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October 7, 2021
After an inspiring end to their season, the Seattle Mariners announced Wednesday that they have signed a long-term lease for the old Pyramid Brewery building at 1201 First Ave. S.
The building was constructed in 1914 by the Oregon & Washington Railway as warehouse space for shipping tenants. It has been owned by the Hill family's Hill Investment Co. since 1977. It was leased to Hart Brewing in 1994 and operated as Pyramid Brewery and Alehouse until May 2020, when it closed due to the economic impacts of the pandemic.
The team plans to develop the property to help spur neighborhood revitalization. Immediate plans include a restaurant and boutique brew pub, as well as flexible interior event space that could accommodate groups as large as 800 people. As development of the property continues, plans may include such things as community space made available to support businesses with women and Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) ownership.
“By leasing and renovating the vacant property across from T-Mobile Park, we are investing in our neighborhood's health and economic vitality,” said Fred Rivera, Seattle Mariners executive vice president and general counsel, in a news release. “Reactivating this prime property, which has been vacant since spring of 2020, will have long-term benefits for the immediate area and over time, as our plans continue to unfold, we hope to activate the space in ways that will provide economic opportunities and equitable outcomes for the broader community.”
Andersen Construction is the general contractor with SHKS Architects providing design and restoration consulting. Contractors have committed to meet goals for significant participation of women- and BIPOC-owned companies in all aspects of the project, including design, construction and supplies. This commitment is closely aligned with the Mariners' aim to increase collaboration with diverse business partners.
Permit applications for the various elements of the project, including site work and use, have been filed with Seattle Department of Construction and Inspections. Interior demolition work is underway and the space is slated to open next July or August.
The pub will be called Steelheads Alley and will feature Metier Brewing Co., with some small-batch craft beers brewed on-site. It is named for the Seattle Steelheads, the team that played a single season in the West Coast Baseball Association of the Negro Leagues in 1946. Pub decor will pay tribute to the teams and players from the Negro Leagues.
Metier Brewing is led by CEO and co-founder Rodney Hines. Established in 2018, MBC has been recognized as Washington's first Black-owned brewery with a mission to foster diversity and create a welcoming gathering space for all.
“When the chance to partner with the Mariners arose, we were incredibly excited by the opportunity to be part of this history and reach even more people with our award-winning beers and mission to inspire bigger dreams for all,” said Hines. “We feel really fortunate to be joining the organization at such an exciting and critical time and look forward to the many ways this space will provide access to fans and community members from all backgrounds.”
The restaurant will be an upscale sports bar and grill with seating for 250 diners. Its decor will be sports and Northwest-themed, with wood and other design elements to create a cozy atmosphere. The menu will feature Pacific Northwest cuisine with locally sourced ingredients, local craft brews and Washington wines.
A 15,000-square-foot warehouse space is being renovated into a flexible interior event space with room for up to 800 people. The Mariners have had discussions with music promoters about using the space to stage small concerts.
In addition to the ground level, the Mariners lease of the property includes approximately 6,000 square feet on the second and third floors. Currently configured as offices, the space could be programmed for a number of different purposes including hosting, on a pro bono basis, small community nonprofits working to advance social and racial equity goals and programs that support women- and BIPOC-owned businesses. The offerings could include shared workspace, mentorship, business development support, access to investment resources and more.