Capitol Hill Ferrari dealer buys auto-row era classic, former Callahan’s Auto shop on Madison

A $2.2 million prize on E Madison (Images: CHS)

A $2.2 million prize on E Madison (Images: CHS)

Through the glass at Ferrari and Maserati of Seattle's current showroom at 12th and Union. The reflection is yet another mixed-use development across the street.

Through the glass at Ferrari and Maserati of Seattle’s current showroom at 12th and Union. The reflection is yet another mixed-use development under construction across the street.

After Callahan’s Auto shop left Capitol Hill in January, the 14th and Madison building appeared to be a prime candidate for Capitol Hill’s next auto-row era redevelopment project. But for the time being, it looks like the building will stay true to its auto roots.

CHS has learned that Ferrari and Maserati of Seattle has purchased the longtime automobile garage for $2.25 million. Ferrari’s general manager Tino Perrina tells CHS he is still exploring his options for the space, which could include a new showroom or a service area. He also said a major redevelopment project — like the ones underway throughout Pike/Pine including across the street from the 12th Ave Ferrari showroom — was probably not in the cards.

“We want to keep the look and feel of the building how it is now,” he said.

IMG_2374The E Madison building only a few blocks from the 12th Ave dealership was sold by longtime owner Frances Kirsch-Erdman. Callahan’s had been operating out of the 1319 E Madison building since 1948. Perrina said he started considering purchasing the building when it came on to the market this summer.

Callahan’s owner Kevin Callahan had told CHS that he relocated to Snohomish County ahead of an expected ordinance that would require owners of old brick buildings to install expensive anti-earthquake renovations. Perrina said he has a structural engineer taking stock of the building now but couldn’t comment further on seismic work may have to be done and how that could effect future plans for the building.

CHS wrote about the building’s development potential last spring based on the FEMA survey ranking and the highest-risk properties slowly being ticked off the list as part of planned developments. CHS also reported last year on the concentrations of unreinforced masonry structures on Capitol Hill and created this map showing the extent of their presence.

Perrina said he’s currently having the building’s interior thoroughly cleaned after it withstood decades of abuse as an auto repair shop.

The Callahan’s purchase marks another significant investment in Capitol Hill for the luxury dealership, as other auto-related businesses have mostly exited the neighborhood. In March CHS reported on a significant renovation at the dealership’s current location. Perrina said that work is still ongoing and won’t wrap up for at least another 10 months.

“There is so much to offer up here,” Perrina said about keeping his auto business in the neighborhood. “Capitol Hill has changed a lot, for the better.”IMG_2390

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6 thoughts on “Capitol Hill Ferrari dealer buys auto-row era classic, former Callahan’s Auto shop on Madison

  1. I thought part of the “problem” with the Callahan site was that it was not earthquake resistant ready. I assumed that the building as is could not be used. Does this mean that the building would have to be razed? Would this affect neighboring business such as the Madison Pub or the Park Hill apartments?

  2. I never would have expected a Ferrari dealership to be a leader in preserving some of the swiftly disappearing Cap Hill feel, lol.

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