By Meghan Hall
A key Belltown development site near the heart of downtown Seattle has come up for sale after more than a decade. The lot, located within close proximity of Amazon’s headquarters and just four blocks from the city’s central business district retail core, is on the market for $6 million, according to an offering memorandum obtained by The Registry.
The property is located at 2219 4th Ave., on the West side of the block between Bell and Blanchard Streets. In all, the parcel totals 6,480 square feet, and is currently developed with a building of the same size that was previously used as a restaurant space and full kitchen.
Current ownership—listed in public documents as 2219 Fourth LLC—purchased the property back in 2005 for $1.2 million. At the time, the building was used as a bar and laundromat combination known as “Sit and Spin.” After the property was purchased, ownership transitioned to a full sports bar and grill known as Spitfire. Pintxo, a local Spanish Tapas joint then moved into the building in 2018. However, after Pintxo’s closing, current ownership decided to sell, according to Rod Keefe, senior vice president at Kidder Mathews, the brokerage firm in charge of marketing the property for sale.
“[Pintxo’s] business state expired earlier this year, and it just seemed like an opportunity to put it on the market,” explained Keefe. “[We are] recognizing obviously what the market is today is still to be determined, but we feel that this location with all of its benefits will still be really, highly desirable.”
Due to its downtown location, the property is within walking distance of a wide variety of shops and restaurants, as well as major employers, particularly Amazon. 2219 4th is also within walking distance of the Westlake Center, part of Seattle’s retail corridor and Pike Place Market. The Space Needle, Museum of Pop Culture and Olympic Park are also not far away.
Kidder Mathews is anticipating that the property will likely sell to a developer, who will transform the property with a project of a denser use. Currently, the project is zoned for residential, and the property could potentially accommodate a tower of up to 280 feet in height. The number of residential units would largely depend on the layout and type of unit, stated Keefe.
“The property is not the highest and best use in today’s market,” stated Keefe. “We anticipate that someone will come along and knock that down and build a new multifamily residential property there. You’d have a very popular residential project there… We think that given its really stellar location with so much going on that it would be highly attractive and desirable to residential developers.”
Despite the slowdown that has resulted due to COVID-19, the Dylan Simon team at Kidder Mathews estimates that the region will need an additional 47,000 apartment units to keep up with the demand caused by job creation and in-migration in the coming years.
According to Kidder Mathews’ most recent apartment development report, there were just 2,362 units brought to market during the first quarter of 2020 across Snohomish, Pierce, King and Kitsap Counties, compared with 336,331 units of total inventory. Kidder Mathews, while keeping an eye on economic fundamentals, believes that due to fundamentals such as personal income growth—which increased 5.9 percent in 2019, double that of the nation—and 3 percent employment growth in King County at the beginning of the year, demand for future apartment units will remain at healthy levels.