‘Sellers’ market’ — The Ford Building, home to Elliott Bay Book Company, up for sale

Elliott Bay Book Company (Image: CHS)

Elliott Bay Book Company (Image: CHS)

With its neighbor already on the block for a potential sale, another centerpiece of Pike/Pine auto row preservation, culture, and arts is having its tires kicked by prospective buyers.

Word spread Wednesday that the Ford Building, the 97-year-old former auto row warehouse now home to Elliott Bay Book Company, the Little Oddfellows cafe, and upscale fashion retailer Totokaelo has been put on the market touting its “100% leased” status, its place as a “prime Capitol Hill retail creative space,” and its hosting of an “iconic master tenant” —

Jones Lang LaSalle is pleased to present the opportunity to acquire a 100% fee simple interest in the The Ford Building (“The Property”), a one-story building with two street level retail spaces, located in Seattle’s historic Capitol Hill submarket. The property’s location is walking distance to the city’s Central Business District, and a plethora of city destinations, including dining, retail, medical, professional, public transportation, Seattle Central Community College, Seattle University, the Northwest School, and Cal Anderson Park. The property has easy access to convenient transit and commuter options, only 1 block from the Capitol Hill Street Car stop and 2 blocks from the Light Rail station.

“This offering represents a unique opportunity to invest in a 100% leased property with a stable retail income stream and future development potential located in one of Seattle’s hottest and growing neighborhoods,” the pitch from the Jones Lang LaSalle real estate firm concludes.

If and when it is redeveloped, the building is eligible for Pike/Pine’s preservation incentives which provide potentially lucrative extra height and bulk bonuses for saving building facades of character structures.

Development opportunity aside, current owner Capitol Hill developer Hunters Capital says the building’s existing tenants are one of its greatest assets.

“We have thought long and hard about selling one of our buildings,” Hunters chief operating officer Jill Cronauer tells CHS. “We add value to properties and feel we have maximized the improvements in the Ford Building through restoration and implementing long term leases with strong retail tenants. It’s a strong sellers’ market and we would like to take the capital and reinvest in another property where there is room to add value.” Continue reading

What Capitol Hill’s new Kelly Springfield office building will look like

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Here is a Pike/Pine history lesson. In 2013, CHS reported on a mixed-use apartment, office, and commercial development being planned to incorporate the 11th Ave block home to the REI-rooted, auto row-era buildings housing The Stranger and Value Village. Nearly four years later, the developers behind the project are ready with what could be the final design for a reduced, apartment-less version of that original plan.

With final design approval Wednesday, the new project will mean an overhaul and new life for Value Village’s old mid-block Kelly-Springfield Motor Truck Company building and its landmark-protected exterior. But thanks to landmark status both inside and out, the lucky old one-time home to White Motor Company next door — where The Stranger still does its thing — at 11th and Pine will live on untouched by the new Kelly Springfield project and its planned 65,000 square feet of office space, 12,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space, and parking for around 30 vehicles — none of them probably “motor trucks.”

The project faces what should be its final design review after years of meetings with everything from the design review board, to the landmarks board, to community groups, Wednesday night: Continue reading

CHS Pics | Last visit to Capitol Hill’s Value Village-REI-Kelly Springfield building

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Last week before the holiday weekend, the neighborhood had one last chance to say goodbye to the old Capitol Hill Value Village before a landmarks-protected, preservation-friendly office and commercial redevelopment of the nearly 100-year-old building. A Punk Rock Flea Market was a fitting end to its era as a thrift store. Images from the final nights in the space show a few glimpses of the structure’s deeper past.

Dubbed the Kelly-Springfield Motor Truck Company building for its first tenant after construction in 1917 and built as an investment development for $70,000 in the midst of World War I, the “Chicago School style,” concrete frame building with red brick, parapets and window spandrels was home to an important player in the area’s burgeoning auto row economy: Continue reading

One last chance to say goodbye to the Capitol Hill Value Village

We said goodbye to its temporary incarnation as Capitol Hill Arts District community space V2 with a dance party. A fitting farewell for its funky fresh life as the center of Capitol Hill thrifting starts Tuesday and lasts three nights as the old Kelly Springfield Truck Company turned REI turned Value Village (with a lot of other bits and pieces in between) hosts the Punk Rock Flea Market for one last gasp of creosote and dust on 11th Ave:

Punk Rock Flea Market

CHS broke the sad news in October 2015 that the popular Capitol Hill location of the thrift shop chain was preparing to close after one final Halloween. Macklemore was devastated. The building owned by the Ellison family that founded the Value Village chain was lined to have the property developed by local real estate developer Legacy CommercialContinue reading

11th Ave ‘streetscape’ tweaked as ‘final’ Value Village redevelopment and preservation designs pounded out

screen-shot-2016-10-17-at-4-29-49-pmAfter years of shifting plans to meet the demands of city boards and community groups, architects behind the preservation development of the former Value Village building are honing in on the final vision for their office project.

On Monday, architects from Ankrom Moison presented their latest designs for the Kelly Springfield building to the Pike/Pine Urban Neighborhood Council, including how designs have been tweaked to address concerns from their last East Design Review Board meeting this summer. Continue reading

Tweaks to Pike/Pine rules offer design dos and preservation don’ts

Optimism Brewing, which opened last year inside a fully overhaul auto-row era building on E Union, is neither a "do" or a "don't" -- the new guidelines don't address how best to preserve complete buildings (Image: CHS)

Optimism Brewing, which opened last year inside a fully overhaul auto-row era building on E Union, is neither a “do” or a “don’t” — the new guidelines don’t address how best to preserve complete buildings (Image: CHS)

After six years of projects subject to the Pike/Pine Neighborhood Design Guidelines, Capitol Hill has seen its fair share of good and bad buildings. The guidelines are used by the East Design Review Board as the basis to recommend design changes to new projects in the neighborhood. But explaining what exactly makes a good and bad design under the guidelines can be frustrating for board members, architects, and the public.

To better inform everyone on the intentions of the design guidelines, a proposed update adds an appendix featuring real world examples of good and bad designs. The 18-page addition was created by city-hired consultant, Makers Architecture and Urban Design.

“The hope was to have more information to guide on things that were really general,” said Dennis Meier, a strategic advisor with the Office of Planning and Community Development.

One example offered in the new appendix shows how the design guidelines favor a 12th and Pike facade over that of one built on Broadway:

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Continue reading

Capitol Hill height for sale: Developer of 95 Slide building buying right to build higher

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Here's what it would look like if they were forced to preserve 95 Slide

Here’s what it would look like if they were forced to preserve 95 Slide

Capitol Hill developers do not have to preserve the neighborhood’s oldest buildings to reap the construction benefits that come with that preservation — they can buy those perks, too, as Johnson Carr plans to do for its planned seven-story development at the corner of Pike and Harvard. Someday, you might call it the 95 Slide building. Kids will look at you like you’re old and crazy. That’s the Pike Flats building, old timer. The preservation perks without preservation plan will be on the table Wednesday night as the East Design Review Board takes what will likely be its final look at the project.

John Feit, chair of the Pike/Pine Urban Neighborhood Council, said transferring development rights is analogous to moving apples around from basket to basket. “Melrose Market paid for the ability to create an extra floor, they just didn’t,” said Feit. Instead, the developers of the Capitol Hill retail project are selling that right to Johnson Carr. Continue reading

How three projects used incentives to create E Pike’s ‘preservation’ row

Capitol Hill’s preservation incentivized construction projects are hard to miss, with their large iron braces supporting thin brick walls as seven or eight stories of shiny new development rise above. The merits of these projects and the preservation incentive program the helped create them have been debated since the rules were passed in 2009. Whether you think it pure facadism or a unique expression of a neighborhood in transition, preservation projects have come to represent the modern era of Capitol Hill development.

While the incentives have been tweaked over time, the conservation rules are based on a fairly straightforward premise: developers get potentially lucrative extra height and bulk bonuses for saving building facades or character structures in their projects. For preservation-minded developers like Hunters Capital, the incentives offered under the Pike/Pine Conservation District have made saving some of Capitol Hill’s auto-row past a feasible business decision.

“Density is going to happen in an area like Capitol Hill,” said Michael Oaksmith, development director at Hunters Capital. “Your alternative is to just crash down the entire building.”

13 of 22 projects within the conservation district have used the incentives since 2011. City Hall is currently preparing yet another update.The Pike/Pine Conservation District’s revised guidelines are currently available for review here. Three projects along three blocks of E Pike wrapping up construction and coming into the Capitol Hill rental market offer a good survey of the different forms the projects have taken:

  • AVA Capitol Hill, 600 E Pike — Avalon Bay
  • Pike Motorworks, 714 E Pike — Wolff Company
  • Dunn Motors, 501 E Pike — Hunters Capital

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11th Ave preservation and office development project passes first design review

(Images: Ankrom Moisan)

(Images: Ankrom Moisan)

Wednesday's review (Image: CHS)

Wednesday’s review (Image: CHS)

The project to transform a landmark-protected 11th Ave auto row-era building that also played a big role in the growth of REI and was the longtime home to Capitol Hill’s Value Village will move forward in the city’s review process after approval of its preliminary design at a meeting Wednesday night.

The East Design Review Board signed off on the design that will change the old Value Village space into an office and retail project. Parking and impact on residential and commercial neighbors were discussion points during the meeting. The building’s preservation goals and landmarked exterior were also discussed.

“Preserve and enhance the defining aspects of the landmark building – that’s our main goal here,” said Mack Selberg of Ankrom Moisan architects. Continue reading

What Capitol Hill’s Value Village development will look like

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Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 8.54.06 AMLandmark protections for its nearly 100-year-old exterior couldn’t save the 11th Ave Value Village, but the wide open auto-row era commercial space is poised to live on, possibly as Capitol Hill’s newest “marketplace.”

Developers from Legacy Commercial will be taking their first turn before the East Design Review Board on Wednesday to show off their preservation and development plans for the iconic 1917-built structure. Designs for the Kelly Springfield Motor Truck Co. building call for adding 65,000 square feet of office space above and adjacent to the 11th Ave building between Pike and Pine. Continue reading