Broadway home to Neighbours hits market for $6.9M

(Image: Nate Gowdy with permission to CHS)

There are a few things to remember.

Everything is for sale.

Capitol Hill is dying.

Forever.

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.


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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 loss of Neighbours would be yet another in a long line of death knells for Capitol Hill as you have known and loved it.

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.

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31 thoughts on “Broadway home to Neighbours hits market for $6.9M

  1. This is truly sad. I have lived on Capitol Hill for 18 years and spent many crazy nights in my early days in and around Neighbors and the alley. Weren’t they just looking to make that alley more “Safe” and “Appealing”? Maybe this was all a ploy to help the seller show the interest in and around that space. I don’t know why I’m surprised but I am.

    • We were saddened to learn that this important cultural fixture where so many Seattleites and members of the LGBTQ community have made memories is up for sale. CHH, along with a committee of organizations and nearby businesses, are driving the alley revitalization, and we are examining any impact that a change of ownership to Neighbour’s Nightclub might have. Our priority continues to be the implementation of a community vision for this shared public space.

  2. Ironic that selling the bldg to redevelopment and killing off Neighbours will disappear one of those “vibrant nightlife” establishments that the selling points hawk. Talk about killing the goose that laid the golden egg?

  3. “…but any sale agreement would likely wipe that deal away.”

    Only if the owner of Neighbors agrees to a buy out. The new owner is still bound to the lease.

  4. While I’m sad to hear this (my gay life at 21 revolved around this place), Neighbors hasn’t felt like a gay club since maybe 2010? None of my friends go there on any regular basis that I’m aware of…and it is an underutilized (read: 1 story) property on Broadway.

    • I’m pretty sure from what I’ve read, the Broadway Grill has structural or infrastructure issues. Owner is probably just waiting for that magic price that results in the whole block being demolished.

      • After Neighbours is gone, that will probably be next. It’s been empty since the Recession. I’m surprised someone hasn’t scooped that up by now.

    • My guess is that the owner of the Broadway Grill property is waiting for the upzone to occur, which will be soon. I bet he/she will combine the property with the one immediately to the north.

  5. This is really sad. Still go to hot flash there and haven’t seen a single bachelorette party or suburban homophobe so I guess your mileage may vary.

  6. My now husband and I met there , August of 1986. We would bounce back and forth from the Brass Door to Neighbors. It was the southern anchor of the Gayborhood. Change, good, bad or indifferent is an inevitable condition.

  7. I haven’t been to Neighbors in a decade. I have a policy that I can’t be sad about something disappearing if I don’t go there anymore.

  8. Gay clubs are all dives. What we’re missing is an upscale gay club that isn’t an dark dive with good flow and lots of dancing. The day of the dark dingy gay club is dead. It isn’t needed. The typical gay clubs like Union, CC’s, Eagle, Mad Pub, and others need to up their game.

    Gays want to have an experience that reflects the new politics. So the bars should be open and bright and well designed and social. They have the social down the holes that these bars have dug in deep of being hovels that gays can escape the outside world. That isn’t reality now. Gays are accepted and gay bars need to graduate to the new gay world.

    I left RPlace out of the list. Why? Because they are serving a community beyond just gays. Needs to exist as it is.

  9. Neighbours is a Seattle institution with many memories for those who have come of age in Seattle and are gay or gay friendly. But Capital Hill is no longer the diverse hip neighborhood I called home for 25 yrs. It’s like Bellevue now just not as clean. The tech and other out of state transplants who’ve moved into the new expensive apartments in Pike/ Pine have no connection to Neighbours Orr many of the other longtime establishments on the hill. They’re more connected to the latest trendy overpriced ax throwing bar so they likely won’t even bother looking up from their phones to even notice if Neighbours closed. It’s sad.

  10. I haven’t been too or enjoyed “Neighbours” in many years. In my early 20’s it was where my friends & I could be found Thursday-Sunday nights. Sadly the club & the neighborhoodgine down hill & has lost its appeal for most for most people as it’s no longer the “Gay Hub” that it used to be.