There are a few things to remember.
Everything is for sale.
Capitol Hill is dying.
Add all of that up, and you have $6.9 million — the listing price for the 1911-built, 14,000-square-foot home to Broadway gay dance club legend Neighbours.
SUBSCRIBE TO CHS: Summer brings busy days! Subscribers help pay for the writers and photographers who provide CHS's daily news coverage. We need to get our numbers back up to pay the bills! Join TODAY to become a subscriber at $1/$5/$10 a month to help CHS provide community news with NO PAYWALL. You can also sign up for a one-time annual payment. Why support CHS? More here.
The Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce unearthed the news Tuesday of the property being listed for sale chalking it up to “more old low-rise commercial properties are coming to market” with the city’s Mandatory Housing Affordability proposals and “city-wide upzone that emphasizes density in urban villages.”
That may well be. But the words of longtime Charlie’s owner Ken Bauer who once told CHS that, when it comes to business, everything is, indeed, for sale are probably also in play here.
Here’s the $6.9 million sales pitch from NAI Puget Sound Properties:
Seattle’s 1509 Broadway property offering is a unique opportunity to acquire an exceptional well-located property in Capitol Hill, one of Seattle’s most desirable neighborhoods known for its trendy restaurants, stylish boutiques, vibrant night clubs, and wide variety of housing. The property is located within a short walk to Seattle Central College, Seattle University, Pill Hill’s hospitals, and Seattle’s Central Business District.
“Exceptional well-located property in Capitol Hill a prominent nightlife and entertainment neighborhood, with many bars hosting live music and theater,” the listing notes, adding that current zoning “allows for the development of a building measuring approximately 36,119 square feet.”
You’ll note the listing doesn’t mention drag queens, Gay Latin Pride Parties, college night, or International Thursdays.
It hit the market December 24th according to online real estate listings.
Proposed MHA zoning changes for Capitol Hill include transitioning Broadway from around Cal Anderson Park all the way north to Roy to 75-foot height limits and “neighborhood commercial” zoning that would allow seven-story buildings with commercial use throughout.
The Neighbours block, meanwhile, is also home to a Starbucks at the corner of Broadway and Pine in the overhauled Broadway State Bank building purchased by Redside Partners for $1.45 million in 2012. The block will also see new development moving forward in coming months as nonprofit developer Capitol Hill Housing puts together its plan for affordable housing and retail on the properties to the north of the Broadway club. The Eldridge is being planned as a preservation-friendly seven-story affordable housing development on the properties home to the landmarked auto row-era Eldridge Tire building and the old Atlas Clothing building. Capitol Hill Housing’s plan to redesign the “Neighbours Alley” to be more pedestrian friendly is also in early stages.
The dance venue has survived changing tastes and changing culture around the Hill for nearly 40 years including the loss of gay clubs and hangouts. It has also overcome more direct threats. On New Year’s Eve 2014, an arson attack was fortunately quickly handled by patrons and staff. Previously, issues over city-mandated safety upgrades and tax problems also troubled the club.
According to county records and state corporation records, longtime owner Moustafa “Moe” Elassiouti is also head of the trust that owns the property. The structure includes a “246” month lease through December 2033 but any sale agreement would likely wipe that deal away.