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July 30, 2020

Silverstein Properties buys Butcher's Table site; high rise planned

Real Estate Editor

Photo from NKF [enlarge]
The restaurant will lease back its space from the building’s new billionaire owner.

The Butcher's Table building, at 2121 Westlake Ave. in the Denny Triangle, has sold for $17.5 million, according to King County records.

The buyer was Silverstein Westlake Owner LLC, associated with mega-developer Silverstein Properties of New York, which is planning a new high-rise tower. No new plans have been filed with the city, and no schedule for development is included in a covenant accompanying the sale.

The restaurant will lease back its space from the new owner. Terms and duration aren't known.

The future tower will likely be a mixed-use residential building, per the covenant. Offices aren't mentioned, and the entire triangular block would surely be too small for such use.

Silverstein said a press release will eventually follow.

The seller was 2121 Westlake Ave LLC, which is related to Sugar Mountain Capital, the business arm of food entrepreneur Kurt Beecher Dammeier. He assembled the property in 2012 and 2015 for nearly $8.7 million. With design/build firm Mallett, he added two stories to an old auto shop for a new company headquarters that opened, with his restaurant below, in 2016.

Tim O’Keefe, Ken White and Kevin Shannon of Newmark Knight Frank represented the seller. Considered for the land alone, the deal was worth about $1,153 per square foot.

The corner, at Blanchard Street, totals 15,179 square feet. The site is on the north, fat end of the triangle, with the separately owned 3,000-square-foot Shake Shack property on its pointy south tip. The entire block, near several Amazon buildings, is zoned up to 440 feet.

Thursday morning update: In its press release, Silverstein said it would build a residential tower with around 400 units on the parking lot, and would not demolish the Butcher’s Table building. Larry Silverstein said in a statement, “The Seattle site offers a host of attractive features, including proximity to mass transit, parks, vibrant retail and world-class companies with growing footprints.” The company’s Jeff Grassco added, “Downtown Seattle is extremely appealing to us with its incredible growth and livability. We view the Seattle region as an opportunity to build upon our experience in intelligent and creative ways."

The current four-story building also has tenants including Flying Fish Partners. Leasing agent NKF says the second floor, with 4,621 square feet, is now vacant. Kinzer Partners previously occupied that space. The offices go by 801 Blanchard.

Including the restaurant, the building totals 26,029 square feet. The original two-story building dates to 1925. Half the property is now surface parking. Owing to the pandemic, the restaurant will soon have to revert again to takeout dining only.

Silverstein can afford to wait out any leases at 2121 Westlake. The company, which redeveloped much of the former World Trade Center in Manhattan, paid $430 million last week for the US Bank Tower in Los Angeles. The privately held firm was established in 1957 by chairman Larry Silverstein, now 89, and his father. Daughter Lisa Silverstein is also an executive with the company.

Company CEO Marty Burger recently told the Commercial Observer that the firm was shopping in L.A. and in Seattle. The 2121 Westlake investment is Silverstein's first in our market.

It may not be done. Shake Shack opened in 2018 in a small former dentist's office building. It's leased from the same dentist who bought the property in 2003 for $700,000. He moved his practice about one block south to make way for the restaurant. Terms for that lease are also unknown.

Among Silverstein's recent developments is 30 Park Place in the Wall Street-Tribeca area. That supertall hotel/condo project, at 926 feet, is among New York's loftiest residential buildings. Designed by Robert A.M. Stern Architects, the 82-story tower has a Four Seasons Hotel with 157 condos above.

The billionaire Silverstein himself is an owner, having paid $32.6 million for a penthouse unit in 2018.


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

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