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June 22, 2018
If you're pining for dumplings at the Four Seas, at 714 S. King St. in the International District, it's too late.
The restaurant closed last fall. But the pop-up Dynasty Room cocktail bar opened there this spring on a short-term basis. Short-term because the 1962 building will be demolished late next year to make way for affordable housing.
InterIm Community Development Association and Mithun have filed plans to redevelop the property with a seven-story apartment building. It would have 104 affordable units and 6,500 square feet for a restaurant. No parking is planned or required.
Units will range from studios to three-bedrooms. Some will have balconies. Rents will be capped at 60 percent of area median income. Total project size is about 89,500 square feet. InterIm CDA hopes to complete the project by early 2021.
The 15,360-square-foot property is on the northwest corner of King and Eighth Avenue South, just below South Jackson Street and west of the freeway. It's been owned since 1988 by the Chan family, which also owns the nearby Tai Tung — generally considered Seattle's oldest Chinese restaurant.
The Chans also operated the Four Seas, and they will open a new restaurant — probably with a new name and format — in the new building.
The property is not listed for sale. Instead, it will become a commercial condominium. The Chans will own the restaurant space, and InterIm CDA will own the apartments.
InterIm CDA and Mithun will brief the International Special Review District board on the project at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 26 at the Bush Asia Center, 409 Maynard Ave. S.
The project is called Uncle Bob's Place, in honor of ID activist Bob Santos, leader of InterIm CDA during the 1970s and 1980s, who died in 2016.
Funding will come from the city Office of Housing, federal low-income tax credits and equity investors.
Consulting on the project is Evan Chan of Edge Developers. He's also part of the property-owning family, the son of Harry Chan — the third generation to run Tai Tung. Evan Chan says the fifth generation is now working there, too.
Edge is led by Marpac Construction founder Don Mar.
Separately, Edge is planning 58 units on the Tenoch Mexican Grill site at 206 Fifth Ave. S., also in the ID, and is now building 49 units at 2902 Beacon Ave. S., close to the light rail station (near where it previously co-developed The Denning).
The DJC was unable to reach InterIm CDA before deadline. The project team also includes CPL. No general contractor has been selected, and ISRD board approval typically takes a few months.
Among its other programs and social services, InterIm CDA owns five buildings in the ID and Rainier Valley, with about 305 affordable units and 577 residents.
And one sad, final postscript: When the late Anthony Bourdain came to Seattle last summer to film an episode of “Parts Unknown,” he ate at Tai Tung and met with Harry Chan.