A Vulcan design from South Lake Union
An illustration of pedestrian and safety enhancements in the area being pursued by the community groups
Earlier this month, Vulcan began the process of community outreach as it moved forward with plans for a 570-unit, mixed-use development on the southeast corner of 23rd and Jackson. Wednesday, it sealed the deal.
The Seattle real estate giant announced it has paid $30,900,000 to acquire the Promenade 23 shopping center and the commercial area surrounding Starbucks across the street.
“We are excited to introduce housing to this very prominent intersection in the Central Area,” said Ada M. Healey, vice president of real estate for Vulcan said in the announcement. “We care greatly about preserving the authentic characteristics of the neighborhood while developing a project that that aligns with the community’s priorities.”
Vulcan is planning for the review process to wrap up by September with construction starting by June of 2017. Construction is expected to last about two years. The June timing would put the project into motion around the planned groundbreaking of the second phase of the 23rd Ave corridor improvements currently causing smaller merchants headaches around 23rd and Cherry. Jackson, meanwhile, has also been envisioned for pedestrian and safety improvements.
The company said it is not currently planning to redevelop the parcel on the north side of Jackson where Starbucks and Walgreens are part of a cluster of big-chain commercial businesses.
In its announcement, Vulcan said it plans to utilize Seattle’s Multi-Family Tax Exemption program, “reserving 20 percent of the project’s units for workforce housing with a range of price points starting at 65 percent of Area Median Income.” Under the program, developers receive an up-to-12-year break on property taxes on their buildings — but not the land. The results mean under-market rents should be maintained for at least 12 years. A developer may leave the program after notifying the city but assumes “responsibility for any additional taxes, interest, and penalty imposed pursuant to State law.”
The deal represents a nice flip for Weingarten Realty — it acquired the property about five years ago for $18.4 million.
UPDATE: The acquisition also treads atop a history of failed ambitions at the corner:
Aspirations for the Promenade 23 shopping center at 23rd and Jackson once included a two-block development complete with sky bridge. This vision was lead by a young Jimmy Sumler, who owned the property along with his father in the 50s and 60s, according to George Staggers of the Central Area Development Association (CADA). Today, the shopping center may not have a sky bridge, but it is an economic hub of the Central District. It is also on the verge of being sold to Weingarten Realty Investors, a large real estate investment trust based out of Houston, Texas.
Neighborhood development watchers, meanwhile, also have their eyes on Midtown Center at 23rd and Union where a deal is expected to be announced soon.
The full announcement is below. Continue reading