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June 13, 2017

Unico has a new plan for Grand Central block

Journal staff reporter

Photo by Brian Miller [enlarge]
Graham Baba Architects will meet with the Pioneer Square Preservation Board June 21 to share the new proposal.

Unico Properties has changed its architect and its plans for the historic Grand Central block in Pioneer Square.

Graham Baba Architects will meet with the Pioneer Square Preservation Board next Wednesday to share the new proposal.

Three years ago, Unico paid $26.6 million to acquire the Grand Central Building, at 216 First Ave. S., and two attached buildings: the Buttnick and City Loan.

All three structures are bounded by First and South Main, and South Washington streets. They were built between 1890 and 1909, and together have about 110,000 square feet. The heights range from three to five stories.

Two years ago, Akiyama Architects briefed the Pioneer Square board on three possible options for renovating the block. Penthouses and a grocery store were discussed, along with a seismic upgrade and possible new windows facing Occidental Square, on the east side of the block. Those plans did not proceed.

The board said the new plan involves a rehab and alterations, including additions, and changing the uses on the upper floors.

Currently the three buildings have offices above retail space. Tenants include Swannies, The Comedy Underground, Grand Central Bakery, Fireworks Gallery and Arundel Books. Some space is also vacant.

A Unico spokesperson said more details will follow.

The board meeting is set for 9 a.m. Wednesday, June 21 at City Hall, 600 Fourth Ave., Room L2-80.

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