The fate of one of the remaining Capitol Hill auto showrooms of the past could be up in the air following corporate dealings in the art supply retailing world. Monday, Blick Art Materials announced it has acquired Utrecht Art Supplies:
Blick Art Materials, a multi-channel retailer with 39 locations, has purchased the stock of Utrecht Art Supplies, a 45-store multi-channel retailer. Both businesses are leading participants in the art supply industry.
The announcement is likely to have an impact on Capitol Hill with the neighborhood hosting both a Broadway Blick outlet as well as the longtime E Pike home of Utrecht. Blick debuted on Broadway in the former home of Everyday Music in April 2010. With schools like Seattle U, Seattle Central and Gage Academy providing a steady stream of young artists, Capitol Hill also represents a prime demographic for the newly combined companies.
The announcement did not address any planned consolidation related to the acquisition. Calls to the E Pike Utrecht store were referred to the national headquarters.
UPDATE: Blick CEO Robert Buchsbaum tells us that there “hasn’t been any firm decision” on possible consolidation in the wake of the deal.
“We’re obviously very excited about it,” Buchsbaum said. “When we’re finally able to integrate in some form, you’ll end up with the best of both companies.”
Buchsbaum also said the decision on which “flag” each of the newly combined company’s stores will fly under will be determined on a location by location basis — so the Utrecht brand will live on for at least the time being.
[mappress mapid="22"]Utrecht’s E Pike home is owned by commercial real estate investor Fred Weiss of The Weiss Company. It was purchased in 1997 for $2 million. The orthogonal, terra cotta-decorated property is listed on the Pike/Pine historical character structure roster and was once part of the neighborhood’s bustling auto row.
The building includes some 5,500 square feet of office and retail space plus a 9,000 square-foot garage area.
CHS reported early last month that the neighboring Seattle Volvo dealership would be closing and moving off the Hill by fall.
Demand for office and retail space on the Hill is reportedly still strong. CHS reported two weeks ago that suitors were lined up to take over the massive 15,000 square-foot store Half Price Books will leave behind when it shutters this summer.