Part of the sale contract required Bonney-Watson to remove its iconic sign along Broadway.
Part of the sale contract required Bonney-Watson to remove its iconic sign along Broadway.

The developer of the Bonney Watson Funeral Home site will provide an early design update 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 16, during the Pike/Pine Urban Neighborhood Council meeting in the Pike Pine Room of the 12th Avenue Art building, 1620 12th Ave.

The Bonney-Watson Funeral Home property on Broadway is under contract to sell to a national developer, which means its iconic sign had to come down. Bonney-Watson CEO Cameron Smock said that doesn’t mean business won’t keep going for at least another year.

“We’re going to operate it as long as we can, so it’s business as usual until we get closer to the moving date,” Smock said.

Bonney-Watson put the property at 1732 Broadway on the market in February. Smock said the company had signed more than 80 confidentiality agreements and received 22 offers on the property. He declined to name the buyer or purchase price as the sale isn’t expected to close until November 2018 — August at the earliest.

“It’s a national buyer that has a lot of projects that they’ve completed in Seattle and in Capitol Hill,” Smock said.

The decision to sell the Capitol Hill funeral home was based on declining business and a desire to use the proceeds from the sale to reinvest in the company’s future.

“Next year will be our 150th anniversary,” Smock said, “so we really want to leverage the proceeds to build the company and go another 150 years.”

Bonney-Watson is still assessing how to maintain a presence in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, Smock said, and is maintaining relationships with churches and other venues because many families already have end-of-life arrangements on file.

“We’re still kind of looking at what our options are,” he said, adding there is still a possibility Bonney-Watson could acquire a retail storefront.

The Capitol Hill location is the site of Bonney-Watson’s care center, which provides embalming, cremations and other preparations for the entire company, and that will eventually move to SeaTac. Smock said he wants to move the old sign there too, but he has to work with SeaTac on that because it doesn’t meet city regulations.

“It really is an iconic sign, and I don’t want to see it go away,” he said. Its early departure from the Hill was part of the negotiated contract.

Proceeds from the sale of the Capitol Hill site are also expected to be used for capital projects and potential acquisitions of other funeral homes, Smock said.