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Five years later, seven-story project moving forward at Broadway and James

Demolished (Image: King County)

Demolished (Image: King County)

Those enjoying a free ride on the First Hill Streetcar may have noticed one of Broadway’s old buildings was torn down last week. At the corner of Broadway and James, the former home of Yasuko’s Teriyaki and, now long ago, El Mestizo, and the 1906-built, two-story, 4-unit masonry apartment building they called home has been demolished.

The path for the 550 Broadway project is an example of the roadway large projects around the neighborhood sometimes take as financing windows open and close and the review and permit process trundles forward. In this case, the teriyaki restaurant’s owner Yasuko Conner also owned the old building and sold to developers in 2011 for $3,339,000, according to county records. That knowledge might soften the blow of sadness fans of the restaurant felt when it finally shuttered last fall. The acquirer was George Webb and the Stratford Company, the prolific real estate investor and developer we last reported on amid accusations of economic evictions at a recently acquired Capitol Hill apartment building.

Coming soon

Coming soon

The developers moved forward a plan for a seven-story, mixed-use apartment building at the site. Here’s our report on the design review from late 2011. Then the project seemingly went on ice as the process to do something with the property ground to a halt. Finally, in December 2014, Webb’s company flipped the property and the permitted development project for $7.5 million to Seattle-based Intracorp Real Estate.

While the first round of permitting expired last spring, the company was able to submit and updated application. In December, the city approved the plan for a seven-story building designed in 2011 with 5,000 square feet of commercial space and underground parking for 110 vehicles. With the old building demolished, hopefully it won’t take another five years for construction to begin.

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6 thoughts on “Five years later, seven-story project moving forward at Broadway and James

  1. This is typical of the blind destruction of historic buildings
    in this city. The north facade had decorative stone quoins around the windows and the cornice was pronounced and worth saving. We need to preserve the character of the neighborhood. No doubt someone said something about unreinforced brick walls. Will the next hundred years be as destructive?
    I know this ain’t Rome, but this city is losing its charm. Architecture is worth preserving. Really!

    • But it’s being replaced by another cookie-cutter, cheaply-slapped-together low rise multi-use building, which is guaranteed to look like crap in 20 years. Progress!

  2. Am I wrong in thinking the drawing that says coming soon looks exactly like the building already on Jefferson and Broadway just a block away?

    • …there must be a rule somewhere that says all these shitty buildings don’t just have to be awful, they also must look alike… it’s too bad Mestizo got into trouble and didn’t reopen elsewhere, they were like no other place around and the people were wonderful…