Advertising

Originally published October 10, 2011 at 5:33 PM | Page modified October 11, 2011 at 8:06 AM

Seattle Times seeks developer for historic HQ site

The Seattle Times Co. is marketing to prospective developers the South Lake Union block on which its historic headquarters building sits.

Seattle Times business reporter

Comments
No comments have been posted to this article.

advertising

The Seattle Times Co. is marketing to prospective developers the South Lake Union block on which its historic headquarters building sits.

But the 2.5-acre block, at Fairview Avenue North and John Street, isn't for sale. Instead, it was listed recently on the website of broker Century Pacific as a "ground lease" investment opportunity.

Under such an arrangement The Times would continue to own the land, but a developer would lease it for an extended period — usually several decades or more — and build a project there at its own expense.

The Times plans to move out of its 81-year-old headquarters building early next year and relocate a block away to leased space at the 1000 Denny building, which it sold in January to California investors.

"Our overall objective is to see all assets contribute positively to the bottom line in support of our journalistic mission," Times spokeswoman Jill Mackie said in an email.

At the end of a ground lease's term the land and buildings typically revert to the landowner.

Ground leases aren't uncommon in commercial real estate. Downtown Seattle's Rainier Tower and Fairmont Olympic Hotel, among other buildings, stand on ground that developers leased long-term from the University of Washington.

The exterior panels on the oldest part of the headquarters building have been designated historic, although they could be preserved elsewhere. Significant changes would require city approval.

Current zoning limits buildings on the block to 85 feet, but the city is considering zoning changes that would allow structures up to 300 feet tall.

South Lake Union has become a development hot spot in recent years. The block The Times is offering is steps from Amazon.com's new 1.7-million-square-foot headquarters complex.

Seattle developer Touchstone recently filed preliminary paperwork for two more 12-story office towers on the Troy Laundry block, just north of The Times headquarters. Touchstone bought that block from The Times in June.

Other developers have proposed another 300,000 square feet of office buildings in South Lake Union, and more than 1,000 apartments are under construction or in the pipeline in the fast-changing neighborhood.

Eric Pryne: 206-464-2231 or epryne@seattletimes.com

News where, when and how you want it

Email Icon

Advertising

NDN Video




Advertising