In a sellers’ market on Capitol Hill, another big real estate deal appears primed to remake part of the neighborhood. CHS has learned that property on a key block in the heart of 15th Ave E’s strip of shops and restaurants recently hit the market and already has a prospective buyer with plans for a multi-story, mixed-use building stretching from the site where the 15th Ave E QFC stands today to cornershop ShopRite.
“If God means for us to stay, I am staying,” ShopRite owner Mohammad Abid tells CHS about the deal and his long-term lease in the building the shop has called home for more then 20 years.
Fortunately, the coming changes are still a ways off.
The buildings today home to QFC, the Take 2 consignment shop, a second Capitol Hill Rudy’s location, and ShopRite were gifted to the University of Washington last year after a death in the family that has held the property for decades. The northern building dates to 1904 while the QFC grocery building was constructed in 1944, according to King County records.
UPDATE 2/22/17: As noted by Michal in the comments below, the northern building also features seven residential apartments above the retail street-level tenants:
According to people familiar with the deal, the property has been sold to a developer for $12 million. Gary Eng, UW’s senior asset manager, tells CHS that the gifted Moore family property is under contract with a buyer and should close “by May or sooner.” The real estate broker on the deal said there are “several long term leases in place” which will need to be worked out before any development can move forward. According to the broker, the plans include a new grocery store in the development.
UPDATE 2/22/17: We’ve posted the sale listing for the property at the end of this post. Looks like we may have been a little short on the price — it’s being marketed at $12.5 million. Here are a few highlights from CenturyPacific:
The opportunity presented is to acquire a prime Capitol Hill property that has an income stream and outstanding redevelopment potential. Part of the appeal of this Property lies in the opportunity of future development. 15th Avenue E in Capitol Hill is a well- established retail core surrounded by residential uses. The 15th Avenue corridor is well known to anyone who knows Seattle. Referring to “the QFC on 15th” is like mentioning the Space Needle at Seattle Center. The 15th Avenue corridor has long been the economic base and heart of the Capital Hill neighborhood. While other retail corridors have developed over time in Capitol Hill, the retail and shopping foundation of this area started on 15th Avenue East. This arterial is currently anchored by icon establishments such as the Coastal Kitchen, Victrola Coffee, the Canterbury Ale House, The Wandering Goose, Ethan Stowell’s Rione XIII and many more. Owning this Property on this block is like owning a part of Capitol Hill’s history as a neighborhood!
“The future hinges on whether QFC and Rudy’s will agree to new lease terms,” broker Katherine Laird told CHS.
QFC, part of the Ohio-based Kroger, has not yet responded to our email while Take 2’s owner is traveling this week.
Danny Segal, director of marketing for Rudy’s, said the company is “open to discussions” about the building’s future plans.
“We’re very happy there and only two years into our long-term lease,” Segal said. “We definitely have no plans to leave.” Rudy’s opened its 15th Ave E shop, its second on Capitol Hill, in 2015.
Though it has seen a few instances of infill development, 15th Ave has mostly been free of the larger wave of redevelopment that has reshaped areas of Broadway and Pike/Pine. Current zoning would limit any planned development to four stories. HALA affordability rezoning could bump those 40-foot limits up by 15 feet. Its lag in the race to redevelop the Hill’s main commercial areas means 15th has been left behind in many of the infrastructure improvements around utilities, streets, and sidewalks that can come with major new construction projects. That suits many just fine especially as spaces along the street have remained available to longtime residents and an eclectic assortment of small businesses. The Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce, meanwhile, is also preparing to expand the Hill’s Business Improvement Area to include 15th Ave partly in anticipation of coming growth.
Whatever comes next, Abid, who has owned ShopRite for 14 of its 24 or so years of business, says he expects his shop will come out just fine — in the big picture.
“God created everything,” Abid said. “Everything that has happened for everyone and everything that will.”