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April 26, 2019

Wolff sells Pike Motorworks to TA Realty for $128M

Journal Staff Reporter

Image from Weber Thompson [enlarge]
Pike Motorworks preserved some of the old brick facade of the former BMW dealership facing Pike Street.

Pike Motorworks, at 714 E. Pike St. on Capitol Hill, has sold for a little over $128.3 million, according to King County records. The seller was an LLC related to the Wolff Co., which acquired the almost 1.5-acre site in 2012 for about $14.9 million, then developed it with two buildings, a courtyard and shared parking.

Both parties used LLCs. Brokers weren't announced. The overall value of the retail-residential deal was around $640 per rentable square foot.

Pike Motorworks occupies most of the block also bounded by East Pine Street and Boylston and Harvard avenues. Its pedestrian connector and retail courtyard split the block on its east-west axis. Separately owned are Pike Flats, on the southeast corner, the Cue Apartments, on the northeast corner, and the older Starbird Apartments, on the west side. The northwest corner, where Linda's Tavern is located, is still owned by a local family.

Weber Thompson designed the 260-unit, seven-story Pike Motorworks, which preserved some of the old brick facade of the former BMW dealership facing Pike. Exxel Pacific was the general contractor; work began on the two-phase project 2013 and was completed about two years later.

Red Propeller consulted on the Pike Motorworks branding, which separated the initial 154 units in phase one (the north building, with an entrance on Pine) from the 106 premium units in phase two (the south building), dubbed “Pike Motorworks Ltd.” Two levels of underground parking have about 185 stalls. Bike rooms have 90 stalls, according to the county.

Graham Baba Architects designed the retail/commercial space, which totals about 20,473 square feet, both facing the street and courtyard. Tenants include Redhook Brewlab, Salt & Straw, and Verve Bowls. Gibraltar has been Wolff's retail leasing agent.

The Auto Row redevelopment plan had a somewhat troubled history. Local firm Pryde + Johnson bought the site in 2006 for almost $9 million, then ran into the recession. BMW didn't leave until 2009, and a redevelopment plan was never permitted by the city. Pryde + Johnson was forced into a foreclosure sale by its lender, then Wolff stepped in to buy the land.

Essentially the same scenario also took place in 2012, when Wolff bought what later became the Sunset Electric building, at 1530 11th Ave., from Pryde + Johnson for a little under $6.7 million.

Wolff sold that 62-unit, six-story development, once called the Precision Autowerks Building, to ASB Real Estate Investments for almost $42 million in 2015, soon after it opened. Weber Thompson was the architect, and part of the original facade was also preserved.

Wolff, which is based in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Spokane, is underway on the 146-unit Revel Issaquah senior housing project. It's also planning about 557 units on the 12-acre former LifeBridge Church site in Totem Lake.


Brian Miller can be reached by email at brian.miller@djc.com or by phone at (206) 219-6517.

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