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15th Ave E QFC block has new owner: Capitol Hill’s Hunters Capital

The “big property deal set to reshape Capitol Hill’s somewhat sleepy 15th Ave E” has gone down. For now, the quiet-er stretch of Capitol Hill commerce will stay as somewhat sleepy as ever.

“We look forward to becoming a part of this vibrant street as we value the unique retail and residential mix,” Jill Cronauer, chief operating officer at Hunters Capital said in an announcement Monday morning that the Capitol Hill-focused real estate development and property management firm has acquired the block of 15th Ave E home to QFC and a stretch of local businesses for $11.25 million.

“While redevelopment of this building is possible, current leases in place make it unlikely to happen in the near future,” Cronauer said. “However, we do hope to create a more engaging street front for our tenants and neighbors.“

In addition to the grocery store, the 37,800SF property includes Take Two consignment shop, a Rudy’s Barbershop, the beloved Shop Rite, and seven apartment units above “as long term tenants,” Hunters said.

In February, CHS reported the buildings had been sold after being 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. “The future hinges on whether QFC and Rudy’s will agree to new lease terms,” the deal’s broker told CHS in February.

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 future development to four stories. HALA affordability rezoning could bump those 40-foot limits up by 15 feet. 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.

Earlier this month, Hunters said it was taking advantage of a “seller’s market” on Capitol Hill as it sold off its longtime Ford Building holdings on 10th Ave, the home of Elliott Bay Book Company.



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15 thoughts on “15th Ave E QFC block has new owner: Capitol Hill’s Hunters Capital” -- All CHS Comments are held for moderation before publishing

  1. I just hope that when they do eventually tear it down and put up a new place that it also has a grocery store.

  2. So glad things look good for Shop Rite staying! One of the few “hey, I wonder if anyone in walking distance sells [totally random item, ranging from camping sleeping pad to cookware to a tape measure to reading lights to magnifying glasses]” stores in Capitol Hill, now. Such a gem!

  3. This is very good news for the neighborhood, and especially for those of us who would like the rampant development to slow down a bit. Hunter’s Capital, and the owner Mike Malone, have the best interest of Capitol Hill in mind, as evidenced by their other projects and by the fact that they are not planning on razing this property anytime soon….most other developers would do exactly that. Thanks, Mr. Malone!!

    • How is leaving that eyesore of a QFC, with that long blank wall and big space-wasting parking lot, a good thing? Leave the cute little stores and apartments, but PLEASE tear down the QFC and replace it with a better use of that space! A nice four or five-story building with a QFC on the ground level and apartments above would be a huge improvement for 15th.

    • This section of 15th is terrible, exception being for the couple small businesses. Slowing down the pace of redevelopment is the last thing we should be doing. If anything, the process needs to speed up. I’m tired of blank, fenced off lots and delayed opportunities for improvements.

      If it were not for the existing leases, these buildings would certainly be down soon. I hope the leases are bought out and the businesses relocated so we can move on with progress and quit putting off the inevitable.

    • So, Timmy73, does the “inevitable” mean razing sections of neighborhoods to make way for more bars and dry cleaners and two year residents paying driven up rents that drive out long term residents and non tech professionals?

    • Perhaps that does to you, Sean. To me it means picking up the pace to maintain growth. People are moving here and have needs. The people that already live here want improvements. I think the black wall at the QFC is terrible. The fact that the Piecora lot has been a weed-infested lot for years is a travesty.

      Perhaps you’re okay with mediocracy, Sean. I think we deserve better.

    • @ David: The spokeswoman for Hunter’s Capital is quoted as saying they plan on “creating a more engaging street front for our tenants and neighbors,” so it sounds like they will be doing something about that blank wall.

      For a store that size, the QFC parking lot is quite small and compact, and it is absolutely necessary for that store to remain in business. It is not a “waste of space.”

    • “I hope the leases are bought out and the businesses relocated so we can move on with progress and quit putting off the inevitable.”

      Why are you in such an almighty rush for developers to raze these businesses? Businesses that people currently living in the neighborhood need and want? What is making you so utterly miserable – a grocery store with a parking lot? A parking lot that obviously gets used because it’s often full?

      Our urban landscape needs more than twee hipster t-shirt shops and bars/restaurants that only tech people can afford. Further, when development does occur, in large part the only stores that can afford the new rents are chains, thus the proliferation of tanning salons and nail salons in new Seattle developments.

      If you’re so unhappy on 15th, try a different area. Bellevue might make you happy. As for the rest of us, we NEED these businesses. Grocery stores, drug stores, dry cleaners, etc. All mundane, all part and parcel of living in a human community.

    • @Timmy, I’m not cynical at all, and I’m quit calm. I’ve just read enough of your development-at-all-costs hysteria that you repeatedly post on CHS.

  4. Likewise, I hope there will be a grocery store, underground parking and in particular a facade that does not make it look like a strip mall. Ike’s and the nail salon did not help the look of 15th.