It appears the southward push of the Pike/Pine development zone is in full swing. CHS has learned that the company behind two preservation and development projects on Capitol Hill is preparing to embark on the process to create a third. A representative for the Wolff Company has confirmed that it is the entity under contract to purchase the Polyclinic-owned auto row-era building at the corner of Broadway and Union.
Earlier this week, CHS reported on the new Central Agency Building entertainment development underway around the corner at 10th and Seneca.
CHS reported in February this year that a buyer was under contract to purchase the Broadway and Union property for development from Polyclinc after the health services giant was able to solve its space needs with its new First Hill facility. At one point, the Polyclinic considered a five-story medical services building on the site.
The Wolff representative said it is too early to talk about specific plans for the building it plans to purchase but the developer’s other projects in the neighborhood yield plenty of clues. Last week, CHS reported that the company had re-started its efforts to build Pike Motorworks, a massive mixed-use apartment project that will preserve portions of the former BMW complex on E Pike. Meanwhile, the company paid $6.7 million for the property and plans to rehabilitate and develop the Sunset Electric building at 11th and Pine into a mixed-use apartment building expected to open in early 2014.
The 1920-built showroom and garage on the southeast corner of Broadway and Union will first be passed through the Seattle Landmarks process with a hearing slated for September 4th. The Great Western Motors Building, as the structure is called in the nomination documentation, consideration as landmark will likely be a factor in the purchase process for Wolff but even an unlikely decision to afford the property landmark protections wouldn’t necessarily scuttle development plans. The Pike/Pine Conservation District’s developer incentives for preserving old “character” structures would likely be in play as it is in the other Wolff Capitol Hill projects. In the meantime, the landmarks process hasn’t exactly been easy to penetrate for recent Hill candidates.
Along with the Central Agency Building, E Union’s side of the E Pike entertainment core is bustling with construction. Two major apartment projects are moving into their final phases in the area — this mixed-use project at 10th and Union and another mixed-use project above the former home of the old Undre Arms apartments — while a third is finally breaking ground in between: 10th/Union building going down, then back up, brick by brick.
The Great Western Motors building has a long road ahead should the development plans move forward. There are no permits or land use applications started for the property and a full round of design review lies ahead putting construction on track for sometime close to 2015.