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Originally published December 16, 2014 at 1:57 PM | Page modified December 16, 2014 at 10:47 PM

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Harvard Exit building will house restaurant, offices

Details on the sale of the historic Harvard Exit Theatre building are coming to light.


Seattle Times business reporter

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@Sea68 I'd rather see a film there than have to drive to a "cineplex". We need our neighborhood theaters. Seattle is... MORE
Very welcome news to read that the new owner plans to preserve the building's presence on the street and its lobby. MORE
It's obvious that Landmark has no interest in its remaining theaters in the Seattle area. MORE

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After the beloved Harvard Exit Theatre is sold next month, the new owners plan to reopen it in 2016 as flexible office space with a restaurant and bar.

“We’re excited to be the steward of this historical building, improve upon it and have it be a contributing member of the community,” said Scott Shapiro, the managing partner in Harvard Exit LLC, which is buying the 17,000-square-foot structure from O’Steen LLC.

The building was erected in 1925 and originally served as a clubhouse for the Woman’s Century Club. The building has been an art-house cinema for more than four decades.

Shapiro’s Eagle Rock Ventures has developed several apartment buildings on Capitol Hill and codeveloped Melrose Market.

The building is in the Harvard-Belmont Historic District, so any exterior changes or additions to the structure require approval from the Seattle Landmarks Preservation Board.

Shapiro said in an interview he expected minimal exterior changes, such as installing historically accurate, energy-efficient windows. As for the interior, Shapiro said he’d try to preserve key features so anyone walking into the building could tell it was once a theater.

When the renovations are done, the building will offer about 5,000 square feet each on the first and third floors and about 2,000 square feet on the second floor, Shapiro said.

As for the rest of the building, it’s possible a restaurant might want to lease both the lobby and the basement, Shapiro said.

He declined to disclose the price of the all-cash transaction, which is set to close next month.

Sanjay Bhatt: 206-464-3103 or sbhatt@seattletimes.com On Twitter @sbhatt



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