The likely future for a history-rich building formerly the longtime home of an icon in Capitol Hill gay nightlife could be a new headquarters for one of the neighborhood’s home-grown tech firms while making space for a new player to enter the Pike/Pine club scene.
Digital marketing firm Add3 is under contract to purchase the 1917-built Bothell Motors garage building at E Pine and Boylston, according to construction permit documents. You might know it is as the former home of R Place.
According to the documents, the Capitol Hill tech firm is making plans to purchase the building and overhaul it as a new headquarters with offices and meeting rooms. The effort would include “core and shell renovation” of the three-story, unreinforced masonry building, maintaining nightlife use on the ground floors and creating new office space above. The $1.1 million construction project with Mallet Construction would overhaul the first two floors formerly home to the longtime Capitol Hill gay bar in preparation for a new tenant.
The building and property has a $2.2 million tax value, according to King County records, and will likely fetch much more from the open market.
Add3 representatives have declined to comment on the planned deal.
Earlier this year, CHS reported on gay dance club and bar R Place losing its lease after more than 30 years on the corner. Its ownership said the club was searching for a new home. The challenges of the COVID-19 crisis has brought new worries about the neighborhood’s LGBTQ venues. Gay bar Union has reopened in its new home after a classic Capitol Hill four-block move near Broadway. And E Madison’s Pony overhauled its popular patio after a $250,000 deal with the city to make way for a coming bus transit project on the busy street. But larger challenges await at Neighbours as it is hopes to recover from months of closure and break-ins. Pike/Pine lesbian bar the Wildrose, meanwhile, has been buoyed by a community fundraising campaign.
A transaction for Add3 to create a new headquarters on Capitol Hill would be a major new milestone for the company. CHS reported on the startup way back in 2013 as its rapid growth made waves in the industry. Founder and chief media officer Brian Rauschenbach, by the way, can sometimes be found working behind the decks as a DJ around the city. The company currently calls the E Pike Greenus Building home as a tenant of Capitol Hill real estate and development company Hunters Capital. It also continues a trend of efforts to create more office space in Pike/Pine as companies increasingly desire the mix of location, food and drink, retail, and public transit convenience the neighborhood represents.
The deal would also add another burst of construction activity around the corner of Boylston and Pine. Just north of the intersection, a major overhaul is underway to convert the old Heath Printers building home to Hill-based coworking concern Office Nomads into a new complex for a not yet announced mystery restaurant.
The planned transaction is also a reminder of the shifting reality of real estate in the popular and downtown-adjacent neighborhoods of Capitol Hill around and below Broadway. Buildings home to popular institutions like the Summit Pub, or Glo’s and Capt. Black’s have been on the market in recent months, joining the multi-year effort to find a buyer for the Neighbours property as reminders that, in a coveted neighborhood like Capitol Hill, everything is for sale.
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