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February 17, 2017

City issues a new RFP for ‘Mercer Mega Block'

Journal staff reporter

The city of Seattle issued a second request for proposals Wednesday for the so-called “Mercer Mega Block” in South Lake Union.

There are two parcels — at 614 Aurora Ave. N. and 800 Mercer St. — and together they measure almost 2.9 acres.

The DJC first reported last month that the city intends to sell the surplus land, most of it created when Mercer became a two-way street and Broad Street was vacated.

The city is now seeking a consultant to help market the property and create an RFP for developers. Responses to this proposal are due March 2. A notice was published in the Feb. 16 DJC.

Jason Kelly of the city's Office of Planning & Community Development said, “We'd like to have the property on the market by the second quarter of 2017,” but he said the consultant will determine the timeline for the sale.

Evaluating development proposals could take the rest of this year, so a sale might not be approved until next year.

The city is in no rush because of the sheer scale and value of the property.

“This is a unique parcel,” said Kelly. “This property in South Lake Union is unlike any other parcel” recently sold by the city. Other surplus properties may have been larger, he said, but none have been so centrally located.

Kelly said there were “numerous responses” to the initial request for qualified parties (RFQ), but he declined to name them. He said he expects many of the same consultants will respond to the new RFP.

The main two-block site at 800 Mercer is bounded by Roy and Mercer streets, and Dexter and Ninth avenues north. It measures about 104,000 square feet in the present configuration, with Eighth Avenue North vacated, which the city intends to make permanent.

To the west across Dexter is another half block at 614 Aurora that measures about 24,000 square feet. It has a warehouse with current tenants. That property is bounded by Roy, an alley to the south, Mercer, Dexter and Aurora.

In 2015, the city valued 614 Aurora with a high range of $10.5 million, or about or about $434 per square foot.

Kelly said the city hasn't estimated the value of the main Mega Block property at 800 Mercer.

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