Hunters Capital has a letter of intent from a prospective buyer for the Ford Building in Capitol Hill that wants to keep Elliott Bay Book Company where it is.
The development company put the Ford Building on the market in February, with the intention of using proceeds from the sale for another neighborhood preservation and redevelopment project.
Hunters Capital chief operating officer Jill Cronauer and director of development Michael Oaksmith told the Pike-Pine Urban Neighborhood Council on Monday night that they are excited about the buyer lined up for the Ford Building. The local, family-owned company has a vision to keep the building, Cronauer said.
A throwback to the Pike/Pine corridor’s Auto Row days, the Ford Building was constructed in 1918, and housed the Ford Truck Service Center. It later served as a garment manufacturer that supplied REI in the Kelly Springfield Building, now slated for preservation and redevelopment for office space and ground-floor retail.
Elliott Bay Book Company relocated from Pioneer Square to the Ford Building in 2010, following renovation work.
“They love the tenants,” Cronauer said of the prospective buyer. “We’re just in the due diligence process.”
“It’s not some big national conglomerate,” Smith said about his positivity for the building’s future, later adding, “We’re invested in the neighborhood more than anybody, and the last thing we want is for Elliott Bay to leave.”
Cronauer told PPUNC that they had met with Elliott Bay Book Company owner Peter Aaron earlier that day to inform him of the impending sale. She told the Capitol Hill Times EBBC’s lease is far from expiring, plus the bookstore has the option for two more five-year extensions.
“Since we have a lease for the long haul, it’s kind of a moot point,” Aaron told the Capitol Hill Times in a phone interview Tuesday. “In a perfect world there would be no change, but this is not a perfect world.”
Aaron said he has appreciated Hunter Capital’s management and upkeep of the property over the years.
“I hate to see them moving on, and I just hope their successors are equal,” he said.