By Jack Stubbs
On Sunday, February 3rd, a retail property located near the Pike/Pine corridor in downtown Seattle sold for $15.5 million, according to public records filed with King County. The buyer, Melrose Market Regency LLC, shares the same address as Oakland, California-based Regency Centers, a national owner, operator and developer of shopping centers. The seller was Melrose Project LLC, an entity affiliated with Scott Shapiro based in Seattle.
The transaction was recorded on February 8th.
Regency Centers’ Oakland office did not respond to calls for comment regarding the recent transaction in time for the publishing of this story.
The subject property, located at 1531 Melrose Avenue in between Pike and Pine Streets, is a 21,000 square foot Class B retail property constructed in 1912 that is part of Melrose Market, according to public documents. It is not entirely clear how much space is currently available in the property. According to public documents, some of the current tenants include Rain Shadow Meats, Sitka and Spruce and Homegrown sandwich shop.
The retail property shares the same address as Melrose Market, an indoor food and retail market located between downtown Seattle and the bustling Capitol Hill neighborhood. According to the web site for the property, the market occupies a set of historic automotive buildings constructed between 1919 and 1926 which were ultimately converted into the Melrose Market.
Opened in the spring of 2010 and just up the street from Seattle’s downtown shopping district, the Market features a collection of award-winning restauranteurs and retailers and Melrose Market Studios, a large event space and catering facility.
And the recently-acquired property sits in a downtown location that has been eyed with increasing interest by members of the community and city officials in recent months: redevelopment and adaptive reuse projects are becoming increasingly prevalent throughout Seattle, a city in transition, and another in-the-works project is set to bring changes to the city’s continually-evolving Capitol Hill neighborhood.
As one such example, the Melrose Promenade Project—which encompasses a one-mile stretch of street bounded by Pike Street on the south and Lakeview Boulevard to the north—is a community-driven redevelopment effort that is aiming to transform Melrose Avenue and surrounding public spaces from an underutilized freeway frontage into a revitalized, more active pedestrian thoroughfare. The adaptive reuse project, initiated by the community-led Melrose Promenade Advisory Committee (MPAC), also includes various architectural firms such as Berger Partnership, Schemata Workshop and Weinstein A+U.
In April 2018, an open house event was held for Melrose Promenade, at which Seattle Department of Transportation (SDOT) presented update project plans to members of the surrounding community. In terms of wider community engagement, members of MPAC are also working in conjunction representatives from the Pike/Pine Renaissance project—which is a joint effort between the city of Seattle’s Office of the Waterfront and Downtown Seattle Association (DSA)—to further streamline the planning and design process for Melrose Promenade.
As part of another project, the Pike Pine Renaissance: Act One, DSA and the Office of the Waterfront are looking to redesign and improve the pedestrian experience along Pike and Pine streets, as well as connect the corridor to the waterfront and the nearby Pike Place Market to Capitol Hill.
Further north in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood, Regency Centers is working on another project: the company is developing Ballard Blocks II, a 114,000 square foot shopping center a project on which construction was begun in February 2018 and is slated for completion in mid-2019.
The in-the-works development, located at 1451 N.W. 46th St., will be across the street from Regency Centers’ Ballard Blocks project, a 131,000 square foot shopping center that contains a Trader Joe’s, LA Fitness and Ross, among other tenants. The new project will include a 25,000 square foot PCC Community Markets store (the anchor tenant in the space), 25,000 square feet of space dedicated to retailer West Marine and a 12,000 square foot childhood Early Learning Center.
Regency Centers’ portfolio includes 426 centers totaling 58 million square feet of retail space nationwide, according to the company’s web site. “We develop premier shopping centers designed for long-term growth. Our focus is on developments in dense infill and affluent trade areas. We attract best-in-class anchors, leading specialty grocers, market-dominant traditional grocers and select regional grocers.”