the massive project across the street — in June, its 1020 E Union project cleared its first design review hurdle despite continued criticism of the development’s missed preservation opportunities.
No timetable for demolition of the homes for Thai Curry SImple, the Cobra and the legendarily dilapidated Undre Arms apartments is yet available but the work is approved and ready to begin once the property is cleared. We reported in spring 2011 that the delayed project was moving forward. The Undre Arms was cleared and some interesting treasures were revealed. But the development stalled as word spread that the project’s owners, Patrick Berschauer and Jerrold Bailet, were seeking a buyer.
Though King County records don’t yet reflect a new sale of the parcels acquired in 2007 and 2008 for nearly $4 million, we’re told that an agreement has been reached and that the triangle across union from Seattle Maserrati and Ferrari will soon transition into construction mode and join the wave of Pike/Pine development.
Thai Curry Simple is looking for a new home on the Hill but admittedly it could be tough to find the kind of low overhead space they need in the area. You can keep track of anything new on the walk-up’s Facebook page. Erin Cobb said he has looked for a new location but has decided to close shop in Seattle. “Business has been great, the community has supported us and we’ve made a lot of great friends on the hill,” Cobb wrote.
While the original plans for 1111 E Union did not seek to take advantage of the Pike/Pine Conservation District’s incentives for preservation of character structures, we’re hoping to check in on the possibility that might change with new owners. A development that finds a way to preserve the facade of the Undre Arms would be a Capitol Hill original, indeed.