The building that houses Seattle’s beloved Elliott Bay Book Company in Capitol Hill sold for $14 million on April 28. Seattle-based Hunters Capital, which has owned the property since 1987, paid just $551,000 for the property at 1521 10th Ave. decades ago. The buyer was Mercer Island-based Keeler Investments Group.
The building is an old Ford Building, dating back 97 years when it was among a row of auto warehouses on the Pike/Pine Corridor. The bookstore, which is in the building now, was originally founded in 1973 by Walter Carr in the historic Globe Building, which was built in 1890 at 109 Main St. in Pioneer Square. In 2010, Elliott Bay moved into the Capitol Hill location after calling Pioneer Square its home for 36 years.
The bookstore’s current location sits on a 33,391 square foot site, but the building is only 15,369 square feet. Totokaelo, a Seattle-based women’s clothing store, is also a tenant.
Hunters Capital is no stranger to old and historic buildings. The group also owns the Greenus Building at 500 East Pike, which was built in 1916. It housed several auto dealers including KisselKar, Ford, Nash, DeSoto-Plymouth and Cadillac. The Dunn Motors Building, built in 1925, is also part of the group’s assets along with the Ballou Wright Building, which was used as an automotive parts warehouse and service center, and the Colman Automotive Building.
According to Hunters Capital’s website, the group’s founder Michael Malone purchased the Ford Building in 1987, which then became the warehouse distribution center or AEI Music but was then sold to DMX Music in 2002. DMX later moved out in 2009 after using the space for technical operations.
Keeler Investments Group invests in Pacific Northwest-based early stage, private equity and real estate opportunities. In the early stage investment, Keeler invests between $100,000 to $1 million in startups. With private equity, the group focuses on recapitalization, acquisition by management and ownership transfers. In the last 10 years, the group has acquired or managed more than 500,000 square feet of commercial properties and 700 acres of land, according to its website. Typical acquisitions include office, retail, mixed-use, multifamily flex and industrial and development sites.
Earlier this month, Keeler sold off its Sweeney Conrad Building at 2606 116th Ave. NE in Bellevue for $13.5 million or about $380 per square foot.