Paul Allen is at it again with a recent purchase of the historical Art Marble 21 site in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighborhood. Vulcan paid $12.85 million for the former World Sports Grille from the Kenney family, who previously owned it. While plans for the site aren’t final, Lori Curran, the real estate investment strategy director with Vulcan said the company will likely hold onto the property until they are ready for future redevelopment.
Curran added that this is a purchase that they’ve been pursuing “for eventual potential expansion of the Allen Institute.” She also said this building, along with the ones they recently acquired on 9th Ave. are being held for the future expansion of the Allen Institute.
Though the building has historical status, Curran said they aren’t concerned over being able to redevelop it. “We have a lot of experience with buying historical sites or those with historical status, so it’s something we’re used to,” she said.
Paul Allen founded the Allen Institute in 2003 to better understand brain science. The Institute currently sits on the northwest corner of Mercer St. and Westlake Avenue N and is just south of Art Marble 21. The current 270,000 square foot life sciences building incorporates historic elements of the Ford and Pacific McKay buildings.
In February 2016, building owner Jerry Kenney reclaimed the former World Sports Grille to run with his son Mike Kenney to become Art Marble 21, a frequented nightlife bar. They named the building Art Marble 21 after the original building’s owners, Art Marble Company.